Betty Caldwell, the daughter of Louis and Maudie (Richards) DeLeo, was born and raised in Port Townsend.
Nammie, as she is known to her grand and great-grandchildren, spent her life helping people in the most pleasant of ways. Betty started at the tender age of 5 helping her younger cousin, Shirley Richards, recover from the loss of Shirley’s mother.
Betty’s welcoming personality convinced her cousin to begin speaking again and they became lifelong friends. During her school years, Betty was a singer, dancer, majorette, and a Rhododendron Festival Princess. Her warm and effervescent personality would aid her greatly in her pursuit of a nursing career.
While attending Providence Nursing School in Seattle, she and her boyfriend, Jim Caldwell, decided to get married. Though Jim and Betty eventually had nine children, Betty continued nursing in Obstetrics at Saint John’s Hospital in Port Townsend.
She also found time for the Key City Players, the Joan O’Meara Dance troupe, singing performances with the Harmanairs, while she designed, knitted and sewed clothing for her family. As the children grew, Betty designed the Caldwell multi-bedroom home on Garfield Street including an upstairs office that helped her begin a second career as a travel agent. She provided her customers with great vacations, many who later joined her when she led religious and recreational European and South American tours.
When her children were fully grown, Betty began a third career as Sacristan for the Saint Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church. For the past 25 years, she divided her time between her Church, and her grand and great-grandchildren. However, Betty set aside eight weeks each year to bask in the sun in Stockton, California.
Betty touched so many lives in the most inviting manner that we are much the better for it. She will pray for you. Betty is preceded in death by her loving husband, Jim, and her oldest son Jim (Dib). Betty is survived by her three daughters, Rita Beebe, Crissie Babb, Marcia Griffin; five sons, Tim, Mark, Pat (Chad), John, and Matt; two brothers, Ron and Lou; 19 grandchildren and 17.5 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will take place later at Saint Mary Star of Sea Catholic Church as Covid restrictions allow. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Rhododendron Scholarship Fund, PO Box 766, Port Townsend, WA 98368.