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Bettina Louise (Austin) Bacon

West Fairlee, Vt. — Bettina Louise (Austin) Bacon, 79, died at the home of her son and daughter in-law, Stuart & Melanie Bacon of West Fairlee, Vt. on Wednesday, April 16, 2014, surrounded by her family.

Betty was born July 19, 1934 in Corinth, Vt., the daughter of George & Pearl (Morrison) Austin. She attended grade school in West Fairlee and graduated from Thetford Academy in 1952. She married Stuart Bacon of Lyme, N.H. on Aug. 18, 1952. They lived in Bradford, West Fairlee & Strafford Vt. until 1958 when they moved to North Carolina. They returned to Vermont in 1963 and raised their three children in West Fairlee.

Betty and her husband, Stuart, were very active in the community. She was a member of the West Fairlee Congregational Church, where she taught Sunday School for many years, a PTA President, as well as organizing and leading the first 4-H Club in town. When their first grandson was born they began the tradition of Stuart dressing as Santa Claus on Christmas Eve & delivering a gift and a promise to return later that night. Soon friends and family asked if they could do the same for their children and grandchildren so Betty wrapped many gifts each year for “Santa”. Betty and Stuart organized a clothes closet for the Westshire Elementary School, providing warm clothes, socks, mittens & coats for the students. Betty continued the upkeep of the closet, as well as reading at the school through the Everybody Wins program until her illness forced her to stop.

Betty worked at Dartmouth College, was the hot lunch cook at Vershire Elementary School and also cooked for the employees at Dartmouth Savings Bank in Hanover, N.H. In 1982, Betty and her daughter, Roberta contracted with CRREL in Hanover, operating the employee cafeteria. In 1992, Betty retired to care for her mother who had suffered a stroke. In her semi-retirement she received her LNA and worked as a private caregiver.

Betty was creative - painting, quilting, reading, knitting, baking and making jam were her favorite hobbies. She sewed all the wedding gowns, including the bridesmaids dresses, for her two daughters and daughter in-law’s weddings. Her wedding and birthday cakes are well known throughout the Upper Valley. Her favorite times were when the family all gathered together for holidays or birthdays and a big meal, even though she often said she couldn’t understand half of what was being said since everyone talked at once.

Betty is survived by her two daughters, Roberta Perkins and husband, Robert of Vershire, Virginia Rader and husband, Jonathon of Fairlee; one son, Stuart Bacon and wife, Melanie of West Fairlee; five grandsons, Andrew Perkins and wife, Carol of Vershire, Joshua Perkins of Rutland, Kyle Rader of Nashua, N.H., Austin Bacon and wife, Cassie of West Fairlee, Christopher Bacon of West Fairlee; two granddaughters, Katie Rader of Fairlee and Jillian Bacon of West Fairlee; one great-granddaughter, Megan Perkins of Vershire and two great-grandsons, Jacob Perkins of Vershire and Clement George Bacon of West Fairlee; three sisters, Marilyn Mann of White River Junction, Roberta Jones of Omaha, Neb. and Pearl Keene of Topsham, Vt.; one brother, Maurice (Buzz) Austin of West Fairlee; as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her husband, Stuart, who died in 2005 and an infant brother, George.

A service in Betty’s memory will be held at the West Fairlee Congregation Church on May 17, 2014, at 1 p.m. In lieu of flowers please send donations to The West Fairlee Food Bank c/o Don Phoenix 3862 Middle Brook Rd. Fairlee, VT 05045 or the Westshire Clothes Closet c/o Tammy McQueen, 744 VT Route 113, West Fairlee, VT 05083.

A private message of sympathy for the family can be shared at www.boardwayandcilley.com.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Boardway & Cilley Funeral Home in Chelsea, Vt.