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Mary Elizabeth “Bette” Morgenstern

November 16, 2016
Westfield Republican

Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Morgenstern, 86, of Westfield passed away on Wednesday, November 9, 2016. She was the first New Year's baby born in Westfield on January 1, 1930 and the eldest child of Ralph G. and Marjory E. Ames Webster.

Bette spent most of her childhood in Chautauqua County, living in Westfield and the Jamestown area other than a brief period when the family relocated temporarily to Ohio. As a child she also enjoyed many happy times at the Webster family farm in Pleasantville and at the Ames farm on Burdick Road outside Hartfield. In the 1940's the Webster family settled in the city of Niagara Falls, New York. After graduating from Niagara Falls High School, Bette married Leslie Charles Smead and had two daughters while they owned and operated a printing business and stationery shop in Niagara Falls. Bette and the girls moved to Westfield in 1962 following the end of her marriage, when she joined the staff at Welch Foods. During her tenure there she advanced to the position of Executive Secretary, working many years for Welch's company president. In 1967 she married Richard A. Morgenstern. In the 1970's Richard and Bette embarked on the adventure of saving a historic Victorian house in Bemus Point from demolition, dismantling it and moving it to Plank Road in Westfield. After suddenly becoming a widow in 1980, Bette retired from Welch's and opened a shop in her Victorian home known as "Rams Head" specializing in antiques, art, and raising Airedale Terriers. After her retirement she also spent several years volunteering in the administration office at Westfield Memorial Hospital, and later at Centaur Stride therapeutic equestrian center.

All through her life as a talented artist, Bette followed her dreams to design, sketch, paint, quilt, garden, collect, and photograph anything she found appealing. Years of classes in many of these areas helped her develop into the well-known local artist she became. She was also involved for many years with the Westfield Quilt Guild and the Portage Trail Garden Club.

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Mary Elizabeth “Bette” Morgenstern

Bette was an active member and trustee of the First United Methodist Church in Westfield during her life as a resident in the community. Because of her devotion to the church and the building itself, she participated in its restorations, garden development and maintenance.

With her love of nature and animals, she developed and maintained a Blue Bird trail through Mayville and Westfield spanning 26 years. Later in life she also participated in the volunteer transportation of rescued dogs through Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York State.

Her daughters Sharon M. Smead of Mayville, Susan E. Smead and son-in-law Marc C. Wagner of Richmond, Virginia, and her brother Robert A. Webster of Pinnacle, North Carolina, survive Bette.

A memorial service will be held at at a later date and will be announced by the Freay Funeral Home in Mayville.

Memorials may be made to the First United Methodist Church or to the Patterson Library in Westfield.

You can leave a remembrance or light a candle in remembrance by going to



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