by Julie Gabell
Everyone knows Betty. If she is not playing Bridge, this long-time resident of Beacon Woods is playing 18 holes of golf on the Beacon Woods Course or walking the Mall for exercise. For many years she was a notable volunteer at CARES
An alumnae of the Katharine Gibbs Secretarial School in New York City, Betty Pugsley knows well how to cross her “t’s” and dot her “i’s.” Immediately after graduation she was hired as a secretary with the Carnegie Corporation of New York. It was while she was working there in November of 1945 that future husband Jack Pugsley arrived home after spending three years overseas in the army. Never one to let the grass grow under her feet, Betty immediately announced (unbeknownst to him!) that the couple would be married on June 1st of the following year.
After deciding she would rather not commute to New York City from New Jersey, she found a position as assistant secretary to the Millburn Board of Education in Essex County, NJ. For ten years she worked there until one day Suburban Propane Gas Corporation discovered her. She was hired on the spot. Sad to lose the services of such an excellent employee, one of the principals of the school board cautioned her: “Beware. You are going from hot air to gas--from the frying pan into the fire!” In addition to her duties as assistant to the executive vice-president of Suburban Propane who was also president of the propane division, Betty eventually was asked to shoulder responsibilities as personnel administrator for the entire Eastern Propane Division.
After retirement she and her husband, Jack, fell in love with Florida and decided to settle in Beacon Woods. Once they were established, she volunteered at Bayonet Point Hospital where she worked in the gift shop for nine years. At the time Betty also was responsible for the care of her mother who lived to be one year shy of one hundred. When asked if she thinks she has her mother’s longevity gene she laughs and says—“Who knows? ‘Only the good die young’--and I’m not sure where I fit in to that!”
Anyone who has frequented the CARES center in past years knows that Betty Pugsley cares. She was at the heart of the matter since the Center’s move to ClockTower Parkway in 2002 and was an invaluable addition to the organization as receptionist, hostess, waitress, cashier...and “girl Friday.” In 2006, in recognition of her service, Betty was named RSVP Volunteer of the year, an honor well-deserved by one so solicitous of others. She is deserving also of the loyalty of those who find in her a willing companion to the doctors, a “go-for” to the store, a listening ear for many friends, and/or a friendly face to those who just need a cheery smile.
A bundle of energy and enthusiasm, there is no keeping Betty Pugsley down! We in Beacon Woods are fortunate to have such a fine example of the “never say die” attitude that has characterized Florida seniors throughout the years.
Beacon Woods Civic Association, Inc.
12440 Clocktower Parkway
Bayonet Point, FL 34667
Fax (727) 863-4857
2016 Board of Directors
President - Peggy Weiss
Vice President - Jim Massey
Secretary - Iggy Rodriguez
Treasurer- Ken Smith
Director - Ron Hubbs
Director - John Gearity
Director - Bill Bunting
Director - Bill Wiser
Director - Toni Koba