HomeMantua NewsMantua residents remembered at Mullica Hill Library

Mantua residents remembered at Mullica Hill Library

Betsy and her late husband Chris Groody were honored for their dedication to the community

By KRYSTAL NURSE

The Sun

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Nestled in the children’s section of the Mullica Hill Branch Library is a playroom where a plaque honoring two lifelong Mantua residents resides.

Betsy Groody’s (nee Hengel) brother Joe Hengel photographed her and her late husband previously, and he and his partner, Allen Reese, decided to turn it into a plaque to honor the two and their dedication to the Mullica Hill and Mantua communities.

Besty, said Reese, came from a Mullica Hill family of nine siblings, and her husband Chris came from a Mantua family of one brother, Michael, and sister, Ann.

“Betsy and Chris are warm and kind people,” he said. “I wanted something for the both of them when Chris passed away, and we wanted him to be remembered for the guy he always was. It’s how we developed the plaque and the wording on it.”

Chris passed away in November 2018. He is survived by his wife Betsy, daughters Melissa, Kristina, Mary and Kelly, six grandchildren, siblings and other nieces, nephews, and in-laws.

The plaque reads, in part, “lifelong residents of Gloucester County, Chris and Betsy, have always shared their warm hearts, generosity and kindness with all who have crossed their paths.”

Reese added various children’s programs are being funded by his family’s fund through the Philadelphia Foundation because of how involved Chris was with his children and grandchildren.

Chris, Reese added, was active in the community from coaching his daughters’ various sport teams and the Clearview Youth Basketball team.

“His grandson always goes to the library and so we thought it’d be a great spot,” said Reese.

He said in his family’s foundation, they’re able to give away money each year to a family or organization in honor of a person or family, and it “felt fitting to do Chris and Betsy.”

The funds donated by his family’s fund, he said, will also go to remodeling the playroom at the library.

He went on to add Chris always listened to people and “wanted to know everyone’s story.”

“He was always there to help people if they needed help and he was always first in line,” he said. “Betsy is the same exact way. The two of them were perfect for each other and were kind to everyone they met.”

He said the two “couldn’t do enough good for people” with them always reaching out and spending time with people who were close, and strangers.

“I would say that they’re kind people who left the world in a better place than what they found it,” he added. “I can’t say enough good about him.”

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