Obituary: Mary Elizabeth Spypeck, 1960-2022 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Mary Elizabeth Spypeck, 1960-2022

North Ferrisburgh woman cooked and baked with the same heart and gusto with which she lived

Published October 7, 2022 at 6:00 a.m.
Updated October 7, 2022 at 8:47 a.m.


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Mary Elizabeth Spypeck - COURTESY
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  • Mary Elizabeth Spypeck
Mary Elizabeth "Betsy" Spypeck, age 62, of North Ferrisburgh, Vt., died on September 20, 2022. She was born on June 30, 1960, in Holyoke, Mass., to proud parents, Thomas J. and Christine Skypeck. Mary Elizabeth, known to many as Betsy, was her daddy’s little girl and a protective big sister to her beloved brothers, Thomas, Andrew and Christopher.
A voracious reader and life-long learner, Betsy’s formal education began at St. Mary’s School in Ware, Mass., followed by Wilbraham and Monson Academy, where she received the student athlete award. A National Merit Scholarship recipient, Betsy earned her undergraduate degree from McGill University and obtained a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University. The early focus of her career was early childhood education, and she worked for many years at the Greenwich Head Start Program while a resident of Greenwich, Conn. Betsy continued to advocate on behalf of children for her entire professional and personal life.

A culinary artist, Betsy cooked and baked with the same heart and gusto with which she lived, always trying new and interesting ideas and graciously winging it when the need would inevitably arise. A strong supporter of local farmers and food vendors, Betsy was a food manager in both the Charlotte Central School and Hinesburg Community School and fostered a sense of belonging among the children she fed and the staff she led. More than anything, Betsy enjoyed cooking for family and friends and sharing her tremendous skills, most particularly with her adored nephew, Mike, and third-generation sous chef and beloved great-niece, Aliyah.  

Fittingly, Betsy was drawn to the stoic beauty of Vermont, where she met, fell in love with and married a gregarious and grateful Irishman, John D. Gallagher, whom she easily charmed with her beauty, endless kindness and biting wit. Betsy became a dear friend and stepmother to John’s grown children and “Moppy” to twin grandsons, Liam and Riley. Together, with their dog,
Dewey, they made a lovely home in the quiet of North Ferrisburgh for well over a decade, loving and caring for each other through countless great times and some extraordinarily difficult times, with laughter, and finding joy always, through illness and unto death, as promised.

Mary Elizabeth is predeceased by her father, Thomas J. Skypeck, DDS; her husband, John D.Gallagher; and too many lucky dogs to list. 

Betsy is survived and greatly missed by her parents, Christine and David Johnston of Massachusetts; adored brothers, Thomas Skypeck of South Carolina, Andrew Skypeck and wife, Fabiana, of Utah, Christopher Skypeck of Massachusetts; nephew, Michael Skypeck, and fiancé, Laura Rose; and  grandniece, Aliyah, of Maine. She is also survived by John’s children, Luke
Gallagher of Vermont and Cara Gallagher and fiancé, Derrick LaMarche; and her “Boyos,” Liam and Riley Gallagher of Vermont; as well as her sisters and brothers-in-law, and in love, Maura and Michael Callanan of South Carolina, Kate Gallagher of Vermont, Colleen and Scott Ritter, of New Jersey, and Erin and Kevin Campbell of New Jersey. And, of course, her wonder dog, Honey. Betsy is missed by so many. 

Family and friends are invited to a memorial service in celebration of Betsy's life on Friday, October 14, 2022, beginning at 5:00 p.m. at the Bixby Memorial Free Library in Vergennes, aplace of beauty and books, kindness and comfort for Betsy. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Bixby Memorial Free Library, 258 Main Street, Vergennes, VT, 05491, or at bixby.library.org/donate. Services were entrusted to the Crematorium Society of Chittenden County in Burlington, Vermont. Online condolences may be left at cremationsocietycc.com.

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