Elizabeth (Betsy) Shannon Reeve Hansen passed away on Wednesday, February 13, 2019, in Tucson, Arizona at the age of 75. She was born in Appleton, Wisconsin on June 10, 1943. She is preceded in death by her parents, John Paxton Reeve and Jean Shannon Reeve, as well as her younger sister, Barbara Buckland Reeve.
Betsy was the loving mother to Barbara Hansen Runez and Leslie Hansen. Doting and wonderful grandmother of Ethan Carter, Caroline Beguin, and Viviane Rupp.
Betsy studied at Beloit College and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with both an undergraduate and a graduate degree. Betsy was a teacher through and through. After graduate school in 1966, Betsy went to Alaska as a VISTA volunteer where she was a preschool teacher to children in the Anaktuvuk Pass a small community in North Slope Borough, Alaska in the Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve. She moved to Wyoming and continued teaching for several years in Rawlins at a Head Start preschool working with special education students. Betsy also taught at Highland Hills Elementary School while raising her two daughters in Rawlins, Wyoming. Betsy also worked to help teach adults reading and creative writing at the Wyoming State Prison. After Betsy’s daughters left for college, Betsy moved to Sparks, Nevada where she spent 16 more years teaching at the elementary school level.
Upon retirement, Betsy moved to Green Valley, Arizona where she felt the community was perfect for her active lifestyle; she thought Green Valley was like being at summer camp and it offered her opportunities to do something different every day. She was creative and spent time sewing, quilting, and began learning how to work with metals and weld. Betsy also enjoyed traveling around the world, learning more about the culture and the people. She loved the trips where she would visit and connect with family and friends, and she always found a way to incorporate some sort of hiking or adventure during her travels. Betsy’s love for nature was seen by everyone she knew. She often paired her love for travel, the outdoors and community service by traveling to different destinations with The Sierra Club Service group. Hiking new trails and revisiting familiar favorite spots was something Betsy loved. She had a goal to visit every National Park in the United States - she was just shy of visiting three or four National Parks.
Ephraim, Wisconsin was a special place for Betsy and her family; she spent all 75 of her summers at the family cottage. Upon retirement, Betsy enjoyed spending six months living at her cottage, always welcoming friends and relishing the time she had when her daughters, their spouses, and three grandkids came for extended visits. The hiking trails and state parks in Door County were special spots for Betsy. She loved spending time swimming, canoeing and sailing on the waters of the Green Bay of Lake Michigan. Betsy was an active volunteer at The Ridges Sanctuary in Baileys Harbor, Bargains Unlimited in Sister Bay, she served as a tour guide for walking tours and Betsy was a docent at the Anderson Store for the Ephraim Historical Foundation. She enjoyed taking classes at The Clearing in Ellison Bay and at Bjorklunden in Baileys Harbor, as well as art classes at Sievers School of Fiber Arts on Washington Island.
She was a member of the American Association of University Women, a non-profit organization that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy, education, and research. She attended services at the Universal Unitarian Church in Door County, Wisconsin as well as Green Valley, Arizona. Betsy also loved being a part of different book groups, playing cards and games, doing puzzles, and taking classes as an adult through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute.
Betsy’s friendly, kind-hearted, welcoming, and loving ways will be missed by her daughter, Barbara (Paul) Runez and Ethan Carter; her daughter, Leslie Hansen (Dominique Rupp) Caroline Beguin and Viviane Rupp; brother Jim (Ann) Reeve; brother in law Craig Baker; three cousins, three nieces, one nephew, and several great-nephews and nieces.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made in Betsy’s honor to the Ephraim Historical Foundation https://ephraim.org/, The Ridges Sanctuary in Door County https://www.ridgessanctuary.org/, or the Spirit Education Foundation in Guatemala https://spiriteduc.org/
Condolences for Betsy’s family can be sent via email to email@example.com
A memorial service and celebration of her life will be held at a later this spring in Green Valley, Arizona as well as a memorial service this summer in Ephraim, Wisconsin.