Elizabeth (Betty) Mae Avenia, 90, a longtime resident of Hillsdale, passed away on October 31, 2022 in Hudson, NY.
Betty was born to Harold and Anna Mae (Smith) Holmes on February 23, 1932 in Norwalk, CT, the second of two children. Betty’s family settled in Copake in 1936. She was one of the 49 members of the Roeliff Jansen Class of 1949 and a 1953 graduate of the New York State Teachers College at Potsdam.
On June 21, 1953 Betty married George (Moose) Avenia at the Copake United Methodist Church; they purchased the former Brady home in Hillsdale where they cherished nearly sixty-one years of marriage before George’s death in 2014. Over the course of their marriage, George and Betty operated the Hillsdale Barber Shop and the B&G Liquor Store, traveled extensively, and particularly enjoyed bowling, casinos, friends and events at the Oxbow Club, and wintering in Oro Valley, Arizona. She was a proud member of “The Club,” a group of local ladies who met monthly to play Pokeno, share funny stories, and support each other as life-time friends.
Betty taught kindergarten in Kinderhook, the Roeliff Jansen (Copake School), and the Taconic Hills School Districts. She was a member of the Hillsdale United Methodist Church.
Following George’s death, Betty moved first to the Louis F. Payn Foundation (Payn Home) in Chatham and later to the Whittier Adult Home in Ghent. During those years she made many new friends (residents and staff, alike) and enjoyed hours of conversation, activities, and card games.
She is survived by her three children: Diane Avenia Meredith, Michael (Tami) Avenia, and Anthony Avenia (Stacey Zander); six grandchildren: William Meredith, Patrick (Amy) Meredith, Lauren (Josh) Miller, Morgan Avenia, Megan Avenia (Jonah Bremenkamp), and Nicholas Avenia; three great-granddaughters: Adelyn, Braelyn, and Aria; nieces Sharon (Russ) Reid, Shirley Holmes, Paige Holmes, Wendy (Robert) Matte, Carey Avenia, and nephews Gary (Emma) Holmes; Michael (Sheila) Holmes, and John (Margaret) Avenia; sister-in-law, Ruth Avenia; and several great nieces and nephews.
Betty was predeceased by her husband, George; grandson, John Meredith; brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Jean Holmes; brother-in-law, John Avenia; and nephews, Jesse “Jake” Holmes and Roger Holmes.
A private burial will be held at the convenience of the family with the Rev. Karen Squires of the Hillsdale United Methodist Church officiating.
The family thanks the team at Columbia Memorial Hospital for their end-of-life care of Betty. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Hillsdale Fire Department (9387 New York 22, Hillsdale, NY 12529).
Arrangements are with the Peck and Peck Funeral Home of Copake, NY.