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Elizabeth J. "Betty" Forrest-Voter
July 10, 2023
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Elizabeth J. “Betty” Forrest - Voter, 92 of Salem, NH passed away peacefully on Monday, July 10th surrounded by her loving family at the Holy Family Hospital in Methuen. Elizabeth was born Sept 16th 1930, in Marlboro, MA and was one of nine children of the late Lewis and Marjorie Forrest of Pelham, NH where she attended school and lived most of her life until settling in Salem, N.H. with the love of her life, John G. Voter. She loved being a mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, making a loving home, sewing and knitting clothes, Afghans and cross stitching. Betty was known for her talented cooking and baking especially around the holidays.
Elizabeth, also known as “Betty Boop” by her loving husband, family and friends, married John G. Voter on October 24, 1953 and spent 62 special years together. Betty was the love of his life until the day he passed in December 2015. They had four wonderful children together, Debra L. Voter of Salem N.H., Judith A. Northrup and her husband Tony Lysik of Salem, N.H., Karen J. Turner and her husband Tom of South Portland, M.E. and John C. Voter and his wife Nancy of Salem, N.H. Betty also leaves behind her beloved grandson Derek J. Northrup and his wife Megan and great-grandchildren Ensley and Ashton Northrup of Fremont, N.H. who were the light of her life.
Betty was a passionate advocate and volunteer for people with intellectual and developmental Disabilities (IDD). She helped to increase awareness and fought diligently for the rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities throughout her life. Betty devoted her life to helping the community as well as the State of New Hampshire to institute changes that significantly impacted the disability community in such a positive way, including the ending of institutional care at the Laconia State School. She worked tirelessly with the State of New Hampshire and the Town of Salem to create a center called the Debbie Voter Center for the advocacy, learning and acceptance of persons with developmental disabilities. Through her work in the 1970’s with Governor John H. Sununu, Betty was able to create Freedom Drive - SARC housing for persons with developmental disabilities. She received the Community Crossroads Guidance, Support and Advocacy Award presented by Governor Christopher T. Sununu in 2018 due to her lifelong tenacity and enduring work to benefit others.
Betty was a lovely and joyful woman who always had a beautiful smile on her face and could also be a little sassy. She and her husband loved to vacation with best friends George and Betsy Harris of Pelham, N.H. who they will now be reunited with to continue their adventures in Heaven. John and Betty also loved their summers spent in Wells, Maine with family and friends Dee and Ray Gendron. She had such a wonderful life and was loved by so many.
Betty was predeceased by her siblings Muriel Pelton of Maine, Kenneth D. Forrest of Hopkinton, MA, Frank Forrest of Pelham, N.H., Eleanor Belknap of Maine and Richard Forrest of Pelham.
Her surviving siblings include James Forrest of Pelham, NH, Joan Rondeau of Dracut, MA and Robert Forrest of Washington State.
The family would like to thank Salem Haven for the loving care they provided Betty over this past year, as well as the Holy Family Hospital staff for their compassionate and loving care of Betty in her final days.
Family and friends are invited to calling hours on Monday July 17, 2023 from 4 pm to 7 pm at the Goundrey Dewhirst Funeral Home, 42 Main St., Salem, NH. Funeral services will be on Tuesday July 18 at 10:00 am at the funeral home. Burial in Gibson Cemetery, Pelham will be private. To leave an online condolence, please visit Betty’s tribute page at www.goundreydewhirstfuneral.com.
In lieu of flowers and in recognition of her daughter Debbie, donations can be made to The ARC (Association of Retarded Citizens) 1825 K Street, NW, Suite 1200. Washington, DC 20006.