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Elizabeth S. (Betty) Fahs

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Elizabeth S. (Betty) Fahs Obituary
Elizabeth S. (Betty) Fahs

- - Mrs. Elizabeth S. Fahs (Betty) passed away on January 08, 2019. Betty was the last surviving widow of the five Fahs brothers from Fullerton, CA. She was 97 and set the family longevity record. Her father was an immigrant from England, her mother was Canadian. Betty was always intrigued by the touch of Welsh blood on her father's side. Betty was raised in Niagara Falls, N.Y. When Betty was 11, her mother died. Betty was taught how to clean, do chores and cook by the family housekeeper. The misfortunes of The Depression forced her father to work two jobs far beyond his retirement, but he scraped aside enough money for Betty to take piano lessons. Betty was classically trained and played on the radio in high school. Betty graduated from Niagara Central High (business curriculum with Gregg shorthand) but, as her senior year ended, her father "marched her down the street" to the Niagara Mohawk Schoellkopf Power Plant where Betty took up a part-time job in the stenographers' pool with a manual typewriter and a shared Dictaphone. Her piano lessons and performances ended. Betty's advancement through the ranks was accelerated by the pressures of The War (WWII for the rest of us). After The War she rose further to become a private secretary (with electric typewriter and dictation pad) to the executive officers at the power plant. She briefly held the Office of Secretary of the Niagara Junction Railroad and rode a switch engine on her official tours of the yards. Betty resigned from her Niagara Mohawk job during her father's final illness. The Schoellkopf plant, including her former office, later collapsed into the Niagara River. The Niagara Junction Railroad was absorbed by the New York Central. One night during The War Betty was playing piano at a church social when a chemical engineer named James (Bud) Fahs wandered in. So it followed that Betty was married to Bud from June 1945 until his death in May 2004. In 1953 Bud transferred to the main offices of DuPont in downtown Wilmington, Delaware and worked there for most of the remainder of his career. Betty took up the traditional work of postwar suburban housewife and mother to Jimmy, Betty Ann and Nancy. Their first little house was in Shipley Heights. Bud and Betty then bought a piano. After a brief but torturous year in Memphis ("that awful hillbilly music on the radio!"), her home for the next 44 years was in Windsor Hills.

Betty faithfully listened to the classics and opera on WFLN (Philadelphia) and later on WSKG (Binghamton). She took several trips with family members to Europe and thus she earned her one college credit from the University of Delaware. Betty was a fan of mystery novels by Dick Francis and P.D. James. She read the NY Times daily in her retirement. After Bud died in 2004 Betty transferred her residence to the United Methodist Homes (Hilltop) at Johnson City, N.Y. This moved her closer to her son, Jim, and his wife, Dr. Pamela Stewart Fahs, of Endwell. Betty volunteered to serve as secretary to the residents' council for several years. She insisted on using an electric typewriter for finalizing her notes and absolutely refused to use a personal computer for the rest of her life. Betty played piano for almost fourteen years at Hilltop functions such as Vespers and memorial services.

Betty's interment will be next to Bud at Aldersgate Methodist Church, Wilmington, Delaware after a family service. Instead of flowers, donations may be made to the United Methodist Homes, 10 Acre Place, Binghamton NY 13904. Betty was predeceased by her husband, James R. Fahs, her daughter Elizabeth Ann ("Betty Ann") Walton of Harrisonburg, VA: her brother, Robert Shoebridge; and all of the other relatives and neighbors of her generation. Betty is survived by her son, Jim (wife Pam) of Endwell, NY; by her daughter, Nancy Fahs of Berwyn, PA; by Elizabeth Ann's husband Dr. Timothy Walton of Harrisonburg, VA,; by her grandchildren, Alex and Laura Fahs of Endwell, NY; the family doggy, Tiger; and her piano.
Published in The News Journal from Jan. 13 to Jan. 14, 2019
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