Elizabeth M. Feeley passed away peacefully in the comfort of her home, surrounded by family on Friday, August 6, 2021. She had shared 94 years of unconditional love, commitment, support, generosity and amazing memories with family and friends.
Betty, the only daughter of three children, was born in Newark and raised in East Orange to the late Edward and Claire McManus. After graduating high school she went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education from Panzer College, now Montclair State University. Upon graduating from Panzer, she taught at Rahway High School from 1948 to 1953. During that time, she became a basketball official with a national ranking. Betty was hired at Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1963 to start women’s varsity teams in tennis, field hockey, and swimming and as a physical education teacher. She was a pioneer for women’s equality in sports well before Title IX came into existence. Betty then earned a Master of Science Degree in Recreation Administration. She was inducted into the Division 3 Hall of Fame in 2004.
She retired from coaching in the early 1980's to become the Director of Academic Advising. Later that decade she also retired from teaching and was promoted to Associate Dean for Student Services, a position held until her retirement at age 91.
Betty knew how to cut through difficulties and challenges to get to the bottom of problem solving with unerring power and grace, whether it was for personal or professional situations. There was no stopping her.
A longtime resident of the Lake Arrowhead section of Denville, in her retirement, Betty founded the “Ladies of the Lake” group for women ages 65 and older to meet monthly at her home. She also loved collecting Blue Willow china and watching her beloved Mets.
Although we are deeply saddened by her passing, we take comfort in knowing she is now reunited with her loving husband, Richard, who passed away in 2008.
She leaves a legacy of dedication, honesty and never ending love for her daughters, Colleen Bauer and Dr. Claudia Feeley along with her husband Brent Knudson; her cherished grandchildren, Alex and Alison Bauer, Alex’s wife Kim and her great-grandchildren Andrew, Daniel, Katelyn and Olivia; plus many dear friends.
All services will be private. Memorial donations are being accepted in her memory for New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and Smile Train. Please leave a condolence, light a candle, and share your favorite memory of Betty here to continue to celebrate the incredible life she endowed to us.