Elizabeth Marshall

Obituary
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YORK On Friday, March 29th, 2013, comforted by her family, Elizabeth "Betty" Marshall passed away in the city of York, at her home of 60 years. Born Elizabeth Ann Nath on December 17, 1918, in the city of Methuen, Mass., she was the second of three daughters born to Simon and Ella (McCoy) Nath. Raised & schooled in Chelmsford, Mass., she spent her childhood summers at her grandmother's home in Campton, N.H. A child of the "Greatest Generation", Betty came of age during the Great Depression. Like many of her peers, that event seemed to instill in her a lifelong sense of compassion for others who were struggling or less fortunate, no matter where they lived in the world. She was driven by a belief that we, as a nation and as a community, could realize the dream that all of us are created equal. She continued her yearly trips to New Hampshire all of her life. A self-described environmentalist, she found great joy in the beauty of the mountains and rivers, the wildlife, and the flowers. Her favorite place was her bed by the picture window, looking at the stars of the night sky. Her Campton summer residence, "Cricket Hill", is still owned and treasured by the family. Upon graduation from Chelmsford High School in 1936, Betty earned a certificate from Lowell Commercial College. She then held Executive Secretary positions at Canada Dry, Remington Arms, and Yale University School of Medicine. She married her husband of 56 years, Howard Marshall, at the end of World War II in La Jolla, Calif. The couple then moved to New Haven, Conn., where their son, David, was born. Coming to York in 1948, Betty helped her husband build a successful business. She raised three children, all of whom attended York City Schools and graduated from York High. During these years she became involved in community activities such as Wilson School PTA President, York Little Theatre, League of Women Voters Board Member, YWCA group leader, and she served on the board of the National Organization of Women and York's first Charette to address city issues. In 1971 she became the first woman to be elected to York City Council and in 1974 was elected Council President. In 1978 she was elected and became the first woman mayor to serve the city of York. She also served on the commission for the Accident at Three Mile Island, the US Conference of Mayors, the National League of Cities, and was among the first group of mayors selected by the U.S. State Department to visit Hungary in a program to visit countries behind the Iron Curtain. After her career in politics, Betty earned her real estate license and worked for Bennett Williams until her retirement in the mid 90's. However, retirement did not mean slowing down, as she continued her activism in the community as the Judge of Elections at the Lincolnway Fire Company and as a board member for the York Benevolent Association. In 2003, she co-founded "Grassroots", a group of people who would meet to examine, discuss, and inform on the problems and challenges facing the United States on both the local and national scene. Starting out with roughly 30 members, this organization grew to over 800. In May of 2011, she represented the York County Area Agency on Aging before a Congressional Senate Committee. Betty was recently interested in the topic of green technology, she never stopped learning. She enjoyed books and learned to use the internet. She loved dogs and the fall foliage in New England. She always had a love and appreciation of art, poetry, and music, especially the music of the 60's. She was an avid Bridge player until the last few years of her life and she loved doing crossword puzzles, especially in the Sunday NY Times. Well into her 80's, she took up the challenges of the game Sudoku. Betty was preceded in death by her husband Howard, her sister Barbara, and her sister Virginia. She is survived by her son, David of Phoenixville Md., Howard Jr. (Ted) of Columbia, and her daughter Joan of Thornton, N.H. She leaves five dear grandchildren, Brian Marshall of Wixom, Mich., Amanda Marshall of York, Chelsea Marshall of Pittsburgh, Jessica Cole of Thornton, N.H. and Jennifer Cole of Canaan, N.H. In addition, she leaves many dear nieces and nephews from New Hampshire to California. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 14th at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of York, 925 S. George St. in York. Memorial contributions may be made to the York Benevolent Association, 301 Kings Mill Road, York PA 17401 or to Emily's List @ http://emilyslist.org/.
Published in York Daily Record & York Dispatch on Apr. 2, 2013
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