Betty Ellison died peacefully at home on Sunday, May 4. An Okaloosa County native and Ft. Walton Beach resident, she was born in Crestview, FL on May 19, 1930 to Lawrence E. and Essie (Edge) McLaughlin.
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Strong, spirited, and caring, Betty was the backbone of her family. After losing her mother at age 11, she attended Loulie Compton Seminary and Misses Howard's School for Girls in Birmingham, AL, and later, Crestview High School, where she was a cheerleader. As a military spouse, she created a loving home for her family amid many U.S. and international moves, while pursuing her own career in Civil Service and other jobs. Always active, she enjoyed gardening, cooking, bird watching, reading, shopping and her daily Starbucks latte. During the 12 years she lived in Germany, she delighted in exploring Europe and experiencing the culture. In retirement, she and her husband returned to Okaloosa County, initially settling in Destin, where she loved walking on the beach at sunrise. She also enjoyed helping her son run his business, Longboard Larry's Deli in Mary Esther, where she was a popular presence for years. She is immensely loved by and an inspiration to her family.
She is survived by her devoted husband of 52 years, CSM US Army (Ret.) Major Ellison; son, Lawrence ""Larry"" King (Cindy) of Shalimar; daughter, Karen Hart (David) of Seagrove Beach; step-daughter Gail Ellison (Brad Humble) of Cloudcroft, N.M.; grandchildren; family and friends. She was predeceased by her parents and siblings: Dorothy, Maurice, L.E. Jr., John and Fred.
Sincere gratitude is expressed to special relatives, dear friends and her compassionate medical team for the care, encouragement and support provided throughout her illness, during which she showed great courage and determination.
Friends and family are welcome at a visitation on Wednesday, May 7 from 5-7pm at McLaughlin Mortuary, 17 Chestnut Avenue SE, Ft. Walton Beach. Fla. Following cremation, her ashes will be spread in her favorite places, and a memorial marker will be placed in the McLaughlin family plot in Old Bethel Cemetery in Crestview. Memorial donations may be made to Sharing & Caring of Okaloosa County, 126 Beal Parkway SW, Fort Walton Beach, FL. 32548.
Expressions of sympathy may be viewed or submitted online at www.McLaughlinMortuary.com.
17 Chestnut Avenue SE
Fort Walton Beach, FL 32548
Published Online in Northwest Florida Daily News from May 6 to May 7, 2014