Elizabeth (Betty) Sullivan, 93, of Citrus Springs, Fla., died peacefully at her home surrounded by family and friends Sunday, Feb. 16, 2014. Betty was a nationally known home economist and a mother of six children. A memorial service honoring Betty will be 11 a.m. March 1, 2014, at the Citrus Springs Community Christian Congregational Church, 9220 N. Citrus Blvd. Citrus Springs, FL. 34433, with the Reverend Dr. Jeff Timm officiating.
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Born Feb. 24, 1920, in Springfield, Ill., Betty was the daughter of the late Albert Crum Baxter and Ethel Jane Mitchell and preceded in death by her brother, Richard Mitchell Baxter. She was a graduate of DePauw University and began her career working for food appliance manufacturers in the early 1950s. Betty rose through the ranks to become one of the country's first senior female executives. At Hamilton Beach, she was in charge of the test kitchen, wrote instruction books, researched recipes and managed their demonstration program nationwide. Known by many in the industry as "Betty Beach", she edited cookbooks such as "The Blender Way to Better Cooking", which is still in print.
After leaving Hamilton Beach in 1974 she went on to produce cookbooks for leading companies through her publisher the Benjamin Company, Inc. When asked the reason for her success in a male dominated business world Betty said "When I was given tough assignments, I had a take charge attitude and just got it done!" She actively participated in organizations including the American Home Economics Association and American Women of Radio and Television.
Betty married the love of her life, Tommy Jack Sullivan, 95, in 1961 bringing together her two children and Tom's four. They raised their five boys and one girl with a focus on education. Their six children gave them 15 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Survivors include husband, Tom Sullivan; sister, Jean Sanderhoff; daughter, Susan Gieler husband Craig; and sons, Tommy (Tom) Sullivan Jr., Bruce Sullivan wife Susan, Brian Sullivan wife Mary, William (Bill) Mudge wife Cyndee and James (Jim) Sullivan. Her grandchildren are Kevin Gieler, Christina Pfeiffer, William Gieler, Rochelle Bodendorfer, Taylor Sullivan, Tonya Lambeth, Heidi Lange, Todd Rasor, Erin Meyer, Jennifer Brown, Megan Sullivan, Richard Mudge, Michael Mudge, Aaron Sullivan and Amy Sullivan.
Published in Citrus County Chronicle on Feb. 22, 2014