Elisabeth Beth Ryburn Stuart passed away quietly in Houston at her residence in the Hampton at Post Oak, on Thursday, the 24th of October 2013, at the age of 97. She was born Elisabeth Ann Ryburn to parents Francis Marion and Anne Salome Clayton Ryburn in Amarillo, Texas, on the 4th of December 1915. As a young girl she and her family moved to Dallas and as a young woman she graduated from the University of Texas with honors (Cum Laude). At the university she was president of her Pi Beta Phi Sorority and was in the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, the Mortar Board honor society, Pierian literary society and was a Bluebonnet Belle. In 1937 she and Jesse Weed Stuart were married in Beaumont where the couple lived for about 20 years. From there they moved to Corpus Christi and ultimately to Houston, where she would spend her remaining years. She was an avid duplicate bridge player and attained the rank of Life Master in 1963, becoming Beaumont's tenth player to reach that plateau. She reached the rank of Diamond Life Master a few years ago after accumulating 5,000 Master Points. Beth was as active in service and social activities including a long-term membership in the Junior League and was an enthusiastic supporter of many local charities. She loved watersports of all kinds and remained active in them until very late in her life, tubing Colorado's Yampa River in her late eighties and snorkeling in the Caribbean in her early nineties. She loved adventure and travel, especially to exotic places, and the family scrapbooks are filled with pictures of her riding in hot-air balloons and atop burros in Mexico, elephants in Thailand and camels in Egypt. Beth was preceded in death by her husband, her parents and her brother, Frank Ryburn, Jr., of Dallas, and is survived by her three sons, Jess Stuart and his wife Lois, Dick Stuart and his wife Ginny, and Don Stuart and his wife Becky; as well as seven grandchildren and ten great grandchildren. A funeral service is to be conducted at eleven o'clock in the morning on Tuesday, the 29th of October, at Bellaire United Methodist Church, 4417 Bellaire Boulevard in Bellaire, where Rev. Jim Flagg is to officiate. Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family during the hour prior to the funeral service. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception in the adjacent parlor. The interment is to follow, at four o'clock in the afternoon, at Magnolia Cemetery, 2291 Pine Street in Beaumont, where Rev. Jim Flagg is to once again officiate. In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions in Beth's name be directed to the
, P.O. Box 11454, Alexandria, VA, 22312.
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Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Oct. 27, 2013