Beth Elaine Phinney
Hartford, Vt. — Beth Elaine Phinney, 57, of Hartford, died peacefully after a long illness on Saturday, Nov. 30, 2013, at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, with son Chris Acker and husband Bob Raiselis at her side.
She was born in Boston, Mass., the second daughter of Janice Hoyt Phinney of Norwich and Frederic N. Phinney of Southold, New York. She grew up with her family near the Perkinsville, Vt. farm of her grandparents, Perley and Irene Hoyt. She attended schools in Weathersfield and graduated from Springfield High School in 1974.
She attended the University of Hartford and the University of Vermont, where she developed her love and knowledge of horticulture. Her gardening would be a lifelong interest and joy for her and for others. She received an associates degree from the School for Lifelong Learning in 1992.
Hers was a familiar voice in the 1980s and 1990s in the Upper Valley, first on Vermont Public Radio and then on WKXE, but her work in radio had begun earlier, presenting news, music, and special features at radio stations in several New England locations. Her skill in creating engaging spoken-word programs as well as music programs in many genres on the air was well-known.
She performed with and wrote for the political satire group The Panther Players, taught, directed, and acted in theater around the Upper Valley, consulted on education and the arts, and led programs on public speaking. She was employed for the last several years as a research associate at Leadership in Medicine in Norwich, Vermont.
Beth’s loyalty and loving care as a wife and mother were deeply appreciated and reciprocated by Bob and by Chris and his partner Taylor. Beth had a wonderful sense of humor and enjoyed bantering with her sisters and with other members of the family and friends. Everyone enjoyed her infectious smile and her quick wit. She wrote commercial copy and scripts, poetry, short stories, and one-act plays, as well as the occasional song, and had a beautiful speaking and singing voice.
She had a life-long love of Vermont, and was happiest when writing or gardening, or sitting with her family on the porch of their home in White River Junction. Her love for her son, Chris knew no bounds.
She is also survived by two siblings and their families: Dawn E. Latané and her husband, David of Richmond, Va., and Lisa J. Phinney and her son, Karl Abrahamsen of Tyresö, Sweden. Her brother-in-law, Svein Abrahamsen, passed away in Sweden in 2012.
Also, maternal uncle and aunt, Richard and Sandra Hoyt of Wayland, Mass., step-mother Judith Phinney of Southhold, N.Y., Taylor Haynes of Wilder, Vt., and the members of the Raiselis family of Fairfield, Conn.
Her family would like to thank Dr. John Hill and the staff of the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, and the nursing staff at 1 West at DHMC. Cremation and interment will be private. The family requests that no flowers be sent; memorial contributions may be made to Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. A celebration of her life will be held in the spring.