Beatrice Wetscher, 95, of Westfield died Nov. 11, 2015.
Mrs. Wetscher, a graduate of Weequahic High School in Newark, returned to college after her children were grown. She received her BA degree summa cum laude from Kean University with dual certification in elementary education and library science. She was a teacher-librarian and media specialist at the Bridgewater/Raritan School District, where she received recognition as an outstanding educator and children’s librarian. She also had been a media specialist at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School.
She was an active member of Temple Emanu-El in Westfield, where she participated in the Friendship, sisterhood, and Renaissance groups. She received many awards for excellence and was honored as a “Living Treasure” in a temple program sponsored in recognition of her wisdom, life experience, and the role of Judaism in her life. She was a life member of Hadassah, where she served as vice president of education, chair of Hadassah tributes, book review chair, and lecturer on issues of children with developmental disabilities. In 2005 she was honored by the Westfield chapter as its “Woman of the Year.”
She was a lifelong advocate for children with cerebral palsy, founding and leading the Guild for Child Care, an advocacy and fund-raising group of women supporting the developmental needs of children with the condition. She was inspired by her late daughter, Holly, who was born with cerebral palsy and was an activist, model, and advocate for the rights of physically challenged individuals to have access to health care, public and private buildings, and workplaces.
Predeceased by her daughter in 2009 and her husband, Harold, over 30 years ago, she is survived by a daughter, Rosalind (S. David) Dorlen of Mountainside; two grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.
Services were held Nov. 15 with arrangements by Menorah Chapels at Millburn, Union. Memorial contributions may be made to the Holly E. Wetscher Ma’Ayan Education Fund, which enables children with special needs to receive Jewish instruction at Temple Emanu-El, Westfield.