Posted March 07, 2011, at 7:37 p.m.

WILMINGTON, N.C. – Betty Desjardins, 82, passed away peacefully March 5, 2011, with her family by her side at Davis Health Care Center at Porters Neck, Wilmington, N.C. She was born Oct. 28, 1928, in Greensboro, N.C., the daughter of Robert Lester Gray and Lizzie Lee Rawlins Gray.

Betty was a graduate of Dreher High School, Columbia, S.C., and a 1948 graduate of Winthrop University. After her graduation she became a research assistant at Roscoe B. Jackson Memorial Laboratory, Bar Harbor, and helped develop the histology lab in Cancer Research and Control at New England Medical Center. She was very active in her community as an advisor for March of Dimes in northern Maine; instrumental in developing the library at Granite Street Elementary, Millinocket; served as a Girl Scout leader; and was involved in the Head Start program in the local school system. After living for 20 years in Maine, Betty and her family moved to Blacksburg, Va., where she continued her community service as president of League of Women Voters and served on the board of directors and as president of Virginia Mountain Housing Corporation. Betty was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She loved to read and learn about everything. Betty was a wonderful cook and especially enjoyed baking cakes and pies for her family and many friends.

Remembered are a son, James Desjardins; and a brother, James A Gray, who predeceased. Betty is survived by her husband of 62 years, Dr. Richard F. Desjardins, M.D.; three children, Cheryl Greene and husband, Larry, of Pembroke, Va., David Desjardins of Porter and Frances Pulsifer of Cornish; daughter-in-law, Sherry Desjardins of Bluefield, W.Va.; six grandchildren, Mary Beth Helstrom, Jason Perry, Cassandra Webber-Beal, Elijah Webber, Lucas Webber and Forrest Desjardins; and six great-grandchildren.

Visitation for family and friends will be held 2-4 p.m. Tuesday at Andrews Mortuary Market Street Chapel, 1617 Market St., Wilmington, N.C. Graveside funeral services will be held 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 9, at Greenlawn Memorial Park, Wilmington, N.C. In lieu of flowers, remember Betty by memorial gifts to Davis Health Care, care of development office, 1011 Porters Neck Road, Wilmington, NC 28411. Condolences may be sent to the family at

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