WILTON — Elizabeth “Betty” Colley Shibles, 79, of Wilton, died unexpectedly on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

Betty was born in Portland and was the daughter of Dr. Maynard Colley (longtime family physician of Wilton) and Olive (Holmes) Colley. She graduated from Wilton Academy and attended the University of Maine in Orono where she met her husband Mark, to whom she was married for 56 years. Betty and Mark resided in Mansfield, Conn. for over 40 years before retiring to Maine to be closer to family and their summer cottage on Wilson Lake.

If you live in Wilton, it is likely that you knew Betty. You might have seen her watering the flowers on Main Street, cleaning out a storefront for a new interesting display or recruiting people to race a pumpkin in the annual pumpkin derby. Perhaps you watched a beautiful sunset at the foot of Wilson Lake on one of her donated red benches or participated in her Mime Time or “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” performances. And our hope is that you grabbed a cup of coffee and a treat from Betty’s shop: The Baker’s Market Café.

Betty’s tireless energy, enthusiasm and desire to improve her beloved town of Wilton was endless and will leave a void difficult to fill. As for her family and friends in Connecticut, we remember her commitment and passionate work as the coordinator of the gifted and talented program in the Mansfield school system as well as the many shows she produced and directed involving school children, such as “Anne of Green Gables” and many more. But of all these tremendous life contributions, it is her family, friends and community that she cared about deeply. She was a wife, parent, sister, grandparent, friend and colleague who was a constant source of support without judgment or reservation. And she loved spending time at the family cottage on Wilson Lake. A swim in the lake, s’mores or ice cream with her grandchildren, a speedboat ride or a drive in her 1930 Model A Ford, which was restored by her father, Doc Colley, were all her favorites.

She is survived by her husband, Mark; daughter, Jo-Anne Shibles (Charlie) and their four children, Madison, Cassie, Marty and Josh; daughter, Stacey Pyle; (Louis) and son, Louis; brother, Peter Colley (Jean); sister-in-law, Ellen Shibles; her cats, Annie, Othello and Blackie; and many wonderful extended family and close friends. We will miss her zest for life, wonderful sense of humor as well as extraordinary acts of kindness to make life richer and pleasant for all.

Family and friends are invited to share their memories and condolences on her memorial wall at www.wilesrc.com.

Elizabeth “Betty” C. Shibles

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