Mary Lou Bettencourt 77 of New Bedford passed away Thursday April 2, 2015 after a brief illness, at the Pat Roche Hospice House in Hingham, surrounded by her loving family. Mary Lou, “Ti Lu”, Bettencourt was a lifelong resident of New Bedford. She was the daughter of the late Mary S. (Santos) Bettencourt and Manuel J. Bettencourt, the founder of the former Bettencourt Pharmacy, located in the north end of New Bedford for several decades. Mary Lou graduated from New Bedford High School in 1955 and Regis College in 1959. While attending high school, she often worked alongside her father at the pharmacy. Upon graduation she became a member of the Regis College Lay Apostle Movement and volunteered to teach in LaPaz, Bolivia for one year. She taught English as a Second Language courses at the English Catholic Colegio located in the Bolivian capital. She taught at Keith Junior High School, the Immaculate Conception School, she was the principal at the Thompson St. School, assistant principal at the Hayden-McFadden school, elementary Portuguese Bilingual supervisor and ended her 40 year career at the Abraham Lincoln school teaching grade 6. In addition to her career in education Mary Lou was also very active in her parish, Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception. For approximately 20 years, she served as coordinator of the School of Religious Education. She continued as a Catechist until her illness. For several years she served as chairperson and/or secretary of the Catholic Charities Appeal in her parish and continued to help until her illness. She was also a Eucharistic Minister and was the recipient of the Diocesan Marian Medal in 1970. She is survived by her brother Manuel J. Bettencourt and his wife Madeline of New Bedford; 2 nieces Lisa Gaskin of Bowie, Maryland and Julie Bettencourt of Lakeville, MA; 2 nephews Dr. John J. Coughlin III of Bowie, Maryland, Christopher M. Bettencourt and his wife Megan of Norwell, MA. She was the great aunt to 4 nieces and 3 nephews. She is also survived by many cousins and special friends including the Rev. Henry S. Arruda and Dolores Brandao. She was the sister of the late Linda M. Coughlin. Her funeral mass will be said 10am Saturday at Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church. Visiting hours are Friday 5-8pm.Burial will be in St. John’s Cemetery.