Dr. Elizabeth Jane Nettles

Dr. Elizabeth (Betty) Jane Nettles

September 3, 1933 – April 11, 2014
Saint Louis, Missouri

Dr. Elizabeth Jane Nettles, known to everyone as “Betty,” was a prominent St. Louis psychologist and psychotherapist and internationally known philatelist. Betty began to collect stamps at age eight while recovering from polio.

She attended the College of William & Mary and earned a B.S. in psychology there in 1955. She moved to St. Louis in 1956 and has resided in the area since. She attended Washington University from 1956 to 1962 under a fellowship sponsor by the National Institute of Mental Health and earned her PhD in clinical psychology in 1978 after completion of her dissertation “Ego Development and Sex Role Expectation in Marriage.” She began her private practice as a clinical psychologist in 1960 and quickly became recognized as a specialist in psychological testing of children and adolescents to diagnose difficult cases. Betty served as a consultant in Family and Children’s Services in St. Louis for over 30 years. She also worked as a psychological consultant for the Girls’ Home, St. Louis Hospital for Children, Clayton Public Schools, The Miriam School, Mary Institute, Lutheran Family Service and St. Joseph Institute for the Deaf. She worked as a research consultant for Family Services of Memphis, Washington University Medical School, Jewish Hospital, and Illinois Children and Family Service. She was the Chief Clinical Psychologist for the Ellen Steinberg Division of Child Psychiatry at Jewish Hospital in the early 1960s. She was a long-term member of the Missouri and American Psychological Association and served as a chair of the Missouri Association Legislative Committee for many years. In recent years, she served as a supervisor in those seeking licensure as clinical psychologists. She was a skilled therapist for all age groups. In recent years, she developed expertise in forensic evaluations for criminal cases. Betty’s primary focus as an adult was her family and her clients/patients.

In her middle age, she developed a passion for her philately and became known widely in the community as a serious stamp collector and as an accomplished exhibitor. She built award-winning exhibits of St. Louis postal history and the 1904 Louisiana Purchase. She was a member of numerous national societies including the American Philatelic Society, the Women Exhibitors and Hawaiian Stamp Study Group. Some of her prized Hawaiian material is on long-term loan in an exhibit at the Smithsonian Institute.

In St. Louis, Betty was an active member of the Mound City Stamp Club, 1904 World’s Fair Club and especially the Webster Groves Stamps Club, in which she was the long-term program chair, inviting outstanding speakers who collectively comprised one of the strongest club program schedules in the nation. She was founder and leader of a St. Louis area exhibitors study group, the St. Louis Bears, and for many years was in the Exhibits Chair for the St. Louis Stamp Expo, which grew to become one of the most competitive exhibitions in the country. Many of the visiting speakers and other guests were welcomed into her home, which she proudly called “The Nettles Philatelic Hotel.” Her gracious hospitality was legendary as were her Virginia style crab cakes.

In 2010, Betty received the Elizabeth C. Pope Award from the St. Louis Stamp Expo for her great contributions to philately. It was fitting that Betty should be honored with the award named for and first bestowed upon her longtime friend, Elizabeth C. Pope

Source: APS written by Alan Barash

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