Elizabeth Shantz Stettner

elizabeth stettner

Elizabeth "Betsy" Stettner



Elizabeth "Betsy" Shantz Stettner died peacefully on September 28, 2017 at home with loved ones, two-and-a-half years after being diagnosed with ALS. She died from complications of the devastating disease and was 70 years old.


Betsy was born on December 9, 1946 in Springfield, MA to parents Elizabeth (Rogers) and Henry Bowman Sabin. She was close to her three brothers, Jack, Bo, and Tommy, as well as cousins Petey and Chip, who grew up close by. Betsy attended Dana Hall School in Wellesley, MA from 1962 to 1965 and earned a Bachelor's Degree in 1969 from the University of Denver, where she majored in American History, minored in Political Science, and met her husband, Kenneth "Ken" Stettner, who was in law school at the time. They married in the summer of 1969. Betsy had a strong business sense and paid great attention to detail; she worked at a brokerage firm directly after graduation, was St. Anne’s Episcopal School’s Business Manager, and before her retirement, she was the Bookkeeper for American Arbor Care for 15 years.  For many years, Betsy was a devoted member of the Junior League of Denver serving dutifully as Treasurer and in other roles.


Betsy's greatest joy was being surrounded by her family. Sons Richard, Robert, and Andrew gave her eight spirited grandchildren, with two more arriving in 2018 (the third set of twins among Betsy’s descendants).


Betsy loved road trips, genealogy, the outdoors, her dogs, and meticulous crafts like caning wicker furniture. She was meticulous also in the way she organized her home and affairs, keeping and filing every receipt and invoice and maintaining records for nearly everything.  Her memory was impeccable and she often regaled those around her with vibrant stories from her youth. A piece of her heart was always in New Hampshire on Lake Winnipesaukee where her family acquired a lake home in 1953, accessible only by boat, and where she and her brothers, then children, nieces and nephews, spent many a summer. After moving to Colorado, Betsy would drive her family cross-country to get to the cabin and her favorite vacations were spent lakeside.


As ALS took hold of Betsy's body, she missed most the ability to take care of herself, for she was stubbornly independent.  Betsy’s famously said, “you get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit,” and she lived true to those words in her humble acceptance of the disease she “got.”  She analogized her disease to the woodwork craft of whittling, saying that she felt as though she had been whittled to her core, her independence laying as sawdust and woodchips at her feet.  But, she felt stronger because her core reflected all of her true values: honesty, love, kindness, humor, and respect – things ALS could not take from her.  Her smile and wit will be missed by all who knew her. In her final years and months, she enjoyed visits from many friends and family coming from as far as Spain and Denmark, and she was especially joyful when her grandchildren gathered in her home.


Betsy is preceded in death by her parents, and a brother, William Bowman Sabin.  She is survived by her husband, Ken; sons, Richard and Jill Stettner, Robert and Amy Stettner, and Andrew and Sarah Stettner; brothers, Jack and Birgit Sabin of Gainesville, FL, Allen “Bo” Sabin and Tom Ericson of Wilmington, NC, and Tommy and Maria Sabin of Barcelona, Spain; cousin and dear friend, Petey Webster and Jetta Baker, and other cousins; as well as her eight grandchildren, Jack, Chloe, Willy, Henry, Owen, Tula, Cooper, and Riley; and many nieces and nephews.


Betsy will be laid to rest in her hometown of Springfield, MA and a celebration of Betsy’s life will be held on October 28, 2017 from 2-4pm at the Denver Country Club. In lieu of flowers, Betsy requested that memorial donations be made to the History Colorado Center in Denver, CO.


Family and friends are encouraged to sign Betsy's online guest book and share memories and/or photos.


In lieu of flowers, Betsy's family requests donations to go to History Colorado.  The link can be found directly below.



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  1. Could never ask for a better friend/relative! So much fun growing up together that I followed her to Denver! Spent so many wonderful times together and she taught me many lessons while she dealt with this miserable disease. Always a positive attitude greated each of us. A part of me has gone with her, but i shall think of her everyday and share her contagious smile in hopes of exemplifying her love of life! I love you Bobbin and miss you!

  2. Our deepest sympathy is with your family. Please know our thoughts and prayers are with you.

  3. As Class Secretary and on behalf of all the Class of 1965 we send our condolences to Betsy's entire family. May the many wonderful memories you share provide comfort and peace.

  4. Betsy was such a wonderful person. She had a feisty passion for her family, friends and work. It was fun to share laughs ,tears and friendship with her. My condolences to all her friends and especially her family. Betsy will be missed. Rest in God's gentle peace, Betsy.

  5. What a beautiful tribute to a beautiful person is the obituary. Betsy has been a dear friend for many years and I will miss her wry humor and wit. I cherish many memories of our times together. Rest now.


  6. We are so sorry to learn of you loss. The Stettners were always an amazing family and Betsy surely deserves much of the credit for the warmth and cohesion you modeled. No doubt her influene will carry forward to the next generation.

  7. So sorry ti heat if Betsy's passing. I knew her for many years as a patient in the dental office where I worked. It was always a joy to have her come in. Always with a smile on her face. Always with a new and fun story to tell about her family,Especially about her boys and then her grandchildren .With a twinkle in her eye she would tell great funny stories about the twins and all the grandchildren. I always admired what a great family Ken and her raised. So polite and respectful. I know she will be greatly missed. My condolences to the Stettner family..

  8. We have many fond memories of time spent with Betsy and Ken during AGC CO outings.
    Betsy was a truly dedicated volunteer and a special friend. She will be missed by so many.
    We send our love to the family and prayers of comfort during this sad time.
    Frank and Kay

  9. Betsy taught me how drive a motorboat (The Frog?) on Lake Winnipesaukee and treated me like one of the big kids when I was only 7. Those memories will always make me smile.

  10. Betsy – forgive me (for the millionth time) but this time I'm having trouble forgiving myself. I so wanted to be there for your celebration and for reasons I'll never know didn't get the notice- you know I was there in my heart but so wish I could have seen all your family. I love you all- Sara

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