Betty Jeanne Carey

January 15, 1931 ~ September 2, 2021 (age 90)


Betty J. Oseid M.D. (Mrs. Michael E. Carey) died from complications of a long-standing stroke on September 2 2021 Betty was born in Thief River Falls, Minnesota to Maude and Clarence Oseid on January 15, 1931. She spent her early years in Bemidji, Minnesota. Betty graduated from Vassar College in 1952, majoring in chemistry. Afterwards, she worked for the U.S. Army in Special Services for two years in Germany. Upon her return to the United States, she was a chemist at the University of Minnesota before deciding upon a medical career. Betty entered the University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis in 1956 and graduated in 1960. She interned and did her pediatric residency at the University of Minnesota Hospitals from 1960-1964. Betty met her husband, Michael E. Carey M.D., when they interned together in 1960. Married in 1962, Betty bore three children: twins Thomas and Elizabeth, and then Sarah. Throughout her life Betty was always open to others, immensely capable, thoughtful, joyous, and kind. As a pediatrician Betty often served the underserved. She staffed community health clinics in Hartford, CT and El Paso, TX before moving to New Orleans, LA in 1970 with her family. There, too, she worked in community health. Betty joined the clinical faculty of the LSU Department of Pediatrics in 1970 and had a special interest in the benefits of breast feeding for infants. She was recognized nationally for this work. Betty was instrumental in the opening of “Mothers’ Inn” at Charity Hospital where, for the first time, mothers and infants roomed together immediately after birth so mothers could begin nursing and bonding with their newborns. Betty, with two religious Sisters, founded the pediatric clinic at the Saint Thomas Housing Project and was active there for many years. Betty also worked part time for several pediatric groups in New Orleans. She finished her medical career staffing the Naval Support Activities pediatric clinic in Algiers. A most loving wife, Betty was a “buddy” to her husband, Michael. She was enormously helpful to him, actively encouraging his academic career, editing and improving his papers. She was always “there”. She appeared on “60 Minutes” with Michael when Mike Wallace interviewed him after his head trauma research was attacked by the animal rights activists. For her fortitude in standing up to death threats from these animal extremists, the American Medical Association awarded her their Medal of Valor. As a mother, quietly and day by day she set the example of modesty, good judgement, respect for all, and high achievement for her children to emulate. Betty had life-long friends from Bemidji, medical school, Hartford, and especially New Orleans who gave her great joy. Betty is survived by her husband, Michael, her three children, and six grandchildren: Vincent, Michael, Elizabeth, Isabel, Charles, and Mack. Betty’s Christian faith was of great solace to her.

Betty fought the good fight and has finished her race. The World has lost a Great Human Being; Eternity has gained a Glorious Soul that awaits her crown from the Lord.

The Carey family would like to thank the many thoughtful, loving, and understanding individuals at Poydras Home who cared for Betty for the past eight years, especially Jowanda Stewart, Tini Dorsey, Sharone Knight and Bridgit Andrews who cared for Betty day by day.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Betty's honor can be made to: Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, NY; the LSU Health Foundation, New Orleans, LA; the University of Minnesota Medical Foundation, Minneapolis, MN; or Poydras Home, New Orleans, LA.
Owing to the recent hurricane and ongoing pandemic, a memorial Mass celebrating Betty’s life will be held later at St. Pius X Church, 6666 Spanish Fort Blvd, New Orleans, LA 70124.


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