Born at her family’s home in Ridgewood, New Jersey, on August 14, 1911, to Wallace P. and Florence (Pfeiffer) Hukill, Elizabeth was the youngest of three children.
Betty’s parents began the Hukills’ association with the North Fork as newlyweds, spending summers in Greenport, where, in 1916, Betty and her sister, Florence, contracted polio, then known as infantile paralysis. The two spent the summer quarantined on the second story of a Greenport house, and their toys were later burned to prevent the disease from spreading. Their brother Perry, much later a resident of East Marion, was only allowed to play outside on the grounds of the house.
Betty graduated from Ridgewood High School in 1928 and Pratt Institute in 1933. She also earned a B.A. from Montclair State University in 1935.
When teaching art at Englewood Junior High School, Betty met the science and math teacher, Alfred Rose; they married in 1939, bought a cabin cruiser they named Alfabet and sailed around Long Island, through Hell Gate, to the eastern extreme of Long Island Sound through Plum Gut.
Later, Al’s work for the government took the couple from New Jersey to the suburbs of Washington, D.C., where they raised their two children. Betty and the children spent summers in Orient and East Marion, joined by Al on his vacation and, after 50 summers, she and Al became full-time residents of Orient in 1978. From 1974 until Al’s death in 1999 they divided their time between Orient and Naples, Fla. Married 60 years, they attended both the Methodist and Congregational churches in Orient.
Betty’s avid interest in art extended from her schooling at Pratt to printmaking, design and flower arranging in her later years. After her father, an engraver, retired, Betty taught him to paint, and during the rest of his life he created hundreds of paintings.
A lifelong interest in collecting drew Betty to volunteer at the Oysterponds Historical Society, where she established and ran Shinbone Alley, the Society’s consignment antique shop, for 18 years. She carefully researched paintings, prints and objects to learn as much as possible about artists and craftsmen. She also relied on local historians for their expertise, making Shinbone Alley a shop with inventory steeped in history.
At 85, Betty decided to open her own antiques and collectibles shop in Orient, near Village Lane on the Main Road, which she ran until Al became ill. Decorated with taste, embellished with local flowers, Betty’s shops delighted visitors.
Betty lived in her Orient home until she was 96, moving to Peconic Landing in 2007. She spent the first months there driving back and forth to her home to water her rhododendron bushes during a drought. She lived at Peconic Landing for four years, where her sense of humor flourished in contact with a new community of friends and caregivers.
Betty celebrated her 100th birthday with great enthusiasm at Peconic Landing on August 14. On September 21, Betty passed away at the Shores from complications of a stroke. A memorial service was held on September 28 at Orient United Methodist Church.
She is survived by her children, Susan Rose Channing (Laurence) and Donald Bruce Rose (Janis); and her three grandchildren, Alfred W. Rose II, Haley Elizabeth Channing (Scott Nogi) and James T. Rose.
Arrangements were made by DeFriest Grattan Funeral Home, Southold.
Memorial donations may be made to Orient United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 232, Orient, NY 11957; the Community Fund for the Shores, Peconic Landing, 1600 Brecknock Road, Greenport, NY 11944 or the Oysterponds Historical Society, Village Lane, P.O. Box 70, Orient, NY 11957.
This is a paid notice.