Remembering Betty Ann Kiester

Two weeks ago, “06880” reported that a Chinese takeout shop is replacing Creative Windows, the custom window treatment and interior design store that for many years anchored the corner of Franklin Street and Saugatuck Avenue.

Betty Ann Kiester

Betty Ann Kiester — Creative Windows’ founder, and a much-loved businesswoman who mentored and inspired decorators in Fairfield County, New York and beyond — died last Wednesday.  She was 82, and had struggled long and gracefully with Alzheimer’s disease.

The Kentucky native moved to Pittsburgh for art school.  She took full advantage of the cultural opportunities it offered, from dance and opera to exotic foods like bagels.  She became famous among friends and colleagues for her fashion sense, using her $28-a-week salary to indulge in the latest colors and styles.

Betty Ann married Edwin Kiester in 1953.  When he became a magazine editor in New York the young couple moved to Greenwich Village, then in 1956 to “arty” Westport to raise a family.  The Kiesters built and resided in one of the first modern Tech-Built homes here.

Betty Ann founded Creative Windows in 1973.  Her work was frequently featured in national design and decorating magazines.

An admirer said:

Betty Ann’s abiding interests were her family and wide circle of friends.  True to her Southern roots, she relished the opportunity to tell a colorful story or engage in a spirited conversation.

An adoring mother and grandmother, she was known for her love of entertaining.  She readily welcomed friends, whether for a spontaneous home-cooked dinner or her legendary annual Christmas party.  Her pies were the best north of the Mason-Dixon Line.  Well-traveled and well-read, one of Betty Ann’s favorite pastimes was to take the New York Times to Compo Beach on a sunny day, and rejoice in the beauty of Westport’s coastline.

(A funeral mass will be held at Assumption Church in Westport this Saturday, January 23 at 3 p.m.  A reception will follow at Earthplace in Westport.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Staples Tuition Grants in care of the Ann Kiester Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 5159, Westport, CT  06881-5159, or Masonicare Home Health and Hospice, 535 Connecticut Ave.,  Norwalk CT 06854.)

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