Betty touched the lives of so many people with her unique and generous spirit. She had a true love for the written word. Let us share some together, here, for her.
  • 83 years old
  • Born on January 5, 1932 in New Rochelle, New York, United States.
  • Passed away on February 2, 2015 in Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States.

Betty J. Kronsky died on February 2, 2015 at a gracious age of 83. She grew up in New Rochelle, New York. Betty took her undergraduate degree in English Literature at Vassar College, going on to graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. Not caring for the cloistered world of academia, Betty changed course to pursue a career in psychotherapy so she could engage more with people. After receiving her Masters in Social Work from Yale University she set up practice in New York City, then moving to Santa Fe in 1986 continued her work.

 Betty was an avid student of Milton Erickson MD and she had a deep understanding of the principles of Gestalt Therapy. Betty was proud of her work in both fields of study.

 Buddhist thought and practice blossomed in Betty's life in 1973 when she first met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In later years, Betty wrote her spiritual memoir recounting the story of her encounters with her three great root Buddhist teachers, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. These relationships transformed her life. Her travels and studies in Buddhism provided her grand adventures and personal insight.

 Betty's profound response to beauty led to her love of the arts, from classical music to opera to dance and literature, she admired them all. After retiring from private practice, Betty picked up the thread of her earlier interests, completing a Master of Arts degree in writing from Bennington College with an emphasis in poetry.

 Betty was a painter, poet, flower arranger, and writer. One could not step into Betty's house without being filled with the sense of richness of her aesthetic eye.
Betty also kept up on world events and cared deeply about justice and personal responsibility.

 Betty was a gracious host; she loved the company of her friends and family. Eclectic in her friendships, Betty's circle included young and old, famous and humble. Living much of her life in New York City, Betty made a small town sense of community out of all of her relationships.

 Throughout her life, Betty reached out for what the world had to offer getting the good out of her time here. Betty's generosity of spirit and openness to life showed us how we might live a rich and conscious life, had we the spiritual courage she possessed.

Posted by Jill McManus on 5th January 2019
Betty is not forgotten around here. Would love to hear from Susan Jonas to talk about Betty's book.
Posted by Susan Jonas on 2nd February 2018
Today Betty's beloved cat is with her designated guardians, Alicia and Charles, and living the life of Riley. Alicia says Bodhi lives for love and food and play, and enjoys each abundantly and of the highest quality. He greets Alicia whenever she comes home and puts his paws on her chest and shoulders, wanting to be carried about. His default position is cuddling between his two humans. Betty would be so happy to know that her dear Bodhi is being cared for so generously and lovingly, according to her wishes. Pictures will follow!
Posted by Susan Jonas on 5th January 2018
From the time I was a child through my twenties, Betty was a constant presence in my life. She lived minutes from my family home and routinely took me to museums and dance, trying to interest me in modern art and modern dance while I was a staunch classicist. In the end she was successful. We shared a passionate interest in literature and writing, and I was always impressed by her voracious reading and catholic taste. We internalized the complications and intensity of our family and could push each other’s buttons. But we spoke at least every week and no one had a better sense of my quotidien life, as I had of hers. She could be very critical but I knew she wanted the best for me and of me. After her death, I read through stacks of her writing. I had not been aware that she wrote a regular column on art and psychology. I was and am so impressed by her writing. I was also hugely impressed by and sympathetic to her support for her mentally ill sister. It was an incredible burden and I don’t think I could ever have managed such loyalty and attentiveness. Betty drove my very conservative mother mad by giving me OUR BODIES, OURSELVES when I was a teenager and women liberation, sexual liberation and pot were in the air. She instilled in me a strong sense of social responsibility. Above all she was my very cool cousin, an independent woman who smoked marijuana and had fabulous clothes and lovers and insatiable curiosity, who traveled and had adventures and who had an ambitious spirit. I can remember every inch of her New York apartment. She shaped my sense of possibility more than she knew, more than I knew, and I modeled myself on her and her sister Jean without realizing it until much later. After I lost my mother quite young, she became a mother figure, as she did for Rachel, and her godchildren Kate and Beth. I guess we were surrogate daughters. It’s taken this long for me to be able to put into words any of my feelings for her. They were overwhelming. In my home I have some of her art and some of her clothes and some of her jewelry and some of her books and she seems to be present that way, but not present enough. I miss her every single day.
Posted by Elizabeth Bram on 5th January 2018
Today I am remembering Betty's two cats that lived in NYC with her. At that time, she was commuting back and forth from NYC to Woodstock, deciding whether she liked country or city better. So she had both and the kitties would ride in the car with her on weekends. She had to chase them around as they would hide when it was time to go.
Posted by Elizabeth Bram on 2nd February 2017
I knew Betty in NYC. Today I am remembering little things about her. At a time when I was allergic to many things in the world, she purchased spring water so we could make tea. When I got drenched in the rain coming to her place, she offered me her bathrobe to wear while my pants were drying. I remember she was on an extension phone when I called my publisher and found out I got a two book deal! She was always there supporting me in little and big ways. I miss her.
Posted by Rachel Williams on 6th January 2017
I love and miss you every day, Betty -- mother, teacher, friend. Your soul mixes into mine like the compost in my garden: fertilizing, refreshing, eventually indistinguishable. Thank you, dear.
Posted by Elizabeth Bram on 19th November 2016
I met Betty at the New School in NYC in the early eighties. I was a student in her class called, FREEING THE CREATIVE PROCESS USING GESTALT TECHNIQUES. I felt drawn to her and began working with her privately as a patient. I have so many memories of her. Then she moved to New Mexico and became invisible but we stayed in touch by mail over many years. I always wanted to go out and see her. She is a part of me and a part of my life.
Posted by Rachel Williams on 14th February 2016
My dear, the feeling of missing you is a live thing, a welcome pain that comes when the you of you flashes through me. How did you know to set it up so I'd have the most perfect reminders of you integrated into my every day so that enjoying a butter dish or marveling at a color becomes an embrace of you? My second mother, my older sister, my championer and advisor, my dear love. Miraculously your teachings go on though you're not here.
Posted by Jill McManus on 5th January 2016
Dear Betty - I hope you are comfortable. What are you reading? If I were in Santa Fe we'd have a gathering with music to celebrate your birthday.
Posted by Kate Blofson on 27th March 2015
(from Stephanie in NYC) my dear betty, thank you for all of it! you were always leading in the search for the meaningful no matter where it was, and you did this with with enthusiasm and a good sense of humor especially about yourself, and for me personally you were always interested and eager, regardless of what was happening in your life, to listen to what was on my mind. and this would have been tedious for any other person since i so did repeat myself. yet you always had something healing and appropriate to say and urged me to remember to be good to myself. and i will most miss our special bond, since you, being 10 years older, were, my "mentor" even if that title made you a bit uncomfortable. i replied on you to tell me how it was for such a long (remember, you were playing a recorder on the lawn of Music Inn in the late 50s?) and i will try and remember. (it is just sometimes difficult to be on one's own) thank you dear betty! love, stephanie nyc
Posted by Jill McManus on 24th March 2015
Betty sought enlightenment of any kind. She loved people, was attentive to what they said, and remembered and thought about it, so she created a sensitive and caring relationship with each person in her circle. Her delight in nature and beauty was evident in all our travels and long walks through the Santa Fe hills, and in Indian Country where we first traveled in 1980, and many times after she moved to Santa Fe. She could be exasperatingly forgetful of small items - I think her mind ran on a higher plane. She would send small gifts and news that helped keep me attached to the SW, an area I had grown to love, and I often visited her so we could explore further together. She will be irreplaceable as an encouraging friend, auntie, and jazz fan.
Posted by Catherine Goldman on 23rd February 2015
My Betty Betty knew me since before I was sentient. All these sixty-one years, she remained loyal and steadfast and interested – a willing witness to my life. She put me on her annual round. She accompanied me to the monks’ prayers in the Berkeley hills at 6 a.m. during my Catholic phase: “I’ve always loved the Lord’s Prayer – doesn’t it just say it all.” In her own seeking, there was discipline and duty and hope. Joy came in smaller packages: a signature lipstick color, the blousy rose in the rain, a young boy’s shy laugh, the poet’s perfect line, Iago’s exquisite dance of vicious, the notes trilling just so. Grief she knew but didn’t allow herself to dwell in. Mistress of moments, she knew how to pause. And listen. Our last visit was my first to her. Lunches and dinners and opera and my uneasy chatter. “Let’s just be still together,” she said. So we sat on the outside chairs while the world grew dark and the birds’ twilight song was part of the pine-cedar scent. Her lavender scarf fluttered in the ancient breeze. Oh, she was eager. And tried all her life for peace.
Posted by Beth Blofson on 22nd February 2015
for betty, 2/2/15 a singular walk, more of a skipping than a limp. a heart and mind, both quick and keen and open. a piano players hands, strong and delicate. beautiful map of wrinkles and lifelines, an atlas of experience. a joy of sharing beauty: books, art, nature. intrepid traveler! such interest in people, places. a sponge of life. constant presence, generous spirit, thoughtful, honest and true. may your next journey be gentle, kind and interesting. you will always help. i love you betty kronsky, a true fairy godmother.

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