In Memory

Betsy von Benken

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03/05/19 01:21 PM #1    

Sandy Steele (Bauman)

Although, I did not see Betsy after high school, I do remember spending some days after school at her house on Edwards Road. Her family was always welcoming a group of us to "hang out" there. I seem to remember her brother sometimes playing the guitar for us.

03/05/19 06:04 PM #2    

Paul Simons

I barely knew her but I do remember that she brought something cosmopolitan, something of the wider world, to what was our world. Maybe it was just a foreign sounding name, but it seemed she was innocent of the typical prejudices that existed then and now. And damn, every time someone leaves the stage it gets harder to deny that the play doesn't last forever, for any of us. RIP Betsy.

03/06/19 06:14 PM #3    

Jerry Ochs

I fondly remember Betsy's excitement about her coming out party.  She was a debutante, that is.  I don't remember a brother, but Betsy dated Gordon Fankhauser, who played a mean guitar.  Regarding Paul's comment, as the cast shrinks do we each get a larger share of the applause?

03/09/19 09:46 AM #4    

Stephen Collett

Betsy von Benken

1946 - 2018

         Betsy grew up in Hyde Park in her home on Edwards Road just up from Hyde Park Square. She went to Hyde Park Elementary school. It was to Betsy that I gave my first "gift" to a girl. I think it was in fifth grade when the whole class was taken to a hockey game at the Gardens. I wasn´t especially a hockey fan and couldn´t totally follow what was going on, but I caught an aberrant puck. It came right up to me in the seats. Betsy was at the hockey game and sat next to me on the bus. A few days later, in school, I gave her the puck, writing on it in pencil (the only thing I could get to stick) the date and "from Steve".

         As Sandy writes, they had a great house to visit. Their single mother, a school teacher, worked on her papers at the kitchen table but liked music and fun. There were piano and guitars and friends a bit older bringing in the recent jazz albums. They could all dance (never saw the mom dance) and I learned a lot there. They liked to go out to Moonlight Gardens (Coney Island) on a summer evening. Big dance bands and the stars above. At seventeen, Betsy was invited to play guitar and sing in the beat bookstores on Mount Adams.

         Betsy was sent to Miss Doherty´s College Preparatory School for Girls after grade school, and she went there faithfully in the uniform until her senior year in high school  when she joined our class -or rejoined for many of us. I saw her a few times after that when she returned to her Cincinnati home from theater studies in London where she was exploring all that creativity. The obit tells us how she used her years in giving instruction and support to young people. No one better prepared.

03/11/19 05:11 PM #5    

Ira Goldberg

To add to thoughts of those who really never got to know Betsy, my wife Wendy, another Hyde Park child, spoke very highly of her. I’m sorry for her death, but grateful for a life that touched others in a caring fashion. 

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