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Elizabeth's Story

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Elizabeth ("Betty") D. Elliott passed away peacefully on Monday, January 8, 2018, at her home in Conneaut, OH, with her family around her. Born to James and Sarah Dewey in Massena, NY, on June 29, 1920, she was the fourth of five children. As a young girl, she planted a forest of trees still standing on family land and never lost her love of gardening.
She earned her bachelor's degree from the State University of New York at Potsdam.
In 1943, she married Robert Littlefield. He planned to sail for a summer on the Great Lakes, but when WWII broke out he was impressed into service for the duration of the war. Since he had shore leave in Conneaut, Betty relocated in order to see him and got a teaching job at Dean Avenue School. After the war ended, Bob joined her and together they raised two sons, David and Robert. Betty went on to teach kindergarten and elementary grades in Conneaut Schools for 32 years.
In 1961 Bob Littlefield died and Betty became a single parent. She went back to college and earned a Master's degree in Library Science at Edinboro State College. As a school librarian in the Conneaut Schools, she was responsible for creating the elementary school libraries throughout the system, a challenge she loved.
After Betty retired in 1982, she joined a senior swimming group at the Ashtabula YMCA where she reconnected with Chuck Elliott, a fellow officer of the Solo Parents group both attended decades before. They married in 1983 and traveled widely, attending many Elderhostels as far flung as Labrador, Russia and the Baltic states. Spending winters in Gulf Shores, AL, they volunteered at the Library and Habitat for Humanity, and were named Gulf Shores Volunteers of the Year in 2002.
She spent summers through 2016 returning to her Massena family homestead to the "camp" she created on the Grass River in upstate New York. She loved swimming across the river into her nineties, and enjoyed "bourbon hour" and the nightly bonfires. Their children and grandchildren and eventually great and great-great grandchildren visited every summer and she hosted an extended Dewey family reunion annually since 1970.
Betty was fun. People loved to encounter Betty and her famous laugh. She was also an intrepid driver with a bit of a lead foot. With a few adventurous women teachers, she drove a hearse to Alaska and back one long ago summer. She was still driving for Faith in Action in 2015.
She also loved her longstanding Bridge Club and Mystic Circle friends.
An enthusiastic volunteer throughout her life, she was a founding member of the Barn, the Conneaut Hospital's thrift shop that has funded needed medical equipment for the hospital and continues to fund nursing school scholarships for high school seniors. She retired from the Barn in 2014. She also volunteered as a Gray Lady at the Hospital and for the Historical Society. She was honored with the 2013 Conneaut Citizen of the Year award and, in 2015, the Conneaut Area Chamber of Commerce awarded her its Legacy award with related tributes from the U.S. and Ohio Houses of Representatives.
As she told her grandchildren, "A life of helping people is the road to happiness." Being the selfless person she was, this could be the motto for her life.
Betty is survived by her sister, Hope Griffith of Slingerlands, NY; her beloved grandchildren, Michelle Tscherne of Mentor, Matthew Littlefield (Linda Dolan) of Plymouth, Mark Littlefield of Conneaut, and Melanie Littlefield of Mentor; her great-grandchildren Danielle and Jessica Tscherne, Kayla and Brandon Misenko, Matthew and Madison Littlefield, Michael, Brandon, and Cade Littlefield, Christian Putnam and Alexis Williams; and her step-children, Susan and Nora Elliott of Anchorage and Donald Elliott of Key West; as well as many well-loved nieces and nephews, great and great-great grandchildren.
She was predeceased by her first husband, Robert Littlefield; her sons David and Robert Littlefield; her second husband Charles Elliott; her step-son William Elliott; her brother George Dewey; and her sisters Susan Nichols and Virginia Johnson.
Her family thanks Linda Dolan and Carol Bunnell for their loving kindness and excellent care of Betty, Mark Littlefield and Kiersten Weidler who lived with Betty the last several years and helped her immensely. Betty's own grace and gratitude were a model for us all.
Funeral service will be held 10:00 AM, Thursday, January 11, 2018, at the Marcy Funeral Home and Cremation Center, 208 Liberty St., with Pastor Frank Walford officiating.
Friends may call today, Wednesday, January 10th, from 4-6 PM, at the funeral home.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of the Western Reserve or to the charity of choice.
Sign the guestbook at www.marcyfuneralhome.com.
Published on January 9, 2018
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