H. Elizabeth “Betts” (Langstroth) Bednarski , 94, of Newell Pond Place passed away Friday, September 25 at Charlene Manor Extended Care Facility. Betts was born in Hampton New Brunswick, Canada on September 2, 1926, the daughter of Cecil and M. Louise (Scribner) Langstroth. She attended school in Montreal Quebec, Canada and graduated from Montreal West Hill Protestant High School in 1944. She attended Mount Allison University in Sackville New Brunswick receiving her degree, Cum Laude, in French. She took Courses at Mc Gill University in Montreal in Education. In 1950, she moved to Groveland MA and began teaching French at Groveland High School. She taught there until the spring of 1953 when she moved to Greenfield, taking a teaching position at Greenfield High School. In the summer of 1954, Betts traveled to Paris, France to take courses in French at the Universite De Paris, at the Sorbonne. Back in Greenfield, Betts volunteered at the YMCA as an advisor to the Omega Tri-Hi-Y club.
Betts met her husband John F. Bednarski after being introduced formally at a Pioneer Valley Symphony coral rehearsal. Shortly before that, John saw Betts dancing at a dance at the YMCA where he said to himself, ”I need to meet that cheerful ponytailed girl!” Betts and John were married on August 25, 1956 in Montreal, at the home of her parents. On May 12, 1960, Betts became a citizen of the United States, excited to become a voting member of the U.S. Betts taught at GHS until the November 1959, when she was forced to resign, as she was expecting her first child. She also taught at the Stoneleigh Burnham School and at Greenfield Community College. In 1975 she returned to GHS, first as a substitute and then permanently as a French and Spanish teacher. She retired in June 1990.
As to their plan, Betts and John traveled extensively throughout the world visiting many countries, including Japan, Italy, Russia, Egypt and more. They also enjoyed taking trips to sunny spots in the wintertime. Betts was a cheerful and kind woman who stated that she wanted “my family to feel my love for them”. Betts was a woman ahead of her time and was politically engaged; she always enjoyed a lively discussion of current events and politics. She loved to read, her most favorite author being Jane Austin, experience music both live at concerts and at home and traveling both far and near. Betts was an active member of Sts. James and Andrew Episcopal Church, and taught Church School for many years.
Betts leaves her husband of 64 years, John F. Bednarski. She leaves her daughters; Elizabeth A. Bednarski-Mahon and her husband Douglas, of Greenfield and Sarah A. Bonetti and her husband Thomas, of Belchertown. She also leaves her grandchildren, Blair E Kaplan and her husband Jonathan, Alexander J.D. Mahon and his wife Jessica, Jamie E. Mahon and her partner Warren Kauffman, Joshua T. Bonetti and Zachary J. Bonetti. She also leaves her very special great granddaughter Amelia E. Kaplan.
Private graveside services will be held at Federal Street Cemetery at the convenience of the family. A memorial service celebrating Betts’ life will be observed at a later date, time and place. In keeping with Betts’ wishes for simplicity, there will be no visiting hours.
Expressions of affection and care may be made in Betts’ memory by contributing to the Greenfield Public Library Foundation or to Sts. James and Andrew Episcopal Church.
Arrangements are under the direction of Kostanski Funeral home. For condolences please visit www.kostanskifuneralhome.com.
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