December 29, 2010

BREAKING: Betty Francis Has Died

[Miscellany News]
Former Vassar security guard Betty Francis passed away on Tuesday, according to multiple employees who knew her and a rep for campus security. Betty, who at the time of her death was not employed at Vassar, had undergone surgery and was under the care of the Lutheran Center, a nursing home in Poughkeepsie.

Betty was an icon at Vassar and grew popular with students for her friendly attitude while guarding the entrance to the Mug. "I'm very famous...Doesn't matter who you ask," she once said. She is originally from New Bedford, Massachusetts and grew up on a Wampanoag reservation in Cape Cod. She was one of eight children.

After college, Betty began working at Vassar in 1987. She retired as a full-time security officer in 1994, but in 1999, at the request of Don Marsala, agreed to work part-time and at the Mug. Betty also served as a judge for at least four Mr. Vassar competitions and ran a crocheting mini-course in 2006, among other responsibilities. Outside of Vassar, she exercised her green thumb, hired by the town to water plants on Main Street in New Paltz. She also was a professional dancer, worked as an executive secretary for IBM, and once ran a home for recovering alcoholics.

Vassar recently pulled its security guards off of Mug duty when Aramark took control of the space.

An animated depiction of Betty was even featured in the Health Ed office's video on responsible drinking.

Students and employees were aware of her declining health and had placed a card in the College Center to be signed.

Most of all, Betty will be remembered for her warm and lively demeanor. "My husband used to say he'd never seen anyone who could get out of bed in the morning and just be happy, but that's the way I am," she told a newspaper in 2004. "I love it when I go to bed and I love it when I get up and I love everything in between." Betty's legacy includes two children, four grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren. Don Marsala is expected to send out an email on Wednesday and her obituary should appear in Thursday's Poughkeepsie Journal.


livin_life1228 said...

Rest in peace Betty. You presence on the Vassar Campus will be greatly missed.

leni said...

RIP Betty Francis. You were always a delight even when students were being less than delightful. We never could pull a fast one past you! Whoever was guarding the gates of Heaven is probably now out of a job.

Jason said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jason said...

Well said, leni.

Much love goes out to Betty from the class of '04. Word is spreading quickly and facebook is abuzz with kind words for this wonderful woman.

Knarf87 said...

To a life fully lived,
To lessons passed along,
To love spread beyond its limits.

Mad love and respect to you!
May you rest in eternal peace,
Till we meet again!

Angie said...

Students and Staff of American Academy of Ballet Summer School loved Miss Betty! She was truly "one of a kind". I totally agree with leni's post...she has taken over up there!
Nurse Angie

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