Betty was born in the Bronx to amazing Irish born parents Patrick Joseph Hickey and Elizabeth M. Hickey (nee Mahoney) as the seventh of nine children. She was raised in a fiercely Irish Catholic home where family and faith were the cornerstones. Summers were spent in the Rockaway bungalows and her love of the ocean never left her.
She attended Saint Jerome’s Elementary School in the Bronx, Sacred Heart Academy in Hempstead for one year and graduated from Stella Maris in Rockaway. Then she was off to secretarial school where she earned the reputation as the fastest typist and best Pittman shorthand taker. She landed a job at Steuben Glass on Fifth Avenue in New York City.
It was on the beach that she met and fell in love with a handsome lifeguard, Philip B. McCaul, and they were married at Saint Camillus in Rockaway, eventually settling in 1967 in Bellmore, New York. They were blessed with four children, who they raised within a bicycle ride of the ocean at Jones beach. Betty returned to work, ultimately becoming the secretary to the principal at W.T. Clarke High School.
Betty knew more than her fair share of tragedy. In 1990, she lost her husband to cancer when he was a far too young: 51 years old. And in 1992 she lost her only son Philip when he took his own life. Her patience and kindness became finely honed instruments that she wielded for so many. Stories about the depths of her empathy are legend. Her ability to step in your shoes and care for you knew no bounds. Her faith carried her all the while.
Her three daughters married and she loved each of her son-in-laws deeply; they all gave her the greatest joy in her life: ten grandchildren and three great grandchildren. With each and every one she has a special bond, a personal relationship, shares a joke, a secret, a special treat, and every one of them can tell you a special story that belongs just to them.
She found joy once again, when Tommy Clarke, known as Poppy to all the grands, came into her life in 1994 for the second time, this time as her companion. Tommy left her in 2019. And Betty was the last of the nine Hickey children to go to our Lord. These last two years have been filled with suffering but also with grace. We are deeply grateful to Northwell Chief of Geriatrics, Dr. Maria Carney and the Hospice Care Network. They gave us a summer which was nothing short of a miracle filled with happiness and Betty enjoying life.
Visiting Oyster Bay Funeral Home, 261 South St., Oyster Bay, NY, Friday 5-8 p.m. Funeral Mass St. Barnabas The Apostle RC Church, Bellmore, NY on Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Interment Holy Rood Cemetery. Memorial donations in her name can be made to the Institute for Healthy Aging and Hospice Care, Northwell Health Foundation, 2000 Marcus Avenue, New Hyde Park, NY 11042
For the Funeral Mass Live Stream, please go to https://stbarnabasny.org/
MEMORIAL SLIDESHOW: In Loving Memory of Elizabeth M. McCaul