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RHS announces the passing of Elizabeth Ann Mowchan


The Richmond Historical Society expresses deepest sympathy to the family of Betty Mowchan. Betty was a long-time member and active volunteer in the RHS. She worked many years in the RHS Archives, along with her good friend Patti Millar. Betty took the Archives into the 21st century by learning the PastPerfect online archiving system and starting the arduous task of entering the Society’s holdings. If you needed information, Betty would scour the Archives in search of it, and if no answer was available, she would refer you to someone who would likely have it. If you needed something done, she was the one to ask and it would get done. Many of you knew Betty for years. I knew her just over two short years as I assisted her in the Archives as a fairly clueless “intern”. I am grateful to Betty for her ever-present patience, encouragement, and the wealth of knowledge which she willingly shared. She is truly missed.


Elizabeth Ann Mowchan, 72, passed away peacefully on April 28, 2019, at The Scallop Shell of Rhode Island. Born in Providence, RI, she was the daughter of William and Elizabeth Burgess. She was the loving wife of Rolland Mowchan for 33 years. She also leaves behind her son, William B. Hendee, her stepchildren, Denise M. Costello, Scott A. Mowchan, and grandson Sean Costello. She retired from AMICA Insurance after 30 years as a claims supervisor. She was known in her workplace as the girl who got married on her lunch hour and returned to work for the rest of her day. Betty was active in Boy Scouts, Providence Youth Hockey, and Rhode Island Academic Decathlon. She volunteered for the S,H,A,R,E (Program for Seniors helping others), Meals on Wheels, and The Johnny cake Center. She served four years on the Richmond Town Council, two as President. She served four years as the district clerk for the Hope Valley/Wyoming Fire District. She was also the Archivist for the Richmond Historical Society. After she retired from AMICA, she camped in all of the states of the USA, except Alaska and Hawaii as well as most of the Canadian Provinces. She travelled the world, visiting over 100 countries. She swam at the Great Barrier Reef, spent time in the Australian Outback, walked on the Great Wall of China, had lunch in the Eiffel Tower, went inside the Great Pyramids, walked among the Statues of Easter Island, toured the Galapagos Islands, Rome, Pompeii, most of Europe, South America, among many other destinations. Betty was an adventurer, swimming with sharks in the South Pacific and sting rays in the Cayman Islands. It was exciting to hear her yell "Fish On" while standing in the river in her waders fishing for trout and blue gills. Betty was a true friend to everyone that knew her. She was thoughtful, actively volunteered and made numerous generous charitable donations to needy people and organizations. Betty will be sadly missed. She will be in everyone's heart and memory forever. There will be a celebration of life service on May 18th, 2019 at Saint Joseph's Parish, 1105 Main St., Hope Valley, RI at 1PM, followed immediately by a celebration of life reception in the church basement hall. Donations In her memory can be made to Hope Hospice and Palliative Care, 1085 North Main St., Providence, RI 02904

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