Gertrude “Betty” Cooke-Keefe, 89, passed away at the Village at Waterman Lake on September 10, 2022. She was the last surviving child of 11 children, born to the late Manuel and Rose Duarte.
Betty was a strong woman, full of personality. She was born in East Providence, RI where she attended East Providence High School graduating as valedictorian of her class. She later attended Bryant College, graduating magna cum laude in 1983, while raising her family and working full time at Industrial National Bank/Fleet/Bank of America. She worked at the bank for nearly 30 years, rising from teller to branch manager at the Pascoag branch, later working as a bank officer and mortgage specialist at the bank’s main office in Providence.
Betty was one of the founding members of the Burrillville Arts Festival Committee which created and organized the Burrillville Arts Festival and served on that committee for nearly 40 years. She was actively involved in many community activities including the Youth Guidance Association in Pascoag, the Burrillville Lions, Northern RI Businesswoman’s Association, St. Joseph’s Altar and Rosary Society, St. Joseph’s School Parent & Teacher Group, the Pascoag Business Association, and the Burrillville Democratic Town Committee. She was also a member and officer of the Barker Playhouse and volunteered at Crossroads in Providence, RI.
In her later life, Betty spent many enjoyable years traveling, enjoying her many interests, and spending time with her sons, grandsons, and their families.
Betty is survived by her sons, James Jr. (Mariann Salois) in Pascoag and David (Nancy McCaffery) from Cumberland, grandsons James John III (Laura Davis) of Tarzana CA, Joseph Patrick (Diana Cavaliere) of Thompson CT, and John Robert (Alexandria Sibilia) of Plainville MA, and six great-grandchildren: James John IV and Colin Davis Cooke; Audrey Sophia and Charlotte Lynn Cooke; Olivia Grace and Liam James Cooke.
She was predeceased by her son, Daniel. She was married to James Cooke, who died in 1983 and married Charles Keefe in 1989, who died in 1996. She was also predeceased by brothers Anthony, Manuel, Frank, George and Eugene Duarte and sisters Mary Sylvia, Frances Pacheco, Emma Borges, Anna Borges and Louise Duarte.
Arrangements are entrusted to the Keene-Brown Funeral Home 445 Greenville Rd. North Smithfield, RI.
Calling hours will be held on Saturday September 17, 2022, from 8:30 AM – 10:15 AM, a Mass of Christian Burial at St. Joseph’s Church, Sayles Avenue, Pascoag at 11:00 AM . Burial will follow in St. Patrick’s Cemetery, Harrisville Main St.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Betty can be made to Rhode Island Hospital Stroke Unit.
Rhode Island Hospital Stroke Unit
593 EddySt, Providence RI 02903