Betty Stinson

Elizabeth Humphrey Stinson, 93, died on November 16, 2011 at the Garboni adult family home in Bellevue, Washington.  Betty was born Elizabeth Burroughs Humphrey in North Tonawanda, New York on March 4, 1918, during the final months of World War I.  Her parents were Pearcy and Marjory Humphrey, longtime residents of the Tonawandas.



Betty was raised in North Tonawanda and graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York with the class of 1940.  She studied economics and mathematics.  Betty married William Evans Stinson that August in Olcott, New York.  The ceremony was held outdoors on the low bank shore of Lake Ontario at the family summer cottage.  The glamorous wedding was filmed in 8 millimeter color. Betty and Bill lived both in Western New York and in Southern California during the war years while Bill worked on military airplane production.  They re-settled in Niagara County in the 1950s.  In 1967, they moved to Seattle with young Bill and Scott still in elementary school.

 Betty’s life was framed by the major events of the twentieth century; The Jazz Age, The Great Depression, World War II, the development of our national highway and air transportation systems, the decline of cross country passenger rail, the growth of suburban life, and the many social changes that occurred during the post-war years.  She survived the great flu pandemic of late 1918, but she never quite figured out the internet.


More than anything else, Betty was a very successful mother.  She had children under her roof over a continuous span of 35 years!  She was kind, caring, and could knit a serviceable ski sweater with a matching pair of mittens.  She kept her own house and was a simple convenience cook who could really stretch the monthly food budget (a side effect of the Depression).  We remember meatloaf and  baked potatoes as a main course; pan fried liver and succotash.

 Betty enjoyed family activities and her own social circle that included her bridge club friends.  During middle age, she was game for sailing and skiing.  She met interesting people and took exotic vacations in private airplanes with her husband as the pilot (including places like Cabo San Lucas and Aspen in the early 60’s).  She even took a class to “pinch hit” as an airplane pilot.


As a widow, she joined a local bowling league and traveled to Hawaii several times.   Her final home was a private group home run by successful care giving professionals Steve and Florita Garboni who became her chosen family.  We can’t thank them enough for the extra loving care and attention they provided our mother over her final years.

 Betty was raised a Presbyterian and attended services regularly until she could no longer walk to church from her Bellevue condominium.

 Betty was preceded in death by her husband in 1975.  She lost her only daughter, Nancy Evans Davis, in 2005.  She was also preceded in death by her sisters Mary and Nancy.

 She is survived by her three sons: Humphrey Roger Stinson and family of Tonawanda, New York; William Derksen Stinson and family of Redmond, Washington; Scott Evans Stinson and family of Vashon, Washington; son-in-law Robert Davis and family, Albany, NY; 10 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.



Here is a catalog of Mom’s greatest successes: 18 progeny (and counting):

 Humphrey (with Jane Kelly)

            Evan (with Cameo Miller)




Nancy (with Bob Davis)

            Seth (with Holly Walker)


            Mark (with Clarisse Labro)



Bill (with Julia Derksen)



Scott (with Sue Ellingsen)





If you are considering a memorial gift, please donate to the charity of your choice.


A memorial celebration will be held during the upcoming holiday season.


Mom, Betty, Grandma…   You will always be in our hearts.

5 Responses to “Betty Stinson”

  • Bill Stinson says:

    Our thanks to Barton for providing this fine lay-out. Please feel free to share a personal thought or story about Betty/Mom. Cheers, Bill

  • Judy and Bob Adams says:

    Dear Julie, Bill and families,
    We only met your mom at your wedding but she was such an interesting lady. Our thoughts are with you as you remember your mom in memorial and share all that was special about her in your lives.

    Bob & Judy

  • Humphrey Stinson says:


    You will be in my heart forever, along with a lifetime of great memories. Including, Olcott, boating and many great Chistmas celebrations at both grand parents.


  • Val Stinson says:

    The things I remember most about our Aunt Betty are her energetic smile, her warm sense of humor, her smarts, and her hearty laugh. It was just enjoyable being in her presence.

    Love to all our relations,

  • Nancy Ray says:

    Dear Bill, Scott, and Humphrey (and families),
    Your mom (my aunt) was the kindest, most generous woman. She was so thoughtful and always opened her home to us when we needed her. My mother worried about her all the time even though your mom was actually in better health. Mom just loved her so and looked up to her too. She couldn’t wait to talk to her on the phone and they used to laugh a lot about old times. I miss that. Take care.
    Nancy B. and family

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