Betsy B. Boles
08/18/1930 - 09/12/2021

Betsy B. Boles, age 91, of Chatham, NJ passed away peacefully with her family at her side shortly after sunrise on Sunday, September 12, 2021.  She did not want us to mourn her death but instead joyfully celebrate her life of love, resilience and purpose.

She was born in 1930 and grew up in St. Louis, MO. She was predeceased by her parents, Hugh Murrill and Julia Lee Applegate Bowen, and her sister Beverly Rummage Vickery of Naples, FL.  She is survived by three children and twelve wonderful grandchildren:

Sarah L. Boles of Rowayton, CT; her husband David R. Norris; her daughters Alicia A. Zimmel of New Zealand and Katherine R. Zimmel of San Francisco, CA; and her sons Andrew S. Zimmel of Denver, CO and John B. Zimmel of Winter Park, FL.

David R. Boles of Chicago, IL; his wife Sandra Filler Boles; their daughters Dr. Lindsay H. Boles of Chicago; Margaret L. Boles of Denver, CO; and Cecilia E. Boles of Chicago, IL.

Andrew B. Boles of Chatham, NJ; his wife Lisa P. Boles; their son Charles D. Boles and his wife Rebecca M. Boles of London, England; Jordan B. Boles of Boulder, CO; James R. Boles of Chatham, NJ; Christopher M. Bronzino of Burlington, VT; and their daughter Virginia L. Boles of Chatham, NJ.

Betsy graduated from John Burroughs School in St. Louis, MO and went on to study at Smith College, from which she graduated in 1952 with a B.A. in Music.

Betsy’s love of music, and especially vocal choir music, was one of her life-long passions that took her from college summers at Tanglewood Music Festival to international travel and performances with adult choirs as well as joining church choirs wherever she lived.

While raising three children in St. Louis, MO, she worked for McDonnell Douglas, the Lipid Research Center at Washington University and as the Director of the St. Louis RCGA.  In her mid-fifties, she confidently and bravely moved from her life-long home of St. Louis, MO to Brevard, NC to become one of the first 100 female Investment Representatives of Edward Jones Investments: she went on to build a successful ten year Advisory career.  Subsequently, as a Limited Partner, she continued as a Field Based Recruiter in Northern NJ and the NYC area for several years.

Everywhere she lived, she established a community of dear friends.  While living in Chatham, she was an active member of PEO and found great fellowship there.  As a three-time cancer survivor, she was a member of the Cancer Hope Network and empathetically supported dozens of cancer patients.

Her real passion, however, was connecting with nature, and she spent the last 13 years as an active volunteer at the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge in Harding Township, NJ.  As a young girl, Betsy was given the gift of summers as a camper and counselor at Clearwater Camp for Girls, traveling by train from St. Louis to Minocqua, WI where she was immersed in the Peace and beauty of canoeing, sailing and the call of the loon on the waters of Lake Tomahawk. Her daughter has carried on the legacy of summering at Lake Tomahawk where Betsy was able to visit through her 90th year. Betsy was so proud that all of her granddaughters attended the same camp.

Betsy preferred that there be no visitation or service, but instead wanted to have a private and joyful celebration of her life.  A family memorial in Minocqua, WI will follow.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Betsy to the following nonprofit organizations:

  • Clearwater Camp for Girls, Minocqua, WI Donate
  • Friends of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Harding Township, NJ Donate
  • St. Hubert’s Animal Shelter, Madison, NJ Donate

Funeral Home:
Wm. A. Bradley & Son Funeral Home
Memorial Gifts:
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Betsy to the following nonprofit organizations: Clearwater Camp for Girls, Minocqua, WI, Friends of the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, Harding Township, NJ, or St. Hubert’s Animal Shelter, Madison, NJ. Direct links to contribute are provided above.
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