ELIZABETH L. METCALF August 28, 1921-June 23, 2017 METCALF, ELIZABETH "BETTY" was born on August 28, 1921 in Carney's Point, New Jersey to Herbert and Christine Letts. She grew up an only child in nearby Bridgeton, where her parents taught at the local high school in rural southern Jersey. In 1942, Betty graduated from Swarthmore College with a degree in psychology. She then received a Masters in psychology from Yale University, and a Doctorate from the University of Iowa. She was a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Psychology, and a Fellow of the Academy of Clinical Psychology. During her career as a psychologist, Betty worked for the District of Columbia Public Health Department and Juvenile Court; was on the faculty of several universities, including the University of Miami; and had a private practice in Washington, D.C., Jacksonville, and lastly in Coral Gables. She retired from private practice in 1990, but continued as Director of a training program for clinical interns at the Children's Psychiatric Center in Miami. Betty was committed to public service, and was an active volunteer throughout her life. She was a proud Rotarian, like her father before her. A long-time member of the League of Women Voters, she was president of the Florida chapter during the vociferous fight for the Equal Rights Amendment in the 1970s. She held leadership roles in numerous mental health organizations, and also served as president or chairperson of others, such as the Girl Scout Council of Tropical Florida, the Dade Heritage Trust, the Alliance for Aging, and the Florida Endowment for the Humanities. This work led to appointments to the Florida Supreme Court Nominating Commission, the Commission for the Future of the Florida State University System, and the (U.S.) President's Task Force on Migrant Education. In 1982, Betty took her public service to the next level by running for public office. She was elected to the Florida House of Representatives from District 114, which included comprising sections of Coral Gables, Coconut Grove and South Miami. Known for her door-to-door campaigns, she was twice re-elected, serving until 1988. As always, she was a tireless advocate for women, children, the mentally ill, and the needs of her diverse South Florida community. A Democratic politician raised in a staunchly Republican family, Betty prided herself on being able to work in a bipartisan way to serve the people of Florida. This 23rd of June, after a long illness, Betty passed away peacefully in her home in East Ridge Retirement Village, Cutler Bay, Florida with her daughter, Christine, at her bedside. Betty's warm spirit, dedication to making a difference for others, and insightful wisdom will be sorely missed. Betty was married for more than 50 years to the late Dr. George Metcalf, a psychiatrist. She is survived by daughter Christine Ng, son-in-law Stephen Ng, and granddaughter Jennifer, all of whom currently reside in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Services will be held on Friday, July 7th, 2017 at 5:00pm at Christ Congregational Church, 14920 SW 67th Ave., Palmetto Bay, Florida 33158, with a reception to follow at the church. In lieu of flowers, Betty's family requests that donations be sent to Christ Congregational Church in gratitude for that church's unwavering support of Betty and her family.
Published in the Miami Herald on Jul. 2, 2017.