Swan Funeral Home


Elizabeth Farnum Haigis

July 25, 1938February 8, 2021

Elizabeth “Betsy” Farnum Haigis passed away peacefully on February 8, 2021 at the age of 82 after struggling with a debilitating illness. Betsy was a long-time resident of Madison, CT and, more recently, of Essex.

Betsy was born in 1938 to parents John Earle Farnum and Elizabeth Prescott Farnum of Wellesley, MA. Her childhood passions included drawing and figure skating. She attended the Dana Hall School before graduating with a degree in Art from Skidmore College. After college, she lived in Cambridge, MA and worked as a draftsperson at the Architects Collaborative under the renowned architect, Walter Gropius. In 1962, Betsy married Barry Steele Haigis. They made a lovely home in Madison, CT, where they brought up their three sons, Bradford, John, and David. During this time, Betsy worked part time as an architectural draftsperson for Dolph’s Drafting and Design and took on many freelance jobs.

Betsy studied watercolor in the 1980s, primarily with Lou Bonamarte of Lyme Art Association. Because of her architectural interests, buildings became her primary focus. She was particularly skilled at capturing fine details of wood, brick, and stone in traditional New England settings. Her photorealistic technique won her many awards on the Connecticut shoreline as well as at the Connecticut and the New England Watercolor Societies. Among her many prizes were the 2013 Madison Art Society Juror's Award and the Popular Award for her watercolor painting Ogunquit Celebration in the 38th annual Member Art Exhibition. Painting was a source of immense pleasure, humble pride, and close friendships.

Aside from painting, Betsy enjoyed walking, gardening, knitting, bird watching, reading, doing crossword puzzles, and playing bocce. She loved the company of friends at her weekly Scrabble and painting groups. For over 20 years, she and Barry enjoyed their annual New Year’s Eve dinner party with best friends and good cheer. In addition to her hobbies, Betsy was a dedicated volunteer for ABC Act II Thrift Store, Madison Community Services, and Madison Art Society.

Above all, Betsy valued her time with family. She enjoyed breakfasts at the beach, concerts on the green, and watching her grandchildren grow up. Time with her children was especially cherished. Summers at Pearly Pond were among their happiest family memories. She will be greatly missed.

Elizabeth was predeceased by her father, mother, and brother, David Prescott Farnum. Her husband of 52 years, Barry Haigis, passed away in 2014. She leaves behind her beloved children, Brad Haigis (Dewi) of Acton, MA, John Haigis (Alison) of Tolland, CT, and David Haigis (Ann) of Killingworth, CT; grandchildren, Jackson, Mathew, Nina, Maya, Jessica, and Spencer.

One of Betsy’s final wishes was to express her heartfelt gratitude to her daughter in-law, Ann Haigis, who gave herself lovingly, willingly, and with tender care during her final months. “I never would have been able to last this long without her,” she praised.

Burial in West Cemetery in Madison, CT will be private. A celebration of life will be held sometime in the future TBD. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Madison ABC ( and Hole in the Wall Gang Camp (


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Elizabeth Farnum Haigis

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Miggie Fiorentino

February 18, 2021

Betsy and I shared many years in our Tuesday morning art group. She was a great watercolorist and a good friend. She always remained unassuming about her artistic abilities and always encouraging of others. My condolences to her family, whom she always spoke about with love and pride. I will miss Betsy.

Gerd Nelson

February 16, 2021

To Brad John and David so sorry to learn that your mother is no longer with you. Living next door was great. The last time I saw your mom was at the iveryton playhouse. She sat across the aisle from me and was smiling and so happy. Your entire family were wonderful as neighbors. Nancy liked watching you and was not far .to go, With love from Mrs. Nelson

Dotty Bavin

February 12, 2021

What a lovely tribute to an amazing woman. I was privileged to first meet Betsy at Curves and then playing Bocce with her at the Surf Club. Such a kind and soft spoken lady who we know will be missed by her loving family. Our sincere condolences.