side menu icon

Elizabeth "Betsy" Martin: Remembering a remarkable lifelong volunteer


With sadness, the staff and volunteers of GSSEM announce the passing of a longtime and valued volunteer, Elizabeth "Betsy" Martin. “We have lost Michigan’s own Juliette Gordon Low this month,” said GSSEM CEO Denise Dalrymple. Ms. Martin was a lifelong Girl Scout.  She was born in 1932 and joined Girl Scouts as a young girl and first became a Girl Scout volunteer in 1963.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 
3:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Prayer Service: 7:00 pm

Chas. Verheyden Funeral Home Inc. 
16300 Mack Avenue
Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230

Ms. Martin served as a Council delegate, Gold Award Coach and Committee Chair, and a Girl Scout Leader and mentor to all levels of Girl Scouts, including each of her own three daughters.  She also served as a 20-year leader for Mackinac Island Honor Guard Troop 327 (she was even known for preparing the food for the Honor Guards herself—up to 10 trays of lasagna from scratch!).  The GSSEM Mackinac Island Honor Guard troops are a leadership program which girls return year after year to perfect their leadership skills. Her troop, in 1974, was the first Girl Scout troop to serve on Mackinac Island! Boy Scouts had been already serving in this role and Ms. Martin believed that girls deserved the right to participate and fought very hard for it. She worked with then-Michigan Governor Milliken's wife, Helen, for a few years to make that troop a reality.

Ms. Martin’s love of Girl Scouts and traveling went far beyond Michigan’s borders—each and every year, in fact. Over the years, she traveled to Edith Macy Center, Savannah, GA, Girl Scout National Center East and National Center West in the U.S.  Outside the U.S., she traveled to The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts (WAGGGS) World Centers including Our Chalet in Switzerland, Our Cabaña in Mexico, and Pax Lodge in England.  World Centers offer Girl Scouts and Girl Guides a comfortable and safe place for short stays or long-term accommodations, seminars, training sessions, and international events.   

During her decades of exemplary service to Girl Scouts, Ms. Martin touched countless young lives.  Ms. Martin took inner city troops on camping trips, even paying for costs and mittens they needed so they could go sledding for the first time.  To fund annual Scout travels, Ms. Martin’s troop ran the wrapping booth at Eastland Mall during the holidays. She purchased all the paper and supplies for the full-fledged business, even working when the girls were in school.  

Ms. Martin received many recognitions for her years of service with Girl Scouts, including the Green Angel Award, the Outstanding Leader Award, the Outstanding Service Award, the Honor Award, the Appreciation Award, the Thanks Badge, and the Thanks II Badge.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Martin will be deeply missed.  The staff and volunteers of GSSEM extend condolences to her family, friends, and the very many Girl Scouts she has mentored.  Memorial gifts in Betsy Martin’s honor may be made to the Girl Scouts of Southeastern Michigan (GSSEM).


“Betsy’s life of service and groundbreaking efforts on behalf of the girls of Michigan make her a role model that cannot be replicated.”
Suzanne Bante, GSSEM’s Religious Relationships Committee Chair.  

“Her most amazing feat was coordinating all the travel groups within the large troop (40+ girls)  to Cabana and Chalet in alternating years (at least 3 cycles I am aware of), as well as an annual trip to Mackinac.  I graduated in '76 and I know she continued for several years after.”
Mary Elias, GSSEM’s Religious Relationships Committee

“Betsy Martin’s labor of love has brought joy to countless lives and influenced so many young women. She is remembered with gratitude and great fondness.”
Sharon Miller, Mackinac Leader