Obituary: Betty Jeanne Michaels, 1922-2014 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Betty Jeanne Michaels, 1922-2014 

Published June 18, 2014 at 4:00 a.m.

Betty Michaels, (born Meyers) the little energizer bunny, ran out of batteries, and left us early in the morning on June 17, 2014. Her uncooperative 91 year old heart finally overcame her amazing will to live.

She was born in Covington, Kentucky, on October 29, 1922, where she spent her first five years. Her parents then moved her to Cincinnati with her brother so she could attend school. As a teenager she enjoyed ice skating, piano playing and roller skating, but her favorite activity was always swimming.

She graduated from Edgecliff College and the University of Cincinnati with a Masters degree in French. She then attended Middlebury College and received a Masters in Spanish in 1945. She turned down a scholarship for her doctorate as she felt she had attended enough school.

Her early jobs included teacher, in Miami, and secretary to the dean at Xavier University, back in Cincinnati, where she met her husband Jim. He hung around the Deans office to flirt with her and went so far as to attend mass to win her approval.

Engaged six weeks later, they married on June 10, 1950. Jim predeceased her after sixty years of marriage on August 23, 2010.

In their early married years, she followed her husband, the chemistry professor, to New Orleans for two years, then to Vermont when he was offered a position at St Michaels College. Together they raised five children, four of whom survive her.

She returned to school one more time to Middlebury, to refresh her Spanish, so that she could teach at Mt. Mansfield Union High School for 17 years. She spent her summers either sailing on Lake Champlain or watching her daughters in horseshows. After retirement, she and Jim visited England, and started a long second career helping care for their grandchildren, Philip Demas, Anna Demas Keramaty, Alex, Ian and Eric Corredera, Jeff Case, Laura Michaels Renard and Jamie Michaels. She also found time to return to her passion for painting.

During her eighties, she swam regularly at the Raquets Edge, and was thrilled when she received a free membership at age 90.

We will remember her for her strong sense of family, her easy going good nature, her sense of humor, her Sunday dinners, and we hope we inherited her classic fashion sense. We know we inherited her love of shopping.

Besides her grandchildren, she leaves her daughters, Beth Demas and fiancé Bruce Carr, MaryAnne Michaels and husband Gerry Racette and Kathleen Michaels and Significant Other, Don McDermott. She also leaves her favorite son, Bill Michaels, and wife Kaja.

The family offers deepest thanks to the caregivers at Burlington Health and Rehab and to her special caregiver Donna McGonagle.

Donations may be made to the Deborah Rawson library in Jericho.

Visiting hours will be held on Sunday, June 22, from four till six p.m. at LaVigne Funeral Home and Cremation Service 132 Main Street, Winooski, with a Mass of Christian Burial at ten a.m. on Monday the 23rd at St. Pius Catholic Church in Essex Center. Online condolences may be shared at

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