Elizabeth “Betsy” Christensen, beloved mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, died February 27th, 2022, peacefully at her home in Orem, Utah. She was 91 years old.
Betsy was born to John Leslie and Elizabeth Wilson Reynolds on August 1, 1930 in Salt Lake City, Utah. After her father died when she was three, her mother married Gordon H. Sears whose surname Betsy adopted. The family lived and thrived in Bethesda, Maryland. Betsy attended Brigham Young University and was active in student leadership. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in English Literature which included study abroad at the University of London in 1951.
While attending BYU, Betsy met her future husband, A. Kent Christensen. They were married in 1952 and enjoyed a long and happy marriage that took them to Boston, Massachusetts, Stanford, California, Wayne, Pennsylvania, Ann Arbor, Michigan, and finally to Orem, Utah. She and Kent also enjoyed sabbaticals to Paris, France, Zurich, Switzerland, and Nairobi, Kenya. With every move, Betsy left a trail of deep, long-lasting friendships and shared experiences. They raised five children together. Kent passed in November 2015.
Betsy is survived by her sister Martha Sears West of Salt Lake City; and children: Anne (Jeff) Jacobson, Kathy (John) MacKay, David Christensen, Jennifer Turner Brazel, and John (Emily Ehrlich) Christensen. She was a proud grandmother to twenty and great grandmother to twenty and a half. She was preceded in death by her brother, Rodger Wilson Sears Reynolds, her sister, Louise Reynolds Yanik and brother, John Fisher “Jack” Reynolds.
Betsy was a loving mother and homemaker. She was known for her endless creative abilities, kindness, compassion, leadership, and organizational skills. She was a “renaissance woman” with a zest for life. She loved and taught the love of literature, education, art, music, poetry, travel, history, sewing, quilting, and was willing to try her hand at any creative venture. She was a cherished friend to many. She loved and served in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, leading in nearly every organization, and touched lives one-at-a-time along the way.
She was a collector, and eventually found her great joy in collecting Nativity scenes, Creches, from around the world. She treasured each Creche–each a unique portrayal of the birth of The Savior of the World. Her Savior.
In December 1983, Betsy organized a display of 67 creches for her ward relief society. It brought so much joy they decided to repeat it the following year and invite the public. So began the Ann Arbor Creche Exhibit that continued for 25 years–a beloved, community, stake-sponsored event that highlighted the birth of Christ. People from all over Michigan came to view the Exhibit of 1,000+ creches representing most countries of the world. It took many to organize and run these annual Exhibits, but Betsy was the heart and soul. Creche Exhibits were soon found in other communities, states, and countries. Each stemmed directly or indirectly from Betsy’s vision as she willingly shared her knowledge and plans with others. In 2011, Betsy published, “In Manger Lowly. The Worldwide Christmas Nativity in Creche Art, Carols and Poetry.” This was, along with her family, the great legacy she leaves.
Hers was life full and well lived!
We want to thank Mom’s daily helpers from Aspen Care, especially Allison who served her in her home with so much love, patience, and kindness.
Condolences may be offered to the family online at walkersanderson.com as well as to secure a live link for web broadcast of the funeral service.
Cascade 1st Ward
481 E. Center Street, Orem, Utah
9:30-10:30am - Viewing
11:00am - Funeral Service