Betty Olsen, age 78 of Orange passed away on July 10 at Lord Chamberlain Nursing & Rehabilitation Center in Stratford, where she resided since fall 2019, and was affectionately known as “Queen of the Manor.” Born in Brooklyn, New York on May 2, 1942 to the late Elinor and Kiler Kristiansen, she lived at 917 55th Street until she wed the love of her life, Arthur (Art) Olsen of 56th Street. They began married life at 921 55th Street in an apartment across the alley from Betty’s childhood home.
Betty was active in the 59th Street Lutheran Brethren Church, where she sang in the choir and participated in women’s ministries. In Brooklyn, she also made many friends who remained close throughout her life. A 1960 graduate of Fort Hamilton High School, Betty worked on Wall Street as an executive secretary for six years. Upon moving to 466 Skyline Drive in Orange in 1976, Betty made many new, dear friends in the neighborhood, at church, and everywhere she went.
Her life was a living example of Hebrews 13:16, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.” Known for her hospitality, kindness and giving spirit, Betty was always the first to welcome new visitors to church. She sent hand-written cards for every occasion, cooked and delivered meals to the sick and shut-ins and thanked veterans for their service. Her areas of expertise included household management, events planning and operations. A member of Trinity Church in Woodbridge for 44 years, Betty chaired the deaconess board for close to 20. Her skills were on display when she planned and managed Trinity’s annual Christmas concert receptions, serving 750 people during three separate events in the span of a weekend. She was also a beloved Sunday School teacher to many children.
Betty played basketball in Brooklyn, women’s soccer in Connecticut, and was an avid Mets fan in the 80s. More recently, her devotion turned to the Cubs, and during the past months, she spent afternoons watching throwback baseball games or game shows. From the couch, she could solve Wheel of Fortune puzzles with just one letter on the board, and she was unbeatable at Scrabble. While not high tech, Betty’s record management system in the form of yellow note pads meant she could tell you what she served you for dinner on October 10 of 1982.
Extremely proud of her Norwegian heritage, Viking Strong describes her spirit to fight lung cancer these past two years, and the strength with which she battled and beat breast cancer when she was in her 40s, with God’s help.
Betty will be greatly missed by her friends and all who loved her, and especially by her family. She is survived by her husband of 56 years, Art Olsen of Orange, daughter Cindy Olsen of Chicago and son Kevin (wife, Casey) Olsen of Bethany; and sister Sylvia (husband, Tom) Rasmussen of Idaho.
Friends are invited to greet the family on Tuesday, July 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. in THE GREGORY F. DOYLE FUNERAL HOME, 291 Bridgeport Avenue, Milford. Burial will be private. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Church, 33 Center Road, Woodbridge CT 06525, http://www.trinityefc.com/give, or Lord Chamberlain Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, 7003 Main Street, Stratford CT 06614 https://www.lordchamberlain.net/, or to a charity of your choice. To share a memory please go to www.gregoryfdoylefuneralhome.com.
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