Elizabeth “Betty” Tovian, aged 90, passed away peacefully on November 25, 2016 at the Saint Mary Home in West Hartford,CT. She is mourned by her daughter, Fay Mannheim and son-in-law, Philip Mannheim of West Hartford; a brother Dr. Norman Zlotsky and his wife, Judith Zlotsky of Lincoln, Nebraska; and two grandchildren, Michael Mannheim and his wife Jodie Baker, of Windsor Locks and Alexandra Carey and her husband Stephen Carey, of South Windsor. She will also be remembered by her nieces, Amy, Nancy and Deborah and their children, Aaron and Sarah, Richard and Sam and Max. She is predeceased by her parents, Julius and Minnie Zlotsky, her husband, Matthew Tovian and a son, William Tovian. Betty presaged her professional calling in her earliest years, helping to balance the accounts for her parents’ small dry goods business in the south end of Hartford from the age of 11. After graduating as class valedictorian from Hartford Public High School in 1944, Betty went on to Barnard College with a partial scholarship and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and cum laude with a degree in Economics in 1948. During this time, she also worked as a statistician for the Council of Jewish Federation and Welfare Fund. Two years later, she completed her graduate degree in Economics from Columbia University with a specialization in research economics. Betty married Matthew in 1950 and the couple moved to Hartford in that year. In 1956, after the birth of her two children, Betty, as a research associate, joined LIMRA (now LIMRA-LOMA of Windsor) a life insurance research organization, then based in Hartford. By 1971, she had attained the position of director of financial research and then became assistant vice president, directing a research staff that analyzed aspects of marketing and compensation costs for more than five hundred member life insurance companies. By 1986, as second vice president, she was credited by colleagues for her mentorship and role in the growth of LIMRA’s financial research program. In 1986, she graduated from American College of Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania as a Chartered Life Underwriter at the age of 60. She retired from LIMA in 1991. Throughout her working life, Betty had steadfastly continued to devote as much spare time as possible to her avocation: classical choral music. She was an enthusiastic alto of the Hartford Symphony Chorale from 1957 to 1993 and served as its secretary and president during this time. After retirement, she also enjoyed singing in many amateur groups, including the Farmington Valley Chorale, the Emanuel Synagogue Chorus and the Berkshire Chorale Institute, among others. During retirement, Betty enjoyed time with her beloved grandchildren, nieces and their children, travel with her husband and family, square dancing with the Rip Snorters, Emanuel Synagogue social groups such as the Chavurah, a Yiddish Language learning group, numerous book groups and volunteer work with the Connecticut Braille Institute and the United Ostomy Association. After the death of her husband in 2005, Betty moved to the McAuley Retirement Community in West Hartford, where she energetically pursued her musical, literary and social interests with zest and warmth. Her many family, friends and colleagues from throughout her life deeply mourn her passing. Such an upright, generous and accomplished life, lived in the time of the ‘great generation’ when the ‘glass ceiling’ was as invisible as it was ever-present, is remarkable. Betty lived with dignity, a dry wit, warmth and empathy, with an uncanny ability to see all sides of an issue. Most of all, Betty possessed a faith in the innate goodness of all people. Her life, in the words of one of her favorite poets, William Wordsworth, will be remembered by her family as full of: “…(the) little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and love.” Betty’s family particularly wish to thank her many kind and devoted staff and caregivers from both The McAuley and Saint Mary Home as well as McLean HomeCare of Simsbury.
A graveside service will be held at the Emanuel Synagogue Cemetery in Wethersfield, with burial immediately following, on Sunday, November 27th, 2016 at 1:00PM. In lieu of flowers, it is suggested that contributions be made to the Emanuel Synagogue or to an organization of the donor’s choice.