aka Elizabeth Ann Rieke

Born to Emma “Bickie” Hayes Bickham and Reverend William “Al” Alvin Pitcher on July 10, 1943 in Buffalo, NY, Betsy spent much of her early life in Chicago and after graduating Summa cum Laude with High Honors in Political Science from Oberlin in 1965, got married (George), started a family (Fred & Eowyn), and went back to school to earn her law degree, awarded with highest honors, from the University of Arizona in 1981. You need to read that all in one breath, because that is the way Betsy lived her life: full steam ahead. A prominent water rights lawyer, Betsy was known for her work in negotiations to resolve Arizona’s fractious water battles, including groundwater transfer wars from the mid 80’s to the early 90’s. Betsy held a number of more-than-full-time positions in her career, in addition to her role as Mom and later Grandma.

  • Area Manager at Bureau of Reclamation
  • Director at Natural Resources Law Center
  • Assistant Secretary for Water and Science at U.S. Department of the Interior
  • Director at Arizona Department Of Water Resources
  • Partner, Associate at Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, PLC
  • Deputy and Chief Counsel at Arizona Department of Water Resources
  • Law Clerk for Judge William C. Canby at Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Betsy passed away in her home in Seattle, Washington, March 28, 2019. We will honor Betsy’s life with a memorial celebration near Reno, NV on Saturday, Sept 7, 2019. Please contact Betsy’s daughter, Eowyn Rieke, for more information.