Elizabeth Child Shonnard, 96, of Vergennes


VERGENNES — Elizabeth (Betty) Child Shonnard died peacefully at her Ravensnest home surrounded by her family on Oct. 3.

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., on May 25, 1923 to Vermont parents, Marjorie Ryder and Charles D. Child. The couple who moved back to their roots several years later where Betty grew up with her brother John on Fairpoint Farm in Weybridge. 

Following graduation from Middlebury High School,  she attended Cornell University for two years, then completed her education at Columbia Presbyterian School of Nursing. She and U.S. Air Force Captain C. Wally Shonnard were married July 25, 1945, and after his discharge from the service Wally and Betty moved to Ithaca, N.Y. where Wally was admitted to Cornell and graduated from the School of Chemical Engineering in 1949.

During that time Betty continued her Nursing Career, which she balanced with caring for their first child, John, and homemaking, a role she played for many years to come. She and Wally moved from New Jersey, to Glens Falls, N.Y., to Buffalo, N.Y., and finally settled in Marietta, Ohio, where they lived until December 1976 and raised their family of four — John, Marjorie, Sandra and Douglas.

During those years, Betty also coordinated a practical nursing school in Marietta, was active in 4-H,  Parent Teacher Programs and  served as an elder and Christian Education Chairman for the Presbyterian Church. 

From 1976 Betty and Wally moved to Lewiston, N.Y., where Betty served as a an elder in the Presbyterian Church and was instrumental in establishing a home assistance program (HART) that connected home health clients with health care providers.

Wally completed his professional life with Union Carbide in 1983 and they began preparing to build the retirement home of their dreams at Ravensnest on Lake Champlain — property that had been in the family since late 1800’s and was given to them by Betty’s father, Charles Child, on their wedding day.  

In 1988, after five years of planning and construction by the whole family, Betty and Wally moved into their home at Ravensnest, which became the center of love, fellowship and  caring  for each other, their family and the lake and fulfilled their dream of building a life time of memories.

Betty supported Wally for many years in his family Environmental Chemical Engineering Consulting business, EnviroTox Associates, LLC, managing the financial affairs  for both EnviroTox and the Shonnard Family LLC family business activities at Ravensnest. Next to her love for the Lord, she loved her family above all else and they in turn cared deeply for her and watched over her needs as they unfolded along with the management of Ravensnest.

Betty was predeceased by her husband Wally, brother John Child, parents Marjorie and Charles Child and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

She is survived by her four children and their spouses: John and Judy Shonnard of Carlton, Pa.,  Marjorie Shonnard and Lee Hill of Candler, N.C., Sandra and Bruce Bove of Brandon, Vt., and Douglas and Anne Shonnard of Sterling, Va.;  seven grandchildren and their spouses, Betsy and James Ellis of Arden, N.C., Jessica and Marc Roberts of Candler, N.C., Andrew and Petra Shonnard of Nolansville, Tenn., Claire Bove and David Nelson of Cornwall, Vt., Meredith Bove of Northhampton, Mass., C.J. and Jonnie Shonnard of Sterling, Va., and eight great grandchildren; Grace and Zoe Roberts, Ben Fedder, Elsa, Ingrid and Charles Shonnard, Mateo and Noa Nelson and  many  family relatives. 

A Memorial Service will be held at the Vergennes Congregational church at 1 p.m. on Oct. 20. In lieu of  flowers donations may be made to the Vergennes Congregational Church, Addison County Home Health & Hospice and/or End of Life Services of Addison County.◊


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Addison County Independent

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