Elisabeth G. “Beth” Borgerhoff-Pomerleau, artist, musician and teacher, died peacefully at home in Mt. Vernon, Maine, on November 8, 2019, surrounded by her loving family and friends. Beth was born in Princeton, New Jersey, on August 20, 1951, to Professor and Mrs. E.B.O. Borgerhoff.
She attended Rose Cottage Nursery School, Nassau Street School, Miss Fine's School and Princeton Day School. She was a brilliant young student in all areas of study, especially writing, languages and music. Her study of Russian, which began in high school, remained important to her throughout her life, as did her musicianship and her artistry in general. While still at Princeton Day School, Beth traveled to Russia with the American Field Service, and later returned to teach English in Leningrad. Beth was on the editorial board of the school's literary and arts publication Cymbals, and a frequent contributor of poetry and prose. She was also a member of the school choir and madrigal group.
In the fall of 1969, Beth entered Yale University as a member of Yale's first coed class. She majored in Russian Studies and was a founding member of the Yale Slavic Chorus.
After graduating from Yale University, Beth moved to Maine and in 1978 met Ricky Pomerleau. Beth and Ricky were married on November 4, 1995 by the Rev. Thomas Hagen, O.M.I., at the Princeton University Chapel in Princeton, New Jersey.
Beth's expertise as a Russian linguist made her a much sought after translator and interpreter for Russian sailing crews arriving in many Maine seaports.
Beth provided piano and accordion accompaniment for the Bath Dance Workshop, the Borovcani dance troupe and the Maine Balkan Dance Ensemble; and was a frequent performer at the Center for Cultural Exchange in Portland, Maine. She was accordionist, pianist and vocalist for the music group The Ambassadors, playing old ballads, blues and rock-a-billy throughout Maine and Louisiana, and in Italy, Greece and other countries. The group released a live recorded album entitled The Ambassadors. She also performed with Project Troubador's “Whistle Stop To China Tour” which traveled through various Chinese provinces, as well as to Shanghai and Beijing. Beth was also pianist and accordionist for the Alan Shavash Bardezbanian and His Middle Eastern Ensemble. The group toured and later recorded the CD “Oud Masterpieces From Armenia, Turkey and The Middle East” which had international sales.
Beth was a much loved and respected teacher of piano to many local children and adults of all ages in Bath and at her home in Mt. Vernon. Many of her students became close friends and during her illness reached out to express their gratitude for the many important and valuable life lessons she lovingly guided them through.
Beth attended the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, for two years, studying various painting theories, disciplines, forms and techniques. She exhibited her work in South Windsor, Connecticut, at Ann Weber Gallery in Georgetown, Maine, and at Thomas College in Waterville, Maine. She is represented by the CG Gallery, Ltd. in Princeton, New Jersey.
Her works include a multitude of disciplines and techniques including miniatures, painted eggs, and larger abstract works. Viewing her impressionistic miniatures is a special experience. These paintings, ranging in size from one to five inches, draw the viewer into mostly figure-less landscapes rich with possibility and meaning. The colors are often moody, mysteriously muted and tonal, but other times they are dappled, luminous, radiating and evocative as nature itself.
Her interest in pisanki led to numerous series of finely detailed painted ostrich, goose and pullet eggs, one series depicting Russian myths and legends. Another series of eggs is on the life of St. Francis of Assisi and is based on the Giotto frescoes in the upper church of the St. Francis Basilica in Assisi.
Her larger works on canvas are abstract geometric studies combining color, shape and movement, often creating optical illusions.
Beth was always curious and eager to learn more, she was an avid reader of biographies, philosophy and natural history. She was also an enthusiastic and dedicated ornithologist.
Beth was predeceased by her parents: Professor and Mrs. E.B.O. Borgerhoff and her sister, Jane Borgerhoff.
She is survived, and will be forever missed, by Ricky, her loving husband of 41 years; stepson Raven; her sister Ledlie Borgerhoff of Princeton, New Jersey; nephew and niece Arthur and Cornelia Borgerhoff of Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania; sister-in-law Susan Quinn and spouse John of Beverly, Massachusetts; brother-in-law Marc Pomerleau and spouse Curt Knight of Kea'au, Hawai'i; along with many cousins, nieces, nephews, many beloved and cherished friends and faithful dog Winston.
Sincere and heartfelt thanks to the nurses and doctors of the Harold Alfond Center for Cancer Care and to the MaineGeneral Hospice of Augusta, Maine.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, November 21, at 11:00 a.m., at St. Augustine Church in Augusta. Visitation begins at 10:15 a.m. Burial to take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers please donate to the charity of your choice.