Obituary: A Death in the Share Family

Obituary: A Death in the Share Family

Elizabeth ‘Betsy’ McAlpine dies.

We are saddened to pass along the news that Alice Elizabeth "Betsy" McAlpine died peacefully at Virginia Hospital Center on Friday, May 10, 2019 -- Share announced. “We all remember Betsy as Harry’s partner in hospitality for the annual Share kickoff meeting at St. John’s Episcopal each September and many other Share activities. The McAlpines are a vital part of our heritage and the entire Share community will greatly miss Betsy. We share our friend Harry’s loss and look forward to walking with him in these days of pain. Our prayers and blessings for Betsy, Harry, their son Kenneth and Kenneth’s wife, Kathy, and their two sons, Cullen and Graham.

A celebration of Betsy’s life was planned for Tuesday, May 21, at St. John’s Episcopal Church, 6715 Georgetown Pike, McLean.

May her memory be a blessing to us all.


Born on July 11, 1929, in Frederick, Md., Betsy was the only child of the late Russell and Elizabeth McCain. She grew up in Frederick and attended Frederick High School for two years, after which she spent three years at the Northfield School for Girls, now located in Mount Hermon, Mass. After graduation she returned to Frederick to attend Hood College, where her grandfather, Joseph Henry Apple, had been the president and founder for forty years. Betsy was an active undergraduate at Hood, and upon graduation she was named the White Blazer Girl for her athletic achievements and all-around campus activities. She subsequently joined the admissions staff at Hood, during which time she traveled throughout the eastern part of the U.S. interviewing applicants to Hood and generating interest in the college.

In December 1955, Betsy married Harry McAlpine, also of Frederick, after which, for the next 30 years, Harry’s assignments with the U.S. government took them to Taipei (Taiwan), Hong Kong (where their son Kenneth was born), Singapore, Vientiane (Laos), Jakarta (Indonesia), and Canberra, Australia. In each of these assignments, Betsy threw herself into local activities: teaching in the American School in Taiwan, president of the PTA in Singapore, working with the American School’s swimming team in Laos, and playing tennis on the diplomatic circuit, which she enjoyed. In Canberra, the U.S. Embassy created a special award for her, in recognition of her many achievements there.

Upon retirement, Betsy and Harry settled in McLean, where she again involved herself in the community: the altar guild at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Welcome to Washington International Club, Share Inc., a local charity, and part-time teaching at Dolly Madison Preschool in McLean. Her association with Hood College continued. She was chair of Hood’s Board of Associates and subsequently a member of Hood’s Board of Trustees. In recognition of her virtual lifelong involvement with Hood, she was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters in 2017. In retirement, Betsy and Harry continued their interest in travel, visiting parts of the world they had not seen before.

In addition to her husband, Betsy is survived by their son Kenneth, his wife Kathy, and their two sons: Cullen, of Los Angeles, Calif, and Graham, currently in the U.S. Air Force.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Hood College, c/o Alumnae House, 410 Rosemont Avenue, Frederick, MD 21701.