Sophie E. (Betty) Hurd

February 3, 1921 - August 9, 2016

Service Date: August 26, 2016

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, August 26, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the Shapleigh First Baptist Church, 600 Shapleigh Corner Rd., in Shapleigh, Maine.

Sophie Elizabeth “Betty” Hurd was born on February 3, 1921 in Saco, Maine. She was the last survivor among Frank E. and Sophie Ramsey’s eight offspring.  She spent most of her childhood in a farmhouse in Milton, NH, attending the local schools and the former Acton Milton Mills Baptist Church.  She accepted Christ as her Savior as a teenager and at 95 was still praising him with uplifted hands, whether to a well-loved hymn or a more contemporary praise song.

In her youth, Betty worked at Frisbee Memorial Hospital and as a nanny in Rochester, and in 1942, she married Carl Hurd, one month before he was drafted. She followed him to Louisiana, Arkansas, and other destinations south and west; she helped pay their rent by helping the landlady make wax-paper wrapped sandwiches to sell to soldiers. Betty and Carl started a family in 1943, and in 1947 moved to a big farmhouse in Springvale, Maine. Among many other renovations, she asked that the house be painted yellow, having always wanted a yellow house after passing one on the way to school for many years.  Her children fondly remember their father trying to teach her to roller skate in what is now the dining room of that house.  At the farm, she helped with many chores, such as gardening, milking, and raising chickens and pigs.  She brought hot meals to her husband and sons in the distant hayfields.  When her grandkids eventually started doing the haying, they looked forward to coming in to a lunch of a hamburger or grilled cheese sandwich on homemade bread with a tall glass of lemon iced tea.

A humble woman who truly loved to serve others, Betty was a 4H leader for eight years and served at her church as a Sunday school teacher, deaconess, and missionary treasurer. She is especially well remembered for the big meals she served to visiting missionaries and church speakers, as well as to her own extended family.  As a grandmother, it was rare for a weekend evening not to find her with two or three sets of grandkids around the table.  She loved to pass on her homemaking skills and traditional recipes; among many favorites, the homemade bread that she made huge batches of nourished many a hungry belly or hurting heart.

Betty was gutsy; she was witty. She was joyful and wise. She never knew she was any of these things.  She knew a practical solution to almost any household or farm problem, but she never knew how smart she was.  She taught many life lessons purely by example, without lecturing.  She taught her family a good work ethic simply by working hard and expecting the same of them.  At least two of her children-in-law say that she was the epitome of a great mother-in-law, never nagging, accepting them as one of her own. Just when you thought she was matter-of-fact and no nonsense, she—especially in the company of her sister and best friend, Jennie—would turn mischievous and giggly.  She was self-sacrificing without ever acting like a martyr. She was a treasure.

She is survived by her children, Carl Hurd, Jr and companion Joan Holt; Mark Hurd and wife Susan; June Robertson and husband David; Frank Hurd and wife Deb; and Mary Waterhouse; 14 Grandchildren and 20 Great Grandchildren and her sister-in-law, Ruth Ramsey; and many nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her husband, Carl Sr., and her siblings, Earl Ramsey, Ruth Ramsey Tanner, Lawrence Ramsey, Frank Ramsey, Mary Ramsey Stowe, Jennie Ramsey Hurd Craib, and Charlie Ramsey.

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, August 26, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. at the Shapleigh First Baptist Church, 600 Shapleigh Corner Rd., in Shapleigh, Maine.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Betty’s name may be made to the Missions Fund of the Shapleigh First Baptist Church, 600 Shapleigh Corner Rd., Shapleigh, ME 04076.

The Autumn Green Funeral Home is respectfully handling arrangements.

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