Elizabeth Clancy Grady Kennard, known as Betty, was born on February 1, 1938 in Savannah, Georgia to Mary Clancy Grady and Steve Edward Grady. She died, after a long illness, on All Saints Day, November 1, 2023 in New Canaan, Connecticut at the age of 85.
A long-time resident of New Canaan since 1973, Betty never lost her Southern charm or accent. She was proud of her Southern heritage and Irish ancestry. From her early childhood, she excelled in ballet and became an accomplished classical ballet dancer while studying under Ebba Olesen Thomson. She was graduated from St. Vincent’s Academy in Savannah, Georgia where she was captain of the cheerleaders for Benedictine Military School. Betty attended Armstrong College.
She was enthusiastic about sports whether as a participant or spectator. Particularly, she enjoyed playing tennis and often enjoyed attending the U.S. Open. She was also an avid lifelong University of Georgia football fan.
Betty was a world traveler and lived in Tokyo, Japan with her family for four years. When at home, she could often be seen on her John Deere riding mower carefully maintaining her meticulous lawn and property on Ponus Ridge.
Possessing a rare sense of propriety, Betty exemplified traditional values, grace, poise, perfection, strength of character, independence and stubbornly held convictions. Betty was a phenomenal cook and enjoyed detailed traditional holiday menu preparations and elaborate decorations, especially on St. Patrick’s Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
Betty contributed her passion for the arts with the New Canaan Sewing Group and was a member of the elite decoupage group for several years. She also worked at Severed Ties, a boutique antique consignment shop in New Canaan, that specialized in prominent estate sales. Throughout Betty’s life she was passionate about the arts, antiques and exulted in the beauty she observed in nature, especially in flowers and her intricately beautiful floral arrangements. When her children were growing up her home was like a menagerie with its furry animals, feathered fowl, reptiles and tropical fish. There was even room for a skunk fittingly named Chanel.
Betty was known as a gracious lady who was sensitive to the feelings and needs of others always placing the interests of family and friends ahead of her own. She always saw the best in everyone, discerned the positive in every situation, provided a helping hand to others, and was beloved by those who had the opportunity to know her.
She will be remembered as a loving and devoted mother and grandmother. She is survived by her three daughters, Elizabeth O’Neill Lawrence (George), Katherine Clancy Valentine, Anna Maria Talbot (James), and son Samuel Jefferson Kennard V (Cynthia). Grandchildren include: Megan Elizabeth Valentine, Molly Katherine Valentine, Anna Rebecca Valentine, Kristina Marie Kennard, Samantha Rose Kennard and five great grandchildren. Additionally, she is survived by her brother, Stephen Edward Grady lll.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents and son in law Alan Joe Valentine.
Betty loved her family, especially children, and dogs. She will be profoundly missed by all who knew her.
A memorial service in remembrance of her life will be held at a future date.