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Betsy D. Jones

May 17, 1932 ~ December 3, 2023 (age 91) 91 Years Old

Betsy Jones Obituary

BATH - Betsy Ann Forrest Denton Jones lived a life of courage, grit and on her own terms. A southern girl at heart, she was born and raised in Hillsborough, NC, along with her younger sister Joan Hunter Forrest Brown. Her parents were Dr. Daniel Efland Forrest and Mary Louise Forrest. Betsy graduated from Salem College and met Aulsey Lee Denton, whom she married at age 22 and supported through medical school in Switzerland.  After Aulsey’s untimely passing, she raised three young daughters on her own. She later met and married Joseph L Jones 4th and moved to Beverly, Massachusetts.  There, she and Joe raised a blended family of five - Jay L. Jones, Claire D. Grant, Debbie J. Latimer, Laura D. Gauld, and Elisabeth D. Crittenden.  Life was filled with learning opportunities - motor home excursions, sailing in Salem Harbor, a summer-long family trek camping through Europe, ski weekends, and life lessons like knowing how to change a tire. Betsy loved her 10 grandchildren, 2 great-grands and delighted in each of their successes while also offering sage counsel/advice whether they asked for it or not. She took great pride in knowing each of their paths.  

In her early 40s, Betsy was looking for a new purpose and reinvented herself again. After taking a 6-week tutoring course at The Landmark School in Beverly Farms, MA, she discovered a gift for helping students with learning differences. After her 100 practicum hours, one student said he would only work with Mrs. Jones and despite her age and not wanting to do full-time duty, they hired Betsy. Her tenure there lasted 30 years. Students felt she was always in their corner and they became her second family, often attending dinner with her and Joe, and continuing correspondence with her for decades.  After retiring from Landmark, Betsy and Joe moved to Maine and her dedication to teaching continued into her mid-80s, where she tutored at the Hyde School in Bath, ME.  A fellow teacher shared that she “showed us how to teach with joy and love.” 

Her love of travel and adventure was passed down to all of the grandchildren and boxes of photos and travel journals attest to her passion for going abroad.  Trips always included local guides and host families, getting up early in the morning to walk through the streets and get to know the people.  She went to China when it first opened in 1985 and especially loved New Zealand, South Africa, Thailand, Peru, Greece, and England, along with a European trip with all 5 children for 45 days in the late ’60s.  Her mantra was life was too short to put off important experiences you wanted to have.

Betsy’s love of people was also apparent with her fiber friends.  A long-time knitter who never passed a yarn shop without stopping, she developed wonderful friendships through her knitting groups and SPA weekends in Freeport.  She knew knitters from all over New England and said yarn was a gateway to meeting interesting people.  This was what fueled Betsy - getting to know people on a deeper level and having meaningful conversations about their lives.  

Outspoken, gutsy, independent, curious, and funny, Betsy had a depth of thinking and caring that drew people to her.  She saw the best in people and encouraged them to live large. Friends, family, and former students echoed the same sentiment over and over when reflecting on what she meant to them - “She changed my life.’    

As Betsy did on birthdays and holidays to honor someone, please consider a donation to your local food pantry or the Joseph Jones Book Fund at Hyde School.

A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, June 9, 2024 at 12 noon, at the Family Renewal Center, Hyde School, 616 High Street, Bath, Maine. 

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Celebration of Life
June 9, 2024

12:00 PM
Family Renewal Center - Hyde School
616 High Street
Bath, ME 04530


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