Betty Elaine Green, 94, one of Philipstown’s prominent women for the past 50 years in the civic, philanthropic and social world of Cold Spring and Garrison, died in Cold Spring of natural causes on Oct. 22, 2017.
Born Feb. 10, 1923, in Michigan, she was the daughter of Howard and Ann Emhoff. She was raised in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and graduated from Detroit Southeastern High School in 1941, where she was on the varsity swimming and tennis teams. She earned a degree from Simmons College in Boston.
From an early age she aspired to a career in retailing, and after college was hired as a buyer for Bamberger’s, a then-prominent department store chain in New Jersey. It was there she met David Green, whom she married in 1950. She later also worked at Macy’s. She became a pacesetter, breaking a “glass ceiling” in retailing when she became president of the women’s division of the clothing manufacturer Hart Shaffner Marx.
Betty and David lived and worked in Manhattan and San Francisco for many years before retirement. They resided on Lane Gate Road in Philipstown until David’s death 25 years ago, when Betty purchased a condominium in Cold Spring.
Betty’s dedication to several local organizations was legendary. She was particularly generous in volunteering her time, talent, and energy to the Desmond-Fish Library in Garrison, where she served on the board for 20 years. She was awarded the library’s Patricia Adams Award for Community Service in 2008 and for several years chaired the library’s annual Associates Dinner. She also co-chaired its Holiday Boutique.
A good friend, introducing Betty for another award, described her as “like a hummingbird. They never stop — they are in constant motion, flying from place to place. That was Betty, dashing off to a meeting, to an event; flitting around Foodtown, darting into the cleaner, the post office, a longer pause at the Main Course to bring dinner home, where she no doubt picked up the phone to finish her day,”
In addition to her work for the library, Betty was a trustee of the Putnam History Museum and the board of the Chapel Restoration. She was a long-time member of the Philipstown Garden Club, joining in 1986 and serving as president for two terms from 1996 to 2000. She was honored by the Garden Club of America when asked to serve as treasurer for one of its national annual meetings. In addition, Betty served as graduate treasurer of her Simmons College class.
There are no surviving relatives; her sister, Shirley, died many years ago. In accordance with Betty’s wishes, there may be no memorial service.