Elizabeth “Betty” Swan Stearns

DIXFIELD – Mrs. Elizabeth “Betty” Swan Stearns, 86, died surrounded by family, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 at her home on the Common Road in Dixfield.

Born in Rumford on June 6, 1935, she was a daughter of Wilmer and Doris (Harvey) Berry. She was a graduate of Dixfield High School with the class of 1954 and earned a bachelor’s degree in home economics and a master’s degree in psychology from Farmington State Teachers College.

Betty worked as an assistant dietician at the Rumford Hospital for eight years before beginning her career as a teacher. She taught in the Dryden and Wilton elementary schools before joining the Peru school system where she taught home-economics, science, health, and 2nd and 5th grade. Betty retired from the Peru School in 1995, but continued as a volunteer there for many additional years.

She was a devout Christian and an active member of the Dixfield/Dirigo alumni association, and she was well known for making potato donuts and “Gram-cakes.” She was a loyal Red Sox fan and loved to make $1 bets on them, especially with Dick. Betty enjoyed rug braiding, quilting, and sewing, even making a number of wedding dresses for family members. As a teenager, Betty earned national recognition by the 4-H organization for her sewing talent which highlighted the breadth of her skills and earned her an expense-paid train trip to Chicago and a scholarship for continuing her education in home economics. Betty was quite proud of this accomplishment, often recalling that very special trip, and her infamous green dress.

Another special trip, and her most recent accomplishment was fulfilling her quest to visit all 50 states. She visited the remaining four states on the list with all seven of her children in May, 2021.

Betty was married in Dixfield on June 13, 1954 to C. Clayton Swan who died on Feb. 1, 1991. She later married Richard “Dick” Stearns in Rumford on April 1, 2009 who died in Rumford on June 14, 2017.

Betty is survived by her seven children, a son, Charles Swan and wife Jessica of Dixfield, daughters Sandra Buchanan and husband Fred of Dixfield, Brenda Gammon and husband David of Peru, Linda Tyler and husband David of Churchville, Md., Donna Tiner and husband John of Augusta, Jennifer Whittemore and husband Dana Jr. of Dixfield, Debra Alonso and husband Jaime of Dayton; her 16 grandchildren, Crystal (Frank), Dwayne (Christi), Amy, Melissa, Julie (Todd), Ryan (Melissa), Kyle, Brett (Gabriella), Bryce (Grace), James, Carmen, Diego, Sean, Alex, Kaeden, and Clayton; her 11 great-grandchildren, Amber, Katelyn (Jacob), Gage, Colton, Brayden, Anthony, Zoë, Chase, Ridge, Sophia, and Mariana; her two great-great-grandchildren, Warren and Hazel; her three siblings, David Berry and wife Deanna of Dixfield, Dexter Berry and wife Darlene of Canton, Adelia Thurston and husband Wayne of Peru.

When Betty married Dick, she gained additional family members. She is also survived by a stepson, Daniel Stearns and wife Mary of Rumford Point, and stepdaughter, Linda Westleigh and husband Richard of Rumford Corner; step-grandchildren Cory (Kaitlin), Erin (Ray), Adam, Eric (Brittany) and Shanna (Christopher); and step-great-grandchildren Hailey, Jack, Chase, Hattie, Mason, Auslie and Jakob.

Friends and family are invited to sign the online guest book and share memories with the family at http://www.meaderandson.com.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Sept. 4 at 1 p.m. at the Rumford Point Congregational Church, with limited seating. Interment will be in the East Bethel Cemetery immediately following. Friends and family are invited to call at the Meader and Son Funeral Home, 3 Franklin St. Rumford on Friday, Sept. 3, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the

Elizabeth Swan Scholarship,

Oxford Federal Credit Union,

Mexico, Maine

Comments are not available on this story.