Betty Lou “Boo” Defferari was born on Galveston Island February 6, 1927 (Proud BOI). She passed away Friday, May 3, 2013, at UTMB Galveston. Boo was predeceased by her parents, Louis H. and Katye Maye Defferari; brother, Louis H. Defferari, Jr. and wife, Virginia. Surviving Boo are her brother, Frank Wilder Defferari and his wife, Maelena; sister, Katye Maye Parsley; nephews, Walter G. Parsley; John J. Parsley and wife, Maggie; Brett Defferari Miller and partner, Liz Johnson; niece, Vicky L. Pakala and husband, Jerry; numerous cousins, and special friends Nicholas, Donna, Savannah Hoekstra and Dahlia Kindschi.
Boo has been a member of St. Patrick Church from Baptism to Burial. She attended grade school at St. Patrick’s Elementary School. She later graduated from Ursuline Academy and was the Ursuline Alumnae Association Treasurer for many years. Boo was also a longtime member of The Serra Club. She was also associated with “The Buddies,” a group of “Ursuline Girls” that have had monthly lunch gatherings for over 30 years. Lastly, she graduated from the Metropolitan Business School which led to a secretarial/hostess position at the Dixie Dude Ranch in Bandera, Texas. The time she spent at the Dixie Dude was some of the most memorable of her adult life.
She subsequently applied for a job with the Civil Service Department, was accepted and went to work for the Air Force at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX. From there she was transferred to Frankfurt, Germany. She traveled throughout Continental Europe and the British Isles as time and circumstances allowed. The next phase of her life led her closer to home. Boo took a position with NASA during the Gemini Program. She was with NASA throughout all of the Apollo flights during the “Glory Years” of manned space exploration. She was an executive secretary for Gene Kranz and is mentioned by name in his book, Failure is Not an Option. The book was later adopted into the very popular movie, Apollo 13. The final phase of her Civil Service career led to an administrative assistant position with the Equal Opportunity Commission in Houston, TX.
When Boo retired, she wasted no time getting back to the Island. At this time, she and her sister Katye started their travel adventures around the world. Boo’s favorite trips were a camera safari and later a hot air balloon safari across Kenya. Other highlights of her travels were India, Nepal, South America, and Egypt. Her choice to move into The Broadwater Apartments upon retirement proved to be a wise one. The Broadwater’s manager, Nancy Harvey, her assistant manager, Rosemary Lawrence, and their staff have gone above and beyond to keep Boo comfortable, safe, and living independently. The friendship, kindness and love they have shown “Miss Betty” is deeply appreciated by our family.
Visitation will be held at Malloy & Son Funeral Home from 5:00 until 6:00 pm, Tuesday, May 7th. Following visitation, the rosary will be recited, led by Deacon Sam Dell’Olio. Funeral service will be held at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, May 8th, at St. Patrick Catholic Church located at 34th and Avenue K. Father John Paul Flajole, OFM, will preside over Boo’s funeral mass, followed by an interment service at Galveston Memorial Park Cemetery. She asked that memorials be made to your favorite charity.