Betty Jean Breitenberg Maggio

January 18, 1934 - May 10, 2023

Betty Jean Breitenberg Maggio was born into eternal life on Wednesday, 10 May 2023 at Magnolia Manor Nursing Home in Groves, Texas at 5:31 a.m. due to natural causes.

Betty was born on 18 January 1934 in Robeline, Louisiana in Natchitoches Parish to Gerena Place Breitenberg and William Christian Breitenberg.  She grew up in Powhatan, Louisiana.  Her family later moved to Natchitoches, Louisiana where she lived for some years on the J.H. Williams Plantation on Cane River.  She attended Natchitoches High School and entered Northwestern State College of Louisiana in Natchitoches as an art major.  At Northwestern in 1952, as she was walking across the campus grounds, Staff Sergeant Joseph Charles Anthony, “J. C.” Maggio of the USAF, saw Betty and wanted to meet her.  Later, they met on a blind date arranged by Charles Maricelli.  They were married on 6 March 1954 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Natchitoches and after Joseph’s tour of duty in Korea they resided in Enid Oklahoma and later in Natchitoches where their first son, Michael Joseph, was born.  In 1955, Betty and Joseph moved to Port Arthur, Texas where their other four children, Randal Anthony, Karolyn Anne, Stephen Paul, and James Paul were born.  They moved to Nederland, Texas in 1961.  Betty loved being a Texan, but was always fond of her Louisiana roots.  Traveling back to Natchitoches and the Cane River area brought her much happiness.

Betty resumed her studies in art at Lamar State College of Technology in Beaumont, Texas in 1965.  She was a substitute teacher at St. Anthony and St. Joseph Catholic schools in Beaumont.  When not substituting, she was a housewife and enjoyed painting, sewing, traveling, camping, fishing and doing crafts. Her favorite pastime was collecting angels. Betty served as a Cub Scout Den Mother, was a member of District 9 Jefferson County Extension Education Association, and a member of the Red Hat Society.  Betty was a wonderful cook; a couple of her specialties being gumbo and spaghetti and meatballs.

Betty’s artistic ability was recognized very early in childhood.  Inspired by her mother, she began to observe and sketch the beauty of nature around her.  During high school, her pen and ink drawings were used for division pages in the yearbooks.  While in college, in studying the Old Masters, her interest in art continued to grow and she became an accomplished artist.  Her media were varied in pen and ink, pencil, charcoal, oil, acrylic, and watercolor.   She taught art classes from her home from 1965 – 1978.  In addition to teaching, Betty offered workshops, gave demonstrations in painting, restored historical art and was commissioned for private collections.  She owned and operated Betty Maggio Art Studio in her home in Nederland.  Betty won many awards from her exhibitions in local art shows and exhibited her paintings at many showings and festivals including the Westheimer Art Festival in Houston and at Melrose Plantation near Natchitoches.   Nine of her pen and ink drawings from the New Orleans collection were purchased by Gentry’s Restaurant in Lafayette, Louisiana.  Her extensive Port Arthur collection of pen and ink drawings featuring historic landmarks of the Beaumont-Port Arthur area have been purchased by local restaurants, the City of Port Arthur, and by many Golden Triangle art collectors.  Her paintings can be found in many private collections across the United States.  She illustrated several cookbooks including The Celestial Chef’s Collection, and Food for the New Millennium, both compiled at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Nederland, Texas.   Several of Betty’s pen and ink reproductions are featured in the books, Early History of Port Arthur, Texas. 2001. and The Diocese of Beaumont; The Catholic Story of Southeast Texas. 1991.  One of her favorite works is a pen and ink of “The Holy Family.”  Betty was a charter member of the Nederland Art Guild where she held several offices including president.  Betty was an officer of the Lonestar Conservative Guild from 1975-1976 and was a member of the Beaumont Art League, Beaumont Art Museum, Texas Art Museum Society, Port Arthur Art Association, and the International Society of Artists.  For several years, notecards featuring her artwork were sold, and are still being sold, at the Museum of the Gulf Coast in Port Arthur.

Betty was an active participant in the parish life of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church for 62 years.   She was a member of the Altar Society and the Women’s Guild, taught CCD for 17 years, and sponsored catechumens in RCIA, among other church organizations throughout the years.  Betty was a Lay Dominican.  She publicly professed her final promises and was perpetually incorporated into the Order of Preachers, Third Order of St. Dominic, on 11 August 2001.  Also, she was co-chairman of the Scriptural Rosary at St. Charles.  Betty was a dedicated wife, mother and homemaker.  She treasured her children and grandchildren and prayed for them to have an ardent love of the Catholic Faith.

Betty was preceded in death by her husband; son, Stephen Paul; parents; stepfather, Jewel Paul, “J. P.” Levasseur; brothers, William Christian, “W.C.” Breitenberg, Jr. and Ronald Paul Levasseur; nephews, Samuel Ross Maggio, Jr. and Anthony S. D’Angelo, Jr.; and grandnephews, Dylan Matthew Kelley, and John Christopher Breitenberg.

Betty is survived by her sister Lois Smith (Jerry) of Nederland; sister-in-law, Sybil Breitenberg of White Oak, Texas; sons Michael (Cindy) of LaBelle, Texas; Randal of Rosharon, Texas; daughter Karolyn, (Darrell) of Nederland; son James (Diana) of Winnie, Texas; seven grandchildren, Jason Maggio, Kristine (Kelly) Gunn, Lauren (Chris) Sublett, Eric (Erica) Maggio, Jacqueline Kate Maggio, Jessica (Martin) Garcia, and Daniel Maggio; fourteen great-grandchildren Emily Maggio, Anthony Friddle, Christopher Friddle, Rainer Teague, Adalaine Maggio, Scarlett Garcia, Lilia Garcia, Kinley Sublett, Austin Sublett, Hagen Bearden, Addison Bearden, Hudson Bearden, Ella Maggio, and Evie Maggio; and numerous cousins, nieces and nephews.

Pallbearers include, Jason Maggio, Eric Maggio, Daniel Maggio, Norman Breitenberg, Kevin Smith, and Michael D’Angelo.  Honorary Pallbearers include Stephen D’Angelo, Ralph Maggio, Chris Sublett, Martin Garcia, Kelly Gunn, Scott Derouen, and Purvis Derouen.

A visitation and gathering of friends and family will be held from 5-8 p.m. with a Rosary recited and led by Fr. Stephen McCrate at 6 p.m. on 5 June 2023 at Broussard’s Mortuary at 505 North 12th St. Nederland, Texas.   A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated by Fr. Eathan Oakes for the repose of Betty’s soul at St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church at 211 Hardy Ave. in Nederland, Texas on 6 June 2023 at 10:30 a.m. followed by interment at Memory Gardens Cemetery in Nederland.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contribution can be made in her memory to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, EWTN Global Catholic Network, or the Lay Dominicans of the Province of St. Martin de Porres.

Gathering of Family and Friends

Broussard’s Mortuary Nederland
  • 505, North 12th Street, Nederland, Texas, 77627,
  • June 5, 2023
  • 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Mass of Christian Burial

St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church
  • 211, Hardy Ave, Nederland, TX, 77627,
  • June 6, 2023
  • 10:30 am


Memory Gardens of Jefferson County
  • 3098, Highway 69 N, Nederland, TX, 77627,
  • June 6, 2023

Comments (5)

    Scott and Gloria Watjus says:

    So sorry for your loss. Betty was such a sweet and loving lady. She will be missed. Our prayers are for and with her family. Betty loved her Faith and her Lord. Rest in Peace faithful servant of God. 🙏🙏♥️

    Mary K Maxwell says:

    Please accept my deepest sympathy in your great loss. It was a privilege to meet Betty in the nursing home. Her smile lit up the room. I wish I could have known her when she was actively pursuing her dreams. She is an inspiration. May her sweet soul rest in peace.

    Roy and Pat Pedi says:

    We are very sorry for your loss. I know that your mother is with her husband Joe in heaven and sharing a bowl of gumbo! The obituary was a beautiful tribute to your mother as well as very informative. You all will be in our prayers. Love Roy and Pat Pedi ( Mary Pedi Brocato’s family)

    Charley Messina says:

    We have been Betty and Joes neighbor for 22 years. We thought of them as family. Through the years they have been great neighbors and great friends. We will miss Betty very much and are very saddened by her passing. We know she is happy to finally reunite with Joe again and happy to be with Jesus.
    Rest with the Lord Betty and tell Joe we said hi.
    Our prayers are with the family.

    Charley , June and Erica Messina says:

    We have been Betty and Joes neighbor for 22 years. We thought of them as family. Through the years they have been great neighbors and great friends. We will miss Betty very much and are very saddened by her passing. We know she is happy to finally reunite with Joe again and happy to be with Jesus.
    Rest with the Lord Betty and tell Joe we said hi.
    Our prayers are with the family.

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