Betty J. Calabrese, age 86, passed away on Saturday, April 24, 2021. She was born in Avon, CT to Earl C. Erkson and Sarah (Okenquist) Erkson. Betty is predeceased by both of her parents and her brother Robert Erkson. In September of 2020, she lost the love of her life, her husband of 67 years, Maurice “Bud” Calabrese. Betty is survived by her two brothers, Stanley (Adeline) Erkson and Edward (Marsha) Erkson, her seven children, 16 grandchildren, 11 great grandchildren, along with many cousins, nieces, nephews, friends, and ‘adopted’ family members. She also leaves behind, her faithful, furry companion, Ollie.
Half of Betty’s life was spent in CT and the later half, spent in upstate NY.
During her lifetime, she was the proud mother of her seven children born in the amazing order of girl/boy/girl/boy/girl/boy/girl: Debbie Fiori (children Tyler, Dana and April), Steven Calabrese (wife Kathy, children Jennifer, Steven Jr, Brian and Connie), Linda Cull (husband Rick, children Lindsay and Louise), David “Orbie” Calabrese (wife Rose, children Morgan and Nicole), Diane Calabrese (children Katie and Nathan Mankowski), Roger Calabrese (wife Tracey, children Scott, Glenn and Jillian), and Wendy Calabrese.
Bettys first priority was caring for her family. As the children grew older, she worked outside the home, doing secretarial work in the healthcare field. Betty also volunteered as a Girl Scout leader and board member of a local Salvation Army. She was a supportive business partner to her husband which included dairy farming and a trucking business. Betty could be counted on to remember dates; birthdays, anniversaries and special events. Betty (and Bud) had an open-door policy and everyone was welcome. If you arrived at mealtime, a plate was automatically set for you. If you wanted to stay, there was a place for you to sleep with coffee and breakfast the next morning.
Betty liked traveling, swimming, camping with family, visiting the casino and was always up for shopping. Her closets were full of fashionable clothes and she was an impeccable dresser. Hats would be the finishing touch to her outfits.
She had an artistic flare to envision what something could become or made into. Betty was a talented seamstress capable of anything from simple alterations to elaborate prom dresses. She enjoyed taking ceramic and painting classes with friends. Betty’s love of searching for, and collecting, antiques was evident once you stepped into her home.
You could depend on the fact that she was only a phone call away for advice or just to be a listening ear. Betty brought her children up to be open minded and often defended others by shining a different perspective on their behaviors. Her support to loved ones was all encompassing and unwavering.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, May 7th from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM at the Vincent Funeral Home, 120 Albany Turnpike in Canton, CT closing with a Celebration of Life at 3:00 PM. Burial will follow in the Dyer Cemetery. Memorial donations can be made to The Fisher House, 113 Holland Avenue, Albany, NY 12208, or to the charity of your choice. Please visit Betty’s “Book of Memories” at www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online tributes.