Elizabeth (Betsy) Frederick

June 26, 1939 ~ May 21, 2023 (age 83) 83 Years Old


Elizabeth (Betsy) Goodspeed Frederick

June 26, 1939 – May 21, 2023

Elizabeth (Betsy) Goodspeed Frederick of Santa Fe, New Mexico, died on May 21, 2023, as she lived: with passion. Born on June 26, 1939, to Howard Lane and Doris Purnell Frederick in Falmouth Foreside, Maine, she survived three separate cancers, but the fourth one took her life.

She is survived by her husband of eight months, Robert (Bob) Walsh; her son Aaron Michael Janssen; daughter Elizabeth (Liza) Goodspeed Janssen Petra and her husband Noel; grandchildren Elle, Max, and Hunter; sister Mary and her husband Dana; brother Howard and his wife Patricia; and stepchildren Greg (and Liz) and Adam (and Lindi) Walsh.

Betsy moved with her parents and siblings to Tucson, Arizona, in 1947, via a 1937 Hudson Terraplane. While in grammar school in Tucson, she sat next to Bob’s sister, Eileen. After high school, she attended Mills College in Oakland, California, where she majored in dance and minored in mathematics. In 1961, having received a teaching credential from the University of California at Berkeley, she taught dance at Berkeley High School. She met her first husband, Michael (Mike) Allen Janssen, and they married in 1963 and had two children, Aaron and Liza, together. They left Berkeley in 1973 for Pasadena, where Mike started his career at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The marriage didn’t work out, however, and Betsy took her young children to Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1974. She found work as a math teacher in the Albuquerque Public School system and reconnected with Bob, with whom she lived until 1978. Betsy taught math and computing from 1975 until she retired in 2005. While working full time and raising her children, she pursued a master’s degree in education, which she received from the University of New Mexico in 1988. In 2011, she received the Mark Orchant Maximum Impact Award from the New Mexico Technology Council for her lifetime of work in teaching and computing.


During her career, Betsy was part of the movement to pioneer instructional uses of computing, everything from teaching computer basics to modeling complex systems. She served as the Director of Technology for Albuquerque Public Schools in the early 1990s and oversaw the first installation of internet services for the entire school system. Betsy was also a program manager for the Supercomputing Challenge and was a facilitator for Project GUTS (Growing Up Thinking Scientifically), working with underrepresented communities throughout New Mexico.

For twenty years, she traveled throughout Latin America, the Middle East, and Europe as part of the International Education and Resource Network (iEARN), a nonprofit that empowers teachers and young people to work together online using the Internet and other new communications technologies. She hosted many teachers from other countries at her home.

Betsy was a member of New Mexico Women and Science in Engineering and helped run  the Expanding Your Horizons conferences, which work to increase the participation of young women in technical careers. She was also a member of the Special Interest Group (SIG) for Computing Teachers and SIGTelelearning, parallel arms of the International Society for Technology in Education.

Throughout her pioneering and demanding work, she found time to paint the AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization) soccer fields, volunteer for her children’s various activities, and participate in numerous organizations, including her beloved Women’s Group and MOHR, her dear college friends (Mills Olney Hall Reunion). She was exceptionally close to her siblings and grandchildren.

Betsy moved to Guilford, Connecticut, in 2011 to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren. She became active in several local organizations, including the Guilford Free Library and Shoreline Village CT, where she created a yoga and movement class for seniors and ultimately served as Board President. She frequently traveled to New York City to experience art and dance, particularly her college friend’s troupe, the Trisha Brown Dance Company.

Betsy and Bob stayed connected over the years, and in 2019, she moved to be with him in Santa Fe. This allowed her to be closer to her son and grandson in California, whom she visited regularly. Betsy and Bob spent their days playing bridge, reading periodicals and Shakespeare, and surprised everyone by being married in September 2022.

A celebration of Betsy’s life will be held later, somewhere in the Southwest. If so inclined, a donation may be made in her honor to any food bank, the ACLU, Planned Parenthood, or the Trisha Brown Dance Company.


You can still show your support by sending flowers directly to the family, or by planting a memorial tree in the memory of Elizabeth (Betsy) Frederick

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