Betty Jefferson Blaisdell

Born on 08/08/1932

Departed on 11/02/2012

Resided in Fredericksburg, Virginia

Betty Jefferson Blaisdell, 80, of Fredericksburg, ended her earthly journey on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012.

Mrs. Blaisdell was the daughter of Elliott Emmet Jefferson and Virginia Powell Jefferson Harper. She was a graduate of James Monroe High School.  She earned her B.A. degree from the University of Mary Washington and M.Ed from the University of Florida. After a thirty three year career as a teacher and an administrator, she retired from Fairfax County Public Schools as coordinator of Secondary English Language Arts.

Mrs. Blaisdell taught students at every grade, from kindergarten to graduate level. She taught at the University of Florida as a model teacher for graduate students, and taught public school teachers in graduate courses at George Mason University. She served as an adjunct professor supervising student teachers at the University of Mary Washington.

In her professional career, she served as president of the English Teachers Association of Northern Virginia and of the Virginia Association of Teachers of English. She initiated and co-directed with George Mason University the Northern Virginia Writing Project of the National Writing Project. She served as judge of grant proposals for the National Endowment for the Humanities and for the national essay contest for the United States Information Agency. She was a speaker and program presenter for numerous national organizations and author of national publications including a booklet for the U.S. Department of Education. She served as a consultant to the National Education Association (NEA), the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE), and the Virginia Association of Teachers of English (VATE). She also served as a consultant to professors at Auburn University and Pembroke University, and as a consultant to a WETA program on children’s literature which won an Emmy award. Mrs. Blaisdell also served as the first public school chairman of the Evaluation Board of the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education, evaluating programs at universities throughout the United States. Always a teacher, she taught at-risk children for the past eleven years in an after-school program and served on the Board of Directors of Olde Forge Junction/Stafford Junction.

Mrs. Blaisdell was noted for her tireless volunteerism and service in the Fredericksburg area, and was named Woman of the Year in 2009 by the Woman’s Club of Fredericksburg, and was a past president of the organization. She was a lifetime member, and former chaplain, of the Salvation Army Woman’s Auxiliary. Her interest in history led to her service as lifetime member and past president of the Stafford Historical Society and past membership chairman of Preservation Virginia. She initiated the Mary Washington ElderStudy program for adult learners and served as board member.  She also initiated the Festival of Trees program in Fredericksburg and was an active member of Women in the Giving Spirit (WINGS) and an active member of the Philanthropic Education Organization (PEO).

Mrs. Blaisdell has been a faithful member and life deacon of Fredericksburg Baptist Church, where she has served as Sunday school director and as a member of the Sanctuary Choir. She put God and family first in everything she did. Known for her smile and love for others, she brought joy into the lives of everyone she met. She often commented on how grateful she was to have such a loving family, so many caring friends, and a truly supportive church family. She exemplified her Christian faith in every aspect of her life.

Mrs. Blaisdell is survived by her loving husband of 59 years, Clarence Preston Blaisdell; a devoted son, Steve Preston Blaisdell and his wife Patty; a devoted daughter, Beverly Blaisdell and her husband Paul Messplay, Jr; and six grandchildren: Elaine, Bethany and Grant Blaisdell, and Paul, Daniel and Katie Messplay.

The family will receive friends on Sunday, Nov. 4, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Covenant Funeral Service, Fredericksburg.

A Celebration of Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 5, at Fredericksburg Baptist Church with the

Rev. J. Larry Haun  and the Rev. Patti English officiating. A reception will follow in the church Fellowship Hall.

Interment will be private at Sunset Memorial Gardens.

In lieu of flowers, memorial expressions of sympathy may be made to the Fredericksburg Baptist Church Youth Ministry 1019 Princess Anne St., Fredericksburg, Va. 22401 or to Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary (SAWA) P.O. Box 179, Fredericksburg, VA 22404.

29 thoughts on Betty Jefferson Blaisdell

  1. Jeanne Cornell Howell on said:

    I love the above picture of Betty. It portrays the Betty I knew and loved — so full of life. Betty, you will be missed.

  2. Rev. Maynard Powell on said:

    Betty Jean was always an inspiration to me. I loved her sense of humor and her wisdom.

  3. Allen and ReBecca Bennett with Daytona and Craig on said:

    How our hearts break for such a wonderful light of this world distinguished. She is definitely up there in heaven making everyone beam. God bless you and your family. We are praying for your hurts to be mellowed with lots of love from everyone! Love, Allen, Becky, Craig and Daytona

  4. Shari Barber on said:

    When I first moved to Fredericksburg, Betty was one of the first to help me make it home. What a wonderful woman.

  5. Patti Fletcher on said:

    I met Betty @ the Y water aerobics class year before last. We shared our belief that we have a God of love, which was reinforced by her witness. I will never forget her.

  6. Leo and Lilly Breeden on said:

    We have lost another ANGEL from our church. It is so hard to say goodbye to one that always had that beaming smile on her face. I myself have been unable to attend church for awhile but with those like Betty there as well as others that have been lost you have a feeling God is calling some very special people to Him. May He have mercy on those that Betty left here waiting to see her again. You have our deepest synpathies. Leo and Lilly Breeden

  7. James (Linny) and Linda Powell on said:

    Betty Jean will always be remembered as a very kind and generous person who opened her home to everyone who spent time with her we send our blessings and prayers to her family and to all she cared for.

  8. Anne Brooks Brauer, on said:

    Preston and family- I read this morning in paper about Betty. I am so very sorry. She was a lovely wife and Mother and my heart aches for all of you. Try to keep your spirits p and call me if I can help in any way. Anne Brooks Brauer, Local lifetime friend

  9. Anne Brooks Brauer, on said:

    Preston and children, I just read about Bettys death in paper. I am so sorry for your loss of a Lovely Wife and Mother. You are in my prayers and call me if there is anything I can do to help. Anne Brooks Brauer, Local life time friend-

  10. Valerie Perry Hunter on said:

    Dearest Pep,Steve,Beverly and families, What a beautiful life to celebrate!!! I will be seeing you all Sunday evening
    With Loving thoughts, Valerie

  11. Laura and Sam Smart on said:

    Preston and family
    You are in our thoughts and prayers. Betty was a wonderful person and leader in our church. Her interpersonal skills and attention to detail will be missed.

  12. Astrid Dick, Fredericksburg Va Nov. 3, 2012 on said:

    Betty was an inspiration to me in how tirelessly she gave of her time and talent where, and whenever it was needed by the Salvation Army Womens Auxiliary. I will remember her for her positive outlook. Heaven will be the better for her presence. My prayers are with the family.

  13. Ron and Sharon West on said:

    A bright a courageous spirit has joined the Angels. We will always remember her love and devotion to the welfare and education of children through her many years in Fairfax County schools. This devotion continued through all her retirement in Fredericksburg where we had the pleasure of continuing our friendship. Missed will be her radiant smile and sparkling eyes–ever ready to bring joy wherever she was. Pep, our love toyou and all of your family and our prayers for peace at heart. God bless you.

  14. Wendy, Scott & family (Erwin's) on said:

    You’re a glowing light each time we saw you- your laughter-smile were so indicative of Jesus within you! Thanks for blessing our lives!

  15. Brenda T. Haley on said:

    A Southern lady like Betty is one never forgets meeting and talking about her love of the Lord. I am so pleased to have spent the time I did with her. She was such a blessing to be around. My prayers go out to her family.

  16. Dorothy Spencer on said:

    Betty was a colleague, supervisor and friend when I was teaching in Fairfax County. When I last saw her aome months ago, she had the same smile that she has in the picture and that she always had. An inspirational educator, she encouraged and supported teachers.

  17. Stephanie Poling on said:

    Betty made a memorable mark on so many lives here on earth. Her spirit will live on in the beautiful family she created. Her children and grandchildren are a testament to her love and faith in God, family and the importance of education.
    Our hearts go out to you in your sadness but rejoice that she is in a very joyful place now! Love to all of you.

  18. Alice Cole on said:

    My prayers for strength and wisdom are with those who loved Betty, as she would want us all to continue to love each other in the way she loved us. Alice

  19. Marti Barrett on said:

    My heart is with you.

  20. Reed Smith on said:

    I had the pleassure of working with Betty in a learning environment. She had a true gift for working with the kids.
    She was certainly a positive roll model for these youngster that so desperately needed one. She was an inspiration to me and others around her. May God rest her soul.

  21. Kim Mitchell on said:

    Betty is who I want to be when I grow up! The Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary will never be the same…

  22. Joan Smith on said:

    Betty is now an Angel among the many Angels she studied and taught us about at our SAWA meetings. She was such a charming, smiling inspiration to us and to all of those she helped every day. Reed and I send our blessings to the family.

  23. Jerry and Val Norville on said:

    Beverly, we are so distraught that your mother has passed away. May God bless you and lead you through our grief. We never had an opportunity to meet her but having known you as a graduate student and friend these many years, I would have predicted the beautiful commemoration of her life so well written in her obituary.

    If there is anything Val or I can do for you during your period of grief, please call upon us.

    Jerry Norville, Professor Emeritus, MCV-VCU

  24. Janie Ray Smith on said:

    I am so sorry to learn of Betty’s death. I knew and worked with her for many years in Fairfax County Schools. She always had such a smile and positive attitude and along with a life long devotion to education and language arts. She will be missed by many. Janie Ray Smith

  25. Shirley Bates on said:

    My sincere condolences to Betty’s family. Betty was an inspiration to all SAWA members.

  26. Celina Eyestone on said:

    My deepest sympathy to Betty’s family. I will miss her kindness, warmth and her beautiful smile at our PEO meetings.

  27. Pat Guy on said:

    I remember Betty Jean when I was a little girl and she was a high school teenager. We lived several houses apart on Fall Hill Avenue. I thought she was so pretty and remember her always getting a beatufil tan each summer. She was very sweet to a little brat like me. She and my older step sister, Annette Beer (nee: Huckabee), were good friends growing up. I am sorry to hear of Betty’s passing and sorry I didn’t know her in our grown up, mature, later years. Sincere sympathy to all her family. Pat Trivett Guy

  28. Anne Kuhta on said:

    My mentor, colleague, and inspiration. Our years together in the English supervision and curriculum development departments of Fairfax County Public Schools are ones that shaped who I am as a teacher. Our continuing friendship after she retired demonstrated her faith and love for her family and everyone she came in contact with. My memories of Betty’s grace, work ethic, and faith will continue to inspire me. My thoughts are with you, Pep. What a blessing to have spent 59 years with this wonderful woman. Anne Kuhta

  29. Kathy Davis on said:

    I was so sorry to read of Betty’s passing in the Fairfax County Retired Educators newsletter. She was an inspiration to so many of us, when she served as Coordinator of English Language Arts. I looked forward to seeing her at the FCRE luncheons, smiling and gracious as always. She will be missed.

    Kathy Davis

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