Mary Elizabeth Smith Van Zandt
DOVER- Mary Elizabeth (Betty) Smith Van Zandt, 91, of East Dover, died peacefully at home on January 17. She was born on August 29, 1927, the daughter of Gordon and Edith Standish Smith, of Old Saybrook, CT. She married Robert Rockwell Van Zandt in 1947 and lived in Old Saybrook until moving to East Dover. She was preceded in death by her husband in 1994. Mrs. Van Zandt had a wonderful childhood, surrounded by her loving parents, Aunt Mae, godmother Goodie, cousins, and many friends.
Mr. and Mrs. Van Zandt owned Patricks Country Store from 1970 to 1983 and spent many hours selling Levi jeans, flannel shirts, snorkel coats, as well as penny candy. She was a former member of Grace Episcopal Church and the Old Saybrook Garden Club. More recently she was a trustee of the East Dover Fire Department and the Dover Historical Society. Many will remember her with her Belted Galloway cattle, Max the runaway dog, and seeing her ride sidesaddle on her four-wheeler.
Mrs. Van Zandt is survived by her son Robert Rockwell Van Zandt Jr., of Wilmington, and her daughter Gretchen Fagge (Robert), of East Dover. Known as Gia to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she played a big role in their lives, and they all have fond memories of vacations at the cabin in Newfane, picnics in the snow, riding four-wheelers and snowmobiles. She will be greatly missed by her grandchildren Jessica Faige (Tara O’Neill), of Honolulu, HI, Woodfin Brewer (Ali), of South Lake Tahoe, CA, Devon Clark (Matt), of Heath, MA, Andrew Rockwell (Kayla), of East Dover, and Robert Van Zandt III (Katie), of North Stonington, CT. Mrs. Van Zandt is also survived by her great-grandchildren Gwyneth, Stella, Hudson, and Mason Clark; Finnegan Brewer; Robert Rockwell; Lily, Ryan; and Colton Van Zandt, as well as nephews, nieces, and their families. A special thanks to Andy, Kayla, and Robert for their love and devotion this past year and Dawn Dix for her special care. Just before her 80th birthday, Mrs. Van Zandt was delighted to meet her brother Bill for the first time since she was adopted as an infant. She was preceded in death by her biological siblings William, Helen, and Alice Stebbins, and her stepbrother Malcolm Smith.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the East Dover Volunteer Fire Department, c/o Covey Allen & Shea Funeral Home, PO Box 215, Wilmington, VT 05363. A graveside service will be held in Cypress Cemetery on College Street, Old Saybrook, CT, on Friday, January 25, at 11 am, with reception following. A celebration of life will be held Saturday, February 2, from 2 to 4 pm, at the Dover Town Hall, 189 Taft Brook Road. To send personal condolences visit www.sheafuneralhomes.com.