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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Dr. Elizabeth “Betsy” Pollak ’70

​Elizabeth “Betsy” Russell Pollak, 71, died on Sept. 28, 2019, in Green Valley, AZ, surrounded by family and friends after her seven-year quest to stay ahead of the tenacious cancer that would overcome her.

She was born in Northampton, MA, the fifth of seven children of Evelyn Josephine Hall and Sargent Russell. She graduated from Antioch College in 1970, married Victor Pollak ’70 in 1975, graduated from Northwestern U. medical school in 1979 and went on to a long career in medicine, as a pathologist, in academic and clinical positions.

She gave birth to her daughter, Rachel, in 1981 and son, Benjamin, in 1985. She was an avid student of cooking, French, classical music, literature, history, and writing and she competed in triathlons, 10-Ks and half-marathons, winning a silver medal in a half-ironman triathlon on her 60th birthday.

In 2012, she was diagnosed with advanced ovarian cancer and retired from medicine, but she remained active. She worked with dedication and she played with abandon.

She is survived by her husband, Victor Pollak, of Green Valley, AZ., two children: Rachel P. Kroh of Fort Wayne, IN.; and Benjamin H. Pollak of Portland, OR.; and one grandchild, Lucas Otto Kroh of Fort Wayne; five siblings: Judith Hanscom of Epsom, NH; Edward Russell of West Tisbury, MA.; Nancy Goodell of Green Valley, AZ.; Jonathan Russell of Green Valley, AZ: and Timothy Russell of Amherst, MA and a half-sister, Rebecca Notowitz, of Hayward, CA.

For remembrances, go to Contributions are invited to Utah Shakespeare Festival, Huntsman Cancer Institute, and Fourth Street Clinic.