Elizabeth S. “Bette” Cohen

November 29th, 2012

Elizabeth S. “Bette” Cohen, age 83, of Wilmington, died peacefully surrounded by her family on November 29, 2012, at the Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington.

Bette was born on June 5, 1929, in Lowell, MA, she was the dear daughter of the late William and Lucy (Maguire) Birtwell.  Bette was raised in Nahant as a child and moved to Lynn where she graduated from Lynn English High School with the Class of 1947.  Bette continued her education at the Lynn School of Nursing and received her RN degree in 1950.

Bette married Edward Cohen on December 31, 1952, the couple lived and traveled all over Europe and South America before returning to the United States.  Bette and Ed lived in New York for several years and then moved to New Jersey where they continued to raise a wonderful family.

While Bette traveled all over she continued to be a caring and dedicated nurse, she had the utmost respect and professionalism for her patients and the willingness to continue learning new and different nursing techniques.  She used her knowledge to be the best nurse she could be and the best care giver to others.  When Bette returned to Massachusetts more than 30 years ago she worked at Mass. General Hospital in Boston for 13 years and retired from nursing more than 20 years ago to spend more time with her family.

Bette will be fondly remembered as being very creative and artistic; she was a talented seamstress who often made beautiful one of a kind outfits. She enjoyed rug hooking, creating beautiful gardens, and made unique stained glass projects.  Bette shared many of her creations with her family and friends who will forever cherish them.

Bette had an insatiable appetite for learning, she was an avid reader who studied history and archeology.  Following her retirement, Bette continued to travel the world to learn about other countries and cultures.  Bette always had an open mind and an open heart to learn of others struggles and triumphs, she was truly one in a million.

Bette’s family and friends will remember her for her devotion to them, her family was first and foremost in her life; she was loving, caring, dependable, had a wicked sense of humor, and  truly proud of her family and of their accomplishments.  As a friend, Bette was true to a fault, she was there to lend a hand or an ear, everyone could always count on her.  Bette was dearly loved by many and will be greatly missed, especially for those many hours of shared conversation and laughter.

Bette was the devoted mother of John Cohen and his wife Jacquie Hughes-Cohen of Newark, DE, Kathie Cohen and her husband Shelly Friedman of Hopewell, NJ, Susan Mathewson of Irvine, CA, Alicia D’Arcy and her husband Pete of Doylestown, PA, and Pamela Cohen and her companion Bruce Bongiorni of Ann Arbor, MI, loving “Grandma” of Sam Friedman, Steven and Julia Mathewson, Tim, Michael, and Elizabeth D’Arcy, dear sister of Bill Birtwell of Virginia, Mary Hartley and Ruth Birtwell both of Massachusetts, and the late Jane Birtwell.  Bette is further survived by her former husband Edward Cohen, her dear friends Leslie Dietrich and Jan Ellis, her beloved cats Sasha and Alex, as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.

Family and friends will gather for Visiting Hours on Sunday, December 2nd from 1-4 p.m. in the Nichols Funeral Home, Inc., 187 Middlesex Ave. (Rte. 62), Wilmington.  In lieu of flowers, donations in Bette’s name may be made to the Lahey Clinic Medical Center, Attn: Development Office, 41 Mall Road, Burlington, MA 01805.


5 Entries in Guest Book for “Elizabeth S. “Bette” Cohen”

  1. Robert Hartley says:

    Bette was amazing. So smart and gifted, an incredible sense of “taste” – an artist. She knew how to keep it interesting, things were never dull when she around. She didn’t mince words and would let you know exactly how she felt. I admired her confidence and always felt “at ease” when she was near. All of my love, thoughts, and prayers to everyone who knew and loved her.

  2. Marion Bradford says:

    Liz, as I knew her from the gym was a sweet funny lady.
    Rest well Liz

  3. Cheryl Murchison says:

    My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to Bette’s family and friends. She was loved so much and will be missed. But her memory and her legacy will live in those she loved forever. God Bless and Rest in Peace; Bette.

  4. Kim Whitaker says:

    What a kind and loving woman Bette must have been; I can only imagine how much she will be missed by her family and friends. My thoughts and prayers got out to all those that loved her. May you find peace in the happy memories of times shared with Bette.

  5. Hope McShan says:

    What delightful and lovely memories of Ms. Betty from her many visits to California I have and will cherish always. My thoughts and prayers got out to all who love her and to the family, “thank you” for sharing your mom (Ms. Betty) and for the beautiful memories that I’m thankful and grateful to have.
    -Peace and Comfort.

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