Elizabeth F. Blankenship


Elizabeth (Betty) Fisher Blankenship died peacefully in her sleep the morning of July 14, 2012, just a month from her 101st birthday, at the Henrietta Brewer House.

Betty was born August 20, 2011, in Onset to Herbert Fisher and Erminia T. Legg. She grew up in Oak Bluffs on Circuit Ave. in the building known as the “block.” Betty took much pride in the town of Oak Bluffs and where she came from. Even at her age, she would ask how the town looked and always wanted to know what was happening.

She graduated from Northfield Seminary in 1932 and returned to the Island. In 1942, she married Dick Blankenship on November 20, and was married for 42 years.

Betty lived for the summers and the heat throughout her life. “The warmer the better,” she always said. She was known as a mermaid by her mother, with more bathing suits than clothing. One of her favorite places was the East Chop Beach or in her backyard on Plymouth Avenue soaking up the sun.

Betty’s love for books showed in her work as an Oak Bluffs librarian for many years. After retiring, Betty would read for hours with a cat on her lap. She also made many memories with her good friend Jan Ridley. The two had a variety of hobbies including bird watching, opera, animals and nature, wintering in Florida, and having evening cocktails on the porch.

Her nephew Buzz Blankenship and brother-in-law Robert Hughes, both of Oak Bluffs, grandniece Meredith Gallo and her companion, Damon Aldrich, of Vineyard Haven, and grandniece Beth O’Connor and her husband, Mo, of Oak Bluffs survive her.

Betty is also survived by the extended family at the Henrietta Brewer House, which she called home and where owners Ellen and Scott Gerstmar, head nurse Audrey Harding, and the staff took great care of Betty for the last four and a half years. A special thank-you to Dr. Henry Nieder, his staff, and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital who had the privilege to care for Betty in her many stays at the hospital.

There will be no funeral services; a celebration of her life will be held at a later date. Donations may be made in Betty’s honor to the Oak Bluffs Public Library, PO Box 2039, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Oak Bluffs, ccgfuneralhome.com.