Elizabeth “Betty” Ide, 78

Avidly shared her love of music, sewing

BARRE, VT -- Elizabeth “Betty” Ide, 78, of East Barre, died of brain cancer on February 27, 2017, at Woodridge Nursing and Rehabilitation in Berlin, Vermont.

She was born Elizabeth Ann Spear at home in Hartland, Vermont, on October 2, 1938, the second child of Dorothy (Blood) and Raymund Edgar Spear. She often referred to herself as a “hurricane baby” because she came into the world only days after the devastation of the Great New England Hurricane of September 1938. Her education began in the one-room Grout School in North Hartland; she went on to graduate from Hartford High Schoolin White River Junction, Vermont, in 1956, where she was an honor student and voted most popular by her classmates.

Betty’s parents divorced when she was young; she, her older brother, Raymund “Sonny” Spear, and her younger sister, Mary Martha “Marty” Spear, were raised by her mother and step-father, Lee Lasure, in North Hartland.

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Philip Martin Ide, of Hartland, began courting Betty within a year of her graduation from high school. They were married in January 1958 in the church in North Hartland, with their reception at Damon Hall in Hartland Three Corners. They made their home in Hartland for many years and had three children: Linda Ann, Philip Scott, and David Andrew.

Betty sold Avon as a young mother. She economized by sewing the family’s clothing, re-finishing and re-covering furniture, making curtains, and canning food.

In 1971 the family moved from Hartland to Fairfax, VT.

As her children grew, Betty went back to work, starting as a bookkeeper at a loan company in St. Albans. In 1974 she became the school secretary at Bellows FreeAcademy, Fairfax, VT, where she worked for more than 30 years, retiring in 2006. All three of her children graduated from BFA while she worked there.

After she retired, Betty and Phil moved from Fairfax to East Barre, VT. Betty loved her involvement with the local Home Demonstration group and the Barre Senior Center, where she was a board member for several years. She helped organize many activities, such as tea parties, dinners, and theatrical and musical events at the center, and participated in line-dancing, Tai Chi, bingo, and quilt-making classes.

Betty also avidly shared her love of music. As a girl she was given a piano and some lessons by a great-aunt. She never received many lessons but played largely by ear. Betty kept the piano for most of her life and played every day, amassing a large collection of popular 20th century sheet music. She often played for church choirs and local choruses including, most recently, the Young-At-Heart Singers from the Barre Senior Center. When she and Phil moved out of their home in Fairfax, she passed her cherished, old piano along to her granddaughter, Clara, and used an electric keyboard thereafter.

Betty applied her creative sewing skills to community projects. She created all of the costumes for the Fairfax Community Players production of the musical, “The King and I.” In 2001 she helped to establish the Fairfax United Methodist Church’s annual bazaar, now in its 15th year, providing most of the sewn items that year and for every year thereafter. She became well-known for her colorful, meticulously crafted potholders and aprons, which she sold by the hundreds every year in Fairfax and at other bazaars and craft shows.

Betty was pre-deceased by her middle child, Philip Scott Ide, on June 23, 1984; by her mother, Dorothy LaClair; by her father, Raymund Edgar Spear; by her step-mother, Ruth Chamberlain Spear; by her older brother, Raymund “Sonny” Spear, Jr.; and by her niece, Michelle LaFlam Conley.

She is survived by her husband, Philip Martin Ide, of East Barre; her daughter, Linda Ide, and son-in-law, Brad Vietje, of Newbury, Vermont; by her son and daughter-in-law, David and Susan Ide, and their daughter, Clara, of Richmond, VT.

She is also survived by her grandson, George Philip Vietje, his wife, Dr. Phuong Vietje, and their two sons, Chase and Colt, of Worcester, VT; by her sister, Marty Sutherin, of Port Orange, Florida; by her half-brother, David Spear and his sweetheart, Lois Atwood, of Morristown, VT; by her half-brother, Terry Spear, and his wife, Gail, of Stowe, VT; by her half-sister, Patti Spear, and her husband Keith Peden, of Jericho, VT; and by loving brothers- and sisters-in-law and numerous nieces and nephews.

There will be a gathering in Betty's honor at The Barre Senior Center in Barre, VT
on Sunday, March 12, from 1 to 4 pm.

A funeral service will also be held Thursday, May 4, 2017 at 4PM at the Hartland Congregational Church (the Red Brick Church, Hartland Three Corners) in Hartland, VTfollowed by her committal in the Hartland Village Cemetery.  The Knight Funeral Home of White River Jct. has been entrusted with arrangements.

Donations may be made in Betty’s honor to Woodridge Rehabilitation and Nursing Centerc/o CVMC Fund Development Office at P.O. Box 547, Barre, VT 05641. 


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