Betty (Rudd) Goodspeed, 86


Betty (Rudd) Goodspeed, 86, of Rutland, died peacefully on Saturday afternoon, Feb. 16, 2008, at the Rutland Regional Medical Center.  She was surrounded by her family. Betty had been in failing health for many years, but always rallied. She had an amazing will right up until the end.

Betty Rosamund Rudd was born on Nov. 5, 1921 in Bennington, Vt., the eldest of three children, to Ralph and Ella (Wilson) Rudd. The family moved to Granville shortly after Betty was born, where her father owned an appliance store and did electrical work.

Betty graduated from Granville High School and attended Castleton State College.  Because of World War II, Castleton had an accelerated program and Betty earned a teaching certificate in three years.  Many years later, while a full-time mother and teacher, she returned to Castleton to finish her degree.

Betty was an excellent teacher.  She taught in North Granville, Hoosick Falls, Salisbury, Vt. and Center Rutland.  At the urging of one of her Castleton professors, Leonard Johnson, Betty joined the newly founded Vermont Association for the Crippled, later known as the Vermont Achievement Center, a school for physically and emotionally handicapped children.  Betty taught at VAC for more than 20 years, retiring in 1979. 

Although long retired, she continued to hear from former students, receiving Christmas cards and wedding announcements and invitations. Just two years ago, a former student, now a published poet, returned to Rutland and invited her to one of his poetry readings.

Betty married her husband of nearly 60 years, Elmer Goodspeed of Rutland, on July 3, 1948, in Granville.  Their marriage was a true partnership.  They worked side-by-side to clear the land and build a summer home on Lake Bomoseen, where they spent every summer for the last 50 years. Betty and Elmer renovated three dilapidated apartment houses in Rutland, doing all the work themselves, and remodeled their home on Adams Street several times over. They built their current home on Church Street. in 1982.  The couple had four children, David, Linda, Debbie and Robin, who all graduated from Rutland public schools. 

Betty was always interested and active in her community, leading Brownie troops, serving as a volunteer with the Vermont Association for the Blind and Visually Impaired, and giving generously to local causes.  She was a member of the Ann Story chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and attended Grace Congregational United Church of Christ.

Betty is survived by her husband and children.  David, Linda and Robin all live in Rutland.  Her daughter, Debbie Nichols, lives with her family in New Jersey.  Betty has four grandchildren.  Her sister, Janice Fairbanks, recently of Lake Bomoseen, now lives in Plymouth, Mass. Betty was predeceased by her brother, Buddy (Ralph) Rudd.

Funeral services were held on  Feb. 19, at Tossing Funeral Home. The Rev. John C. Weatherhogg, pastor of Grace Congregational United Church of Christ, officiated.  Friends called at the funeral home until the hour of service. Burial will be in the Wells Cemetery in the spring.  Those who wish may make contributions to the Vt. Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired, 10 Burnham Ave., Rutland, VT. 05701.       



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