Betsy Smith

Betsy G. Smith

Thursday, October 23, 1930 - Monday, August 10, 2020
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BETSY G. SMITH, 89, of Garvey Manor and formerly of Tyrone, died peacefully at UPMC Altoona on Monday, August 10. Her son was at her side as she passed from this earth.
Betsy was born on October 23, 1930, in New York City, the daughter of Robert B. Garman and Ruth (Dimling) Garman. On June 24, 1950, she married William P. Smith, her sweetheart since junior high school years. He preceded her in death on April 30, 2013. She is survived by her son, Judge D. Brooks Smith of Altoona, and her daughter, Dr. Virginia Ann Smith of Philadelphia. She was preceded in death by her husband, and by a sister, Ann Condon. She is also survived by two grandsons, Jonathan Woodring and Matthew Rippon, and by three great-grandchildren: Adrian Christopher Woodring, Sylvia Lee Woodring and Rosalyn Eveland Woodring.
Betsy’s father was a stockbroker, and his work took him and his family to Baltimore, to Kentucky, and eventually to Philadelphia. Betsy lived on Henry Avenue in the East Falls neighborhood of that city, where she and her sister became acquainted with the “Kelly family”. They became close friends with two daughters of the late John B. Kelly: Grace and Lizanne. Lizanne, now deceased, became Lizanne Levine and would continue to live in Philadelphia; Grace would always be known as “Grace Kelly”, Hollywood actress and eventually Princess of Monaco.
It was in the Kelly home that Betsy saw her first television set.
In 1943, the Garman family moved to Tyrone where Betsy’s father became a co-owner of the Tyrone Lime and Stone Company. And it was in Tyrone that Betsy met the love of her life, Bill.
Betsy and Bill were an “item” from junior high years through their respective graduations from Tyrone High School. They were married in Hollidaysburg, built a house in Tyrone and planned for a family. A son came along in December, 1951, and then a daughter in August of 1953.
Betsy was a loving and devoted wife, and a mother who was present in her childrens’ lives whenever she was needed. She sewed her young daughter’s wardrobe, made magnificent doll clothes and knitted gorgeous sweaters. She also quilted for members of her family, including baby quilts for her great grandchildren. Another of her talents was designing and making Ukrainian eggs for Easter as well as her own Christmas tree decorations which she would give to family and friends. To all who knew her, she exuded unflagging positivity and warmth.
Betsy’s twenty years as a nursery school teacher at the Presbyterian Church in Tyrone was one of her most rewarding experiences. She followed the lives and careers of many of those children with intense interest.
Bill always remained Betsy’s focus in life, through his years battling heart disease and, eventually, his struggle with Alzheimer’s. They enjoyed travelling the East Coast, spending many happy days at beaches at the Outer Banks of North Carolina and in South Carolina. She was at Bill’s side when he passed away at Epworth Manor in Tyrone in April of 2013.
Betsy continued to reside in Tyrone until 2016 when she decided to move to Garvey Manor. There, she continued to pursue an active life in assisted living. She quickly developed a circle of friends, and developed a deep respect for the Carmelite Sisters of the Aged and Infirm who provided constant care and support.
Although she had been a practicing Episcopalian for most of her life, Betsy attended daily Mass at Garvey Manor with spiritual guidance from the Carmelite Sisters, but also from the late Monsignor Panza, and until her mobility became severely compromised, from Monsignor Saly. Garvey Manor became her home, refuge, and a second family as she coped with the effects of Parkinson’s Disease.
Arrangements are by Richard H. Searer Funeral Home. Given the restrictions made necessary by the current pandemic, there will be no visitation. A memorial service will be scheduled and announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church in Tyrone.
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