Vail Daily obituary: Frances (Betsy) Elizabeth Hill, 1943-2015 |

Vail Daily obituary: Frances (Betsy) Elizabeth Hill, 1943-2015

Betsy (Frances Elizabeth) Hill, of Minturn, was a respected educator, beloved mother, partner, sister and friend. Betsy died suddenly on Wednesday doing what she loved — hiking in the high mountains with her friends. She was born April 23, 1943, in Eugene, Oregon, the daughter of Joe B. Hill and Frances E. Hill. Betsy was 72.

Raised in Longview in Southwest Washington and a graduate of Washington State University, she began her career teaching elementary school for the Department of Defense in Wiesbaden, Germany. After serving in a variety of teaching and administrative positions in Washington and Oregon, she became principal of Aspen Elementary School and later Aspen Middle School in Colorado. She returned to Washington, where she served as principal of Medina Elementary School for 10 years. She then capped her career as the founding principal of the Stone Creek Charter School in the Vail Valley and settled in Minturn.

In addition to raising three children, Betsy was a great outdoor enthusiast, an accomplished skier and hiker. After retiring in Colorado she was a Vail ski instructor and worked in the adaptive program for physically and mentally disadvantaged skiers. She was an active member of the Vail Club 50, and she had a wide circle of friends with whom she engaged in various outdoor activities. She loved to dance with Burt and she was much admired on the dance floor for her style, grace and beauty.

Betsy is survived by her daughters Sheehan Sullivan Weiss, Miah Sullivan and Jo Kimble; her grandchildren Faye Weiss and Liam Weiss; her fiance/husband Burt Merical; her sister Susan A. Hill; and brothers Joe B.Hill and Patrick W. Hill. She is profoundly missed by her family and friends.

There will be a Rosary in Betsy’s remembrance at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday and a funeral mass will be celebrated at 10 a.m., Thursday. Both services will be held at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Minturn at 476 Pine St. A reception and lunch will follow the funeral mass on Thursday at noon at the Eagle-Vail Pavilion at 538 Eagle Drive.

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The family respectfully asks that any donations in memory of Betsy be made to Special Olympics Washington (www.special and Summit County Rescue Group (

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