Betty M. Gifford, 77, died Dec. 3, 2010, surrounded by her family at Penobscot Bay Medical Center in Rockport, following a long illness.

Born in Keene, N.H., Jan. 11, 1933, she was a daughter of Carl D. and Barbara (Barrett) Griffith.

At the age of 3, Betty moved with her family to Rockland, where she was educated in local schools and was a 1951 honors graduate of Rockland High School. While in high school she was a member of the National Honor Society and Thespian Society, and was editor of The Cauldron. In recent years, she was active in the Rockland High School 50th Class Reunion Committee. While working on this committee, she reconnected with several classmates who, after the reunion in 2001, continued to meet regularly as The Golden Girls.

On Nov. 24, 1951, she married Charles O.H. Gifford while he was serving in the Navy. They lived in Norfolk, Va., Quonset, R.I., and the Panama Canal Zone. Following Mr. Gifford’s discharge from the Navy, the family resided on Old County Road in Rockland. Betty later lived in South Thomaston and West Rockport, before returning to Rockland, where she had since resided.

A devoted mother, Betty enjoyed involvement in her children’s scholastic and sports lives. Investing in her children, she served with the Parent Teacher Association, Girl Scouts and as a Sunday school teacher. An accomplished cook, she hosted many parties and holiday celebrations.

In earlier years she served as a member of Rockland’s Bicentennial Committee, and was a longtime member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority.

After her youngest child entered school, she was first employed part-time with Prock Marine Corporation in Rockland. She later worked a few years as a bookkeeper with A.C. McLoon Company before returning to Prock Marine. Betty retired in 1988 after 30 years’ employment as bookkeeper with Prock Marine. After retiring she served as bookkeeper for her daughter’s framing business. She also ran a catering service called A Moveable Feast, and sold antiques at the Rockland Antiques Mart.

Betty is survived by a son, Charles O.H. Gifford Jr., and his wife, Michelle, of Union; two daughters, Elizabeth A. Gifford Stuart and her husband, Robert, and Nancy P. Gifford, all of Rockland; a  brother, Carl D. Griffith Jr., and his wife, Patricia, of Lincolnville and Florida; a sister, Nancy J. Standel, and her husband, Philip, of Lamoine; seven grandchildren whom she adored, Tyler Stuart of Portland, Ore., Juliet Gifford and her fiancé, Wade Caplinger, of Vacaville, Calif., Jesse Stuart of Rockland, Ariel Marinel and her husband, Aaron, of Burbank, Calif., Megan Rogers and her husband, Martin, of Rockland, Katharina Gifford and her husband, Nikita Golovko, of Portland and Jonathan Stuart of Rockland; as well as five uncles, an aunt, and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Private interment will be in Achorn Cemetery in Rockland. A celebration of Betty’s life will be announced in the summer.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Benjamin C. Perry, DBA, Alumni Heritage Room, 14 Nutmeg Lane, Thomaston, ME 04861.

Arrangements are with the Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St. in Rockland. To leave online condolences or to sign Betty’s guest book, visit obituaries at bchfh.com.