Former Mad River Glen owner Betsy Pratt’s family celebrated her life at her beloved mountain on July 22, 2023. Pratt, 95 (3/12/28-3/17/23), purchased Mad River Glen from founder Roland Palmedo with her husband in 1972 and sold it to skiers who formed the Mad River Glen Co-op in 1995. Pratt was inducted into the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2022.
At Pratt’s celebration of life, where dozens gathered to honor the local legend, her children, grandchildren, former employees, and friends shared their memories of Betsy, whom her son Truxton called “a multi-faceted jewel.” Speakers called her “the mother of Mad River,” “one special lady,” “cantankerous” and “an extraordinary woman.”
“She scared me often, but I learned so much from her on how to be a strong woman,” said Melinda Moulton, whom Betsy hired to the run the ski school desk in 1978. “She stood up to everyone and fought for what was right. She fought for this mountain and she did the right thing. She helped make me the woman I am today.”
People shared stories of her doing her rounds, talking to everybody, and advocating for her employees, the owners, and skiers. Her daughter Lizzy told a story of Betsy’s competitive nature and her sustaining a head wound from a fall in a bridge game but continuing to play and win. Her grandchildren shared stories of apple pies, school projects and soccer games, noting how she always supported her family and community.
“The homeowners thank you, Betsy, for everything you’ve done for us and for what you’ve given us,” said Deb Steines.
“I think we owe a tremendous round of thanks to Betsy,” said Geordie Hall. Turning to Betsy’s adult children, he said, “Your mother has really given us this place. She was very frugal. She had the vision to create this cooperative. She wanted to sell it to the skiers. We want to thank your mom so much for what she gave us.”