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The Valley Reporter
P.O. Box 119
Waitsfield, VT 05673

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Elisabeth Cole Botzow


Elisabeth Cole Botzow died peacefully at home on Monday, May 5, 2008. She was 95 years old and had lived in Mt. Kisco, NY, on Chestnut Ridge Road for more than 80 years.

Born in Lenox, MA, August 4, 1912, daughter of Rufus and Annie Hegeler Cole, she grew up in New York City and received her primary education at The Spence School. After a year in Europe with her parents, she attended the Westover School in Middlebury, Connecticut, and graduated in 1931. She then divided her time between studies at Columbia and extended stays with family in Europe where she learned to speak German fluently. She also learned how to ski in the days before lifts, and later became one of the early supporters of both Stowe and Mad River Glen.

On June 4, 1938, she married William G. F. Botzow, of Orange, NJ. With the exception of two years during the Second World War when her husband was stationed as a naval officer at the Officer Candidate School in Hollywood, FL, they made their home in Mt. Kisco, NY. In 1961 they built a cabin at Mad River Glen in Vermont where they vacationed with their children and friends as often as they could.

Elisabeth was an accomplished horticulturist and a mentor to many gardeners.  For many years she ran the volunteer program for the Brooklyn Botanical Garden's Kitchawan Research Center in Ossining, NY, raising plants in the greenhouse to support Kitchawan's work. In 1978 she received the Brooklyn Botanic Garden Merit Award "for her selfless devotion to the aims of Kitchawan Research Station since the mid-1960s and, particularly, for her superb efforts in organizing and training volunteers to raise the plant material that is sold both at the plant shop and at plant sales." She was also a frequent judge at the Philadelphia and other flower shows, and an important part of the successful effort to create a National Herb Garden at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC.

She was a lifelong traveler and a lover of music and the arts. She will be remembered for her optimistic spirit, her fairness and her kindness to all.

Mrs. Botzow was a member of the Bedford Golf and Tennis Club, the Amateur Ski Club of New York, the New York Unit of the Herb Society of America, The Bedford Garden Club, The Cosmopolitan Club, and a supporter of numerous charitable organizations.  She was a parishioner of St. Matthew's Church in Bedford, NY.

She is survived by a daughter, Annie Hegeler Botzow of Glastonbury, CT; two sons and their wives, Rufus Cole Botzow and Heidi Scrable of Greenwood, VA, and William G.F. Botzow II and Ruth of Pownal, VT; a grandson, Sebastian Botzow of Cincinnati, OH; a sister, Mary Cole Childs of Long Island, NY; and numerous nieces, nephews, grandnieces, grandnephews and many dear friends of all ages. 

She was predeceased by her husband in 1998 and a daughter, Stephanie Elisabeth Botzow, in 1958.

Private burial will be at the convenience of the family. A memorial gathering will be scheduled at a later date.

Memorial contributions in Mrs. Botzow's name may be made to The Westmoreland Sanctuary, 260 Chestnut Ridge Road, Bedford Corners, NY 10549, or to The Herb Society of America, 9019 Kirtland Chardon Road, Kirtland, OH 44094.


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