Retired elementary school teacher Elizabeth “Betty” Whitman’s love of teaching and life did not come to an end with her peaceful passing on December 31, 2020 at the age of 95. Our beloved mother, sister, grandmother, great grandmother, friend, and mentor was surrounded by loved ones near, who will continue to honor her legacy by living their lives to the fullest.
Betty’s pride not only were in her own children, but in her student’s as she shared her love and passion for learning touching hundreds, possibly thousands of children over the years. Betty taught at Boardman prior to having her children. After her youngest began kindergarten, Betty restarted her 30year career at South Range Elementary School as the Reading Teacher, before retiring at age 70. Betty is a proud recipient of the Jennings Scholarship, which recognizes initiatives that “foster deep learning and excellent teaching” in support of teachers across Ohio. Betty attended Muskingham College, and completed her undergraduate degree from Youngstown University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. She later attended Youngstown State University earning her Master’s in Education.
Betty was active in church, which included attending throughout the years, Evergreen Presbyterian Church, John Knox Presbyterian Church, Brownlee Woods UP, and Westminster Presbyterian Church in Boardman. She served as a Deacon at Westminster, and was active in the choirs, and “Don’t eat Alone” group.
Betty also enjoyed traveling having the opportunity to travel with Warren Jr. Military Band parents to Europe – seeing the first man on the moon while on the trip to Europe and returning years later to attend the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in England, Scotland, and Wales. Plus Washington DC and most of the 48 Continental United States, and Hawaii.
After retiring, Betty enjoyed doing her crafts and selling them at various craft events, as well as helping with One Step Further, walking at Southern Park mall. Betty was very active with her grandkid’s cheering them on at baseball games, band events, and various community theater events. She even was encouraged to be a cast member in “Cinderella” at Salem Community Theater to perform beside her grandson, Andrew Turner. Betty loved her grandchildren and encouraged them all to be the best they can be.
Betty was also very active in PEO for many years. Betty belonged to a “500” card club for many years, and enjoyed bowling, golfing and other card games throughout the years. She also loved entertaining at her home with decades of hosting many special gatherings during various holidays and fun filled theme parties surrounded by friends and family.
Elizabeth was the second oldest of 14, born April 4, 1925 in Guernsey County, daughter of the late Howard Abraham Thompson and Luella (Slasor) Thompson. In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her former in-laws, Charles G. Whitman and Ora B Whitman., who owned Whitman’s Grocery’s for many years. Her siblings, Ruth “Geri” Critser, Harold Thompson, Annabell Keylor, Howard Thompson, Mary Frances “Fran” Hall, June Dollison Wilson, Shirley Harper, Peggy Hauck, Silas Thompson and Rodeanya “Deannie” Young Robinson.
Elizabeth is survived by her three children, Charles (Laurie) Whitman, Donald (Laura) Whitman and Mollie (Denny) Turner Zimmet, and Betty’s former spouse, Charles H. Whitman. Her surviving siblings include Patricia King, Kenny Thompson, and Marjorie (Danny) Palmer. Betty held a special place in her heart for all of her grandchildren, Brad Whitman, Suzanne (Joey) Deabate, Andrew (Christina) Turner, Tony (Katie) Chacon, and Andrew “Drew” Chacon. And her great grandchildren Logan Whitman, Derek Whitman, Helena Deabate, and Luca Deabate.
The family would also like to thank the many caretakers of Betty over the years. Through their help and guidance, Betty’s journey was much more peaceful. THANK YOU!!!
Due to the current pandemic, private family funeral services will be held for Betty on Monday, January 4th. She will be laid to rest at Lake Park Cemetery, Youngstown.
A life, so beautiful, deserves a special celebration. We hope you will join us at a later date to Celebrate Elizabeth’s Life.
The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to PEO for the Scholarships fund: Make checks payable to: P.E.O. International Foundation, On memo line: Scholarships Chapter CE/Ohio. Send to: P.E.O. International Foundation, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, Iowa 50312. Memorial Contributions may also be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Edward J. Fox & Sons Funeral Home 4700 Market St. Boardman, Ohio.
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