Bette Jean Smith Dubriske, 90, a longtime resident of Keene, passed away peacefully at the Genesis Keene Center on Jan. 3, 2021, following a very brief illness. Prior to that, she lived with her son, Paul, where she was very happy, after selling her home on the East Surry Road that she and her husband built in 1978.
Her parents, Guy E. and Hazel (Whitehouse) Smith, welcomed their daughter into the world on June 19, 1930, in Center Harbor. Bette moved from Center Harbor to Winchester when she was 12 years old. She attended local schools and was a 1948 graduate of Thayer High School in Winchester, and was voted “Class Poet” in her senior year.
As a teenager, Bette worked in the Winchester Paper Mill running the napkin machine. It was here that her life would forever be changed as she met her future husband, Chester E. “Chet” Dubriske, there. They were married on April 22, 1950, in St. Michael’s Church in Ashuelot. The couple moved to Keene in 1951. They shared many wonderful memories together over their 64 years of marriage until Chet’s passing on June 4, 2014.
Bette retired from the National Grange Mutual Insurance Company after 25 years as a commercial lines underwriter. She was a communicant of St. Bernard Church in Keene.
Sewing was her lifelong passion and she was a well-known, very talented seamstress, designing and making christening gowns, wedding gowns, prom dresses, costumes, uniforms, toys, home décor, upholstery, and doing alterations, etc., still using the Singer sewing machine her husband bought her as a Christmas gift in 1950.
She loved a funny joke, but could never tell one because she couldn’t stop laughing before the punch line.
She was an outstanding cook and loved cooking for everyone, but most especially making cookies with her grandchildren. She enjoyed playing the piano, knitting, reading, crossword puzzles, and loved playing cards and board games with her family, the joy and light of her life.
She will be greatly missed by many, especially her children: Gail Secore and her husband, Dennis, of Keene; Paul Dubriske and his wife, Gail, of Keene; and James Dubriske and his wife, Judy, of Gilsum; her grandchildren: Bette-Jean Tousley and her husband, Todd, of Swanzey; Richard Davis and his companion, Holli Knight, of Keene; Brian Davis and his wife, Kristen, of Stratham; Adam Dubriske and his wife, Nicole, of Troy; Patricia Swift and her husband, Jason, of Keene; Ben Dubriske and his wife, Christie, of Antrim; Christopher Dubriske and his wife, Meghan, of Keene; and Ryan Dubriske and his wife, Heather, of Gilsum; 18 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson. She was predeceased by her siblings, Guy E. Smith Jr., James C. Smith, Richard Smith and Julie Efstratios.
Funeral services and burial will be held privately by the family.
For those who wish, donations may be made in Mrs. Dubriske’s memory to the Resident’s Activity Fund at the Genesis Keene Center, 677 Court Street, Keene NH 03431; or to a charity of your choice.
The Foley Funeral Home of Keene is assisting the family with the arrangements. To offer online condolences to the family or to share special memories, please visit www.foleyfuneralhome.com.