CLAIRE SMITH BETZ Claire Smith Betz, of Key Largo, Florida, died February 6, 2014. Formerly of Upper Gwynedd, PA, Claire was the wife of the late John Drew Betz. Claire graduated from Mount St. Joseph's Academy and Villanova University. She was a part owner of the Phillies baseball team and a former member of the Board of Directors of The Schuylkill Center and Breachmenders Isaiah 58:12. In earlier years, she was an avid golfer and trap and skeet shooter. Claire had a deep interest in the environment and in the preservation of open space. The donation of over 200 acres of her Upper Gwynedd property to the Natural Lands Trust was just one example of her commitment to ensure the land would remain open space and be an area where wildlife and natural beauty could be enjoyed by all. Claire was a philanthropist and contributed funds to many local charities and community organizations as trustee of the JDB Fund, a private foundation started by her late husband. Surviving are three sons, John Drew Betz, Jr., Michael Betz and Steven Betz; two daughters, Tessa Grace and Joan LaRocco; 14 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her sister, Theresa Desmond; sons Anthony and Peter and daughter Jacqueline Betz Murphy. Private services were held in Pennsylvania on February 21st.
Published in The Reporter from Feb. 27 to Feb. 28, 2014.