Elizabeth C. (Betsy) Whitman



Elizabeth C. (Betsy) Whitman of Lexington, died June 27th at her home in Lexington at age 87. She was born in 1926 in Newton, Massachusetts, to Alice Llewellyn Cushman and Townsend Hamilton Cushman. She graduated from Newton High School in 1944 and received her BFA in Interior Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1949. After graduating from RISD, Whitman served as Interior Designer for The Architects Collaborative and later for Design Research in its early years. 


After having children, Whitman launched a passionate career as an activist and volunteer both in Lexington and on her beloved Chebeague Island where she spent summers beginning in 1965. Her many civic contributions, spanning 5 decades, included volunteer work in the Lexington public school libraries, the League of Women Voters, the Design Advisory Committee, the Lexington Field and Garden Club, and the MIT Furniture Exchange. She was also instrumental in the establishment of the Minuteman Bikeway. Her contributions to the Chebeague community included volunteer work with the Chebeague & Cumberland Land Trust, the Chebeague Historical Society, and the Chebeague Island Library.


She is survived by her daughter Jill Whitman Marsee, son-in-law Donald Marsee, and grandsons Robert and David Marsee of Washington and her daughter Gwen Whitman Kaebnick, son-in-law Gregory Kaebnick, and granddaughters Rebecca and Hannah Kaebnick of New York. She was preceded in death by her loving husband of 57 years, Robert Whitman and her daughter Martha Whitman.


A memorial service and reception will be held at 2:00 p.m. on September 15th at Brookhaven in Lexington. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to Citizens for Lexington Conservation, PO Box 292, Lexington, MA 02420-0003 or to the Cheabeague & Cumberland Land Trust, www.ccltmaine.org.