Bette L. Erskine Willard HAMPTON, N.Y. — Bette L. Erskine Willard, 80, passed away peacefully on Feb. 22, 2021, at Slate Valley Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation in Granville, New York, after a brave battle with Parkinson’s disease. She was born June 30, 1940, to Richard Erskine and Mary Webb Erskine of Chester, Vermont. After graduating from Chester High School in 1958, Bette attended David Lipscomb College to obtain a bachelor’s degree in social work in 1963. Followed to Nashville by fellow Chester High School classmate, Rodney Willard, the two were married on April 6, 1962. They returned to Vermont to raise three children, Marcia, Erin and Jesse. Professionally, Bette was committed to improving the quality of life for young people. Her career as a case worker with the Vermont Department of Children and Families allowed her to make a positive and personal impact on many issues facing the youth of Rutland County. It also served as an example to her children, all of whom chose work in areas of human service. Bette had a zest for life, and a heart for family. Married to a man with four brothers, she was considered “the sister they never had.” She brought class and beauty not only to her home, but to many who had the good fortune to know her. In recent years, the exploits of her six grandchildren were her primary focus and a source of great joy. Survivors include her husband, Rodney Willard of Hampton, New York; her daughters, Marcia Baker-McNally and husband Walter, and Erin Haviland, all of Poultney, Vermont, son Jesse Willard and wife Frannie of Randolph, Vermont; her siblings, Ann Tupper and husband William Tupper of Okeechobee, Florida, Robert Erskine and wife Koren of Chester, Vermont, Brian Erskine and wife Diane of Greene, Maine; and grandchildren, Emma Baker, Jon Baker, Brock Baker, Levi Haviland, Silas Haviland and Naomi Haviland. Bette is also survived by many nieces, nephews, in-laws and cousins, all of whom she adored. She was predeceased by her brother, Barry Erskine and his wife, Linda. There will be no calling hours, and services are private. In lieu of donations or flowers, in the spirit of Bette Erskine Willard, the family asks that you spend quality time with your loved ones.

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Judy H

Bette made such a difference in my life. As a young single mom, she helped me find a way to return to college. She was always kind and nonjudgmental. I will always remember her kindness and grace. Heaven definitely gained another angel. Bless you Bette, you will always be remembered.


Rodney, family and friends - condolences on the passing of your Wife, Partner, Mother, Friend ... May each of you find comfort in your heart to know she is at Eternal Peace, with comfort, beauty and endless other Blessings surrounding her, Meeting Bette, many years ago as she came to the golf course to support you, Rodney, during an event(s), her kind, genuine smile was beautiful! As your days move forward, enjoy the endless Blessing of Memories and Comfort in knowing Her Loving Presence remains! God Bless to all.

Reggie M. Colomb

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