Rosemary C. “Dusty” Betts of Seaford passed away on Tuesday, Aug. 4. Dusty will be remembered as a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, an outstanding community leader, and a devout Catholic. But, by far, she will always be remembered for being the faithful and devoted wife of Dean Betts. As a couple, they were admired, respected, and loved by all.

Dusty was born in Baltimore, Md. in 1929 to Antonio and Vincenzina DiPaula. She graduated from Forest Park High School in 1947, from University of Maryland in 1950, and received her Juris Doctorate law degree from University of Maryland School of Law in 1953. She married A. Dean Betts, Esquire that same year and moved to Seaford where Dean practiced law. Dusty became a stay at home mother after giving birth to six children in rapid succession, while also devoting her time and talents to her church and her community. Some of Dusty’s most cherished service was to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Seaford, where she served as a Sunday School teacher, Eucharistic Minister to the sick, Officer and Member of the 1st Parish Counsel, and Prefect for the Ladies Sodality. Additionally, she coveted her role as a volunteer with the “Right to Read” program, helping third graders with reading struggles, and as a leader for the Brownie and Girl Scout troops, and Cub Scout Den in which her children participated. In 1994, she was honored to be named Delaware’s Mother of the Year.

Later, to help out with the expenses of college and graduate school for their six children, Dusty accepted the invitation of the Family Court’s Chief Judge to be appointed as a Master and to pioneer a new Arbitration program for first time juvenile offenders in Kent and Sussex counties. Under her guidance, this program became extremely successful. Upon completion of her appointment as a Master, Dusty became a Family Court Mediation Hearing Officer until she retired from the state of Delaware in 1997. In retirement, Dusty enjoyed many activities such as Garden Club, the Red Hat Society, and attending her grandchildren’s many extracurricular events. Throughout her life, Dusty most enjoyed spending time with her family and extended family and creating many traditions that survive and thrive today, including vacationing in Ocean City, Md. each year with her brothers and sister and their families, and her famous Sunday spaghetti dinners.

In addition to her parents, Dusty was preceded in death by her husband Dean, her daughter Dr. Susan Betts, her sister Teresa Samosuk, and her brothers, Phillip DiPaula and Dr. Anthony DiPaula. She is survived by her son Michael Betts and his wife Lynne of Seaford and their children Michael Jr., David, Sarah, James, Samantha, and Ashley and their grandchildren Finley, Dillon, and Sofia; her daughter Judge Rosemary Betts Beauregard and Vincent Vickers of Milton and her children Rosie Claire and Adam and his wife Alyn and their daughter Cora; her daughter Colleen DeMott and her husband Brian of Seaford, and their children Brian Jr. and his wife Cristina, Daniel, Phillip, and Maria; her son Dr. Anthony Betts and his wife Susan of Wilmington and their children Julia, Austin, and Christian; and her son Dean Betts, Jr., Esquire and his wife April of Lewes and their children Madeline and Abigail. Dusty is also survived by many nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.

Every once in a while, someone comes along whose very character sinks into the soul of a family, and leaves everyone a little better off than they were. Dusty’s beliefs, her example, her words of wisdom, her whole life, permeated our family and inspired each of us. Although her passing makes us sad, we are forever grateful she lived a full and beautiful life. Dusty is a shining example of a life well lived.    

A viewing was held at Cranston Funeral Home in Seaford on Sunday Aug. 9. A Funeral Mass was held on Monday Aug. 10 at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Seaford. Burial was private. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Dusty’s name to Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church, Seaford or the Susan J. Betts Charitable Trust in care of the Delaware Community Foundation, Georgetown. 

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