Betsy W. Giustra

Oct 01, 2019
Betsy Giustra

Warren — Betsy Witherbee Milliken Giustra, 79, smiled and passed peacefully Monday, Sept. 23, 2019, at Sussman House in Rockport with her four children by her side.

Betsy was born March 25, 1940, in Kingston, N.Y., to Albert Edward and Phyllis Myer Milliken. She grew up on Sycamore Farm in a stone house where her mother was born. The baby of four, her father affectionately called her “Betsy Bee” as she buzzed around, trying to keep up.

Betsy was a graduate of Kingston High School and Green Mountain College in Vermont. She and Dad were married in 1962 and Mom began to make home wherever his career led them from Brooklyn to Rochester, N.Y., then Maryland and even Okinawa and back to Manhattan before moving to Maine in 1970. By that time, she had four children in tow and the family made their home in Thomaston until they moved to the Betsy Bee Farm in Warren in 1974. Betsy was a lifelong learner, and in her 60s, continued her education by earning her CNA from Mid Coast School of Techology and then her RN from Augusta School of Nursing. She instilled a love of books and reading in her children and grandchildren.

Betsy was forever young at heart. She began horseback riding as a child and continued into her 70s. She was also an accomplished skier from an early age and continued to ski with her children and grandchildren on the slopes of Maine as well as on ski trips to Colorado. She introduced her children to 4-H, served as a leader, and later exhibited Polled Hereford cattle at many of the fairs around the state. She played in the women’s hockey league at the Midcoast Recreation Center in her 60s, having never played before.

A wonderful seamstress, she enjoyed her time with the Warren quilting group and the local Red Hats. Mom loved life and she loved her people. She shared her exuberance through nursing, hospice, hospital auxiliary, volunteering in schools, and participating in community and church events. Mom enjoyed simple pleasures like walks across the fields on the farm and at the beach, any time she had her family all together, holding her grandchildren as babies and later attending their activities, talking with friends on the phone, swimming in the river, Coke floats on the porch during a thunderstorm, trail riding on her horse, dancing to the oldies, shopping at Reny’s, Moody’s custard pie, Pat’s Pizza and McDonald’s sundaes.

Betsy chose, with her faith in God, to appreciate all the wonders, large or small, that surrounded her each and every day. She approached everything and everyone with a smile. Betsy will be remembered lovingly by so many, and her family appreciates and is comforted by all the memories shared.

Betsy is survived by her husband of 57 years, Peter Giustra. Mom leaves precious memories with her four children, Betsy Moore (Shawn), Sam Giustra, Clint Giustra (Michele) and Allison. Mimi will always be cherished by her eight grandchildren, Peter and Katelyn Moore, Joshua and Jacob Giustra, Caleb Giustra, and Alecos, Thomas and Caroline Stratis. She is also survived by her siblings, Robert (Patricia) Milliken, Jean (Dwight) Westholt and Sue (Allan) Mitchell, as well as so many adoring nieces and nephews.

A memorial service and celebration of life were held on Friday, Sept. 27, at Thomaston Baptist Church. To share a memory or condolences, visit Betsy’s Memory Wall at Memorial donations may be made to Thomaston Baptist Church, 212 Main St., Thomaston, ME 04861.

Arrangements are with Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, Rockland.

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