Elizabeth Ann Dutra, 86

Jan 22, 2024

Elizabeth Ann (Nisbet) Dutra was born in Fall River, MA on May 27, 1937 and died at home in Westport, MA on December 17, 2023, surrounded by her family. Elizabeth passed at the age of 86, having spent most of the last 5 years in long term care at Our Lady's Haven in Fairhaven, MA due to the progression of dementia.

Elizabeth, known to most as Betty, was born in Fall River to the late Phyllis (Bochenski) Nisbet and Robert Nisbet. Betty had one sibling, her brother "Bob". As Betty entered first grade, the family relocated to Mansfield where she was educated. She had been awarded a scholarship to attend a secondary educational program once she finished high school but chose to leave school early to instead marry her high school sweetheart, Phillip DiMonte. Betty and Phil eloped to New Hampshire at the ages of 17 and 19. Together they took over Phil's family business in Mansfield, DiMonte's Package & Variety Store. Betty took care of the finances and Phil ran the day to day business in the store. Eventually the couple began to dabble into buying and remodeling houses which Betty had a passion for and used her ability to see the impossible and make it a reality. Betty was exceptional at balancing a budget and stretching a dollar.

These skills would come in handy as Betty found herself living as a single parent supporting and raising two tween daughters in the 1970's without completing her high school education. Betty was academically inclined and went back to receive her GED soon after relocating to Taunton, MA where she continued to work and raise her daughters. Betty loved numbers and had strong people skills, both of which she continued to use in the various jobs she held while raising her daughters. As a single mother Betty worked hard, often having 2 jobs at once to provide "the extras" for her girls.

Betty always had a smile, and liked to have a good laugh, never wanting to be too serious or dwell in the negative. She worked hard to shelter her daughters from the outside world, and provide a stable, comfortable, and loving home where she set expectations and became a role model not only for her daughters but to many of their friends whom she got to know over the years. Betty always made it look so easy to raise children, run a household and work outside the home. She was eventually able to purchase her own home and put her youngest daughter through 4 years of college.

As her daughters grew and began to leave home, Betty met Alfred Dutra. Alfred was a few years older than Betty, widowed and he fell in love with her infectious personality right away. Betty fell in love with Alfred for his extreme kindness and generosity. Betty and Al married and spent many years enjoying life together as Betty graciously blended the two families into one. Betty took care of Alfred until his passing due to dementia.

Family was most important to Betty, she was the caretaker to both her parents as they aged, and she took care of all 4 of her grandchildren at various stages in their lives. She was known fondly as Gram, Grammie, and MiMi to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Later in life, Betty moved to Onset, MA, where she bought and remodeled a home before moving to spend 7 years in Port Orange, Florida to be near her baby brother. As her health began to decline Betty came back to Massachusetts and lived with her daughter Lisa and son-in-law Chris in Mattapoisett. As her grandsons got older, they began to invite gram to attend outings with them and their friends which always involved music and dancing. Gram loved music, dancing, and a Friday night martini. Grammie always said, "One martini is good, but two martinis make me so much smarter!" Gram had a special place in her heart for her grandsons and their friends, especially Jack.

Betty is survived by her three daughters and their spouses: Dianne Vance and Paul Preston, Lisa Gray and Christopher Gray, and Sandra Kullas and Bill Curtin; 4 grandchildren, Crystal Vance, Nicholas Gray, Ian Gray, and Bradford Ness; 3 great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.

She was predeceased by her parents, both of her husbands, and her baby brother Robert Nisbet, Jr.

Elizabeth, Betty, Gram, Grammie, MiMi will be best remembered for her smile, her laugh, her Nisbet sense of humor, her strength, her kindness, her character and her love for her family and her children.

Funeral services will be held privately. In lieu of flowers, donations in Betty's memory may be made to Beacon Hospice, 182 North Main St., Fall River, MA 02720. For online guestbook, visit www.saundersdwyer.com.