Bilodeau, Betty

January 16, 2016

Elizabeth J. Bilodeau, 82, affectionately known as “Betty Boop” to many of her friends and family, died Jan. 16, 2016, at the Sussman House in Rockport, after a period of declining health.

Born in Grasmere (Goffstown), N.H., on Aug. 10, 1933, she was the daughter of Paul E. Sr. and M. Alline Weeks Anderson.

She was a 1951 graduate of West High School in Manchester, N.H.,, and earned a Bachelor of Science in education at Plymouth State College in 1955. In 1981, she earned a master’s in psychology from the University of New Hampshire. Betty later attended the Appalachian Local Pastors School, affiliated with Red Bird Missionary Conference at Beverly, Ky.

Betty began her career as an educator in New Boston, N.H. She later taught in Sanborn Regional School and Exeter Junior High School, where she also coached softball. Next, she served as assistant principal at Epping Junior High and later served as principal at Epping Elementary. At both Nottingham Elementary and Fremont Elementary schools, Betty taught music. She also coached high school basketball and softball in Epping.

Following her aspiration of doing missionary work, Betty traveled to the Red Bird Mission in Beverly, Ky., spending three years, first assisting in the clinic and later providing counseling services.

After following a divine calling and completing pastoral training, Betty served as pastor at Friendship United Methodist Church and Broad Cove Church in Cushing, both in Maine, from 2002-2006. She briefly served the East Rochester, N.H., United Methodist Church but returned to Broad Cove Church and served there until her retirement in 2015.

Her love of people and music was evident as she served as organist/choir director at Epping Community Church, Exeter Baptist Church and Raymond United Methodist Church, all in New Hampshire, as well as Peoples United Methodist Church in Bradford, Mass., and as musical director at Camp Hedding in Epping, N.H.

Her artistic abilities were made evident in her association with the Epping Community Church Players, where she played Golda in their presentation of Fiddler on The Roof, as Bloody Mary in South Pacific and as Mrs. Paroo inMusic Man. She was a longtime member of the New Hampshire Friendship Chorus and performed in South America, South Africa, Russia, Greece and Turkey. Betty was an active member of the Manchester Choral Society, New Hampshire. More recently she enjoyed playing bells with the Midcoast Community Band. She served as keyboardist for several Georges Valley High School musicals, and was a member of the GQ + Gospel Ensemble.

She was a devoted Boston Red Sox fan and loved the Patriots as well. Gardening was a peaceful pastime Betty enjoyed, and she had an extensive collection of Betty Boop memorabilia.

In addition to her parents, Betty was predeceased by six siblings, Murray, Robert, Dorothy, Doris, Janice and Paul. She is survived by her children, Devon Rains and partner Arthur Gauthier of Epping, N.H., Kay Bilodeau and wife Terry Neill of Manchester, N.H., Jeannie Sciarappa and her husband, Anthony, of Haverhill, Mass., Karl Bilodeau and his wife, Kimberly, of Exeter, N.H., Joseph Bilodeau and his wife, Laura, of Eliot, Maine, Daniel Bilodeau and his wife, Carole, of Newmarket, N.H., and David Bilodeau and his wife, Laura, of Epping, N.H.; the father of her children, Benjamin Bilodeau of Epping, N.H.; her grandchildren, Anthony Bilodeau, Catherine Bilodeau, Amy Bilodeau, Elizabeth Bilodeau, Rebekah Bilodeau, Dylan Haigh and his wife, Kristy Martino, Brittany Bilodeau and wife Samantha Courtois, Brackett Bilodeau and Emerson Bilodeau; and several nieces and nephews; as well as her dear friend, Jo Anne Parker, with whom she lived since 2006.

The first Celebration of Life for Betty will be held Sunday, Jan. 24 at 1 p.m. at Friendship United Methodist Church, 24 Main St. in Friendship, Maine. The Rev. Robert Dorr will officiate. A second Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, Feb., 13 at noon at Epping Community Church, 22 Pleasant St. in Epping, N.H., with the Revs. Susan Ellery and Carroll Moore officiating.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the United Methodist Economic Ministry, 1458 Salem Road, Strong, ME 04983.

Betty's family is being assisted by Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home.