Betty Lemex Petrie

November 24, 1942 - July 22, 2022


Betty Lemex Petrie, 79, passed peacefully in her sleep in the early morning hours of Friday, July 22, 2022, at Mat-Su Regional Hospital in Wasilla, Alaska.

Ms. Petrie was born Nov. 24, 1942, in Houston, Texas to Imogene “Kemo” Kinzbach Lemex and Herbert Maurice “Bob” Lemex.

In 1960, Betty graduated from Lamar High School in Houston, Texas, and went on to attend Trinity University in San Antonio, the University of Illinois, and the University of Texas College of Biomedical Sciences, earning a Ph.D. in molecular biology. She worked as a research scientist in the virology department of Baylor College of Medicine for more than 20 years before “retiring” to become a Professor of Biology at the University of Houston. In the mid-1990s, she and her beloved husband Robert “Bob” Petrie moved to Port Townsend, Washington, where they made many new friends and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. There, Betty continued to pursue her love of science by volunteering at the Port Townsend Marine Science Center where she served as a docent, cleaned tanks, and eventually became a board member. She loved the Marine Science Center and was a firm believer in its mission to educate the public about our oceans.

Ms. Petrie was preceded in death by her husband, Robert “Bob” Petrie. She is survived by her daughter, Kristin Young; and her granddaughter, Mariah Young of Alaska; and many cousins in Texas. She will be greatly missed.

A celebration of her life will be held in Port Townsend, Wash. at a date yet to be determined. The family asks that donations be made to the Port Townsend Marine Science Center in lieu of flowers.