Cover photo for Elisabeth "Betsy" Tyler Congdon Mason's Obituary
Elisabeth "Betsy" Tyler Congdon Mason Profile Photo
1933 Elisabeth "Betsy" 2022

Elisabeth "Betsy" Tyler Congdon Mason

January 28, 1933 — June 1, 2022


Elisabeth Tyler Congdon Mason, “Betsy,” died in her home on June 1, 2022. She was 89 years old.

The third of Robert and Dorothy Congdon’s four children, Betsy was born in Duluth on January 28, 1933. She graduated from Dana Hall School (Wellesley, MA) in 1950, and Smith College (Northampton, MA) in 1954, earning a BA in English. A woman ahead of her time, she spent the next two years working in San Francisco and New York City before marrying Sidney Redding Mason in 1956. Settling in Duluth, they built a family home on seven country acres where Betsy cultivated her love of gardening. Children Christopher, Elisabeth, Emily, Mary, Jane and Robert were born between 1958 and 1969, and the family traipsed together on many adventures, particularly to their cabin on the Brule River, where Betsy’s children and grandchildren continue to gather every summer. 

Upon her divorce in early 1978, Betsy devoted herself to raising her six children, later claiming that her greatest accomplishment was helping her unique and quirky offspring to become precisely who they were supposed to be.

Betsy was a lifelong traveler, relishing the opportunity to discover new places both near and far. She visited her children and grandchildren whenever possible, and was frequently spotted behind the wheel of a box truck, transporting both antique furniture and her flare for design to any new home that needed it. In 1983 Betsy opened Adgate Antiques, and later Paper Unlimited, which remained in business until 2001. Committed to offering help wherever needed, Betsy served as President of both the Junior League of Duluth and the Duluth-Superior Symphony Orchestra, as well as on the boards of Hamline University, the Minnesota Orchestra, and Marshall School. Betsy gave generously of both time and financial support to the Minnesota Ballet, the YWCA, the Duluth Public Library, the Depot Foundation, the College of St. Scholastica, Marshall School, the Tweed Museum, and many other organizations in Minnesota and the Yakima Valley of Washington State. 

Betsy was preceded in death by her sister Jean Adams (Salisbury) and brother Robert Congdon, and is survived by her sister Barbara VanDusen (Richard), her children Christopher, Elisabeth (Anthony), Emily (Luther), Mary (Tom), Jane (Brian), and Robert (Tracey), 13 grandchildren, and a wide array of friends and family.

A memorial service will be held on June 20, 2022 at 11:00 AM at Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth. Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 218.727.3555.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to First Witness Child Advocacy Center, 4 W. 5th Street, Duluth, MN 55806,  
 Safe Haven Shelter & Resource Center, 414 W. 1st Street, Duluth, MN 55802, ,
or Second Harvest Food Bank , 4503 Airpark Blvd., Duluth, MN 55811,

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Monday, June 20, 2022

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Duluth

835 W College St, Duluth, MN 55811

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