Betsy Brown Heath Gleason.

Betsy Brown Heath Gleason, 87

April 25, 2024

Betsy Brown Heath Gleason, 87, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on Friday, April 19, 2024, in Middlebury, Vermont.

Betsy is the daughter of the late Winford Eddy Heath and the late Dorothy Helen Brown Heath. She was born on November 19, 1936, in Bound Brook, New Jersey, spent her childhood in Somerville, New Jersey and Ship Bottom, New Jersey, and graduated from Somerville High School in 1954. Betsy attended Middlebury College where she was a cheerleader for the football and basketball teams; she graduated in 1958 as a certified elementary school teacher with a degree in Fine Arts.

Later that year, Betsy married fellow Middlebury alumnus Robert Willard Gleason. Betsy taught elementary school for two years while Bob completed his PhD degree at MIT. The couple then returned to Middlebury and “the college on the hill,” where Bob taught chemistry for 34 years. Betsy held various paid and volunteer positions within the town and college communities, most notably as the alumni/development officer for the Middlebury College 25th and 50th Reunions.

Betsy will be remembered for her infectious smile, her cheerful enthusiasm, her “can-do” spirit, her boundless energy, her bold sense of adventure, her love of hiking and camping, her passion for music and dance, her childlike excitement for every holiday, her joy in being with her extended family, her love of the Jersey shore, her endless pride in all things Middlebury College, her excellence as a grandmother, and her adoration for all animals, especially her many golden retrievers. 

Betsy is predeceased by both her parents; her brother Richard E. Heath and his wife Beth M. Heath; and her sister, Ann H. Fay. She is survived by her husband, Bob; her sister’s husband, Charles B. Fay; her three children, Nancy Simms of Dover, Amy Barrett and her husband, Bill, of Concord; Mark Gleason and his wife, Shannon, of Salisbury, Vermont; and her nine grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, May 11, at 11 a.m. at The Congregational Church of Middlebury, with a luncheon reception to follow at the Middlebury College Kirk Alumni Center. Contributions in Betsy’s memory may be made to Middlebury College Mead Chapel Fund, Middlebury College Office of Advancement, 700 Exchange Street, Middlebury, VT 05753; The Congregational Church of Middlebury, 2 Main Street, Middlebury, VT 05753; Homeward Bound, Addison County Humane Society, 236 Boardman Street, Middlebury, VT 05753; or any charity of one’s choice.