Elizabeth “Betty/Bet” May Barnes passed away peacefully on September 3, 2020 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s. Born in Wethersfield, CT on February 11, 1927 to Edwin Hyland May and Dorothy Wells Hannum, Betty was predeceased by her cherished husband Carlyle “Hap” Barnes in 2012. She attended Wethersfield High School and graduated from Edgewood Park, Briarcliff Manor, NY in 1946 with a degree in Interior Design. Betty married Hap in 1949, settling in Hap’s hometown of Bristol, CT. While raising their four children, Bet became very involved in the community. She volunteered in the John J. Jennings Elementary School library and was also a Brownie leader. Betty was on the Board of the Newington Children’s Hospital and a volunteer and President of the Junior Auxiliary Board of the Bristol Hospital. Before marriage, Betty was very active in the First Church of Christ in Wethersfield. After marriage, she embraced the First Congregational Church of Bristol, serving on many committees and participating in the church shows, singing in her beautiful soprano voice and wholeheartedly enjoying the fun. Betty was on the Suffield Academy Board of Directors for 13 years and the Board of ASSIST (American Secondary Schools for International Students and Teachers) for 13 years as well, then becoming a Director Emeritus. She was a Bushnell Memorial Committee member in Hartford, CT and a member of the Bristol Tuesday Reading Club which has been in existence for over 100 years.
After discovering Cape Cod in the early 1950’s, Bet and Hap made East Orleans their summer home. Betty loved to garden and transformed “Skunk Bluff” on Nauset Heights into a special paradise. She was a huge believer in the benefits of exercise. Almost daily, she and Hap could be spotted riding their bikes to the post office or walking a brisk two or three miles around the neighborhood. She loved to send cards, writing heartfelt personal notes in every one, never forgetting a birthday, anniversary or special occasion. Betty was the “hostess with the mostest,” entertaining with favorite recipes from her recipe wheel in a home she had decorated to be warm and inviting. Over the years, she and Hap traveled to many interesting places. Hap would take photographs and she would keep a detailed journal of the food, the people and her overall impressions. These photos and journals were then saved carefully for all to enjoy.
Betty is predeceased by her brother, Ed and is survived by her sister, Janice Splaine of Rockland, ME. She leaves her daughter and son-in-law, Lynne and Richard Leahy of Larchmont, NY, her daughter and son-in-law, Janis and Richard Owens of Nedrow, NY, her daughter and partner, Joan Barnes and Ian Ellison of Orleans, MA, her son and daughter-in-law, Fuller and Jan Barnes of Flagstaff, AZ; her grandchildren, Brooke and (Conway “Deuce”) Harris, Taylor and (Jamie) Leahy, Richard and (Stephanie) Leahy, Jillian Leahy and (Gilbert) Padilla, David Owens and (Jean LaRoche-Owens), Arianne and (Michael) Dougherty, Corey and (Matthew) Roberts, Brenna Flynn and (Ross Hardaway), McKael and Cutter Barnes; her great-grandchildren, Grey Harris, Liam and Tate Leahy, Landon and Chase Leahy, Trevor, Bronwyn and Gareth Owens, Eva, Lily, Maeve and Owen Dougherty, Lila Roberts, Leon Hardaway, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
The Barnes family would like to express our deep appreciation to all the people who took care of, watched over and loved Betty throughout these last years. We are grateful for every single one of you! “Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves!” James Barrie. In lieu of flowers please send donations to “Main Street Foundation”, 120 Halcyon Dr., Bristol, CT 06011-2702 or “The Alzheimer’s Family Support Center”, 2095 Main St., Brewster, MA 02631. To send condolences to the family of Betty Barnes, please contact norvelowensmortuary.com. Please leave contact information. There will be a “Celebration of life” at a future date.