WILMINGTON — Betty Jane (Savacool) Garrigus, age 97, of Wilmington, NC, passed away peacefully in her sleep Wednesday, March 1, 2023, at Lower Cape Fear LifeCare’s Hospice Pavilion.
Betty was born September 24, 1925, in Morristown, New Jersey, the daughter of Myron Amzi and Anna Marie (Weisgerber) Savacool. Betty was the oldest of three children including her sister Eleanor Milone and her brother Myron “Ron” Savacool who both preceded her in death. Betty was married in 1947 to Richard Henry “Dick” Garrigus who preceded her in death on April 27, 2010.
She is survived by their four children, Robin Allyn Gugan of Wilmington, Richard Myron Garrigus of Mineola, TX, Susan Ann Matthews of Dolores, CO, and David Matthew (Janelle) Garrigus of Wilmington; four grandchildren, Robin Erin, Luke (Breanna), Austin, and Addison; and two great grandchildren, Charlotte and Asher.
From 8th grade until 1966, Betty lived in Stanhope, NJ. She lived in Richardson, TX until 2006 when she moved to Leland, NC and 2015, when she moved to Carolina Bay Retirement Community in Wilmington, NC.
Betty was always athletic. She enjoyed sledding and ice skating as a youth and swimming throughout her life. Voted “best sport” in her high school yearbook, she played basketball and continued on an adult team even after her first pregnancy. She and Dick bowled and she loved to dance. MahJongg and Bridge were her favorite games. Nearly every summer while living in Texas, the family vacationed to almost every state in the Union in a small Winnebago motorhome.
After her three oldest children were out of the house and her youngest at twelve, Betty began taking night classes at the only junior college in the area in downtown Dallas. She eventually earned her Associates Degree in Interior Design in 1974. She worked part time in the field and in furniture retail for more than two decades.
In retirement, Betty was known for her joyful & positive perspective, bright blue eyes, and infectious smile. She loved to recite and to hand out her many hand-written “sayings” on small slips of paper to her fellow residents at Carolina Bay. For example, John Lennon’s “Count your age by friends, not years. Count your life by smiles, not tears.”
The Memorial Service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington, 4313 Lake Ave., on Wednesday, March 22 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. The memorial service will also be available online here.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts in memory of Betty may be given to Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Wilmington or Lower Cape Fear LifeCare.