Elizabeth Anne Ross Lackmann, known to everyone as Betsy, passed away September 13, 2017 at the age of 97. She was born in Albuquerque, NM on March 6, 1920, the second of five children of Edmund and Evelyn Everitt Ross. Her grandparents were early Albuquerque pioneers, Arthur and Annie Reynolds Everitt, owners of Everitt Jewelers; and Pitt and Clemie Wilson Ross, County Surveyor and owner of Ross Engineering Co. Her great-grandfather was Edmund G. Ross, Kansas Senator and Territorial Governor of New Mexico.
Betsy graduated from Albuquerque High School (1936), and the University of New Mexico (1940), where she was a member of Phi Mu Fraternity, a college sorority. She received a BFA degree in Painting and Design as one of the first students in UNM’s College of Fine Arts. During WWII, she worked for General Electric as a draftsman in Schenectady, NY, then met her future husband, George Lackmann, Jr. at Kirtland Air Force Base and married him in 1946. In 1947, they moved to Colorado Springs, CO, where their three children were born. They returned to Albuquerque in 1957, and in 1969, Betsy began working at UNM as a clerk in Zimmerman Library, retiring in 1989.
Betsy played the cello, and joined the newly formed Albuquerque Philharmonic Orchestra as a teenager in the 1930s. She was a life-long member of the Episcopal Cathedral of St. John, singing in the choir, playing hand bells, working with the Altar Guild, dancing with a liturgical dance group, and wrangling weddings. During her children’s high school years, she was the Albuquerque coordinator for the American Field Service, which placed foreign students in U.S. high schools, and U.S. students abroad. She crewed for Albuquerque’s Balloon Fiesta in its early days, and went to England as part of President Carter’s Friendship Force. She was an inaugural member of the New Mexico Poetry Society, along with other writers’ groups, authoring short stories, books for young adults, and award-winning poetry, and writing her memoirs. Above all, she was a working artist throughout her life, selling her artwork well into her 90s. She was a painter, jeweler, and sculptor, with a special interest in religious art, particularly crucifixes, which have graced every Episcopal church in Albuquerque.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 47 years, George Lackmann Jr., her son, Christopher G. Lackmann, and her siblings, Evelyn Ross Elder; Jean Ross Silvola; Rev. Edmund P. Ross; and A. Everitt Ross. She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie and Arnold Padilla (Albuquerque); daughter-in-law, Lisa M. Lackmann (Edgewood, NM); son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Kathy Lackmann (Spring Branch, TX); and grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Emily Wiersma and daughter, Beatrix (Las Vegas, NV); Caitlin Padilla and husband, Jon Baran, and daughter Sophia (Albuquerque); Alejandro Padilla and fiancé Mikelle Dorame (Kortenberg, Belgium); Amber and Dave Brown, and son Ryan (Aurora, CO); Justine and Matthew Prestifilippo (Glenside, PA); Jordanne and Nikita Khatuntsev (Moscow, Russia); Joshua Lackmann (Albuquerque); Connor Lackmann (San Antonio, TX); Cassandara Stovall (Spring Branch, TX); and a plethora of nieces, nephews, their spouses, and children.
We would like to give special thanks to the staff at Atria Vista del Rio, to Hospice of New Mexico, and particularly to her niece, Elizabeth Elder, for their care and compassion. Services to celebrate Betsy’s life will be held Saturday, October 7th at 10:00am, Cathedral of St. John, 318 Silver Ave. SW, Albuquerque, NM.
Daniels Family Funeral Services
7601 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109