James F. Bettle

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James F. Bettle

James F. Bettle, age 76, longtime resident of Wilmington, DE and N. Waterboro, ME, peacefully passed away to join his heavenly Father and family on Sunday, March 24, 2013 after a brief and fierce battle with lung cancer.

Jim was born in El Paso, TX on November 18, 1936. After graduating from Austin High School in El Paso he attended and graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) with a degree in Electrical Engineering. At UTEP he was Student Body President, a member of the Top Ten Seniors and a member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity.

After college Jim headed up meteorological rocket probes in the Antarctic under a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant and was Antarctic scientific leader for NSF. The Antarctic geographic feature, "Bettle Peak" was named in Jim's honor by the U.S. board on Geographic Names.

After two years of military service, Jim worked for the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA). There he was engineering manager for an international meteorological rocket network with Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada and United States scientific research bases in the Artic and Antarctica. He was also program manager for Chesapeake Bay ecological studies when he was with NASA.

He changed careers to become regional sales manager and later President of Leadership Institute, Inc. and franchise owner for Dale Carnegie Training in Delaware and parts of Pennsylvania and Maryland. During that time he was also a member of the board of directors for Junior Achievement of Delaware, a member for the Christian Business Men's Committee and a member of the board of directors for Delaware Youth for Christ.

Jim retired in 2000 and continued to be involved in local service work as a member of the Advisory Board of Delaware Youth for Christ, a member of the board of directors for the Annual Delaware Prayer Breakfast and a strong supporter of Friendship Ministries located in Devon, PA. He was also president of three more non-profit corporations in Dallas, TX.

Jim was a devoted friend of Bill W. for more than 31 years.

The family wishes to thank the 6th Floor staff of the Oncology and Hematology area of Christiana Care for their compassionate care for our loved one.

Jim is predeceased by his parents, Albert and Irene (McCan) Bettle of El Paso, TX. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of nearly 32 years, Deborah Bettle; his brother and sister in law, Dick and Liz Bettle of Lampasas, TX; his daughters, Christian Bowens and her husband, Keith of Newark, DE and Victoria Martin of Monroe Twp., PA and his grandchildren, Brandon Cerminaro and Jessica Cerminaro, Justin and Hailey Bowens and Drew, Kayla and Adam Martin.

He is also survived by his step daughters, Michele Hartnett of Wilmington, DE, Tanya Rizzo and her husband, David of New Castle, DE and step grandchildren Mark Hartnett, Jr., and Julia, Leah and Angel Rizzo.

A funeral service will be held on Saturday, March 30 at 12 noon at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone, Rd., Pike Creek where a viewing will be held from 10 am to 12 noon. Burial will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to Friendship Ministries P. O. Box 55, Devon, PA 19333 or to Delaware Youth for Christ, 2203 N. Market St., Wilmington, DE 19802.

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Funeral Home
Doherty Funeral Homes - Pike Creek
3200 Limestone Road
Wilmington, DE 19808
(302) 999-8277
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Published in The News Journal on Mar. 27, 2013
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