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Bettie Griffith Thompson, 94, formerly of Pinckney St., Boston and Surfside Road, West Dennis, died peacefully July 8, 2013 at the Loomis Nursing Home in Holyoke.
She was raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, graduating from Walnut Hills High School and the University of Cincinnati, where she earned a B. A. in Zoology. After graduate work at Simmons College, Boston, Bettie worked as a bacteriologist conducting research for Harvard University at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Laboratory, Jamaica Plain.
Following the premature death of her husband, she devoted herself to raising their son, Harris.
Bettie was a supporter of the arts, a lifetime subscriber to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Museum of Fine Arts and WGBH Boston's Public Broadcasting Station. Additionally, she gave tours of historic homes to benefit the Florence Crittenton League which provided services for unwed mothers. Bettie loved everything French, from modernist painting to haute cuisine. She hosted memorable dinner parties, serving gourmet meals to over-capacity crowds in undersized spaces at her Boston apartment and cottage on Cape Cod.
She spent her summers and much of her later life on the Cape, tending to her garden, playing tennis, and socializing at the West Dennis Yacht Club where she was a charter member. Her other interests included going to the theatre, playing bridge, dancing, reading, and listening to jazz.
Predeceased by her parents, Roger and Helen Griffith, younger brother James, and her husband Harris Barnum Thompson, Bettie leaves her son, Harris Emerson Thompson and his wife Bridget, three grandchildren, Gillian, Brace and Stacia, and three step-grandchildren, Lela, Megan and Luke.
A memorial service will be held Friday, Aug. 23 at 10:30 a.m. at Mt. Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge in the Bigelow Chapel, followed by a memorial luncheon Saturday, Aug. 24 at noon at the West Dennis Yacht Club. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in her name to the West Dennis Public Library, West Dennis, MA.
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Mitchell Funeral Home
15 Park Street Easthampton, MA 01027
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Aug. 19, 2013