Betty Chesnut

Betty Chesnut (Brady)

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Betty Chesnut, long-time resident of East Moriches, NY, died of cancer on July 3, 2020. Surrounded by her loving husband and three children, she passed away at home in State College, PA. Betty was widely regarded for her strength, grace, ready laugh, and deep sense of commitment to her family, community and work.

The daughter of H. Park Brady and Edith Cooper Brady, she was born on August 2, 1938, near Indiana, Pennsylvania, where she grew up. The second of four children, she spent her early years on a farm, where she was responsible for collecting the chicken eggs daily. She was happy to relinquish these duties at age 14 when her family moved to town; she retained a lifelong disdain for chickens. After high school, Betty was recruited to work for Voice of America in Washington, DC. She spent a year there, then went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, including teacher certification, and a master’s degree from Penn State University.

In 1968, Betty embarked on a short trip around the world with her mother to visit her younger sister, Lois, who was volunteering in Thailand. Before leaving Long Island, she met Lynn T. Chesnut at MacArthur Airport. After a number of adventures, including a layover in Beirut while the airport was being bombed, Betty returned home. Betty and Lynn quickly deepened their acquaintance and married in 1969. They had a loving marriage of 51 years filled with laughter, and together they had three children and five grandchildren.

Betty worked as a county agent and later supervisor for Cornell Cooperative Extension, based in Riverhead, Suffolk County, taking several years off to raise her children. She was involved with nutrition education programs, following her lifelong passion for nutrition. Her children recall her spending a great deal of her time tending her garden, preserving its harvest, and preparing nourishing meals in the kitchen, sometimes using them as guinea pigs for her Cornell recipes. She devoted much of her life to nurturing her children, grandchildren, and a few dogs. Betty was a truly devoted grandmother, jumping on an airplane to Turkey at a moment’s notice to care for one of her infant granddaughters when her daughter was in the hospital. Her grandchildren note that she was always thoughtful, generous, deeply loving, and baked an amazing blueberry crisp. She also made the best voices when reading the “Dogs” board book.

Betty served as the church organist and music director of Emmanuel Baptist Church in Riverhead, NY, for four decades. While always humble about her talents, her dedication and deep love for music and her church community shone through. She was always ready to lend a hand, volunteering as the church treasurer and staying after to help with cleanup. She was a skilled seamstress and sewed one daughter’s wedding dress. She ran a 4H group when her daughters were old enough to participate. Betty was up at dawn most days and liked to take her dog on early morning walks. She was an avid reader and was particularly fond of murder mysteries. She had a keen interest in history and was always open to learning more about the world.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Vaughn Brady and Robert V. Brady. She is survived by her husband, Lynn T. Chesnut, her daughters Joann Chesnut and Karen Chesnut Ozkurt and son Robert T. Chesnut, grandchildren Lucia, Danny, and Charlotte Domingue and Elanur and Meyra Ozkurt, and by her sister, Lois Brady.

A Celebration of Life service will be held on Sunday, August 2, 2020 at 1 PM at the State College Alliance Church, 1221 W. Whitehall Road, State College, PA. In the event of rain, the time may be changed to 5 PM. Live streaming will be available at

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Service Details

  • Service

    Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 | 1:00pm
    Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 1:00pm
    State College Alliance Church
    1221 W. Whitehall Road
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    In the event of rain, time may change to 5:00 PM. Live Steaming will be available at


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14 trees have been planted in memory of Betty Chesnut (Brady)

Sara, Nina, Tom, and Claire

Posted at 02:44pm
Dear Karen, We are holding you and your family in our hearts as you grieve the loss of your mother and celebrate her life. With love and condolences.

5 trees were planted in the memory of Betty Chesnut

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Love, Sara and Lili

Posted at 01:46pm
All of our love to you and your family.

3 trees were planted in the memory of Betty Chesnut

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The Kuil Family

Posted at 10:10am
Knowing how much appreciation your mom had for nature and taking good care of our world and each other, this is such a special way to honor her.

3 trees were planted in the memory of Betty Chesnut

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Brandy and Keith

Posted at 10:42am
Thinking of you and our heartfelt condolences.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Betty Chesnut — Plant a Tree Now

Gunnar,Asli,Celine,Devin, Tuana and Tayga Goebelsmann

Posted at 06:13am
The news of your mothers death greatly saddened us. My heartfelt condolences.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Betty Chesnut — Plant a Tree Now

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