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MARPLE, Betty Lou (Nitchie) 83, formerly of Weston, died peacefully on November 25, 2018. Predeceased in May 2018 by her husband Wesley (Wes) Marple of more than 60 years, she was the loving mother of three children: Caroline Marple and her husband Aaron Yeater of Weston; Ted Marple of Newton; and Doug Marple and his partner Sarah Hand of Cambridge. She was the loving grandmother to Wesley Yeater of Weston and to Adelaide and Eloise Marple of Newton. She leaves a sister Carol George of Chapel Hill, NC and a brother Peter Nitchie of Reston, VA. Betty Lou had a more than four-decade long career in higher education, holding management positions related to admissions, endowment, and graduate degree programs at Radcliffe College, Brandeis University, Wheelock College, Wellesley College, Harvard University and Boston University. At Wellesley College she led the Continuing Education Program (now known as the Continuing Education and Davis Degree Program) and served as its first dean. In honor of her pioneering efforts to help women who didn't finish college enter the workforce by completing their degrees, Wellesley endowed the Betty Lou Marple Continuing Education Scholarship Fund. In keeping with her spirit of career evolution, she also co-authored a book: Zingers: A New Approach to Getting a Job, Changing Careers, and Getting Ahead. She graduated from Vassar College in 1957. Befitting a lifelong interest in learning and exploring new academic areas to better understand herself and the world around her, Betty Lou received graduate degrees in education from Harvard University (EdM), in psychology from Boston College (PhD) and in business from Northeastern University (MBA). Betty Lou and her husband, Wes, lived in Weston for nearly 50 years where they raised their three children.There, Betty Lou was chief administrator, chef, high tutor, chauffeur and arbitrator on her kids' eligibility to eat dessert before dinner. She was a committed baker, with a passion and taste for treats of all types and a specialty in Toll House cookies and brownies; she shared her wrapped or bagged baked goods with school bus drivers, work colleagues, her children's friends, and often anyone she felt needed a thank you or cheering-up. She loved to entertain, and for many years she frequently hosted (and catered by herself) dinner parties with friends and colleagues. An accomplished instrumentalist, she played the guitar to her kids when they were young, occasionally a piano, and on holidays she would work the old pump organs at their homes in New Hampshire or Weston. She played violin for the first half of her life and was a regular and attentive audience member of the symphony, operas, and musicals. Betty Lou was active with the First Parish Church, spearheading facilities enhancements when she wasn't enjoying singing in the church choir. To relax, she indulged in a variety of sweets, back issues of the New Yorker, bridge games, and her grandchildren. A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, December 1, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. at The First Parish Church, 349 Boston Post Rd., Weston, followed by a reception from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Wellesley Country Club, 300 Wellesley Ave, Wellesley Hills, MA 02481. In lieu of flowers, gifts in her name may be made to Wellesley College to support The Betty Lou Marple Continuing Education Scholarship Fund, 106 Central Street, Wellesley, MA 02481. Arrangements entrusted to the care of the John C. Bryant Funeral Home of WAYLAND. For condolences please visit

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Published in Boston Globe from Nov. 27 to Nov. 28, 2018.
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6 entries
December 11, 2018
I truly respected Betty Lou and your father Wes. Working in higher ed, they set the standard for me in thinking about excellence in all that we do and did together. I met your mom first through my time at NU when Wes & I worked together with the Executive MBA. She was such a true supporter and hosted the students annually the Weston house - now I realize that she likely cooked everything we ate. As they say in the Greek Orthodox faith, may their memory be eternal. Will Makris
December 7, 2018
Offering our sincere condolences. May the God of love comfort your heart and make you firm in your time of grief. 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17.
December 7, 2018
Offering our sincere condolences. May the God of love comfort your heart and make you firm in your time of grief. 2 Thessalonians 2:16,17.
December 3, 2018
Condolences to your family.
Doug Gray
November 29, 2018
Sorry to hear of your loss.
Carolyn Kemp
November 28, 2018
Never had the pleasure of meeting Betty Lou but she sounds like a wonderful lady and quite accomplished in many ways. Feel lucky to know her son, Doug, to whom I send sincere condolences.
Roger Feinstein
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