Elisabeth “Betsy” Moffitt Austen thumbnail

Elisabeth “Betsy” Moffitt Austen

August 8, 1927 - November 8, 2020

Elisabeth “Betsy” Moffitt Austen, of Portland, Oregon, died Sunday, November 8, 2020. She was 93 years old.


Born in Plattsburgh, New York, to Sarah and John Moffitt, Betsy grew up in California, attending Malaga Cove School in Palos Verdes Estates and graduating from Redondo United High School in Redondo. She attended the University of Oregon in Eugene, where she became a member of the Alpha Phi chapter of Sigma Kappa, and where she met Clark David Austen, who was studying to become an architect. They were married on September 8, 1950, and moved to Portland, where they raised two sons, David and Tom.


In 1951, Betsy was baptized. She became a member of Central Christian Church, where she taught for seventeen years. She also served as chairman of education, wedding coordinator, and principal of the CCC International Languages mission.


Betsy was a member of the Richmond Elementary PTA and member and president of the Franklin High School PTA. She served as president of the Portland Sigma Kappa Alumnae and president of the Women’s Architectural League. She appreciated beauty, was a long-time supporter of the arts, and worked as a volunteer and artist at the Contemporary Craft Gallery. Betsy also loved to swim. She was a member of the Multnomah Athletic Club, chairman of the MerMacs synchronized swim team, and a synchro instructor at the MAC, Leach YMCA, YWCA, and Portland Parks Columbia Pool. In 1988 she received the MAC President’s Trophy. She competed in Masters synchro, winning third in 1987 and second in 1991.


Betsy is survived by Clark, whom she adored; their sons and daughters-in-law, David and Marjie Austen, and Tom and Karen Austen; grandchildren Dennis and Jasmine Austen, Timothy Austen, Isaac and KaSandra Austen, Daniel and Lucy S. R. Austen, Christian Austen and Jacklynn Parrish, Elizabeth and Heath Brown; and great-grandchildren Makayla, Elijah, Sheri, Jonah, Brennan, Dylan, Judah, Sally, Abigail, Narah, Landen, Verity, Samuel, Ruth, Israel, and Hannah. She loved her family deeply, and is deeply missed.


There will be a memorial service at Central Christian Church at 2 pm, Sunday, November 29. Covid restrictions will apply.

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