Obituary: Mary “Betsy” Elizabeth Crepeau

Mary “Betsy” Elizabeth (Fontana) Crepeau was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on Dec. 4, 1928, and departed this life on Oct. 10, 2016. Her early education was at Sacred Heart Academy in St. Louis, Mo. She spent her college years at the University of Iowa and graduated with a degree in general science in 1951.

Betsy married Victor Crepeau (Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army) in November 1951. Together they raised six children, first living in Montrose and then in Denver.

At age 47, Betsy returned to school to earn a degree in nursing and graduated in 1980. Betsy worked as a registered nurse — including doing a stint as a psychiatric nurse — for several years. Following her nursing career, Betsy again returned to school and became a travel agent. This allowed her to travel the world and she became proficient in both Italian and French. She often took her children along on her adventures abroad and shared her knowledge and passion for other cultures. During her travels, Betsy met many amazing people, some who became lifelong friends, including the caretaker of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican.

Following her retirement, she joined the Peace Corps in 1993 and worked in Benin, West Africa as a nurse there until 1995. Upon returning from the Peace Corps, Betsy married her soulmate, Dr. Ward Robert Anthony, whom she had known for more than 30 years as a friend and as the Crepeau family physician. Ward was Betsy’s champion and advocate throughout their life together.

Betsy and Ward shared a life of traveling the world and making a difference to others. They primarily lived in Boulder, but also owned a home in Red Feather Lakes. They enjoyed hiking and exploring the mountains of Colorado and were involved in many civic activities including work with the Democratic Party and Beyond War.

Betsy was passionate about art, opera, travel, and cooking, and she worked to inspire others to create a better world. She lived a long, productive life, and died peacefully in her Boulder home. She and Ward went into hospice care together and died just days apart. She is survived by six children, 10 step-children, and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We will miss her amazing kitchen productions (especially her Christmas caramels and Pain-in-the-A** Cake), her words of wisdom, her sense of humor, and her compassion for others.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Rocky Mountain Peace and Justice Center (

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