Animals Pets 13
Official Obituary of

Betsey W. Woolf

February 4, 1931 ~ February 24, 2024 (age 93) 93 Years Old

Betsey Woolf Obituary

      Betsey Wheatley Woolf, 93, resident of Brooksby Village Peabody, passed away February 24 while in hospice care.

      Betsey was born on February 4, 1931, the daughter of John Reginald Wheatley and Alma Clark Wheatley. She was raised in Abington, Massachusetts and lived with her husband and children in Byfield, Massachusetts for close to forty years. Betsey graduated from Thayer Academy in 1949 and Mount Holyoke College in 1953.

     She met Bob Woolf on a blind date arranged by dear friends Sidney and Susan Myers. They married on August 16, 1958. Their children are Emily Woolf Economou, Tim Woolf, and John Wheatley Harrington.

     Betsey loved travel – a love that began with a college summer job at Yellowstone National Park that allowed her to hitchhike and explore the wilderness on her days off. That trip was followed by a drive across the United States with a group of friends. Decades later, she and her husband Bob traveled with good friends to Africa, Asia, Australia, and across much of Europe and the United States.

     One of Betsey’s favorite trips was wandering through the English countryside exploring the gardens. Betsey loved her garden. For one Mother’s Day, she asked Bob to take the kids to the beach so that she could pull weeds. Later in life she wrote that she’d ask Bob to gather her children around her and forget about the flowers for a day. To this day, her children are the proud beneficiaries of her garden. Patches of Betsey’s grandmother’s peonies are thriving in Massachusetts, New York, Iowa, and Vermont.

     When not traveling, Betsey was happiest with a delightful book in hand and a dog at her feet, or with a great bridge hand and a black-and-tan beer. Beware anyone taking on Betsey’s top notch bridge skills. She was forever grateful that Bob insisted she learn bridge as an agreement to their marriage.

     Betsey loved working for the U.S. Postal Service sorting and delivering mail. She was the first woman to work at the Newburyport Post Office. She enjoyed her days talking with residents along her route while petting their dogs.

     Betsey also served as president of the Newbury Garden Club, co-president of the Anna Jacques Hospital Aid Association, and president of the Lynn Sweet Adelines. She sang as long as her voice would allow.

     She worked hard and volunteered often. But her greatest gift was her balance of humility and strength, which she used to offer the kind word, the respectful glance, the extra hand. Betsey loved cats as well as dogs. She took on many stray cats and dogs over the years, some of whom became famous for roaming her neighborhood and causing much mischief and laughter.

     In her eighties, she wrote short stories about her life. One story included her stage debut as a 25-year-old. She was so worried that she’d miss a line. She studied so much that she gave up bridge, lost weight, and caused her doctor to become concerned about her health. But she persevered and only missed one line in each performance. Her doctor told her never to act again. She ignored his advice.

     Betsey was especially close to her dear sister Sue and her dear brother Jack. She loved and was enormously proud of her entire extended family. Betsey is survived by her daughter Emily and husband John and their sons Robbie and Jared; her son Tim and wife Deborah and their children Jacob, Aspen (formerly Leah), and Mariana; and her son John and wife Janette and their son Justin. She is also survived by her loving sister, Sue and husband Elliott. She was predeceased by her husband Bob, her parents, and her brother Jack.

     A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 9, at the Brooksby Village Chapel, 300 Brooksby Village Drive, Peabody, Massachusetts. Relatives and friends are invited. Lunch will follow the service, also at Brooksby Village. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Northeast Animal Rescue League: Donate. Any floral gifts should be delivered only to the chapel address above. 


~ Arrangements Entrusted to F. S. Roberts & Son Funeral Home ~

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Memorial Service
March 9, 2024

11:00 AM
Brooksby Village Chapel, Brooksby Village Drive, Massachusetts, Peabody


The MSPCAAngell
350 South Huntington Avenue, Boston MA 02130
Tel: 1-617-522-7400


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