NO. R-72.† House concurrent resolution honoring former Commissioner of Social Welfare Joseph W. Betit on his 80th birthday.


Offered by:† Representative Koch of Barre Town.

Whereas, Joseph W. Betitís personal and professional lives have spanned the geographic breadth of the United States from Vermont to Alaska, and

Whereas, he was born on February 22, 1923 in Whitingham in the waning era of the horse‑drawn sleigh as the doctor traveling to supervise the future social welfare commissionerís birth braved a noríeaster and survived several instances of the wind overturning the animal‑powered vehicle, and

Whereas, Joseph Betit entered the United States Army during World War II and fought in the Battle of the Bulge, and

Whereas, in 1945, he remained in Europe, graduating from officersí candidate school at Fontainebleau, France, and subsequently, in the United States, he completed further educational programs under the militaryís auspices, and

Whereas, he rose through the ranks to the level of lieutenant colonel, and despite the likelihood of further promotions, and the urging of his superiors to remain in the service, the highly decorated officer decided to retire in order to fulfill his dream of settling in Alaska, and

Whereas, upon his retirement, he relocated to the nationís most northern climes and became a senior social services administrator for the state of Alaska, and

Whereas, the administrative accomplishments of this Vermont native came to the attention of Governor Deane Davis, who persuaded the retired lieutenant colonel to return to his native state and assume the position of commissioner of social welfare, and

Whereas, among the commissionerís accomplishments was developing and steering through the legislative labyrinth a new Child Support Enforcement Act, and

Whereas, after completing his duties in Montpelier, he became a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, in which capacity he drafted similar federal legislation, and

Whereas, in 1978, having spent eight years in the tropical lower 48, he yearned for Juneauís wintry wonders and majestic beauty and returned to Juneau, resuming his employment with the Alaskan state government until retiring in 1987, and

Whereas, this much admired native Vermonter is the father of seven children, and has ten grandchildren with an 11th soon expected and one great‑grandchild, now therefore be it

Resolved by the Senate and House of Representatives:

That the General Assembly congratulates former Commissioner of Social Welfare† and retired Lt. Colonel Joseph W. Betit on the happy occasion of his 80th birthday, and be it further

Resolved:† That the Secretary of State be directed to send a copy of this resolution to Joseph Betit in Juneau, Alaska.