Betty Blanchard Bower, 93, Ridgefielder's mother; loved sailing, Lake Champlain

Betty Blanchard Bower, mother of longtime Ridgefield resident, Stephen Bower, died July 19 at Danbury Hospital. She was 93 years old.

Betty was born in Dobbs Ferry, NY and graduated from Sarah Lawrence College in 1941 with a degree in journalism.

After working in shortwave radio in New York during the War, she spent most of her adult life between Washington, DC and her beloved home on Lake Champlain in Vermont.

In 2002 she moved to Southbury, CT to be closer to her son, his wife, Alexandra, and her grandchildren, Robert and Molly, both graduates of Ridgefield High School. During her years in Washington, Betty was active in the D.C. League of Women Voters and remained a vigorous supporter of Sarah Lawrence College throughout her life.

A sailor since childhood, she seldom strayed far from the water and she loved visiting new places; rafting on the Colorado, rounding the word (and teaching Tai Chi) on a Taiwanese freighter, sailing to and among the islands of the Bahamas and Caribbean. A new challenge was always welcome. With her powerful intellect, adventurous spirit and personal style, Betty lived a truly independent life. Yet her family will always remember her gift for teaching and inspiring. A world traveler, she was also passionately devoted to her home by the lake. There, she gave multiple generations of friends and relatives, happy memories of sailboat trips, delicious dinners and lively fireside conversations.

Her wishes were for a simple family farewell in Vermont and her ashes to be scattered on the waters of Lake Champlain.

She is also survived by her brother Kimball Blanchard, of Burlington, VT.

Her family wishes to thank the doctors, nurses and technicians at Danbury Hospital and all of the caring staff at Bethel Healthcare. To her friends and neighbors at Heritage Village, we offer our sincerest thanks for all of their help and support over the past few months.