1962 - 2017
FARNSWORTH, Elizabeth Research Ecologist & Teacher Elizabeth Jean Farnsworth, 54, residing in Amherst, MA, died at home unexpectedly on October 27th, 2017. She was born in Boston, MA on December 8th, 1962, and was predeceased by her parents, William B. and Jean G. Farnsworth. She is survived by her brother Robert L. Farnsworth and her sister-in-law Georgia N. Nigro of Greene, ME; her nephews Nathan and Tobias Farnsworth; her aunt, Alys F. MacLeod of Bristol, RI; and her cousins Libby, Rory, Tucker, and Caroline. Educated at Brown University (B.A. with honors 1984), The University of Vermont (M.S. Botany 1991), and Harvard University (PhD. Ecology 1997), Elizabeth conducted research projects in plant ecology all over the world in a vigorous and distinguished career spanning more than three decades. She dedicated her prolific scientific and artistic expertise to environmental education in a wide variety of settings, from university teaching to development of ecology education projects for children. Elizabeth served as a scientific consultant to government agencies such as the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. National Park Service, and the Environmental Protection Agency, and worked recently as the Research Ecologist and Director of Education at The New England Wild Flower Society in Framingham, MA. Her wide-ranging research was recognized and supported by numerous grant awards from such sources as the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service. The American scientific community will miss Elizabeth's energetic presence and distinguished accomplishments in the field of ecology. Her wide and devoted circle of friends in science and in the arts has lost an ardent, gifted musician and visual artist, and a witty, fervent, and loyal companion. A memorial celebration of Elizabeth's life is being planned for the near future. For further information on developments thus, check http://www.hitchcockcenter.org/. The family suggests that donations in memory of Elizabeth be sent to New England Wild Flower Society http://newenglandwild.org, Hitchcock Center for the Environment, Amandla Chorus http://amandlachorus.org, or any other conservation organization, group, or charity of the donor's choice.

View the online memorial for Elizabeth FARNSWORTH

Published by Boston Globe from Nov. 4 to Nov. 5, 2017.
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8 Entries
Beth Farnsworth and I were friends at Dana Hall in the 70s, and she was a wonderful, humorous friend! I have just learned of her passing today (Oct 4, 2020). Truthfully, I had a vivid dream about her last night. In the dream she stood before me smiling, and I said to her, "Beth...Elizabeth Farnsworth!" I was so glad to see her! The dream prompted me to search for her online today. I see an entry from my other dear Dana friend, MacKenzie Goldthwait. I am shocked and saddened that for 3 years I've been unaware of her passing, but I'm glad to have known her. Thanks for saying hi, Beth!
Wren Hazard
October 4, 2020
You were my best friend when we both attended Dana Hall. We stayed in touch when I moved to Maine. You invited me to spend time with you at Brown. You're a generous spirit and I m sorry to know of your passing.
Elaine Senay
July 31, 2018
Elizabeth and I were often critics together at the Conway School of landscape Design. I loved her humor, knowledge and wonderful sense of fairness. She was a great person and a ton of fun to be around.
Joan Rockwell
May 8, 2018
I am sad and shocked to see this news. I first met Elizabeth through her ecological work and papers with Fakhri Bazzaz. Then i became a Bazzaz postdoc in 2002 and began doing plant ecological research at Harvard Forest. Elizabeth was so kind, so helpful and so smart. She was an academic mentor to me. I am so sorry for this loss. I was just now searching for her email to check with her about some data she collected in 1993.... What an ecological and conservation hero, and an amazing humanitarian.
Jacqueline Mohan
May 2, 2018
I am stunned and devastated by this news. What happened?!
Elizabeth and I have known each other since our high school days at Dana Hall, where we were best friends. Unlike many high school friends, we had not drifted apart from each other but kept in touch at least once a year despite our geographic distance. I live in Colorado. Finally, in 2015 and 2016, my husband and I were able to visit Elizabeth in Amherst and the intervening years seemed to melt away. What a wonderful time we had catching up and spending time exploring the outdoors. We thoroughly enjoyed exchanging insights on our relationship with the natural world. One that we had both plunged into with both feet, she as a scientist and illustrator and I as a wildlife veterinarian. Elizabeth took us to some of her favourite natural places near her home and we spent hours enjoying the flora and fauna and our time together. The natural world has been deprived of a staunch advocate at such a young age, and I have lost a wonderful friend just as we were rekindling our friendship.
Mackenzie Goldthwait
November 23, 2017
I was so incredibly saddened to get this news of Elizabeth. I first met her in South Africa in 1996 when she was on a Harvard Scholarship at the University of Cape Town and I was doing Botany Honours. We kept in contact ever since and it was only a couple of years ago that she visited us, staying overnight after a trip to Scotland. We had a lovely afternoon with her and her friend walking around Wakehurst Place and visiting the Millennium Seed Bank where I work. Elizabeth was an incredibly talented, thoughtful, hard-working, smart, kind and caring individual and the world is a much poorer place without her. Her influence will live on in all those whom she taught and touched and she will continue to inspire people for many years to come. She accomplished so much for environmental conservation. She will be sorely missed. We unfortunately will be unable to attend the celebration of her life, but will be there in spirit. With our most heartfelt condolences, Rosemary and John.
Rosemary Newton
November 21, 2017
May you receive the comfort that Gods word provide at Psalm 25:16-17
November 10, 2017
Elizabeth "lives on in the acts of goodness she performed"

Gray and Paul
November 8, 2017
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