1947 – 2015

AUGUSTA — Bettie Cornise Detjen Kettell, RN, CNOR, died suddenly Sunday, June 7, doing something she was passionate about — participating in a retreat at Pilgrim Lodge.

She was born in Danville, Pa., on Feb. 9, 1947, a daughter of Cornise Denise Detjen and Herbert F. C. Detjen. Bettie was a 1965 graduate of Berwick High School and a 1968 graduate of Allentown Hospital School of Nursing, both in Pennsylvania. She began her nursing career as an operating room nurse in Boston at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she met her husband, Charles Kettell. With daughter, Marraine, and son, Herb, they moved to Maine in 1978, where they designed and built their own passive solar home in Durham.

Bettie continued her operative nursing career at Regional Hospital in Brunswick, which became Mid Coast Hospital, and helped initiate and develop their recycling program throughout the hospital as pollution prevention coordinator.

She retired from nursing in 2012, but expanded her scope by joining the Environmental Health Strategy Center and Prevent Harm in Portland as a board member, lending her expertise, voice and passion to lobby at the state and federal level for removal of toxic substances from everyday use and consumption. As her activism expanded, she joined organizations too numerous to list.

Bettie was a woman of profound and active faith. Shortly after moving to Durham, she and Charlie joined the First Congregational United Church of Christ family in Durham. Over the years, Bettie served as choir member, flower chair, deacon, Sunday school teacher, church delegate, youth group leader and general work horse at her beloved church. Her involvement on the local level fed her ministry for the environment, and the wider Body of Christ.


She was involved on the state level of the Maine Conference United Church of Christ as well including retreats, annual meeting and activities at Pilgrim Lodge. Recently, she joined the Church and Ministry Committee.

Bettie loved singing in the church choir, cats, dogs, gardening, painting, boating, environmental activism, her church family and her church, the First Congregational Church United Church of Christ of Durham.

She is survived by her husband, Charlie; daughter, the Rev. Marraine Cornise Kettell; son, Herbert Charles (Missy) Kettell; grandchildren, Natalie and Caleb; sisters, the Rev. Martha Sue Moll and Dr. Carolyn (Donald) Rude; brothers-in-law, Russell (Carol) Kettell and Henry Kettell; nieces and nephews, Lt. Col. Daniel (Stacy) Moll, Stephen (Shannon Surseley) Moll, Suzanne Hall, Jonathan (Leah Lambert) Rude, Alexander Kettell and Peter Kettell; grandnieces and grandnephews, Danielle, Margaret, Catherine, Jonah, Amelia, Sydney, Avery and new baby boy, Rude.

She was predeceased by her parents; her nephew, Benjamin Rude; and her dear brother-in-law, Terry Moll.

Bettie loved and is sadly missed by her husband, children, grandchildren, her sisters and brothers and their families, as well as countless people she has nurtured over the years.

Condolences may be shared with the family at www.crosmanfuneralhome.com.

Share your condolences, kind words and remembrances below. You must be logged into the website to comment. Subscribers, please login. Not a subscriber? Register to comment for free or subscribe to support our work.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.