Elizabeth “Betty” Theriault
Elizabeth “Betty” Theriault of Mattapoisett, MA passed away peacefully at home on Sunday, Jan. 3, surrounded by loved ones. She was the devoted wife of Albert “Bert” Theriault for 61 years, living in the house they had lovingly built over many happy summers at Harbor Beach before moving from Holden, MA to enjoy their retirement year-round in Mattapoisett.
Born to Mary and John Daly on Sept. 28, 1933, she grew up in Wellesley,MA. Her father built a summer cottage at Harbor Beach in the 1950’s, across the street from what would be her own home decades later. She is survived by her daughter Mary-Alice Chasse and husband Jeff Chasse of Sturbridge and Mattapoisett, MA, as well as her grandchildren Anthony Chasse and wife Sarah, Emily Chasse, and Catherine Chasse. She is also survived by her son John A. Theriault and his partner Scott Kellogg of Mattapoisett, MA. Albert Theriault passed away in February of 2019.
A 1955 American Literature graduate of Brandeis University, she continued with graduate work at Simmons College in Library Science. She then married Bert who she had met as an undergraduate at Brandeis. Later, she spent a year in the Netherlands accompanying Bert on his Fulbright fellowship and traveling through Europe with 2-year-old Mary-Alice in tow.
They then moved to Holden, MA where she became an active volunteer in the community, serving on a variety of town committees. She was also active at St. George’s Church in Worcester, working for decades on the Christmas Fair including chairing it. She was a devoted mother, being first to arrive at every parent’s day, school play, track meet, and moreover the years. Upon retirement in 1990, they moved to Mattapoisett year-round, where she was again active in the community. She served as a Mattapoisett Library Trustee for 12 years, and as an active member of the Library Building and Renovation Committee for 10 years. From handicapped accessibility to the correct roofing tiles, she paid attention to the details of the process and spoke up when she thought changes were needed. Her goal was to make sure the town had the best library possible.
In addition to community work, she and Bert were active in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary for 41 years, both in Holden and Mattapoisett. For 19 of those years, she assisted Bert as a volunteer lighthouse keeper at Ned’s Point, giving community tours from the ground while Bert was at the top. In addition, she worked with the Mattapoisett Historical Commission to create wayside panels including at Ned’s Point to provide a brief history of the lighthouse to visitors. She was also active in the town’s Council on Aging and as a parishioner at St. Anthony’s Church for decades.
In 2013, she was awarded “Mattapoisett Woman of the Year” by the Standard-Times.
Given current public health concerns, services will be private. Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Mattapoisett Library Trust, Inc., P. O. Box 475, Mattapoisett, MA 02739. For online guestbook, visit www.saundersdwyer.com.