Leaving a legacy of optimism, perseverance, courage and elegance, Elisabeth “Babette” Talbot, 56, of Avon, Conn., died peacefully on Dec. 12, 2009, after a long illness.

Her daughters, Monica and Gwendolyn, and her husband, Paul Fischer were at her side.

Babette, born Feb. 26, 1953, cherished the gift of motherhood and time spent with her daughters. She reveled in the people who enhanced her life, and the individual relationships she developed with each member of her extended family on both sides of the Atlantic, including numerous aunts and uncles, 16 nieces and nephews, and 33 first cousins. She was a guiding light, a confidant and a mentor. Any encounter with her could burnish one brighter.

The entrepreneurial spirit ran deep within Babette, inherited from her father. She followed his example of tenacity, forthrightness and integrity in all her business endeavors. From her mother she gained a love of the fine arts and learned to carry herself forward with grace, self-confidence and determination. Babette was a self-described collector of art. In fact, she was an artist of life. She loved to play classical piano, go to the theater and the opera, and surround herself with art works of all types.

Babette grew up in Redding, Conn. She graduated from Joel Barlow High School and Manhattanville College, after which she worked at Vogue Magazine. Upon moving to Avon, Conn., she became a well-known photography stylist and was executive director of the Connecticut Art Director’s Club. Subsequently, she developed a career in real estate, becoming a “Unique and Unusual Homes” specialist, before joining the corporate relocation industry.

Babette’s greatest career joy came from The Talbot Group, the independent relocation counseling company she opened in 2001. Over the years, she successfully expanded her business adding new divisions such as HomeWorks, SeniorMoves and AcademicMoves.

In both 2005 and 2006, Liz Talbot, as she was known in business, earned the Business Champion Award from the MetroHartford Alliance for increasing year-over-year business revenues by more than any other company her size in Connecticut. Liz was accredited by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, active in the national Women Presidents’ Organization, and spoke at relocation conventions throughout the United States.

Babette’s daughters, Monica and Gwendolyn, are especially grateful to her many friends, the mighty Helping Hands and the staff at McLean Hospice for creating a network of love and support throughout their mother’s illness.

She was predeceased by her mother, Fanny Guerlain.

In addition to her dedicated daughters and husband, she is survived by her father, Bernard Guerlain of Nokomis, Fla., and Rockport; her three brothers, John-Nicholas “Nick” of Denver, Colo., Thierry of Montpelier, Vt., and Peter of Boonton, N.J.; her four sisters, Claude Guerlain (Karpuk) of Northborough, Mass., Natalie Denoyer of Fairfield, Conn., Caroline Feroleto of Easton, Conn., and Stephanie Guerlain (Haschart) of Charlottesville, Va., and all their spouses; and the father of her children, former husband and lifelong friend, George “Pat” Talbot of Justin, Texas.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, Dec. 19 at 11 a.m. at the Universalist Church, 433 Fern St., West Hartford, Conn., followed by a reception at Abigail’s Grille &Wine Bar in Simsbury.

Babette truly believed in the power of integrative medicine. In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory may be made to Integrative Medicine/St. Francis Foundation, 114 Woodland St., Hartford, CT 06105.