A well-traveled and well-read woman with a creative mind

MELROSE — Elizabeth H. “Betty” O’Connor, a lifelong resident of Melrose, passed away unexpectedly at home on Sunday, May 1, 2022, at age 89.

Betty was born in Malden on September 23, 1932, one of four children of the late Frederick O’Connor, Sr. and Elizabeth (Holtman) O’Connor. Raised in Melrose, Betty graduated from Melrose High School, Class of 1950, and from Chamberlain School of Retail in Boston. With a love for fashion, Betty worked as a buyer for many years including over 20 years for the well-known department store, RH Stearns.

With a curious, creative mind, Betty had a variety of interests that kept her busy. She was often listening to opera, and kept a detailed record of every movie she watched including a rating. Very well read, she loved history books, and enjoyed museums, attending the symphony, and other cultural events in Boston. She traveled extensively as a buyer, visiting all over Europe, and Asia several times for work. She also enjoyed vacations to Bermuda, the Caribbean, Alaska, and experienced a safari in Africa. A well-traveled and well-read woman, Betty could talk to anyone about anything. She was always dressed well with her favorite jewelry, and lived a lucky, blessed life.

For many years, she and her sister Patricia rented a cottage during the summer in Rockport or Gloucester. She loved being near the ocean, and hosting her nieces and nephews for visits. Betty was a parishioner of Most Blessed Sacrament Church in Wakefield.

Betty was a smart, creative and resourceful woman, but also loved a good time. She enjoyed joking around with her family, playing any game to pass the time, and was an excellent storyteller. She will be deeply missed, but always lovingly remembered for her generous spirit, and love of family.

Betty was the beloved sister of Marilyn Smith and her late husband, Ken, of Melrose; the late Frederick O’Connor Jr. and his late wife, Clara; and the late Patricia O’Connor. Caring aunt of Clara Halloran and her husband, Dan, of Fla.; Elizabeth Fornero of Ill.; Brian O’Connor and his wife, Marisa, of Newton; and Patricia Spencer and her husband, Peter, of Melrose. Dear great-aunt of William, Donald, Brian, Michael, Alison, Julie, Adriana, Livia, Anthony, Timothy, Grace, and several great-great nieces and nephews.

Services for Betty will be private. Gifts in her memory may be made to the Animal Rescue League of Boston, 10 Chandler St., Boston MA 02116. For online tribute visit RobinsonFuneralHome.com.