Betty Jane Aumaitre Howarth

Betty Jane Aumaitre Howarth, born on February 21, 1926, in Detroit, Michigan, died on January 27 in Santa Monica.

Betty was the daughter of Alphonse and Henriette Aumaitre. Alphonse had emigrated from France to the United States, and when World War I broke out, he enlisted in the U.S. Army. Henriette immigrated from France as his “war bride” in 1919.

Betty graduated from Central High School and attended Hillsdale College in Michigan. She worked as an interior decorator at Hudson’s Department store in Detroit where she met her husband, Frederick William Howarth, and they were married in a chapel on the University of Michigan Ann Arbor campus in 1950.

Beginning their married life in Grosse Pointe Woods, they lived in Hancock Park, California, for a year before moving to Short Hills, New Jersey, in 1959 where they raised their four children, moving to East Greenwich, Rhode Island, in 1977.

Betty loved Fred, her best friend, and supported his career in retail for Hudson’s, Barker Bros., Hahne & Co and G. Fox & Company. Fred predeceased her in 1984.

After her husband’s death she lived near family in Moorestown, New Jersey, and finally in Pacific Palisades until residing at Welbrook in Santa Monica.

In Short Hills, Betty was an active member and volunteer at Community Congregational Church, Overlook Hospital, Saint Barnabas Hospital, Baltusrol Golf Club, the Boy and Girl Scouts, and public school libraries.

Betty had a lifelong interest in art, attending many painting classes and workshops at the Summit Art Center (New Jersey) and in Massachusetts at the Rockport Art Center on Cape Ann, sometimes accompanied by Fred and their dog Missy.

In Rhode Island, Betty was an artist member of the Providence Art Club. Besides art and museums, Betty also shared her love of nature with her family, in particular through bird watching at the Jersey Shore, on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard or just in their backyard.

Growing up her children could count on a picture sketched on their lunch bags, her participation on classroom field trips, the routine of Sunday household chores, and lots of support for activities in her family of four children.

Betty was preceded in death by her sisters Nanette (Bernard) Rawding and Jeanne Aumaitre. She is survived by four adult children: Frederick W. Howarth III (Susanne), Read S. Howarth, Heather L. Howarth and Kathryn Howarth Ryan, as well as seven grandchildren: Matthew, Rebecca and Olivia Howarth and David, William, Penn and Mae Ryan.

A private service will be held at Forest Hill Cemetery in Ann Arbor. In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Los Angeles Audubon at laaudubon.org/give or the Rockport Art Association at rockportartassn.org/give.