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Betsy Ellen Mark

October 9, 1965 August 4, 2018
Betsy  Ellen  Mark
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Obituary for Betsy Ellen Mark

Betsy Ellen Mark (nee Jacobs aged 52) died August 4, 2018 of cancer. Betsy, a lifelong resident of Staatsburg, NY, was a highly skilled GIS Coordinator for the Real Property Tax Service Agency of Dutchess County.

As a young girl, Betsy grew up in Staatsburg, an imaginative girl who enjoyed nature, animals, and creating games she would often play by herself. Betsy attended Staatsburg School, Haviland, and FDR High School where she was active in the chorus and drama departments. She was a member of the Pleasant Plains Presbyterian Church, singing in the choir, and the musical group Camerata Chorale, both of which she was devoted to all her life.

In 1980 she met Joshua J. Mark at a church picnic and the two became friends and, later, began to date and became a couple. She graduated with honors from FDR and went on to Dutchess Community College and then Binghamton University both of which she also graduated from with honors. Following graduation, she married Joshua J. Mark, also of Staatsburg, and moved to Kingston, NY, a small one-bedroom apartment on Foxhall Avenue.

At this time, she worked as a nurses' aide at the Baptist Home Nursing Facility in Rhinebeck, NY. Shortly after their marriage she and Joshua moved into an apartment in the Mark homestead known popularly as Toad Hall where they lived until 1990. At this time, they moved to Europe for Joshua's job as a college professor where he worked for the University of Maryland's European Division.

The couple lived in Germany and Greece and traveled extensively in Egypt, France, the Netherlands, and other countries. In Egypt, they narrowly escaped probable death or, at least, extremely unpleasant circumstances twice but still wound up having a great time – including the huge storm which blew up on the Mediterranean Sea as they were sailing back to Crete from Alexandria. It was during this storm, as they sat watching their drinks slide back and forth across the table top, that Betsy defined Existentialism by biting a chunk from a hunk of dinner bread and shouting, “And here I gnawed! And I loved it! No matter what happens next!”

They were moved from Greece by the university back to Germany where Betsy worked as a clerk in a video shop in Fulda. They had just as much fun in Germany as they had in Greece and Betsy kept Josh constantly amused and intrigued with her imaginative use of words as evidenced in phrases such as “That is extremely not-stinctly” instead of saying “That is not clear” as well as her philosophical bent in defining life as being only as interesting as one’s sandwiches are. When Joshua's contract was up the couple decided not to renew and moved back to the United States.

Betsy and Joshua moved to 4 Grove Street, Staatsburg, where their daughter Emily Rebecca Mark was born 7 February 1995. Emily was instantly recognized as a “blah-stopper” – defined as a human being who keeps others from feeling blah – and was a great joy to her mom from the day she arrived.

Betsy was working as a GIS Technician for East Fishkill Assessor's Office at this time. In 1999 she accepted a position with the county at Real Property Tax in the Dutchess County Office Building in Poughkeepsie, NY and enjoyed her time with her co-workers. In September of 1997, Betsy, Josh, and Emily moved to 18 Hughes Avenue, Staatsburg where they lived until her time of death. They took two trips to Mexico, Scotland twice, Ireland, England and various US states, including Alaska but Maine was always her favorite vacation spot and she loved the trips there to Sunnyside Cottages on Little Ossipee Lake. Betsy was a great fan of the Outlander books by Diana Gabaldon and referenced them every chance she had, much to the amusement of her family. Josh and Emily would routinely laugh and groan whenever Betsy began a sentence with something like, “Well, you, know, when Claire and Jaimie were in France…” There was literally no life situation, circumstance, or even TV show which was off-limits to Gabaldon references – such as when Josh had a blister on his heel in Scotland one time and she treated it with a bottle of Famous Grouse whiskey while talking about the Claire and Jaimie characters and the medicinal uses of whiskey.

She is remembered by everyone who knew her as a gentle, loving, forgiving, helpful, and beautiful human being but she was also one of the funniest people who ever lived. When she would make others laugh her own face would light up in a beautiful, bright smile and her blue eyes would sparkle with delight. Betsy always saw the best in others and tried to assist
and uplift them in every way she could. Her great gift was song and her elevating voice which she shared from her earliest years through participation in school plays, the church chorus, and Camerata Chorale. She twice performed with the Chorale at Carnegie Hall, Manhattan as well as at numerous venues throughout Dutchess and Ulster Counties.

An avid reader and sometimes-writer, she was published in Timeless Travels Magazine through her piece on the Grand Canyon in 2016. She was a member of the board of the Staatsburg Library and served as president faithfully. A life-long member of the Pleasant Plains Presbyterian church, she was the featured and much-admired soloist at the Christmas Eve candlelight service and sang with the choir every Sunday. She was featured in numerous stories by her husband published in various magazines as well as the Chicken Soup for the Soul books and inspired countless poems and songs which he wrote for her. She was universally loved by everyone who knew her and will be missed dearly.

Betsy is survived by her husband, Joshua J. Mark and daughter Emily Mark of 18 Hughes Avenue, Staatsburg and her four cats (Draco, Little Kitty, Egg Nog, and Luna) and two dogs, Sammie and Monty; father, Bill Jacobs, of Mills Cross Road, and his second wife Judy Kito; her sister Karen Simmons, brother-in-law Bobby Simmons, nephew Robert and niece Kristen Cables and her husband Eric Cables and their daughter Caroline; Brother Mark Jacobs and his wife Arlene of Valrico, Florida, and their children Jeffrey and Jessica; her brother-in-law Jason Mark and his wife Christina of Toad Hall, Staatsburg, and their sons Harrison and George; Sister-in-law Charlotte Apuzzo and her husband Joe and their children Zachary and Hannah; Sister-in-law Carol LeBlanc and her husband David of Lake Charles, Louisiana and their children; Sister-in-law Stefanie Schwartz-Mayeri and Justin Mayeri of Chicago; Brother-in-law Tom Mark of Ulster; and brother-in-law Tony Mark of Manhattan.

Joshua and Emily would like to thank everyone for their love and support during this very difficult time. The outpouring of transcendent love on Facebook from all the friends and family sustained and uplifted them both.

Special thanks to Karen Simmons, Jason Mark, Bobby Simmons, Bill Jacobs, the Mark family, the LeBlancs, the Apuzzos, Kristen Cables, Eric and Caroline Cables, Robert Simmons, Krista Honey, Taylor Fisher, the Staatsburg library and community,the Pleasant Plains Presbyterian Church and Luanne Panarotti as well as the lovely and inspiring staff of Dutchess County Hospice and those of the Hudson Valley Cancer Center and Betsy's devoted doctor Julia Schaefer-Cutillo, who never gave up.

The funeral will be Saturday, August 11, 2018, at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, donations may made to the Staatsburg library, St. Jude’s Hospital for Children, the local SPCA, or the Ancient History Encyclopedia ( .

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11:00 AM 8/11/2018 11:00:00 AM
Pleasant Plains Presbyterian Church

2 Fiddlers Bridge Rd.
Staatsburg, NY 12580

Pleasant Plains Presbyterian Church
2 Fiddlers Bridge Rd. Staatsburg 12580 NY
United States

Memorial Contribution

Dutchess County SPCA

636 Violet Ave.
Hyde Park, NY 12538

Staatsburg Library

70 Old Post Road
Staatsburg, NY 12580

St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital

501 St. Jude Place
Memphis, Tennessee 38105

Ancient History Encyclopedia


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