Obituary of Elizabeth Melanson
Elizabeth (Betty) Melanson of Burlington passed away on Thursday, November 2, 2023, after recently celebrating her 90th birthday. She was the wife of the late Frank J. Melanson, mother of Susan Dudley & her husband Bill of Reading, Diane Mitchell & her husband Donald (Mitch) of Beverly, Nancy Donlon & her husband Bill of Stoneham, Judy Hanafin & her husband Chuck of Burlington, Barbara Strachan & her husband Dan of Medway, Frank Melanson, Jr. & his wife Noreen of Wakefield, Elizabeth Silk & her husband Jack of Wakefield, Mark Melanson & his wife Heidi of Burlington, and Jean Connor & her husband Bill of Wakefield. Betty is also survived by 28 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren.
Betty was born in Woburn and grew up in Somerville and the surrounding area. She was one of seven children born to the late William and Gertrude Ogg. She is the sister of the late Donald, Dorothy, Thomas & William Ogg, Barbara O’Rourke, and Joyce Cossett. As a teenager, Betty worked in a movie theater, when tickets were only a dime. She lived a life spanning from The Great Depression to enjoying FaceTime calls with her grandchildren. Nana Ogg, her mother, thought she was a miracle, having survived scarlet fever at ten-years-old, when doctors said she had no chance of survival.
While attending Somerville High School, Betty met Frank. They married in 1951. Eventually, with five children in tow, they settled in Burlington where their family grew to nine children.
Betty had two jobs that she truly loved, being a mother and being a Home Health Aide. She created life-long friendships with her patients and their families. She worked for the Visiting Nurse’s Association for many years, until she was in her late 70’s.
Betty loved to read. She enjoyed all the best sellers and read the Boston Globe, cover to cover daily. She was a die hard Red Sox and Celtics fan and referred to Jason Tatum as her “boyfriend.”
Life with nine children was a daily challenge, but Betty rarely complained. She kept everyone on the straight and narrow (or so she thought). It was often said she had eyes on the back of her head. Eventually her family of nine grew to 18 as her children married. Betty loved her children’s spouses as her own. Her heart was full. As her youngest daughter turned nine, Betty became a grandmother. And her already rich life became even more wonderful.
Betty enjoyed trips to Nova Scotia, Ireland, and Niagara Falls, but her best memories were of her family vacations on Cape Cod. For over 40 years Betty’s cottage was the best restaurant on the Cape. The smell of her roast beef and turkey dinners would have the kids running home from the beach and the neighbors asking to join. She also loved her girl’s weekends. For over 32 years she looked forward to her yearly trips with her daughters and daughters-in-law.
Guests were aways welcome at Betty’s table. She would say, “Stay for dinner. I’ll just put another potato in the oven.” She was a great cook who never used a recipe. She loved making everyone’s favorite dish. As the Melanson family grew, family holidays became a “standing room only” event.
She loved her nightly phone calls with her sister/best friend Barbara. Her neighbors, friends, children, and grandchildren would check in regularly. Betty was a great listener and gave honest, thoughtful advice. You always felt better (or a little humbled) after a talk with her. The calls and visits from her grandchildren were a highlight of everyday. Betty thrived in her role as Nana.
Betty leaves three generations with her gifts of family values, kindness, and strength. She will always be missed. Her legacy will live on in the many people who’s lives she touched.
Visiting hours will be held at the Edward V. Sullivan Funeral Home, 43 Winn St., Burlington on Thursday, Nov. 9 from 4-8 p.m. Funeral from the Funeral Home on Friday, Nov. 10 at 9 a.m. followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Margaret Church, in St. Veronica Parish, 111 Winn St., Burlington at 10 a.m. Services will conclude with a burial in Pine Haven Cemetery, Burlington.
In lieu of flowers memorials in Betty’s name may be made to People Helping People www.peoplehelpingpeopleinc.org.
For directions, obituary, memorial video & online guestbook see www.sullivanfuneralhome.net
Betty would love for you to do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness. Betty would often remind us that charity begins at home but should not end there.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050