Elizabeth Mary Desmond, after struggling for several years with her health, died peacefully with her family by her side, on Friday, February 22, at her Huntington Beach, California home. She was 89 years old.
Elizabeth, best known to family and friends as “Betty,” was born on August 8, 1929, in Winthrop, Massachusetts to Joseph William Mooney and Elizabeth Mary O’Connor.
The youngest of seven children, Betty grew up in Branford, Connecticut. She spoke of her childhood with deep affection. She played the piano, sang and danced. However, that peaceful childhood would be changed forever with; WWII and the death of her oldest Brother Joseph and her Father’s death from illness. The War efforts and serving this country became the focus of the family. So, at 12 years old, she grew up and joined her siblings in the war effort, as a Spotter for enemy planes.
Betty graduated from Yale College of Radiology in 1949 with her Certification as a Radiology Technician. She aspired to pursue a career as a Radiology Technician; however, after working for a couple of years she became ill and had to leave that position because of the exposure to Radiation. Nevertheless, she did not leave Yale. She was hired as a Secretary to the Hockey Department Head Coach. She maintained that position until her marriage to John J. Desmond in 1954.
The couple lived in Connecticut until relocating to California in 1960 with their two daughters. In 1961, they moved into their home in Huntington Beach, CA and by 1967 they had two more children - a son and daughter.
Betty began a new career at the State Employment Development Department. She had a talent and a skill finding jobs for people. She also worked with companies in the community to provide workers. She transferred this skill to Golden West College as Director of Employment and Career Services where she helped College students find jobs. She worked full time, while at the same time being a devoted wife and loving mother to four children.
Betty loved children and while still working at the college, she opened up her home to teenage Foster Boys. She had Foster Boys for many years and is still loved by them. She also had college students that still called and checked up on her.
With art and drawing as her hobby, she drew some very intricate ink drawings. Her family enjoyed her work and looked forward to gifts of her Doodles.
Betty was preceded in death by her father, Joseph Mooney, mother, Elizabeth Mooney and siblings, Joseph, Deirdre, John, Julie, and Ferguson. She is survived by her sister, Eileen Fitzgerald and her children, Julie, Ria, John, Becky; her nine grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
Family and her role as mother and grandmother was the most important thing to Betty. This is where she drew her strength and left her legacy. Being with family was what Betty enjoyed most of all. Her life had many obstacles yet through it all, her love and caring for her family remained her focus.
A funeral is scheduled on March 12th at 10:00 a.m. at Saint Simon & Jude Catholic Church located at 20400 Magnolia Street, Huntington Beach, CA 92646. A Graveside Service will follow on Saturday, March 16th at 10:00 a.m. and is located at Good Shepherd Catholic Cemetery located at 8301 Talbert Avenue, Huntington Beach, CA 92646. All are welcome to attend and celebrate Elizabeth’s life. Flowers and condolences can be sent to 8681 Salem Circle, Huntington Beach, CA 92647.