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Betty Southworth

Betty Southworth

Saturday, May 15th, 1920 - Friday, April 5th, 2019
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Betty (Peterson) Southworth passed away peacefully and suddenly on Friday, April 5, 2019 at age 98 while resting in the Chestnut Hill home of her daughter Rita Moerschel. Betty led an active and very social life for almost a century, dying shortly before her 99 th birthday. She was amazingly alert and active until the end of her life. Betty was born in 1920 and grew up in southeastern Minnesota near Kasson. She enjoyed telling stories of her rural childhood, especially about life on her family's farm and her adventures in the
one-room country school which she attended for 8 years. Her family later moved to Kasson where she attended Kasson High School, and met her future husband John Southworth. They married in 1939. She and John created a wonderfully warm and stimulating family life for their two children that was focused on music, the arts, and many family projects. Betty particularly enjoyed music, sewing, quilting, crossword puzzles, and entertaining her family and many friends. She loved accompanying John at the piano while he played their
favorite music on the violin. After living in Kasson for many years they moved to Rochester where Betty worked in real estate and for the Olmsted County District Court. In her last years she moved to the Boston area to live with her daughter in Chestnut Hill. Here she made many new friends and was engaged in the community, especially enjoying concerts at the All Newton Music School, Boston Symphony, and the Crescendo Club of Boston, as well as the activities of Newton at Home. She was predeceased by her parents Holger and Ellen (Baudoin) Peterson and her brother Delmont. Her husband predeceased her in 2004. She is
survived by her two children, Rita of Chestnut Hill, MA and Michael of Piedmont, CA, as well as 4 grandchildren, 9 great grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.
A memorial service will be held at the Second Church of Newton, MA on Sunday May 19 at 3:00pm. Arrangements are being handled by Burke & Blackington Funeral Home in West Newton, MA. Interment will be in Oakwood Cemetery in Rochester, MN in July. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to All Newton Music School (321 Chestnut St., W. Newton, MA 02465), Newton at Home (206 Waltham St., W. Newton, MA 02465), the Salvation Army, or to the charity of choice.  
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Service Details

  • Service

    Sunday, May 19th, 2019 | 3:00pm
    Sunday, May 19th, 2019 3:00pm
    Second Church in Newton, UCC 60 Highland Street, West Newton, MA 02465


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1 tree has been planted in memory of Betty Southworth

Maria Bacigalupo

Posted at 09:01am
As a friend of Rita's, I became a friend of Betty's. She was my role model and idol. I loved her. Thank you for sharing her with me :)

Larry Andersson

Posted at 12:14pm
Sorry to hear of Betty’s passing. She was my mother’s (Gen Anderson) best friend. I also feel privileged to have spent time with both Betty and John, two of my all time favorites. Their sincerity, intelligence, talents, and humor are a lasting memory. Hope these photos are as meaningful to you as they are to me.

Larry Andersson

Lois Kennel

Posted at 11:30am
I have such good memories of Betty with John sitting for worship at Evangel United Methodist Church and connecting with me about music activities in the community as well as the Junior Choir I directed at Evangel. Then there was always pride in talking about Rita and Michael. Betty certainly aged well! Lois Kennel

Pamela Kolacy

Posted at 07:56pm
Betty was a huge part of my growing-up years in Kasson. I have such wonderful memories of spending time at the Southworth home, overnights with Rita, family dinners, just hanging out. The house was filled with music, art, and a slightly goofy dog (Eric). What a generous and supportive woman she was. Rita was the envy of our entire class with her super cool wardrobe, mostly courtesy of Betty who was the most amazing creative seamstress and designer. It is indicative of the force of her personality that she made friends wherever she was and I'm so happy she spent her last years with Rita and a whole new circle of friends - picking up stakes and moving after living in the same place for 80+ years would be daunting for most, but not for Betty. My deepest sympathy to dear friend Rita and to Michael and the rest of the family - Betty was one in a million.

Janet Johnson

Posted at 04:20pm
Rita and Michael, Larry and I want to give you our deepest sympathy in the death of your Mother. We have fond memories of her and your Dad when they were living across the street from the school in Kasson. My family members, Louie, Dick and Mary Alice, Merlen and our parents had enjoyed knowing your family. Larry's mother knew your parents quite well also and he remembers her speaking very highly of them.
Fond memories of you and your parents, Janet (Lawrence) and Larry Johnson

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