Longtime C.R. Resident Betty Mooney Dies at 89

September 24, 2010

Betty Mooney, a longtime Costa Rica resident and active member of several organizations, died here Aug. 31 at the age of 89, following several months of failing health. Up until January of this year, she still played golf several times a week. She lived in Ciudad Cariari, northwest of San José.

Betty came to Costa Rica as a nurse around 1944, after her parents vetoed her plans to join the Women’s Army Corps. She worked in the hospital that served the major banana plantations in the Caribbean province of Limón. Betty then married Dr. Antonio Jiménez, with whom she raised four children here. After Antonio died in 1964, Betty returned to the United States and her home state of New York to work, and later married Frank Mooney. After his death, she returned to Costa Rica in the 1980s.

Betty was always willing to donate her time and energy. She worked at the annual Fourth of July picnics for many years and helped care for friends who were sick. She taught English at the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center and at several schools, and was a volunteer for programs stressing alternatives to violence. She was a member of the Women’s Club and was its president in the early years. She was also a member of Democrats Abroad of Costa Rica and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom.

If Betty saw a need, she stepped in. There is a traffic light at the entrance to Ciudad Cariari that some friends call “Betty Mooney’s light,” because she was instrumental in getting it installed. Betty was well-known in Costa Rica and had many friends here. She is survived by daughter Kathy, sons Carlos and Thomas and grandchildren.

-Mitzi Stark

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