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Betty deTomasi

Elizabeth “Betty” Suzanne Anderson deTomasi, whose family first settled in Tiburon in the late 19th century, died December 12, 2023. She was 94.

 

The third generation of her family to live in Tiburon, Betty was born on May 14, 1929, the elder of two children of Claudine Burks Anderson, formerly of San Francisco, and Harvey Anderson, of Tiburon. Her grandfather, H.D. Anderson, and his wife emigrated from England and settled in Tiburon in 1898, when they ran Anderson Meat Market on Main Street. Her mother was Tiburon’s postmaster general.

 

As a girl, Betty, a self-described tomboy, loved rowing to Sausalito, swimming in Racoon Strait, swinging from the meat hooks at her grandfather’s butcher shop, or plunging her arms into the pickle barrel at Beyries General Store, also on Main Street, but she could be coaxed by her mother into dressing up for the formal teas at the Blanding estate on Belvedere Island hosted by Mrs. Blanding.

 

Betty attended Tiburon School and Tamalpais High School. She declined her scholarship to the University of California at Davis because no on-campus housing was provided. Instead, she took a job at a flower shop in San Francisco and met her husband, Aldo deTomasi of Belvedere, on the bus; he saved her a seat every day. The two were married in 1949 and went on to adopt seven children.

 

She was an active volunteer at her children’s schools here and was a poll worker on election days for many decades.

 

A nature lover, she packed all her children into her signature 1963 Volkswagen van every summer and, with camping gear on top and bicycles hitched to the front, they headed out to see the country. Later, she took them to Europe and Mexico.

 

In her 50s, Betty earned both an associate of arts degree in general vocational technology and an associate of science in landscape maintenance at College of Marin and started a landscaping business, which she continued well into her 80s.

 

She and her husband invested in local real estate, and she took responsibility for tending the gardens of their properties. She was a member of California Horticultural Society, California Native Plant Society and Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Society. She tended the garden on the grounds of Old St. Hilary’s.

 

On becoming an empty nester, she took winter trips to Mexico and Hawaii to seek out the sunny beaches but also to discover the native plants there.

 

In her 70s, she underwent surgery to donate a kidney to her daughter Suzanne.

 

Betty’s husband Aldo died in 2007. She is survived by five of her children, David deTomasi, Ann Bidwell, Jim deTomasi, Suzanne deTomasi, and Diane Hutton; and three granddaughters, Jacklyn Hutton, Marie deTomasi, and Lauren Bidwell. Her daughter Nancy died in 1983 and son John died in 1987.

 

In Betty’s memory, the family asks that you buy a box of biscuits for your favorite dog, make a donation to your local food bank, plant some pretty flowers in your garden or enjoy a butterscotch square from See’s Candies. She’d like that.

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