Elizabeth "Betty" (Hrovat) Drabik
53, of New Philadelphia, Ohio passed away early Saturday morning (Jan. 5, 2013) at the Community Hospice House after a hard-fought 2 1/2 year battle against breast cancer. Born July 28, 1959 in Cleveland, Ohio to Martin and Elizabeth Hrovat, Betty was a loving wife and mother who will be greatly missed not only by her family, but also by the community she selflessly served for the past 24 years. Betty always enjoyed sharing a comforting thought from the Bible, and as one of Jehovah's Witnesses, she looked forward to the fulfillment of the promise at Revelation 21:3, 4. In her final days, Betty stated on numerous occasions that her life was just too short and that she had planned to accomplish so much more. Betty's family reassured her with countless stories of her many contributions to her family and community. Betty leaves a decorated legacy behind. Just this past year, Betty was nominated to represent Tuscarawas County as Woman of the Year. She, along with her husband and children, operated the local favorite, Dante's Pizza & Pasta House, in New Philadelphia for over 13 years (1997-2011), the Dante's Pizza on Ray Avenue for five years (1992-1997), and the two Dante's in Harrison County during the 10 years prior. Betty was famous for her vast array of homemade pies and desserts. Being a huge fan of Cleveland sports, Betty loved visiting the broadcast booths to treat the announcers to her specialties. She travelled up to Boston to watch the Tribe from the Green Monster and down to Winter Haven for the relaxing fun of Spring Training games. Her passion and work ethic in the kitchen enabled her to contribute to many local organizations, such as the Union Hospital Auxiliary, Rainbow Connection, Tuscarawas County Center for the Arts, Tuscarawas County Clinic for the Working Uninsured, and Community Hospice, just to name a few. Thirteen years ago when Betty decided to host a spaghetti dinner fundraising event at Dante's to raise money for our local Hospice, she never could have imagined that one day she and her family would be so personally grateful for their services. Every year Betty raised the bar on this event with added ways to generate funding such as table sponsorships and silent auctions. After a fire destroyed Dante's in the spring of 2011, Betty feared that the annual event would have to be cancelled. Thanks to the New Philadelphia Elks and Sue Menapace for providing a venue, the event carried on, raising more money than ever before. Betty's most adament wish was that this important tradition live on. She was extremely passionate about supporting this establishment that serves everyone in their greatest hours of need. With that said, Betty requested in lieu of flowers, that all memorial contributions in her name be made to Community Hospice for the Hospice House Project.
Betty is survived by her husband of 32 years, Danny Drabik of New Philadelphia; her children, Elizabeth "Libby" Wallick (Quinn) and David Drabik (Maureen Grady); along with canine grandchildren, Dozer and Zuri; her mother, Bettie Hrovat; her four siblings, Sue DiGeronimo (Tony), Larry Hrovat (Terri), Danny Hrovat (Danielle), and Marty Hrovat (Chris); and her 16 nephews and nieces, Joey, Michelle, John, Katherine, Mary, Nick, Maggie, Chief Brody, Peter, Veronica, Mark, Andrew, Luke, Emily, Michael, and Allison; and in-laws, Donald and JoAnn Drabik. Betty was predeceased by her father, Marty Hrovat.
Private services will be held for the family on Wednesday, Jan. 9. Public calling hours will be from 4 p.m.-8 p.m. on Wednesday evening at the Toland-Herzig Funeral Home & Crematory, 803 North Wooster Avenue in Dover. Those who cannot attend or who may wish to express a fond memory of Betty may sign the online guest book by visiting the funeral home website at www.tolandherzig.com. As a reminder, Betty requested that all memorial contributions in her name be made to Community Hospice for the Hospice House Project, 716 Commercial Ave. S.W., New Philadelphia, OH 44663.
Published in The Times Reporter on Jan. 8, 2013