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1946 Elizabeth 2022

Elizabeth Evans-Brown

March 31, 1946 — September 13, 2022

Elizabeth (Betty) Evans-Brown, 76, succumbed to kidney disease on Tuesday, September 13. A cheerleader and fighter all her life, Betty went down swinging, reluctantly leaving a life full of love, humor, and resilience. 

Born in Durham, NH to Martha (Thayer) and Winston Evans, Betty reinvented herself many times in her life, overcoming a variety of obstacles and trials. Through it all she kept her sense of humor, a big heart, and a “can-do” attitude. 

At age 10, the Betty, the youngest of the three Evans girls, moved with her family to Fort Pierce, FL, but she never lost her love for New England, and spent every summer at Camp Idlepines for Girls in Strafford, NH. It was during those memorable summers that Betty found many of her life-long passions, including her love for horses and horseback riding along with her dear friend for life Mike White.  

Betty’s zest for life was not limited to her Northern summers. While a student at Dan McCarty High School in Fort Pierce, FL, she played French horn in the band, co-captained the cheerleading squad, and was voted both friendliest and most talented in her class. Despite all the challenges in Betty’s life, she never forgot to keep being the friendliest, most vibrant person with everyone she met. 

High school was also where Betty met Dennis “Rip” Ripley, who she married shortly after graduating in 1964. 

Betty and Rip moved back to New Hampshire, where Betty devoted her time to being a loving and supporting mother to her children Robyn and Eric. She loved being a mom and she was a darned good one.  She taught them to enjoy the moment and find joy in the work to be done. 

After a difficult divorce, Betty re-built herself and supported two children on her own. She returned to Camp Idlepines to work in the kitchen and eventually went on to work as a sous chef in other kitchens. Her favorite kitchen, by far, was at Concord Regional Vocational High School, working in the culinary arts department. 

Betty started another new chapter when she was fortunate enough to find love again with David Brown, who has been by her side through thick and thin for over 40 years. In fact, David loved Betty Evans so much, the two decided to keep the name, and changed their surname to Evans-Brown.

Betty and David shared a love of music and singing and even performed together in community theater plays. They also weathered the deaths of their parents, a long distance move back to Florida, many hurricanes, and then Betty’s own health challenges. Her indomitable spirit and willingness to work had her walking and crafting after multiple strokes, surprising most of her care team. Those who knew her well, however, just said, “It’s Betty. Of course she’s still living her best life.”  

Betty managed to always find a craft she could still throw herself into and her hand-made gifts are treasured by those lucky enough to receive them.  Her physical limitations did not limit her spirit! She tricked out her wheelchair with a cup holder and umbrella stand so she could still enjoy Sea World, Renaissance Fairs, and Disney World.

In 2011 she moved back to New England to be closer to her daughter, so Robyn could help manage her complex healthcare and spend more time with her mom. David followed closely after. Betty’s positive outlook and determination to thrive won her many friends in Marlborough who will miss her greatly. As a friend said, “she was a bright prismatic light in a world too fond of grays and beige.” She will be missed.

Betty is survived by her husband, David; her daughter, Robyn Ripley and son-in-law Paul Douglas; her niece Melanie Shrensel; her grandchildren Laurel Douglas, Kaylan Ripley, and Perrin Ripley. She is predeceased by her son, Eric Ripley, her sisters Pat (Evans) Ward, and Barbara (Evans) Pascale and her parents.

A memorial service will be held later in the fall where she will rest beside her son.

In lieu of flowers, please spread some kindness today. Betty would love to have her passing cause a small explosion of kindness into the world.


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