Betty Godwin Balch, 96, died peacefully in her sleep at her assisted living home in Bradenton, Fla., on May 25, 2020. She and her late husband, John Louis Balch, had owned and managed Captain Higgins restaurant on Wellfleet Harbor for 38 years. The cause of death, said her daughter Jeanne, was complications of old age.
“Her memory was sharp as a tack right to the end,” said Jeanne.
Betty was born on Feb. 1, 1924, to Earl and Eva Godwin in Medford, where she lived until her marriage. She and John were married for 63 years.
Betty’s passionate relationship with Wellfleet and the Cape began when she was five months old. She came here every year into her early 90s. She loved the smell of the salt air, the whispering pines, the roar of the ocean, and the many friends she made here. Upon her arrival each year, she knew she was home.
In 1968, she and John took the reins of Captain Higgins, where they had both worked. He was the chef and manager; Betty ran the front of the house. She loved greeting customers and her loyal staff, who called her “Mrs. B.” Betty thought of them all as her family.
“It was a fun, fun place,” said Jeanne. “She was always a happy person.”
Betty is survived by her four children: Carol and husband Brad Case of Bradenton; Jeanne and husband Steven Coser of Boston and Wellfleet; David and wife Linda Balch of Wellfleet; and Mark and wife Kelly Balch of Newfoundland. She is also survived by seven grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren, who were her pride and joy.
Betty loved her family, friends, traveling the world, and a good meal.
She lived a long and healthy life and leaves nothing but beautiful memories to those who were lucky enough to have known her.
Memorial donations in her name may be made to the Wellfleet Historical Society or to any hospice organization.