Mary Elizabeth Durfee

March 9, 1924 ~ February 10, 2022 (age 97)


Former Executive Director of Girl Scouts of Rhode Island, Inc., Mary Elizabeth “Betty” Durfee, passed away peacefully on February 10, 2022 at Tockwotton on the Waterfront.   

Born in Fall River, Massachusettrs on March 9, 1924, the daughter of Sarah (Marnoch) and George Dwelly Durfee, she resided in Dover, New Hampshire for many years, graduating from Dover High School in 1941, and from The University of New Hampshire in 1944 where she was president of the Women’s Athletic Association, a member of Mortar Board, and the Phi Kappa Phi honorary society.  She received a Master of Science degree from Wellesley College in 1953.  She was a lifetime member of the First Parish Congregational Church and a founder of the Sherwood Tennis Club in Dover, a former member of the Cocheco Country Club and the Wentworth-by-the-Sea Golf and Tennis Club.   
Miss Durfee taught Physical Education and was a Student Advisor at Bates College 1944-1946 and at the Northfield School for Girls from 1946-1952.  Long interested in outdoor education and leadership training, she served on the Board of Directors of the New England Section, American Camping Association, the ACA National Day Camping Standards Committee, and developed widely used programs of Counselor Training and Campcraft Fundamentals.
In 1953, Miss Durfee joined the national staff of Girl Scouts of the USA, as a Program and Camping Advisor at the national headquarters in New York and at the New England Region branch office in Boston.  From 1954 until 1962, she was Program Advisor on the Regional I Council Development staff team, and in 1962, became Executive Director at CEO for the newly consolidated statewide council, Girl Scouts of Rhode Island, Inc., serving forty-five communities in RI and border states.  She retired in 1994.  After retirement, she served briefly as a literacy volunteer at the East Providence Community Center.  She attended Newman Congregational Church in Rumford.  
She was an avid tennis player and gardener.  
She is survived by several cousins.  
In accordance with Betty’s wishes, private funeral services were held with burial in Oak Grove Cemetery, Fall River, MA.      
Arrangements are in the care of the Home of J.H. WILLIAMS & CO., 210 Taunton Avenue, East Providence, RI.   


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