Elizabeth “Betty” Robertson Beith, 97, passed away peacefully Friday, Jan. 11, 2013, at Sherman Hospital in Elgin, Ill., and is finally reunited with her husband George, who passed away in 1989.
She was born March 20, 1915, the daughter of John Bright and Lillian (Scannell) Robertson in Oak Park, Ill.
Betty grew up in Oak Park and attended local schools. She graduated with the class of 1933 and continued her studies at Lake Forest College. Following her time at Lake Forest, Betty traveled with her Auntie Bess.
Betty met her future husband at the summer house in Maine. She was united in marriage to her wartime sweetheart, George H. Beith, on Feb. 1, 1941, in Oak Park.
They began their new life in Elgin for many years before moving out to the family farm on Beith Road, where they built a home and made a lifetime of memories. She continued to live on in Elburn following George’s passing.
In her younger years, she was a staple in the Elgin Garden Club and “Fideletors.” Betty and George were also early members of the Elgin Country Club.
Betty was from an age where a lady was a lady and could easily be comfortable in any group or class. She left the house for garden club with white gloves, and epitomized graciousness and refinement in all that she did.
As a girl, she was encouraged to learn about the world through her weekends at her Auntie Bess’ in Highland Park. Auntie Bess was an artist herself who authored and published a quilt book and has two quilts in the permanent collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. She sponsored painters, sculptors and photographers running from Germany during World War II; several of them became world-renowned figures and taught art to friends and family at Auntie Bess’ house on Saturday mornings. They also spent time at Bess’ condo on Lake Shore Drive and frequented shows at the Palmer House, Hilton and the Pump Room, listening to live performances featuring Tommy Dorsey and Frank Sinatra during the World’s Fair.
In her later years, Betty also made an appearance at a Jefferson Airplane performance at the Graffiti in Aurora.
Through all of her experiences, Betty considered her role in the home as the most important. She made a life out of living for her family. Betty was an independent soul who kept her own house and drove a stick shift into her nineties.
She now leaves her son, William Beith and his wife, Karen Kelly-Beith, of Elburn; one granddaughter, Becky (Brian) Sweeney and their children, Grace Elizabeth, Gretchen Lorraine and Gabrielle Ruth, of Huntley, Ill.; several nieces, nephews and a family of friends with a lifetime of memories that will never be forgotten.
She now joins her parents, John B. and Lillian; husband, George; brother and sister-in-law, John B. and Betty Robertson; one sister, Jane Ann Robertson; and her special friend, John Muirhead.
Visitation will take place from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 19, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn. A memorial service to celebrate her life will follow at 3:30 p.m. Private family interment will follow at a later date at Fairview Cemetery in Farmington, Maine.
A memorial has been established in Betty’s name to benefit Fox Valley Hospice and other charities. Checks may be made to the “Betty Beith Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through www.conleycare.com, where you can find Betty’s full-life story.