Joseph Bettencourt

Obituary of Joseph S. Bettencourt

Joseph Souza Bettencourt, Jr., 82, of Poughkeepsie, NY, passed away on March 4 th 2023.
Joseph was born on March 5 th , 1940 to Joseph Souza Bettencourt, Sr., and Margaret
Catherine MacDonald in Cambridge, MA. Joseph graduated from Cambridge High and
Latin School in 1958. He earned his BA from Suffolk University in 1962 and received his
M.S. and Ph.D. in Parasitology from the University of New Hampshire.
He started his 50-year career at Marist College in 1966 as an Associate Professor of
Biology. He taught a variety of biology classes through the years, as well as Introduction
to the Health Professions. In addition to teaching, “Dr. B” served as an advisor to those
entering the health professions for 47 years.
In 2016, Joseph retired as Marist’s longest-serving employee, and spent his time with his
family, walking his beloved Hudson Valley Rail Trail daily, and spending more time on
his photography and love of nature. Joseph enjoyed spending time gardening and
planting at both his Poughkeepsie, NY home, and his Harpswell, ME home. He also
continued his passion for education enrolling in classes through Marist’s Center for
Lifetime Study.
Joseph met Martha Ann Gerroir at Suffolk University, and they were married in 1963.
Joe and Martha went on to have three children, Theresa (Teri), Joseph (Jay), and James
Joseph was widowed in 2018, after caring for his wife, Martha Bettencourt for 54 years.
Joe/Dad/Grandpa/Gramps/Grampy leaves behind four great-grandchildren he loved to
make laugh-Carter Herron, Jackson Herron, Benjamin Herron, Stella Doscher; five
grandchildren who never stopped trying to make him laugh-Michael Doscher, Jessica
Herron, Sierra Pratts, Kayleigh Bettencourt, Kyren Bettencourt; three children who
could never thank him enough for the life he made for us and the love he shared -
Theresa Bettencourt, Joseph Bettencourt, James (Tracy Holmes) Bettencourt; a
daughter-in-law he loved to talk gardening with Heather Bettencourt; a grandson-in-
law who joined him at Marist games and chatted sports-Christopher Herron; and two
sisters Diane Bongiorno and Virginia Chase, to whom he was always “Joey”, as well as
countless friends, students, and colleagues.
A Celebration of Life will be held at the Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home located at 371
Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie, New York on March 12th from 1pm-4pm. Joseph lived
his life with an appreciation for nature, so his ashes will be spread on the coast at his
home in Harpswell at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Hudson Valley Rail
Trail he walked for miles daily, or to the American Indian College Fund or AmeriCares,
two of his top charities.

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Celebration of Life

1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sunday, March 12, 2023
Timothy P. Doyle Funeral Home
371 Hooker Ave.
Poughkeepsie, New York, United States