Obituary: Betsye (Petersen) Sargent, 79

by beth on December 17, 2018

SARGENT, Betsye (Petersen) Passed away peacefully on December 11.

Born in Marblehead to F. Donald Petersen and Ann (Clothey) Petersen, she is the granddaughter of maritime artist, Thomas F. Petersen. She leaves her beloved son Will Sargent and his wife Courtney of Southborough, MA., and grandchildren, Avery and Brody, in addition to the students she guided over her 55 years as a gifted educator.

A Wheaton College graduate, Betsye worked at Shady Hill School and the Fayerweather Street School. She earned a Master’s Degree from Wheelock College and became a principal and director of the gifted education program at the Salem Public Schools. Believing that all students should be educated with the same opportunities as the students in her gifted program, Betsye settled into her calling as co-founder and co-head of The Phoenix School in Salem. She also served on The Rotary Club of Salem, Salem Partnership, Salem YMCA Board of Directors, and North Shore Medical Center’s Patient Family Advisory Council. Betsye’s bright light will shine forever through those who have been touched by her wisdom and teaching.

Her memory can be honored by a donation to The Phoenix School ( A service is being scheduled in Salem for early 2019.

View the online memorial for Betsye (Petersen) SARGENT

(Obituary via

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