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Betty DeFea


1931 - 2017
Betty DeFea Obituary
Betty McLaughlin DeFea

Betty McLaughlin DeFea passed away peacefully in her home on December 12, 2017, at the age of 86. Betty was a tireless crusader for both K-12 education and the disabled community. Betty was born in Red Bluff, CA on March 31, 1931, to John and Sadie McLaughlin and grew up on the family farm near Corning CA. After graduating from Corning High in 1949, Betty set out on her own to earn a degree in nursing from Santa Rosa JC. She then transferred to UC Berkeley and completed her BA in nursing education in 1955, while working full-time as a psychiatric nurse. In 1958, she married fellow Berkeley alum Robert DeFea, an attorney for the state Department of Transportation, and had two children, Peter (born in 1959) and Kathryn (born in 1963). In 1977, Betty received her Master's Degree in Psychology from San Francisco State and began her career as a volunteer and educational advocate, serving as chair of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities, as a legislative analyst and campaigner for the State PTA, a Girl Scout troop leader, a college and career counselor at Lowell High School, and a member of the local ARC chapter. Betty is survived by her husband Robert; son Peter, daughter Kathryn; son-in-law Jonathan Zalevsky and granddaughters Olivia and Emily Zalevsky. Friends may visit Wednesday, December 27, 2017 from 4:00pm to 9:00pm at Duggan's Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City where a Vigil Service will begin at 7:00pm. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated Thursday at 10:00am at St. Stephen Church, 451 Eucalyptus Dr., San Francisco.

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Published in San Francisco Chronicle on Dec. 24, 2017
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