March 17, 2023
Elizabeth (Betsy) Stratton Pratt, of Chapel Hill, NC, and originally from Greenwich, CT, passed away peacefully surrounded by family. Betsy was an avid sportsman, naturalist, and mother, who was committed to preserving and protecting skiing at Mad River Glen. Born in Greenwich, CT, Betsy attended Rosemary Hall before graduating from Vassar College in 1950 with a degree in Economics. She moved to New York City after graduation. While an officer at the Ford Foundation, she worked on “Omnibus,” a popular television program hosted by Alistair Cooke. Betsy met her future husband, Truxton Pratt (“Trux”), a municipal securities Vice President at Bankers Trust Company, in 1953. Betsy learned to play golf as a student at Vassar, starting her love affair with the game that lasted the rest of her life. She joined the Round Hill Club in 1949 and competed on the club’s ladies team for decades. She also joined golf clubs and competed in tournaments in Vermont and, in later years, on the coast of North Carolina. Widowed in 1975, Betsy changed directions, taking the helm at Mad River Glen, a Vermont ski area her husband, Trux, and friends had bought a few years earlier. As Chairman of Mad River Glen through the early 1990s, Betsy was committed to preserving skiing in its natural form. She would often say, “The mountain itself provides the challenge. We want to keep it so that in three hundred years skiers will find the same challenges as today.” Betsy’s strategy to preserve the mountain included relying primarily on natural snow. During years without much snowfall, the mountain’s motto and iconic bumper sticker, “Ski It If You Can,” became a challenge, an exhortation, and, to some, a prayer. In 1995, Betsy sponsored the creation of the first community-owned ski area, the Mad River Glen Cooperative. Today Mad River Glen is the only skier-owned cooperative in the United States. Betsy’s contributions there were recognized with a plaque at Mad River in 2019. She was inducted into the Vermont Ski & Snowboard Hall of Fame in 2022. Betsy was predeceased by her parents (John McKee Stratton and June Love Stratton), brother (Walter Love Stratton), sister (Sally Stratton Hamlin), and her husband (Truxton B. Pratt, Jr.). She is survived by her children, Polly Pratt, Amanda Siegel (Miles), Elizabeth Redinbo (Matt), Truxton Pratt (Elizabeth), and eight grandchildren, Jonah, Ruth, and Isaac Siegel, Andrew and Sam Redinbo, and Haley, Alexander, and William Pratt.
A celebration of life will be held at Mad River Glen this summer.
Published by Greenwich Time on Mar. 21, 2023.