Betty Robertson Lyman
Ret. Foreign Language Teacher
Betty Robertson Lyman of Kennebunk, Maine, passed away on Friday, July 30, 2010 after a brief but courageous battle with cancer.
On a snowy late December Sunday morning, Betty was born in Youngsville, N.Y., to Wilbur and Gertrude (Lawrence) Robertson, delivered by a country doctor who arrived on horseback.
Entering the first grade, she attended Midway school, a one-room schoolhouse with eight grades, where the teacher played the organ every morning, drinking water was provided in a pail and the privy was outside. Spending tearful hours learning how to write, believing she never would, she excelled at spelling and surpassed the second grade by the end of the year.
From the second grade on, she attended Youngsville Central Rural School, where she majored in languages. It seemed inevitable that she would become a teacher. It was wartime, and the Latin and German teacher left to join her husband who was serving in the army. The substitute teacher could not teach German, and Betty was assigned to teach first-year German students for two weeks during her final year there. She graduated Valedictorian of her class.
Betty entered New York State College for Teachers in Albany, where she continued her study of Latin and German, and graduated Magna Cum Laude. She took a position as a German Teacher at Roessleville High School, in the Albany-Schenectady area.
She returned to Albany State University and earned a master’s degree in Latin. Again circumstances placed her in a position of teaching and she instructed an undergraduate Latin class.
Betty then had a position in the Technical Processes Division of the State Library, a division of the New York State Department of Education.
In 1951, she took a position at Northport High School, Long Island, New York, as the German and Latin teacher. To relieve the tedium of balancing the monthly attendance register, Betty recalled that it helped to receive an excuse that read, “Please excuse Mary for being absent on Thursday. She was sick in bed with the doctor.” and to receive an excuse for his granddaughter’s absence, signed by Basil Rathbone. At one time or another Betty’s homeroom was enlivened by the presence of Arthur Godfrey’s niece, Patti LuPone’s brothers, and the Reverend Billy Graham’s future son-in-law. Imagine a student handing in a project accompanied by a letter answered and signed by Albert Einstein!
At Northport High School, Betty was honored to be chosen to advise two high school juniors in “independent study” in collaboration with the principal and another teacher who were working on their doctorates at Fordham University. It was also at Northport High School that Betty served as an advisor of the “Future Teachers of America” and took the group on a field trip to the Franklin Roosevelt home in Hyde Park, New York. She also wrote school news for the local paper.
In 1956, she was selected as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher, and went to Kufstein, Austria, where she taught English at the Gymnasium, a college preparatory school. Prior to beginning her duties at the school, Betty spent the summer attending the University of Vienna branch located in the area where “The Sound of Music” was filmed, and had the privilege to attend several Mozart operas and concerts in Salzburg. While at the Gymnasium at Kufstein, Betty participated in the school’s golden anniversary celebration.
It was during this time that she traveled extensively throughout Europe. She visited Greece, Crete, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Hamburg, Naples and Copenhagen. She went through Check Point Charlie, into West Berlin, experienced the rising of the Berlin Wall, and was there two days before President Kennedy made his famous “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech. A dark spot of that year was the Hungarian Revolution.
Her introduction to Maine occurred in 1959, when she was selected to participate in the First National Language Foundation Institute for German Teachers at the University of Maine, at Orono. It was there that she was exposed to the ALM Method of teaching languages. As a result, she had a demonstration class at Northport Jr. High in addition to her classes at the high school and Department Head duties. The following summer she was selected as a demonstration teacher for the Language Institute at Hofstra University.
In the early 1960s she was selected for two summers to participate in Stanford University’s Advanced German Language Institutes. She continued to be involved in the development of the ALM Method, and worked with Professor George Scherer of Colorado University on Reading For Meaning. Betty was a member of the Writing Staff, under the direction of George Winkler, of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd textbooks for the ALM German courses, published in 1970 by Harcourt, Brace, & World. Additionally, she prepared the script for The Teaching of German film made in collaboration with Professor Pierre Capretz of Yale University, which included her demonstration class. She was the Secretary for a German Teachers’ group on Long Island. During this time she completed the state required course necessary for supervisory work for teachers. I wish to express my gratitude to my Principals for allowing me to pursue these educational endeavors.
In 1968, she married Ret. Marine Lt. Col. Joseph Lyman, an aeronautical engineer and inventor, and in 1971, they became permanent Maine residents in Kennebunk. With her new home, she engrossed herself in community activities and became president of the Newcomer’s Club. She participated extensively in the activities of the Brick Store Museum, serving as a board member and treasurer for many years. Betty served as Treasurer of the Museum’s First Capital Campaign, conducting all of her duties without the aid of a computer. During her tenure at the Brick Store, she enjoyed participating in Museum-sponsored trips to England, Ireland, and Scotland. She was a member of the Kennebunk Free Library, Portland Museum of Art, The Victoria Mansion, Portland Symphony Orchestra and supported local churches and organizations. Although not an avid sports fan, Betty always followed the achievements of the Boston Red Sox and the New England Patriots.
Modest and unassuming, she touched many people’s lives, as evident by the support she received from her many nieces and nephews and friends, including those from Australia who made a special trip to see her. She was always encouraging and supporting young people to pursue their dreams, embrace education, and passed on a great appreciation of history and a love of the arts.
Betty was predeceased by her husband, Joseph Lyman; her parents; her stepmother Myrtle Robertson; her sister Irene Entrott; her brother Theron Robertson and his wife Marion; a nephew, Theron Robertson Jr.; her brother, Kenneth Robertson and his wife Ruth; her brother Joseph Robertson; and stepdaughter, Laura Lyman O’Neill.
She is survived by her brother Fred Robertson and his wife Kathryn and their children; her sister Jeanette (Robertson) Worden and husband George and their children; her stepdaughter, Cicely Lyman Dulgeroff (and her husband Dr. Carl) and their sons; stepson Joseph Lyman Jr.; her stepdaughter Laura Lyman O’Neill’s children; niece Gladys Dennee and husband Glenn; her sisters-in-law Mina and Joan Robertson; as well as several nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and cousins.
Betty Lyman wished to send special thanks to her wonderful friends, supportive neighbors and special family members, Tim Hughes, Joanne Dahlberg, brother Fred Robertson and his wife Kathryn, Fred’s daughter Laurie (Robertson) Gillespie, niece Deborah Worden, Deborah’s daughter Allison and son T.J. for their wonderful devotion, and to longtime friend Richard Eisenhour.
At Betty’s request, there will be no services. Interment will be at the convenience of the family.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Brick Store Museum, 117 Main Street, Kennebunk, ME 04043, or to the Frannie Peabody Center, 335 Valley Street, Portland, ME 04102, sent to the attention of Ed Corley, Director of Development.
Arrangements are in care of Bibber Memorial Chapel, www. bibberfuneral.com
Rosalie Sarnicola Genovese
Retired Executive Secretary, 64
Rosalie A. “Roe” Sarnicola Genovese of Mongaup Valley died Sunday, August 8, 2010 at the Catskill Regional Medical Center in Harris. She was 64.
The daughter of Angela Taverna Spero and the late Daniel Spero, she was born July 7, 1946 in Brooklyn.
Roe was a retired executive secretary for the Sullivan County Division of Family Services and recently worked part-time for RSS. She served on the Board for the YMCA and was a member of the Smallwood-Mongaup Valley Fire Dept. Ladies Auxiliary.
She is survived by her husband, John Gaetano “Jack” Genovese, at home; a daughter, Dina O’Connor of Monticello; a son, Daniel Sarnicola of Mongaup Valley; her mother, Angela Spero; a stepson, John Thomas Genovese of Bridgewater, NJ; a brother, James Spero of Morristown, NJ; two granddaughters, Jami and Taylor Welch; four grandsons: Brandon and Anthony Sarnicola, Thomas O’Connor, and Oliver Genovese; several nieces and nephews; co-workers and friends; and her large extended family including her in-laws.
In addition to her father, Daniel Spero, she was predeceased by her first husband, Joseph Sarnicola; a stepson, Steven Genovese; and a granddaughter, Danielle Rosalie Sarnicola.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, August 10 from 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the VanInwegen-Kenny, Inc. Funeral Home, 401 Broadway in Monticello.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Wednesday, August 11 at 10 a.m. at St. Peter’s Church, Broadway and Liberty Street in Monticello. Burial will follow at the Sullivan Co. Veterans Cemetery in Liberty.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Smallwood/Mongaup Valley Fire Dept., P.O. Box 28, Smallwood, NY 12778.
Arrangements are under the direction of the VanInwegen-Kenny, Inc. Funeral Home of Monticello. For additional information please visit www.kenny funeralhome.com
Margaret Rubin, 88
Jan. 30, 1922 - Aug. 8, 2010
Margaret Rubin of Monticello died Sunday, August 8, 2010 at home, surrounded by her loving family. She was 88.
She was born Margaret Cohen on January 30, 1922, in Bronx, New York, to Nathan and Lena Cohen. She was raised in The Bronx and Manhattan. She attended City College of New York, of which she was very proud. She met her husband, William, while staying in a bungalow near his family’s farm in Monticello. When they were married in 1945, she moved to the farm from New York City.
Margaret was a member of the Landfield Avenue Synagogue for 65 years. From 1975 to 1988, she worked as a Clerk at the Justice Court of the Village of Monticello. She was a member of the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program, through which she volunteered at the reception desk at Community General Hospital, and also an active member of Hadassah, Temple Shalom Primetimers, and Monticello Seniors Club.
She was predeceased by her loving husband of 48 years, William Rubin, and her sister Gertrude Wolfson.
Survivors include her sister Florence Roberts of Plainview, New York; brother Saul Cohen of Mount Vernon, New York; son and daughter-in-law Norman Rubin and Susanne Rudick of Monticello; daughter Susan Rubin of Monticello; daughter and son-in-law, Ellen Rubin Kahn and Norman Kahn of Natick, Massachusetts; son and daughter-in-law Arnold and Sophia Rubin of Norcross, Georgia; grandchildren David Rubin, Steven Rubin, William Kahn, David Kahn, and Jeremy Rudick; nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends. She will be always be in their hearts.
Funeral services were held at Garlick Funeral Home in Monticello on Monday, August 9. Burial was in Landfield Avenue Synagogue Cemetery in Monticello.
Donations in her name can be made to Hadassah, the Landfield Avenue Synagogue, or to the charity of your choice.
Shiva calls can be paid at the home of Norman Rubin and Susanne Rudick, 137 Clearwater Drive, Monticello, afternoons and evenings through Sunday, August 15, excluding the Sabbath.
Funeral arrangements by Joseph N. Garlick Funeral Home, Inc., Monticello. For directions or to send the family a condelence note please visit the website www.josephngarlickfuneral home.com