Elizabeth Garrison


Elizabeth Garrison
diplomat’s wife

Elizabeth (Betty) Garrison died February 6, 2012 at her new home in Edgewood after living many years with ovarian cancer.
Betty was born in 1932 to Doron and Arlene Myers on a farm in Brook, Ind. At the age of 9, her family moved to Kokomo, where she later met her future husband, soul mate and lifelong best friend, Mark. They were married for 62 years.
Of her many careers, most important to Betty was raising four children in the ’50s and ’60s and nurturing the family as it matured and increased. She was also a diplomat’s wife in Hong Kong, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union during the Cold War, serving as unpaid morale builder for the staffs in those embassies and as board chair for the International School in Moscow. During Mark’s assignments in Washington, she worked as administrator for a psychiatric halfway house and as executive secretary of a local planning board.
After the foreign service, she and Mark founded, with the support of former ambassador and IBM CEO Thomas J. Watson Jr., a foreign policy research center (now part of the Watson Institute for International Studies) at Brown University. In retirement they created a blueberry farm, a favorite summertime destination of many. In her 27 years on the farm, membership in the Warwick Neck Garden Club and the Women of Brown book group reflected her love of gardening and books.
Betty leaves a loving family in addition to her husband Mark: two daughters, Libby Behrens and her husband, Bret, of Courtenay, British Colombia, Canada, and Sarah Garrison and her partner, Jane Bedell, of the Bronx, N.Y.; two sons, Mark E. Garrison and his wife, Marsha, of Ardmore, Pa. and Eric Garrison and his wife, Becky, of Richmond, Va. She also leaves nine grandchildren and two great-grandsons: Matt Behrens (and his sons Seth and Scot) and Brianne Behrens; Andrew, Emily and Gwyn Garrison, Rachael Garrison Fellabaum and Laura Garrison, and Derek and Anna Garrison-Bedell, and Anna Myers of Lexington Ky., widow of Betty’s late brother, Richard Myers, and a niece and nephew.
A memorial service will be held Feb. 17 at 11 a.m. at Woodbury Union Church, West Shore Road and Beach Ave., Warwick.
No flowers please, but contributions may be made if desired to Woodbury Church, PO Box 9484, Warwick, RI 02889, or to Home and Hospice Care of RI, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904.