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Betsy D. Lindfors of Peterborough, New Hampshire died on March 13, 2023, at the age of 84 in the loving presence of her daughters. Her beloved husband of sixty-two years, Kenneth, died six months earlier, in September 2022. She leaves her daughters Kristin and Karin, granddaughter Maya, son-in-law Will, sister Susan, and extended family members and friends throughout the world. Throughout her life, Betsy was committed to her family, friends, education, and international outreach. Born in 1938 on Long Island in the town of Rockville Center, New York, the daughter of Gil and Rose Dunnet, Betsy spent her elementary school years at schools in Baldwin, New York; attended secondary school at Darien High School in Connecticut; and graduated from Skidmore College, where she majored in philosophy and religion, emerged as a student leader, and worked as the college chaplain’s assistant. Two important mentors at that juncture encouraged Betsy to attend theological seminary, but she and Ken Lindfors had met and had fallen in love, and they were eager to start to build a married life together. Betsy and Ken married on June 11, 1960, one week after her Skidmore graduation. Three months later she joined the faculty at the Northfield School for Girls as a teacher of religion. In May 1961, their daughter Kristin came into the world, with Karin following two years later.
In the fall of 1961, they moved to Suffield, Connecticut, where Ken joined the faculty at Suffield Academy. In addition to raising their daughters, Betsy took on a variety of volunteer roles, including with the National Organization of Women, League of Women Voters, Project Concern, Suffield Historical District, and Suffield Welcome Wagon. She became a student advisor at the Academy and then Associate Director of Admissions – perfect roles for Betsy because of her warm, welcoming nature and commitment to supporting youth. She also served on a board of the National Association of Independent Schools. When Ken became Headmaster at Suffield Academy, she also stepped into the Head Spouse role, graciously and enthusiastically entertaining parents, trustees, alumni, students, and faculty in their home and on the Suffield Academy campus.
Upon moving in 1987 to Peterborough, Betsy and her husband assumed responsibility for the leadership of ASSIST, a scholarship program linking outstanding international students with leading independent schools. ASSIST’s mission of cross-cultural connection was a passion for both of them until the end of their lives. In their years with ASSIST, Betsy and Ken traveled throughout the country and the world. Betsy easily formed rapports with both students and schools. She also served as a trustee of The Dublin School for nine years and was active for several years in the activities of the Peterborough Garden Club. During retirement in Peterborough, she participated in a women’s spirituality group, a book group, and a couples’ discussion group. Each of these involvements brought her joy and meaning, as did being “Nannie” to her granddaughter, Maya.
Betsy will be remembered for her zest for life, her generous spirit, her affectionate hugs, her kindness, and her devotion to family, friends, students, and colleagues. She treasured those relationships and maintained many lasting connections. She was fascinated and delighted by the beauty of nature and for years cultivated a spectacular wildflower garden, a spot favored by hummingbirds, at their home in Peterborough. Throughout her life, she loved to read and enjoyed heartfelt conversations. She and Ken were soulmates from the time they first met, and they cherished their marriage. They were an amazing team together, living their lives with unity and enjoyment. She deeply missed her husband since his passing. Imagining Betsy and Ken reunited in spirit is a comfort. Betsy is much loved and will be greatly missed.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Betsy’s memory to either to ASSIST Inc at assistscholars.org or to Suffield Academy at suffieldacademy.org. You may share a memory or leave a message of condolence below, or condolences may be either mailed to Lindfors Family, 118 Gardner Road, Brookline MA 02445 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Celebration of Life Service and Reception will be held for both Betsy and Ken on Sunday, May 7 at 11:30 a.m. at the RiverMead Life Care Community Auditorium, 150 RiverMead Road in Peterborough, NH 03458. If you plan to attend, please let Kristin and Karin know at email@example.com by April 15.