Berlin- Elizabeth Sophia Goodermote Reynolds died March 7th in the home that she treasured in Echo Park, Berlin, NY, aware and grateful that her family was by her side. Even at the age of 104 years, she still had a formidable will to be fully present, commanding the moments that she could, and reaching out to give her love to her family. She had lived independently until a fall at age 102 and was then able to remain in her home with the kind care of her Granddaughters.
Elizabeth was born December 11th, 1917, and grew up in the years following World War I. Her parents were Arthur J “Carpenter Art” Goodermote and Marcia Vincent Goodermote. Elizabeth’s childhood days were great fun as her family was one of five on Plank Road that included five children each, making a total of 25 kids who played “2 Old Cat Bat,” slid down hill on wintertime’s unplowed Plank Road, and swam in the brook together, developing in her a natural ability to create her own fun, engage others, and easily make new friends. She learned early to work hard, form and express an opinion, get away with some moments of feistiness, and put care for others into practical action. To her last breath she prided herself on being “Plank Road Tough.” These gifts served her well throughout her life as she enjoyed friendships with many of all the generations. Rare in current times, she would handwrite letters and cards and call to stay in touch, inviting people to “come visit.”
As a young woman Elizabeth was accomplished in her professional career, finishing high school, and graduating from Troy Business School. She worked at Faith Mills before taking a Civil Service Exam and getting a job in Washington DC. Always eager to try something new, she journeyed off solo in the 1930’s to work and live in DC, later returning to the local area where she was employed at the Berlin Post Office and as an Executive Secretary for the Metallurgy Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The latter she said was her favorite job because “there was a lot more work to do.”
In her early twenties Elizabeth was invited and went to a square dance with a young man and soon found herself in a dance set with someone new to her, William T. Reynolds, who had also arrived with a different partner. Bill asked to take Elizabeth home, and they both left behind who they had arrived with, going instead with each other, beginning the love story of her life. They married in 1942 and enjoyed 69 good years of marriage, including the years of World War II, and all the other wars and changes in the Country that followed. When she was 2 years old women were granted the right to vote, and once of age she did so until she was 103.
Elizabeth’s greatest calling was as a homemaker, church member, helper in the community and playmate, mentor, and teacher to young people. She generously served many organizations, among them Camp Fire Girls; 4 – H; Ladies Aid; Home Bureau; Camping Club; Taconic Valley Historical Society, and the United Methodist Church at Berlin. For years she and Bill enjoyed summertimes at their Dyken Pond Camp. She had an adventurous spirit, and they traveled the country in a camper they bought for their 25th Wedding Anniversary. Later in life they enjoyed a special “Honeymoon trip” to Holland in 1982. She said her happiest day was when their daughter Penny was born March 8th, 1948.
Elizabeth had many talents and interests. She sang in choir and played the organ. A great cook, she was thought by some to be the best pie maker in the valley. She kept her home like the cover of Better Homes and Gardens. She never missed a season of basketball “March Madness.” She became an artist as an adult, giving to others many of her crafts from years of sewing, folk-painting, hooking and, importantly, teaching creative skills and enduring life lessons. Elizabeth was all about being productive and all about having spirited fun with people whose paths she enriched. Her graciousness, genuine interest in people, and her sense of humor and laughter are unforgettable.
She was a woman with remarkable energy and curiosity that helped her keep up with the times. Well past 100 years old she had a mind that could rival any young person for remembering people and places. During the pandemic she learned to use an iPad to Zoom, FaceTime and watch church services on YouTube. No matter the challenge, Elizabeth was ready for it.
Elizabeth was beloved as “Gram” to Sherry Teal (Miles V. Jackson pre-deceased) of Poestenkill, Shelley Teal of Wynantskill, and Jill Teal of Castleton-on-Hudson (Robert Peterson Jr.) She was Great Grandmother to Corey Zareski II (Kelsey Poore), Josh Teal-Gamble and Drake Teal-Gamble. Shortly before her death Elizabeth experienced the joy of holding her newly born Great-Great Grandson Attticus James Zareski.
Kent Goodermote, her Nephew who was truly like-a-Son, and his wife Lilly Hewitt, held a special place always in their “Aunt Bette’s” everyday life and heart, and she in theirs.
She is also survived by her younger Sister Hilda Goodermote Fryer, who is now just three months shy of age 100, and like Elizabeth, is made of “good stock!” Berlin’s 4th of July Parade will miss the two Sisters who always paraded in a 1915 Model T together as recently as 2021, having used a hand-built ramp by her Nephew that enabled them to wheel up with walkers to get into the antique vehicle, determined to keep the tradition.
Elizabeth also leaves behind her Nieces Jan Goodermote Newport (Richard pre -deceased), Cathy Fryer Frank (John); and her Nephews Wayne Goodermote (Patty); Dean Goodermote (Diane) and Dale Fryer (Paula Hill-D’Elia) as well as many Grand Nieces and Nephews whom she enjoyed watching grow up in her lifetime.
She was pre-deceased by her Husband Bill in 2011, and by her Daughter Penny Reynolds Teal in 2007 at the age of 59 after a tragic car accident. She was also pre-deceased by her parents and her siblings: J Douglas Goodermote and his wife Betty; Loyal Goodermote and his wife Marion; and Dee Goodermote and his wife Gracie, as well as by her nephew Todd Fryer (Betty), and Son-in-law Ron Teal (Lisa).
Elizabeth was a woman of deep faith, leaving this world with confidence in her God and looking forward to her next phase. Services for her will be Saturday, April 23rd at 12:00 Noon, United Methodist Church in Berlin, where she was an active member for 92 years. Pastor Joel Holcomb will officiate. Her last wish was to have all her friends and family gather together at the church that her family had built, and she had served and cherished. A food tribute to Elizabeth will follow the service outdoors in the church parking lot, where guests will be invited to enjoy her two favorite foods: hot dogs and homemade pie! Burial will follow at Meadowlawn Cemetery in Petersburgh, rejoining Elizabeth with her Husband, and Daughter.
For those who wish, contributions may be made in Elizabeth’s honor to the United Methodist Church at Berlin, PO Box 225, Berlin, NY 12022.
visit www.perrykomdat.com for directions and private guestbook.
April 23, 2022
United Methodist Church
Directions to United Methodist Church