Elizabeth Swain Surrency

  • "I was so honored to work with Betty at Hawthorne High..."
    - Vicki Tyson
  • "My deepest condolences and prayers to the entire family."
  • "Deepest Sympathy to Ron/Heather/ Mayor Matt Surrency and..."
    - Patricia Bouie
  • "My deepest sympathy, I was lost for words and emotional..."
    - Iris Gordon
  • "Our heartfelt condolences go out to the entire Surrency..."
    - John & Wanda Brooks

Elizabeth Swain Surrency, known by all as 'Betty', was taken home to be with her Lord on December 31, 2017. She was born on November 24, 1929 in Penney Farms, Florida to Harry and Neona Swain. She lived in various areas of Northeast Florida until her father passed away. Eventually her mother remarried to E.T. Austin and his work with the railroad brought the family to Hawthorne. Betty graduated from Hawthorne High School where she met Dick Surrency. They were married in 1948 and raised a family together for 32 years until his death in 1980.
Mrs. Surrency had a beautiful voice for singing and was active in a quartet at the Baptist Church and individually where she sang for weddings, funerals, and at church and civic functions. She later joined the Methodist Church where she sang in the choir and sang for special services. The family particularly recalls the tradition of her singing 'O Holy Night' at the Christmas Eve service every year. She was a member of the Cross and Flame Singers that traveled around the area performing in various venues. Betty was recently presented with a plaque by her church recognizing her for her continuous dedication in the choir for greater than 70 years. She was a faithful member of the First United Methodist in Hawthorne and served in many leadership roles.
Betty was a gifted artist and writer. She wrote poetry and short stories and loved to draw and paint. She was an avid reader and loved the challenge of crossword puzzles. Her gift of music extended to playing the piano and played by ear having never taken a formal lesson. Her sense of humor was strong and served her well during the many life challenges she faced. Above all these things, her greatest passion was her family. She spent her time following her children and later her grandchildren as they played sports all over the area, even following them to college athletics. She loved family time and was the most happy when she could just be with her family and hear all the latest news going on with each person.
When she entered the work force, she started at Hawthorne Elementary School and moved to the High School where she worked as an administrative assistant for more than 40 years. In 1991 she ran successfully for public office as a commissioner for the City of Hawthorne and served in that capacity for 8 years.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Harry Swain, Neona Swain Austin, her stepfather E.T. Austin, her brothers, her sister and the love of her life Dick Surrency.
She is survived by her children, Ronald Surrency (Sharon), Susie Surrency Reeves (Larry), Libby Surrency Hartwell (David), all of Hawthorne, Jim Surrency (Connie) of Trenton, and Rick Surrency (Penny) of Palatka. She was blessed with 18 grandchildren (Heather, Matt, Scott, Amy, Kenny, Vikki, Tom, Katie, Marti, Brad, Jason, Kara, Ricky, Kristy, Ashley, Kaylee, Jim and Lucas). She has 35 great grandchildren, and 2 great, great grandchildren.
Funeral Services will be held Saturday, January 6, 2018 at 11:00 a.m., at Hawthorne High School, 21403 SE 69th Avenue. Interment will follow in Hawthorne Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday, January 5, 2018, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., at First United Methodist Church of Hawthorne, 21930 SE 67th Place. Memorial donations may be made to H.A.R.C., Hawthorne Area Resource Center, a food pantry and information referral service, c/o First United Methodist Church, P.O. Box 458, Hawthorne, FL 32640. Please visit Betty's memorial page at
(352) 481-4599

Funeral Home
Williams-Thomas Funeral Homes
102 Se Lake Ave
Hawthorne, FL 32640
(352) 481-4599
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Published in Gainesville Sun from Jan. 3 to Jan. 4, 2018