Elizabeth (Betsy) Kester was born March 11, 1932, in Northfield, MN to Henry and Dorothy Weiss. Betsy died the early morning of March 23, 2022, at the age of 90. She was the youngest of three children. Her father was a Methodist minister, and the family moved a fair amount. They settled in Colorado when she was about 10 years old. Betsy graduated from Fort Collins High School in 1950 (receiving the award for best conversationalist!) and received her BA from Cornell College in 1954. She was a Fulbright scholar who spent a year studying in Oslo Norway and then bicycled throughout Europe with a college friend during the summer of 1955. Betsy reluctantly returned to Denver and continued her education receiving her Master of Social Work degree from Denver University.
Betsy met and married Donald Kester on July 27, 1958. She and Donald welcomed their first daughter Barbara in 1959. The family moved to Vancouver, WA and celebrated the birth of their second daughter Valerie in 1963. Betsy and Don returned to Denver in 1964 and lived most of their lives on Milwaukee Street across from Observatory Park. Throughout their lives, they enjoyed spending time with their family skiing, hiking, biking, camping, backpacking, river rafting, and all outdoor activities available to them. They also enjoyed traveling to the Midwest to visit family in Michigan. As a family, a highlight of their travels was when they spent 9 days rafting on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon. Betsy found a love of swimming in her mid-50s and became a weekend golfer with friends later in her life. She and Don were also avid supporters of the Denver Broncos and attended many games together. They went to a Super bowl and had a grand time even though the Broncos were defeated. Donald predeceased Betsy in 2002.
Betsy worked 25 years at the State of Colorado managing the Child Care Licensing department until her retirement in March 1990. She supported and worked with Denver International Program (an exchange program for Social Work professionals) and was very active in the League of Women’s Voters as well as the Denver Recreation Department Advisory Board and the Democratic Party.
Throughout her life, Betsy travelled the world, to six of the seven continents including trips to Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Central America, the Caribbean Islands, China, Thailand/Vietnam, Russia, South Africa and Kenya. Her only regret was that she didn’t get to see Japan.
Betsy is survived by her daughters Barbara (Glenn) Wilson of Oakhurst, CA and Valerie (Fred) Podmore of Denver CO, grandchildren Miranda and Brandon Podmore, sister Barbara Miner of Hope MI as well as numerous nieces and nephews throughout the United States.
Betsy had a long, happy life of curiosity in the natural world and her inquisitive mind kept her interested in people and places throughout the world.
Memorial Services for Betsy will take place at 1pm on May 13, at the University Park United Methodist Church, 2180 So University Blvd Denver, CO. Reception to follow. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to the people-based charity of your choice.