Beloved aunt and woman of faith
Elizabeth Smyth, a life-long resident of Elizabeth, NJ passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 27, 2021 at the age of 90. She was born on October 22, 1930 in Elizabeth, the daughter of Thomas and Jeannie (nee Bredin) Smyth.
Elizabeth started her professional career at the Prudential Life Insurance Company in Newark, NJ. After 9 successful years with Prudential, she made the remarkable decision to pause her career to pursue a bachelor's degree in English from Rutgers University in Newark. Her degree from Rutgers marked the first college degree in her family and began what would become a long succession of Rutgers graduates among her nieces and nephews. She returned to the workforce as a federal government employee, working as a supervisor for the Social Security Administration. After a successful career as a government servant, Elizabeth accepted an early retirement package and enjoyed several relaxing years of reading and traveling. She came out of retirement to accept a part-time position with the New Jersey Division of Unemployment. 6 years after joining the state workforce, she awoke one morning, decided she had worked long enough, and resigned. She had been happily retired since.
Elizabeth (known as Betty to some in her church and as Aunt Liz to practically everyone else on the planet) was fiercely devoted to her church and her family. As a Sunday School teacher for more than 60 years at Silom Hope Presbyterian Church in Elizabeth, she provided a strong, spiritual foundation to generations of the faithful. A veritable pillar of the church, Elizabeth was active in all social and religious activities, serving for many years on the church council.
To her family, Aunt Liz was the beloved matriarch. Not one to miss an opportunity to celebrate, she eagerly attended every family event and participated in every family milestone. Her warm presence was always welcomed, and her quick, hearty laugh filled every room with joy. Whenever any family temper flared, her steady, measured, devotion to peace at all costs helped calm and sooth.
Sailing on the original Queen Mary to Europe with her cousin Maggie, Elizabeth discovered the joy of traveling. She visited both Egypt and Asia long before such trips were commonplace. Her love of reading, specifically the mysteries of Agatha Christie, cumulated in a week-long trip to Torquay, England to celebrate Agatha Christie week and marked the perfect combination of her two favorite pass times.
Generous with her time, her heart and whatever fortune she had, the loss of Elizabeth leaves her family and her church heartbroken.
Elizabeth was predeceased by her parents, Thomas and Jeannie Smyth and her siblings Thomas, Jean, Samuel, Margaret and Robert. She is survived by her devoted nieces, nephews and their families.
Arrangements are under the care of Higgins and Bonner, Echo Lake Funeral Home, 582 Springfield Ave., Westfield, NJ 07090. Public visitation will be there on Sunday, Jan. 31 from 4-7PM
Services on Monday, Feb. 1 will be private.
**DUE TO COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS THERE ARE CAPACITY LIMITATIONS AND FACE MASKS, AND SOCIAL DISTANCING ARE MANDATORY. **
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