SOMESVILLE and RALEIGH, N.C. – Mrs. Poulton, known by friends and family as "Betty," passed away Nov. 13, 2011, after a brief illness. She was 85 years of age and a longtime resident of Raleigh, N.C., with her husband and best friend, former Chancellor and Professor Emeritus Dr. Bruce R. Poulton. Bruce and Betty were also seasonal residents of Somesville, where they spent each summer at their beloved camp on Long Pond. Betty was born July 21, 1926, in Englewood, N.J., to Marie and Rudolph Jerothe, who emigrated to America entering the country through Ellis Island.
Along with her parents and her older brother, "Rudy," she settled in Tenafly, N.J. Betty attended Douglas College, there she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education and met Bruce, who was attending Rutgers University. They were married in 1950. They stayed in New Jersey, while Bruce earned his doctorate. She also played semi pro softball, quite a feat at the time! Betty and Bruce moved to Orono in 1956 upon Bruce’s acceptance of a position at the University of Maine, Orono. Betty taught health education at UMO from that time until 1964. That year they also purchased a small camp on Long Pond, which became their cherished summer home. During the years Betty, Bruce and friends spent countless hours expanding and improving this property by their own labor, giving true meaning to the term "sweat equity." When not at Long Pond, Betty, as the mother of four active children, devoted herself to homemaking and charitable work for the United Way, the Unitarian church, Girl Scouts of America, and other causes. During this period of her life, she conducted weekend fitness classes for families at the university gymnasium. This program, known as "Family Fun and Fitness," was Betty’s brainchild and was quite a revolutionary concept. In 1975 Betty moved to Durham, N.H., as Dr. Poulton accepted the position of chancellor at the University System of New Hampshire. In addition to carrying out her duties as chancellor’s wife, she obtained her realtor’s license and worked for the Cheney agency. She continued to enjoy downhill skiing, hiking, boating, paddling and tennis during this time; and additionally took up Nordic skiing and horsemanship. In 1981 Betty and Bruce relocated to Raleigh, N.C., as Dr. Poulton had accepted the position of chancellor of North Carolina State University. Betty thrived in her position as "First Lady" of NCSU there and became an avid fan of collegiate athletics. During this phase of her life, she spent her summers volunteering as a park ranger for Acadia National Park. Her assignments included manning the fire tower on Beech Mountain and staffing the museum on Cranberry Island. In 1990 she accepted the position of program director for the fledgling Encore program at NCSU, which entailed coordination of various programs of adult studies. In this position, she traveled extensively in the U.S. and abroad, often with Dr. Poulton at her side.
Betty is survived by her husband, Bruce; and her four children, Randall, Jeffrey, Cynthia and Peter; their respective spouses, Deborah, Maribeth, Arthur and Susie; her five grandchildren, Wade Jerothe Poulton, Gregory Scott Poulton, Andrew Philip Poulton, Paulina Marie Karabelas and Elizabeth A. Karabelas; by her brother Rudy’s wife, Vivian, and their children, Douglas, Katherine, Russell and Ricky. Betty was predeceased by her brother, Rudy.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 20, at the McKimmon Center on the NCSU campus. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Encore Program Endowment, Campus Box 7401, Raleigh, NC 27695; or Brookside Cemetery, P.O. Box 99, Mount Desert, ME 04660 are sincerely encouraged. Both organizations are non-profits.