Cover photo for Betty S. S. Stoughton's Obituary
Betty S. S. Stoughton Profile Photo

Betty S. S. Stoughton

October 16, 1927 — April 13, 2024

Betty S. S. Stoughton

Betty S.S. Stoughton died suddenly on April 13, 2024, a surprise to all who believed she’d live forever or at least until they were ready to say goodbye.

She was born on October 16, 1927, fifth of six children born to Charles “Harry” Frost and Bertha Cassam Frost. After the family moved to High Mowing Farm in Jaffrey Center, Betty attended Conant High School for three of her four high school years, where she earned local and statewide acclaim in theatrical and dramatic speech competitions and made lifelong friends. She graduated from Newport High School (RI), then moved to Fall River, MA, to enroll in Truesdale Hospital’s RN diploma program, with the hope of following her four brothers into the war effort. When the war’s end shifted that expectation, she worked her way to assistant head nurse at Butler Psychiatric Hospital in Providence. But on New Year’s Eve in 1949, Betty’s three-time high school date David Sawyer flew his SuperCub unannounced into a nearby airstrip and tracked her down in the middle of her shift at work. They were married three months later, with his vision, her foresight, and a powerful shared intuition guiding them both.

At Silver Ranch, the first of the two Sawyer farms on Jaffrey’s Turnpike Road, Betty and David built The Stand in 1954, selling homemade ice cream from a small building in an oversized parking lot just down from the air strip that David, his father Roscoe and his brother Alfred had carved out of a swath of gently sloping acreage.  Over the next two decades, they grew the business, adding the “hot side,” a large dining patio, and a fine gift shop. Along the way of creating and working as a full partner with David in the growing enterprise and in raising three daughters, Betty maintained her commitment to the medical profession she’d trained for: she continued to work as a nurse at Monadnock Community Hospital, where she served every unit, ultimately focusing on emergency medicine. 

After David’s untimely death, Betty continued to manage and work in the businesses she and David had established (including the Park Theater, which they’d restored), then decided to return to MCH full time. She became Head Nurse in the ER and, soon after, rose to the post of Director of Nursing. She mentored younger RNs and LPNs and modeled what is possible when passion is crossed with skill and a relentless work ethic,and when all three characteristics combine in service to uncompromising professional standards.

Betty counted herself uniquely blessed by the two other men who became husband to her–Bob Slade and, many years on, Dick Stoughton. Each brought out more than one new facet of her, and each considered himself equally fortunate to have found love and companionship in later and late age.

Betty loved Scrabble, Skechers, and in her last few years, Scotch–”anything with a ‘Glen’ in front of it.” She loved bridge, cribbage, sewing and rug-braiding, strong black coffee, gardening, travel, reading, music, dogs and cats (in that order) and the Patriots minus Tom Brady once he defected. She deeply loved Ann, Joy and Jennie and their spouses Jim, Michael, and Jerry, their five children and their nine children’s children, her abundant nieces and nephews, her friends. Independent, pragmatic and liberal-minded, Betty believed in feeding the birds and taking in strays, remaining true to self and principle, facing tragedy with courage and resolve, letting children run free to make their own mistakes and learn from them.

These past four years, Betty was particularly grateful for the nurses, aides, serving staff, chefs and cooks and maintenance staff at Summerhill Assisted Living. She deeply respected and appreciated those who engaged meaningfully with her daily, who cared for her and about her.

A celebration of Betty’s long life well-lived will take place on Sunday, June 23, 2024, at 1:00pm at the Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, NH.

Please consider making a memorial donation in Betty’s name to Monadnock Community Hospital, the United Church of Jaffrey, or the Monadnock Humane Society.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty S. S. Stoughton, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Sunday, June 23, 2024

Starts at 1:00 pm (Eastern time)

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