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Elizabeth B. 'Bettie' Delaplaine, Frederick activist

Elizabeth B. "Bettie" Delaplaine was former director of special events for the Frederick News-Post newspaper.
Elizabeth B. "Bettie" Delaplaine was former director of special events for the Frederick News-Post newspaper.

Elizabeth B. "Bettie" Delaplaine, former director of special events for the Frederick News-Post newspaper and a community activist and patron of the arts, died Thursday at Frederick Memorial Hospital of complications from a blood infection and a kidney disorder.

The longtime Frederick resident, who was known as "Bettie," was 84.

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The daughter of James M. Barker III, a contractor, and Alta Strickler Barker, a homemaker, the former Elizabeth Barker was born in Roanoke, Va., and was raised there and in Jacksonville, Fla., where she graduated in 1948 from Landon High School.

After graduating in 1952 from Randolph-Macon Woman's College, which is now Randolph College in Lynchburg, Va., with a degree in biological sciences, she taught for a year at Hood College in Frederick, where she met her future husband, George B. Delaplaine Jr.

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In 1955, she married Mr. Delaplaine, who later became president and publisher of the Frederick News-Post, where for many years she was director of special events.

Mrs. Delaplaine immersed herself in the cultural life of the city of Frederick, where she was a community activist and patron of the arts.

She had been a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and maintained a lifelong interest in history.

She had served on the boards of the Frederick Community Concert Association, the Frederick Arts Council, the Maryland School for the Deaf and the Francis Scott Key Memorial Foundation. She was co-chair of the Francis Scott Key Monument, which was rededicated in 1996.

Mrs. Delaplaine had been a board member for 16 years of Mount St. Mary's University, where she and her husband were responsible for funding the Delaplaine Fine Arts Building that is on the university's campus.

She was also the driving force behind the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center in Frederick and remained an honorary director until her death.

Mrs. Delaplaine was also a trustee of the family's Delaplaine Foundation Inc., which helps families and communities.

She and her husband were world travelers, and she also enjoyed reading.

Mrs. Delaplaine was a member of Grace Episcopal Church, 5740 Green Valley Road, New Market, where a celebration of her life service will be held at 11 a.m. Monday.

In addition to her husband of 59 years, Mrs. Delaplaine is survived by four sons, George B. Delaplaine III and John P. Delaplaine, both of Frederick, Edward S. Delaplaine II of Crownsville and James W. Delaplaine of Hustontown, Pa.; a brother, James M. Barker IV of Jacksonville, Fla.; and five grandchildren.

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