GLOUCESTER - Elizabeth Madden Jenkins DeHardit "Betty", 88, of Gloucester, Virginia, died Sunday, November 24, 2013. Betty's life began on April 2, 1925 in the first-floor bedroom of "Clayebank" to the late author William Fitzgerald (Murray Leinster) and Mary Mandola Jenkins in Gloucester, Virginia. When her older sister, Mary began class instruction at home by Miss Margaret Muse - Betty became her classmate, three years her senior. Betty graduated from Botetourt High School in 1940 and because she was only 15 at the time, she became a student at the Collegiate School in Richmond. The Jenkins returned to New York when the War began and Betty enrolled at Columbia. She transferred to Adelphi University to become a student of the renown Hanya Holmes-founder of modern dance-and received a BA in Fine Arts and Dance from the Adelphi College in 1947. Upon graduation, she became Assistant Director of Adelphi University's Children's Theatre. In 1957, she resigned from her job with Blue Cross, Blue Shield in New York and moved to Gloucester to wed Gazette Journal editor William M. "Bill" DeHardit. Betty became a caseworker-in-charge of the Gloucester Social Services. When they started their family, she joined Bill-who had then founded the Glo-Quips, a biweekly newspaper focused on the history of Gloucester County. She became Editor and Publisher following Bill's death in 2011. Throughout her adult life, Betty was known for her commitment to the promotion and historical preservation of Gloucester history. Ivor Noel Hume, former director of Colonial Williamsburg archaeological research program acknowledged her "valuable historical information as well as for her constant and vigorous assistance" in Excavations at Clay Bank. The Gloucester Board of Supervisors honored her with as a lifetime membership of the Gloucester Historical Committee for her role in establishing "the foundation of the future of the Committee." Betty was a charter member and its first Chairman. Betty and Bill, along with their daughter, founded the Princess Pocahontas Foundation and the Pocahontas Museum and enjoyed their visitors both young and old throughout the years. In addition, to her interests in history, she also served on the Dragon Run Committee and the Horse Racing Committee. Betty is survived by her only child: Elizabeth DeHardit Richardson and her husband Kenny, of Gloucester. She also is survived by three grandchildren: Amy Richardson and her fiancé Tom Moyer of Washington, DC, Katherine Richardson of Richmond, VA and Alexandra Richardson of Gloucester, Va. She also is survived by two sisters, Billee Stallings of Moorestown, New Jersey and Jo-An Evans of Dulwich, England along with many nieces, nephews and friends. A private memorial service and burial will be held at "Clayebank." Hogg Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Published in Daily Press on Dec. 1, 2013.