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Saying goodbye to “Mighty Betsy”


Mary Elizabeth “Betsy” Bidelman Meredith, 84, died Sunday, Sept. 27, after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.

Born on Jan. 19, 1936, she was a daughter of Charles “Chuck” Reynell and Katherine “Kay” Bidelman in Kobe, Japan, where her father worked for General Motors. They left Japan shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor and settled in Buckingham Township, Bucks County.

She attended Solebury School, and she would later serve as a trustee there. While in high school, she had a part-time job at the Bucks County Playhouse, where a lifelong love of theater was born. After graduation, she matriculated at Endicott College in Massachusetts.

After moving to Philadelphia, she served as a medical secretary at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, where she met her husband of 60 years, Charles “Charlie” Meredith III. They married at First Presbyterian Church in Lambertville, N.J., on June 18, 1960. They would go on to have a love affair that will never end. Charlie nicknamed his bride “Mighty Betsy,” because she was a force of nature.

Mighty Betsy was involved with the Penn Foundation (for Behavioral Health) and was president of the Quakertown Woman’s Club. She was also part of the Daughters of the American Revolution, the Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood. She and her lifelong friend, Marcia Detweiler, started Security and Factfinding in Quakertown.

She was part of a women’s book club for 50 years, and her hobbies included knitting, needlepoint and gardening. She loved to travel and was an avid tennis player and golfer.

Gifted musically, Might Betsy was an excellent piano player and often played piano duets with Marcia Detweiler for friends during parties and Christmas carolling.

Mighty Betsy and Charlie sang with choruses around the world, including the Philadelphia Singers at the Kimmel Center and Carnegie Hall, Westminster Cathedral and the Salzburg Cathedral.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by daughters Anne and Catherine and son Ty. She is also survived by her grandchildren, Grace and Charles “Quint” Meredith V; niece Deb Rhodes and nephews Jeb, Jeremy and Mike Bouis and their children. She was predeceased by her older sister Barbara.

To remember Betsy, listen to “Time to Say Goodbye,” by Andrea Bocelli.

Mighty Betsy may be gone, but she won’t be forgotten.

A future memorial service will be announced for April 2021. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in Betsy’s name to Planned Parenthood.

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