Betty Cobb, an 11th generation native and resident of East Hampton, passed away peacefully at her daughter Diane Goncalves’s home on Wednesday, December 4, following a lengthy illness. She was 89.
Born on July 17, 1930 in Southampton to Vivian Merrill of Amagansett, Betty was raised and educated here and in Massachusetts by her adoptive parents, William E. and Alberta Rebecca Spencer, formerly of upstate Chateauguay.
Following her graduation from East Hampton High School in 1948, Betty attended Becker Junior College in Worcester, MA, where she received her associate’s degree in secretarial science.
Upon graduating, she accepted a position as an executive secretary at a firm in Boston, where she met her husband-to-be, Walter E. Cobb, of New Bedford, who predeceased her in 1996.
After their 1953 marriage, the couple relocated to her childhood home on Osborne Lane, where she would remain to raise their three children, Gary, Kevin and Diane, until poor health necessitated her relocation to her daughter and son-in-law’s home in Springs several years ago.
Having worked for the Village of East Hampton as an accounts clerk during the administrations of six mayors, she had been retired since 1995. She was an avid flower gardener and beach lover who also enjoyed traveling and playing table games with her many friends and family members. She will be remembered by many as a dear friend and a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.
She was predeceased by her half-brother, Jim. In addition to her children, Betty is survived by her beloved partner of more than 20 years, Vinny Grimes; her son-in-law, Candido Goncalves; daughter-in-law, Tami, Gary’s partner, Nancy; her grandsons, Jason, Bryan, Michael, Eric, and Wilson, granddaughters Khloe, and Kayla; great granddaughter, Brooklynn; great grandson, Jace; half-sister, Hazel Chase and her daughter Jean; nephews Todd and Wayne Whittier, Wayne’s wife Mary and their children Samantha Staebner, John, Diana, and John’s son, Kolton. Several generations of Merrill cousins also survive including Bobby, Mary Ann, Lisa, David, Ron, and Deborah.
A funeral Mass and reception was held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Wednesday, December 11, followed by an interment of ashes at Cedar Lawn Cemetery. The family suggests that donations in Betty’s memory be made to either East End Hospice or St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.