HOULTON - Elizabeth "Betty" Ann Childers passed away on February 4, 2015, at the age of 88. Betty Ann was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Feb. 24, 1926, to Lawrence and Mary (Hainesworth) Plageman.
She was the oldest of seven children and learned early on that family, leadership and community service were valued attributes. Betty attended high school and teacher's college in Cincinnati and married her husband, Hiram, in 1946. Together they raised five children. In 1961 Hiram's position with the B&O Railroad brought the family to Staten Island, New York. Betty was able to finish her Master's in education. Once all of her children were in school, she pursued a full time teaching career for over 30 years. In 1965 her husband accepted a position with the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad and moved the family to Houlton. Betty taught kindergarten programs in Littleton and Monticello, and also taught at Lambert and Bowdoin Street schools. She became involved in many professional organizations and church groups. She and Hiram traveled far and wide in the state with their children's sports activities. Betty also became a representative for the Educational Foundation for Foreign Students placing exchange students from all over the world in local high schools, in Houlton and later on in Hampden and Bangor. She taught in Brighton, England for 5 summers providing orientations for students coming to America. She shared many happy experiences with the students and kept in touch with them over the years. She heard often from her "European children" about their careers, marriages and children. When the B&A moved the main office to Hermon, Betty and Hiram relocated to Hampden and Betty continued her teaching at various schools in Brewer. No matter where she traveled former students would come up to her and reminisce about what a great year they had in her class. She was known for her originality and innovative teaching methods. While living in Hampden, Betty was involved with local government and worked with the town manager to establish the Hampden Library and new Post Office. She was active on the Hampden School Board and Maine Teacher's Association serving as chair and union negotiator. Betty retired from teaching almost thirty years ago. After her husband passed away in 1988, she moved back to Houlton. She enjoyed being closer to two of her daughters and getting reacquainted with old friends. Even in retirement she continued to play an active role in the community. She served on the Houlton Town Council Planning Board, Houlton Council of Catholic Women, Aroostook Area on Aging Board, Houlton Regional Hospital Board, SAD #29 School Board and Region Two SAVE Board just to name a few. She was a dedicated volunteer at Houlton Regional Hospital and certainly enjoyed her interactions with everyone checking in at the front desk. She stayed up to date with what teenagers were all about through her involvement with Houlton High Schools creative music program chaperoning many trips and helping out with all of the performances. Betty continued to enjoy traveling and became a snow bird for many winters in Naples, Florida. Once again, she made many new friends and became involved in community associations where she lived coordinating ice cream socials, pot luck suppers and many outings. She loved musical theater and visits from family. Just after her children surprised her on her 80th birthday, she made a trip to Hawaii. She also made many trips to Colorado and Arizona to visit two of her children and attend grandchildren's graduations. Prior to her stay at Madigan Estastes Nursing Home she resided at Bartley Gardens for over ten years. She enjoyed her weekly bridge and canasta games with her lady friends. She was very involved with Saint Mary's Church serving as chairperson for the Church Council.
Betty is survived by her five children, Mary Ann and husband, Bill Marciniak, of Houlton, Thomas Childers of Flagstaff, Arizona, Anita and husband, Jeff Hubert, of Littleton, Peter and wife, Judy Dolinar, of Brewer and Susan and husband, Ron Haeckel, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; fourteen grandchildren, four great-grandchildren; her siblings: brothers, Richard and wife, Elaine Plageman, of Cincinnati, Ohio, Paul and wife, Pat Plageman, of Naples, Florida, and Tim and wife, Donna Plageman, of Cincinnati, Ohio, her sisters, Carol and husband, Jim Olding, of Cincinnati, Ohio, and Susan and husband, Jim Coleman, of Colts Neck, New Jersey, Nancy and husband, Jack Lutz, of Cincinnati, Ohio; among her many friends are some very special people who have supported and loved her throughout her life: Virginia McLaughlin, Patrice Hipsley, Ida Parks, Lynette Dobbs and Father David Raymond.
Friends may call at the Dunn Funeral Home Tuesday, Feb. 10, 6-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at the Saint Mary of the Visitation Church on Wednesday at 10 a.m. with the Rev. David Raymond celebrant. A time of fellowship will follow the service in Saint Anthony's Hall. Gifts may be made in Betty's memory payable to the Saint Mary of the Visitation Church or the charity of one's choice, care of Dunn Funeral Home, 11 Park Street, Houlton, ME 04730. Online condolences and guest book at www.dunnfuneral.com.