Elizabeth Jane Meeker (née Beeman) returned to the arms of her father, Edward, and her mother, Margaret on May 21, 2019 at the age of 74. Betzy raised four children almost entirely on her own, but did not consider this a burden. Being a mother made her happy. She found joy in her children.
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Mom did her best to keep us together, not always in body but certainly in mind. She let us know how important we were to her and taught us lessons: to forgive when it is easier to resent; to be honest with others as well as ourselves; that an open hand is not weakness and a fist is not strength; to help others when we can and look after ourselves when needed; to seek out a friend rather than turn inward; to look for a rainbow when only half the sky is raining.
When we think of mom we remember triumph, not struggle; togetherness, instead of separation. We remember self-reliance, independence, hard work and an uncompromising love for one another. We remember the wooden lid of a picnic basket keeping the summer sun off our peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and a white and red cooler filled with equally red Kool-Aid. We remember swimming late into the evening at Silver Springs and stopping for a cone at Country Maid Ice Cream. We remember long, white candles hand-painted for Advent, Christmas and Easter. And we remember Linda Ronstadt, Buddy Holly, James Taylor and Eric Clapton.
Betzy found hope, redemption and grace in her devotion to God. She found contentment in simple things: tending her gardens and flowers; meeting old friends for lunch; spending an afternoon in the pool with her sister. She enjoyed having her own tools and using them to make small repairs around her house. The Saturday and Sunday crosswords lay fastened to a clipboard waiting for her careful script to fill each block with a letter.
Betzy overcame serious challenges in her lifetime and in the end found a pleasure that surpassed the joy she knew as a mother: she became a grandmother seven times over. With absolute delight she watched her children’s babies grow. She cheered proudly during soccer matches and clapped loudly at the closing curtain of school plays. With a firm but patient hand, she called her grandchildren from their corners and encouraged them to join the others. She held them, watched over them, and cherished them like fine pieces of candy that never lost their sweetness.
Betzy was preceded in death by her sister Susan Klein and is survived by her sisters Mary Ann Klein (John) and Peggy Lee (Bob), her brother Eddy Beeman, her four children Michael (Kim), Jami (Heather), Brandon and Gretchen Biros (Michael), her grandchildren, Cameron, Colin, Max, Brandon, Carmen, Sarah and Quinn, and many beloved nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, we encourage donations to Grace House Akron, a home that will provide hospice and palliative care to terminally ill patients dying alone and without basic needs of food, water, shelter or comfort. Please make donations at gracehouseakron.org/donate.
Calling hours are at 1:00 on Saturday, May 25 at Dunn-Quigley Stow Chapel located at 3333 Kent Rd in Stow, OH.
If you have butterflies in your stomach… ask them into your heart.