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Elizabeth (Betty) Horsch
March 13, 1934 to February 21, 2023
She loved fly fishing with her husband and best friend, Richard. She came to it later in life but took to it like a fish to water.
She loved her family and her large and eclectic circle of friends. We are all richer for knowing and loving her and poorer now that she is gone.
She loved her blue heeler and walking buddy, Quinn. Since they both had trouble sitting still, they were a perfect match.
She loved gardening, tomatoes, and harvesting and canning chokecherries and wild plums. Strawberries gave her hives.
She loved chemistry, even though it was not her first choice as a profession.
She was strong, independent, and a trailblazer both personally and professionally during a time when women were not scientists or innovators or forces to be reckoned with.
She was an educational visionary, and she pushed the boundaries of what it meant to be a teacher. From her years as a chemistry teacher at Kelly Walsh, to her sabbatical at Berkeley, to her work with Inverness Research, Inc., she redefined how students learn and reimagined the environments in which that learning took place. Thanks to her, students had an opportunity to learn in vibrant environments that combined core subjects, community involvement, field work, team work, and public speaking.
She inspired generations of critical and analytical thinkers, from her students to her daughters and granddaughters. We may not have loved chemistry like she did (most of us did not), but she taught us how to gather, analyze, and use information to make better decisions and to think about things in a different light.
She was a life-long learner and an avid reader. There is a quote that encapsulates conversations with her: “Small minds talk about people. Mediocre minds talk about events. Great minds talk about ideas.” She was a great mind.
She did not countenance malingering or procrastination; “If you would get up and get busy, you would not have time to think about how miserable you are.” “There is no such thing as writer’s block. Start writing. Then you will have something to work with.”
Her signature approach was “Don’t just sit there. Get up and get after it!” And that is precisely what she did on Tuesday night, February 21. She leaves behind her husband Richard; her daughters Leslie Horsch (Clarke McClung) and Julie Horsch (Dave Glenn); granddaughters Kelsie Speiser (Kurt Smith) and Lyndi Speiser (Spencer Redland); her brother Darrell Williams (Charnell); and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews. A celebration of life will be held in May.
We will miss her.
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