Betty E. Espinosa, 75

Betty E. Espinosa

Betty Edwards Espinosa, formerly of Fryeburg, Maine, and later Key West, Fla., passed away at the Key West Health & Rehabilitation Center on Oct. 17, 2012. Betty was the daughter of Kenneth and Virginia “Jean” Edwards. She was born in New Gloucester, on Aug. 5, 1937. As a young child, Betty’s family lived in various residences in the Fryeburg/Bridgton area. In 1944, they bought a house in East Fryeburg, where they settled. Betty attended Fryeburg schools and graduated from Fryeburg Academy in 1956. Betty loved sports, and while at the Academy she participated in field hockey, basketball, and softball. During her teen years, she also worked at nearby Pleasant Mountain Inn as a waitress. Following graduation from the Academy, she traveled to Key West, Fla., and was soon employed by the Casa Marina Hotel Resort.

It was in 1957, while working at the Casa Marina, that she met and married her husband of ten years, Peter J. Espinosa. Their daughter Cindy was born a year later. They soon moved into a new home in Key West — and Betty spent the rest of her life living in America’s most southern city. Betty was a “people person.” She was friendly and outgoing, always the first to strike up a conversation with strangers. She had many stories about the famous singers and movie stars that she waited on. Over the course of her life in Key West, Betty worked at the A&B Lobster House, Logan’s Lobster House, Captain Bob’s, Denny’s Restaurant, and finally at the Navy Exchange. Betty was proud of being a good waitress, and she was well-known as “the best waitress in Key West.”

Betty was dedicated to her family in Key West, but she always looked forward to returning to Maine. Once a year she flew back to Fryeburg. Then she and her mother would get in the car and travel. They would cruise around looking for moose and deer, spending time with relatives and old friends, and eating plenty of favorite Maine foods, like fried green tomatoes, apples, and lobster. After her elderly mother sold the Harvest Hills Animal Shelter, Betty stayed with other relatives who have many fond memories of her visits. One yearly visit Betty especially enjoyed was that of her 50th class reunion at Fryeburg Academy.

Betty had fun visiting her Maine roots, but her greatest joy was the time she spent with her daughter and grandchildren in Key West. She was very involved with their daily lives, helping with school projects and celebrating special days. For Halloween, she always made costumes for Cindy and the grandchildren, entering them in the various Key West competitions — which they often won!  Betty played sports while at Fryeburg Academy; later in life, she loved to watch her grandchildren’s events. She took lots of pictures, and spent hours building albums for each of them.

Betty was predeceased by her parents and by her former husband. She is survived by her Florida family: her daughter Cindy and son-in-law Robert Spencer; three grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren (who called her their “white-haired Grandma”). In Maine, she is survived by her brother Robert Edwards, his wife Donna, their three children, and many great-nieces and nephews.

Betty was beloved by us all; her family and many friends will miss her. A celebration of her life has been held in Key West, and a graveside service will be held for Betty next spring at Forest Hills Cemetery in Bridgton, Maine.

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