Betty Robichau


Betty Robichau died on Jan. 23, 2015. She was 98 years old.

Betty was born on Feb. 16, 1916, in Everett to George Doubtfire and Betty Lofgren. Her father had immigrated from London, England; her mother from Sweden. Her father loved horses from an early age and wished to become a jockey, but outgrew it. He always maintained an interest in horses. George was employed as a butler in London. His employer, under urgings from his friends, entered a horse in the Derby — a long shot. George found a half-crown and bet on the horse. The horse won, and he found his way to America with his winnings.

Betty’s mother was employed as a maid in Massachusetts when she met George. The family moved to Brookline, where her husband found work as a butcher and was employed by S.S. Pierce in Coolidge Corner.

Betty attended Devotion School and Brookline High School. In 1922, they purchased a house on the Cape in Centerville. They had a market and maintained a small farm. They also had a small restaurant called the Lustre Tea Room, where Betty waited on tables.

One customer was Lucy Wheelock, who met Betty and encouraged her to attend college to become a teacher. Betty graduated from Wheelock College in 1937, and began her teaching career in Edgartown, where she resided. Betty taught first grade for many years, retiring in 1979. Part of the decision to retire was prompted when grandchildren of her students began to appear.

She met and married her husband, Joseph, in Edgartown in 1946, and they resided in Edgartown. She and Joe founded Wintucket Day Camp, and ran it for 20 years on the MacKenty property on Edgartown Great Pond. Many Island and summer children enjoyed their camp experiences.

She maintained a large vegetable garden, was interested in sewing and knitting, and was active in the Federated Church, eventually serving as a deacon. She enjoyed socializing with her many friends, traveling around the U.S. and England, and throughout Europe.

She is survived by her son Joseph, who resides in Oak Bluffs and Brookline with his wife Johanna, as well as Joseph’s sons, Joseph B. and John B. Robichau.

Donations in her memory may be made to the Boys and Girls Club of Edgartown, to Hope Hospice, 765 Attucks Lane, Hyannis, MA 02601, or to the Federated Church of Edgartown.