Sukhavati for Betsy Perks

Betsy Perks

Betsy Perks (born Martha Elizabeth Sharp) suffered a heart attack and passed away in her home in Scottsdale, Arizona early in the week of 9 October 2023. Although Betsy’s death was unexpected, she died peacefully in her sleep.

Betsy grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was raised in the Catholic Church by her parents, James Earl and Esther Mae Sharp. Although she was a Buddhist practitioner, she also drew inspiration from the Christian tradition. She was particularly inspired by the teachings of Thomas Aquinas and St. Francis of Assisi. Betsy first connected with the Shambhala sangha when she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she met her first husband, John Lewis. She later married John Perks and gave birth to her son, Percy Perks, in Boulder, Colorado. Betsy had a great love of music and dance. She pursued a career as a ballet dancer at Ballet West in Salt Lake City, Utah and before she attended college, she spent a summer dancing in Las Vegas with La Folies Bergere!

Betsy Perks

Betsy loved creating beautiful spaces and had a particular fondness for Ikebana flower arranging. Later in life she devoted herself to her spiritual practice and pursued her scholarly interest in different schools of religious belief. Her friends and family described her as beautiful, gracious, elegant, warm, and dignified. She made lifelong friends with sangha members in the LA, Boston, Boulder, and Halifax Shambhala communities. She also acted as co-director of Marpa House in Boulder, Colorado. She will be remembered as a mother, sister, spouse, friend, mentor, student, and caregiver.

Betsy with her son, Percy Perks

Please join us in celebrating the life of Betsy Perks on Sunday, October 22nd at 1 pm EST. We will gather remotely for Betsy’s Sukhavati. There will be time for sharing stories and memories of Betsy too.

In honor of Betsy please keep her in your practice and prayers. If friends of Betsy’s feel inspired to make a donation to a charity on Betsy’s behalf, please reach out to Percy for Betsy’s charity of choice. Condolences and any questions can be sent to

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