Betty Jane French, 92, of New Cumberland, passed away on Monday, December 5, 2022, surrounded by her family. She was the daughter of the late Gordon W. and Isabelle M. (Brogan) Anthony, born on January 20, 1930 in Hazleton.
Betty was a 1947 graduate of the former St. Gabriel’s High School, Hazleton, and would go on to earn a bachelor’s degree at Misericordia College. Professionally, she was an educator all her life, starting out as a music teacher, but spending most of her years teaching kindergarten. She would teach at several districts throughout the years, but early on, a job in Annapolis is where she would meet Walter, a young man stationed at the Naval Academy; the two were married in 1956 and would start a family, having nine children in twelve years. She would return to teaching after raising a family, teaching kindergarten at St. Theresa Catholic School, New Cumberland, until her retirement in the early 1990s.
She was a member of St. Theresa Catholic Church, New Cumberland, where she served as an extraordinary minister, volunteered with the yearly Bazaar committee, and was one of the first marriage mentors (along with her husband) in the church. Though her faith in God came first, her love for her family was tremendous and meant everything to her here on earth. With nine children to raise, she hardly had time to support them in some of their endeavors; when grandchildren came along, she made up for lost time, attending as many concerts, sporting events and ceremonies as possible. Family trips to Avalon, NJ, were the yearly highlight of her summers. And despite her declining health, she remained positive and enjoyed her final years living with her son, Bob, and his family in New Cumberland.
Betty’s family would like to thank Amedisys Hospice for the considerate and compassionate comfort provided to their mother.
Surviving Betty are her sons and daughters, Thomas A. French (Rosemary) of Mechanicsburg, Robert J. French of New Cumberland, Mary E. Knapik (John) of Elizabethville, F. Patrick French (Cornelia) of Laurel, MD, Walter H. French III of Coronado, CA, Timothy M. French of Cary, NC, Christopher S. French (Sharon) of Mechanicsburg, Catherine T. Brestensky (Charles) of Harrisburg, and John G. French of New Cumberland; and twelve grandchildren. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Walter Huntt French Jr, who passed away in January of 2021.
A public viewing will be held on Sunday, December 11, 2022 from 3-5PM at Parthemore Funeral Home & Cremation Services, New Cumberland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held the following morning, Monday, December 12 at 11AM in St. Theresa Catholic Church, New Cumberland. At the conclusion of mass, a procession will depart for Gate of Heaven Cemetery, Mechanicsburg.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a contribution in Betty’s name to her church: St. Theresa Catholic Church, 1300 Bridge Street, New Cumberland, PA 17070.