Elizabeth “Betty” Foster Willey of Bellingham, MA, beloved family matriarch and friend to many, died peacefully on Thursday, August 4th, at the age of 83.
Betty was born to the late William and Marion Foster in Attleboro, MA, on April 14th, 1939. She grew up in Millis and had graduated from Millis High School in 1957. She continued to stay in Millis and raise her family, later settling in Bellingham. A guiding light to those who knew her best, Betty was a devout advocate for being kind and being of service to others. Betty established a celebrated career both professionally, and again personally in her retirement; taking on leadership roles with the Bellingham Senior Center and within the Bellingham community as an election worker and Precinct Captain.
Betty will be remembered for her cheerful laugh, quick wit, selfless spirit, wisdom, and optimism, even in the face of adversity. Her story is of a woman who lived by her ideals and in service to others. Betty believed in working hard, being kind, showing up for the little moments that were important to others, and always making sure there was a seat at the table for everyone.
Professionally, she thrived as a top purchasing agent during her thirty-year career for Corning Medical (Bayer Corporation) in Medfield and Walpole. In her retirement, she played an active role with the Bellingham Senior Center, starting a Mahjongg class, and holding leadership roles as Secretary, Treasurer, and Co-Chair of the Christmas Fair. Betty’s zest for life was contagious, and she had many evolving passions, including crafting, traveling, and building new family memories. Her greatest legacy will be defined by her wealth of friends and family, who brought her so much joy to her life. Her social calendar was filled with the many games she enjoyed. Whether it was card night, pitch, cribbage, canasta, bunco, or Mahjongg, there was always an excuse to have friends over to enjoy their company and celebrate life.
During her rehabilitation, Betty continued to show the same determination, persistence, and tenacity that so greatly benefited her throughout her life. She spent her last days feeling love and support from her daughter and son who loved her immensely. Betty had a remarkable ability to make everyone feel loved and special. Her light is an exceptional gift she gave to everyone she had the opportunity to meet and our world is dimmer without her presence.
Betty is survived by her two children: Blane Willey (Bellingham, MA) and his partner Joann Biles; Tracey Phillips (Franklin, MA), and her husband John. In addition to her children, she is survived by her brother, David Foster, as well as by the innumerable friends that she made family. Betty’s pride and joy were her six grandchildren: Brett Willey, Michael Phillips, Marc Willey and wife Christa, Katelyn Avruch and husband Gabriel, Craig Willey, and Gregory Phillips, as well as one great-grandchild, Benjamin Avruch. Betty’s greatest joy was attending their sports, school, art, and Scout events, and she was so proud of each of them. She is predeceased by her parents, William and Marion Foster, step-mother, Doris Foster, and former life partner Anthony “Pat” Iafolla.
Calling hours will be held on Friday, August 19, 2022, from 10:00AM-12:00PM at the Roberts Mitchell Caruso Funeral Home, 15 Miller St. Medfield, MA, followed by a service at 12. Burial will follow at the Prospect Hill Cemetery, Auburn Road, Millis, MA.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Betty’s name to the Bellingham Senior
Center, 40 Blackstone St. Bellingham, MA 02019.