Marblehead — Mary E. (Dolan) deBettencourt, age 96, formerly of West Newton and Needham, died peacefully in her daughter’s home in Marblehead on Wednesday, December 19, 2012. Mary lived a full and vibrant life. Mary was the beloved wife of the late Dr. Joseph T. deBettencourt, with whom she shared 50 years of marriage, prior to his death in 1993.
She is survived by her daughter Diane “Dee” and her husband John Vigneron of Marblehead and their children Kevin of Dorchester and Chrissy of South Boston; and a son Joseph and his wife Nancy deBettencourt and their children Christian of Chicago, IL, and Catherine “Kiki” of St. Louis, MO. Mary was predeceased by her son John in 2011. She is also survived by his wife Cindy O’Brien and his daughters, Nicole Browning, and Michelle Bouchard and their husbands of Manchester, New Hampshire, along with 5 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Mary and her twin brother John were born at home in Dorchester on June 27, 1916. She attended Simmons College where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree and a Master’s Degree in Social Work. She began her career at Rhode Island Hospital and then took a position as a full-time caseworker at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital. She resigned to get married, moved to Washington, D.C., and supervised four students at Catholic University School of Social Work. Mary and Joe returned to Boston and moved into their first home in West Newton with their 3 children. Several years later she returned to work at Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Newton Health Center. She also worked at Crittenton Hastings House and later in Deaconess Hospital, where she was well respected by the staff doctors and nurses.
Mary had a lifelong connection to Harvard University, where her husband received his Doctor of Science degree and her twin brother and son earned their undergraduate degrees. She loved attending Harvard football games and was a long-standing member of the Harvard Club of Boston.