Elizabeth Cutler

Obituary of Elizabeth L Cutler

Basking Ridge — Elizabeth Lee Cutler “Betty”, 94, of Morristown, died peacefully on June 20th, 2024. Born in Morristown on May 10, 1930, Betty was the daughter of Louis O’Donovan Lee and Jean Griswold Lee of New York, NY and Wilmington DE. She is the widow of Ralph Hinchman Cutler, Jr., who died in 1988 and later, E. Perot Bissell of Mendham, who died in 2013. She was the granddaughter of Dr. James Brown Griswold and Mary Stokes Griswold, also of Morristown, and Charles Stewart Lee and Elizabeth Harrison O’Donovan Lee of Wilmington, DE. Betty graduated from Miss Hewitt’s School in New York City and went on to earn a degree in Political Science from Bryn Mawr College, class of 1952. Betty spent many summers growing up at her grandmother Griswold’s home on Madison Avenue in Morristown.


Betty married Ralph Hinchman Cutler, Jr of Morristown, NJ in 1953. Early in her first marriage, she and Ralph lived in Rye, New York where she was a member of the Junior League of Scarsdale. Betty and Ralph soon returned to Morristown, after inheriting the home of her grandmother Griswold to start thier family. In 1964 they built a house and moved to New Vernon to raise their 3 children. Known as Fossil Hill Farm, their place was the local go-to for hay, hollies, firewood and all manner of fruit & vegetables from Ralph’s garden. Betty’s phone number until 2021, Jefferson 8-0151, had been originally her grandparents’ number, representing the 151st telephone in Morristown.


Betty served for many decades on the volunteer board for The Mt. Kemble Home for Elderly Women, on which her grandmother Griswold had also served for many years. Her working life was spent with the Health Research Institute of Fairleigh Dickinson University where she was a Secretary/Lab technician focused on asbestos lung cancer (mesothelioma) research, with Dr. William E. Smith. For many years, she was Chairman of the Harding Township Republican Committee during which any new New Vernon resident could expect her to arrive on their doorstep with a voter registration application. An avid tennis player she was a life-long member of the Morristown Field Club. Betty was an active member of Modern Mondays study group for over 60 years and, together with Ralph, an active member of The Morristown Shakespeare Club, the oldest continuously operating Shakespeare club in the United States. Betty was sought after bridge and backgammon player, and loved raising Scottish Terriers.


Her husband Ralph died of brain cancer in 1988 after 33 years of marriage. In 1999 Betty married E. Perot Bissell who died in 2013. Betty loved to travel and enjoyed visiting most countries in Europe. Betty and Peter enjoyed spending their winters in Abufiera, Portugal which afforded opportunity for extensive travel, tennis and making friends from around the world. She was fortunate to spend her final days at Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge where she continued to make new friends. 


Betty is survived by her sister Denise Lee Hamilton of Aiken SC, sons Timothy (Greenwich, NJ) and Stewart (New York, NY) Cutler, daughter Fearn de Vicq (Corte Madera, CA), eight grandchildren, and one great granddaughter. A Memorial Service is planned for September. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers contributions be made in her memory may be made to Planned Parenthood at: www.weareplannedparenthoodaction.org 


Arrangements by Gallaway & Crane Funeral Home, Basking Ridge. For additional information or to leave the family a message of condolence, go to www.gcfuneralhome.com

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