Aug. 12, 1919 - Sept. 14, 2013
Elizabeth Marie Silver Edwards died Saturday, September 14th of Vascular Dementia at the Windsor Rosewood Care Center in Pleasant Hill.
Elizabeth, or Bette, as she was known, was a third generation Alamedan, born at the Alameda Sanitorium August 12, 1919 to Marie Antoinette Koordt and Judge Edward Joseph Silver.
Bette grew up in Alameda, surrounded by the Koordts, her mother's large extended family. She recalled a free-spirited childhood, filled with activities like camping in Yosemite, excursions to the "country" (Contra Costa County) for fresh ice cream, driving to the Oakland Air Field to see Charles Lindbergh and taking the ferry to San Francisco with her friends to dance to the big bands. She graduated from Alameda High School in 1938.
Bette met Raymond Edwards, the love of her life, when they were only three years old. The pair, along with Bette's sister Patt, spent childhood summers swimming, boating and roaming the woods around Pinecrest Lake, where their parents owned adjoining cabins.
They were married on November 1, 1941, shortly before the attack on Pearl Harbor. Raymond enlisted in the Navy, and the pair traveled to various officer-training locations around the U.S. After Raymond shipped out on the U.S.S. Uvalde, Bette, now accompanied by their infant daughter, Adrienne, moved to Oakland with her sister, a surgical nurse.
After the war, and the death of their oldest child from leukemia, Bette and Ray raised their growing family in Alameda. They shared their love of the outdoors with their children, who fondly recall skiing, camping, diving and backpacking adventures. Bette was a fitness enthusiast her whole life, and recalls helping to persuade an Alameda gym owner to make the gym available to women one day a week. She helped out as a weight trainer, and later taught aerobics classes in Lafayette.
After the children were grown, they moved to Orinda, and later Moraga, where they remained until Ray retired. Self-described gypsies, they lived for a time in San Diego and Palm Desert, traveled in Asia, and fulfilled a long-held ambition to see the U.S. in an R.V., but they always returned to the Bay Area. Due to Ray's declining health, they settled down in Benicia for several years. After Ray's death in 1997, Bette moved to senior housing in Walnut Creek and eventually entered the Windsor Rosewood Care Center in Pleasant Hill due to loss of mobility.
Elizabeth was predeceased by: an older brother, Edward, who died in infancy; her oldest child, Adrienne Ann; husband Raymond Lloyd Edwards; sister Mary Patricia Albers; and her husband George Albers of San Jose. She is survived by five children: James Michael (Kathleen) Edwards of Moraga; Robert Lloyd (Andrea) Edwards of Benicia; Richard Dean (Cory) Edwards of Prineville, Oregon; Rae Ann (David) Trujillo of Pleasant Hill; Mark Joseph (Suzanne) Edwards of South Lake Tahoe; and four granddaughters, Alexandra, Danielle, Anne and Jessica Edwards.
Elizabeth taught her children perseverance, fortitude, thrift, respect for nature, love of animals, to embrace their individuality and to look at life as an adventure that should never be taken too seriously. She often said the most important thing in her life was being a Mom. She was truly one-of-a-kind, and will be remembered for her strength and boundless energy, liberal attitude, organizational abilities,
legendary apple pie, sense of style, excellent taste, funny and common-sense aphorisms, and for having the cleanest campsites in the Sierras.
In her later years, Elizabeth was a prolific reader, and enjoyed keeping up with current events. She loved watching Forty-Niners, Giants and Warriors games and Channel 7 news.
Elizabeth asked that the following quote, attributed to Theodore Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) be included in her obituary: "Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened".
Elizabeth's family thanks the staff of the Windsor Rosewood Care Center, Pleasant Hill, for their unfailing care, compassion and cheerfulness during the past seven years, and Vitas Hospice Service for their dedicated assistance during Elizabeth's final days. We respectfully request donations be made to Tony LaRussa's Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF), Walnut Creek, in lieu of flowers. Services will be private.