Bette passed away unexpectedly last month, leaving a giant gap in the life of her loved ones and in the community that she worked so hard to improve.
Bette wore many hats and was involved in absolutely everything related to South Brooklyn. She was the Executive director of the South Brooklyn Local Development Corporation (SBLDC), a non-profit which she founded. She served for years as a member of Community Board 6, was involved in the creation of the beautiful Transit Garden at the corner of Smith Street and Second Place, served on the EPA Gowanus Canal Superfund Community Advisory Board and was a member of several neighborhood associations, including Friends And Residents of Greater Gowanus.
She helped fund and bring a full fledged Culinary Arts Curriculum and facilities to the High School For International Studies and was so proud of its students and graduates.
In the past year, Bette was hard at work on creating a joint Business Improvement District (BID) for Smith Street and Court Street.
Of all her many accomplishments, the one she always seemed proudest of was her role in revitalizing Smith Street in the 1990s. She lovingly referred to Smith Street as"the little street that could" and helped nurture the first businesses that took a chance and opened stores and restaurants there after the City repaved the street, installed new sidewalks and lighting.
Bette was the face behind the much loved Smith Street Soup Festival in the fall, Smith Street Funfair in the summer, and helped organize the incredibly popular Bastille Day Pétanque Tornament. She also made sure that Smith Street was decorated for the Holidays in December.
It is incredibly hard to believe that we will never have the pleasure of walking a few blocks along Smith Street with her, or to celebrate the Holidays in the Transit Garden in her company, but she will never be forgotten.