Obituary: Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ Olsen Savarese Aug. 16, 2022


Born and raised in Los Alamos, New Mexico, Elizabeth “Betsy” Olsen Savarese, somewhat reluctant and serious at the age of eight was encouraged, by her parents, Jim and Barbara, to try the Los Alamos Aquatomics swim team. She dove in headfirst and the water and chlorine activated her spirit. From that point on Betsy swam her way through life. Betsy valued the lessons taught by competitive swimming: persistence and hard work, the joy of meaningful camaraderie, the thrill of competition and achievement, and the sheer fun of it. She just kept swimming…and even met her husband, David, while swimming at a hotel pool while on a business trip.

When Betsy wasn’t in the pool, the frozen state of water was the next best thing. Pajarito Mountain was the backdrop for Olsen family winter weekends – Betsy basked in the beauty of the Jemez Mountains, enjoying sunny and snowy days alike and always eating a picnic lunch with family and friends on the lodge deck. Betsy was a beautiful skier, busting a great run down Lumberyard or Breathless – commercial free.

Betsy had a quick smile and a spectacular sense of humor. She was a voracious reader, a great or terrible storyteller (depending on whether you like stories with a lot of random detail), and treasured her memories of many amazing vacations spent on Crystal Lake in Michigan, petoskey hunting, water skiing and laughing with cousins and friends late into the summer nights.

She was proud to be a University of Wyoming Cowboy and collegiate swimmer, a forty-year employee of a large national tech and instrument company where she successfully applied her communication skills managing diverse teams, a PEO, and most especially a mother. Betsy raised a beautiful daughter who exemplifies her mother’s kindness, humor and strength – Ellen was the delight of her mother’s heart.  Betsy and David enjoyed 31 years of marriage shaped by mutual devotion, admiration and love.

Betsy passed gracefully from this life on August 16th, 2022 with family by her side. Her presence is missed by her husband, David of Denver, daughter, Ellen of New York City, sister Kay Brown and her husband Barry, of Tucson, and niece, Addison of Portland, as well as aunts, uncles, cousins and many cherished friends.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Betsy’s memory to the Los Alamos Aquatomics, P.O. Box 431, Los Alamos, NM 87544.

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