Elizabeth “Betty” Malot
Quietly and peacefully, Elizabeth “Betty” Malot, 96, Hustontown, passed to be with her Lord and Savior early Sunday, September 25, 2011.
Her 96-year journey began on August 7, 1915, and saw many adventures in her life as well many changes and challenges from the World War I era to the post Space Shuttle days.
Betty’s early life in southeastern Pennsylvania included a great deal of influence from the Quaker heritage she was born into and provided her a perspective, through her family life, of all walks of society during the “Roaring 20s.” She grew up on an “estate” in Chester County and became a graduate of Abington High School during the Great Depression.
Upon graduation, Betty accompanied her aunt and namesake (Dr. Elizabeth Bowen) on a cross-country journey to visit a family friend in Arizona, the author Ernst Thompson Seton. The journey was unlike a trip we might take today as there were few paved roads; it was the height of the Great Depression and required a certain ruggedness that we are now unfamiliar with. Her summer in the West only built her love to travel more. She returned to the West many times during her life.
At summer’s end Betty found herself at Penn State University where she graduated in the Class of 1938 with her bachelor’s degree in early childhood development. She met and married her husband, John Woodrow Malot, on August 24, 1937, moving to Hustontown after graduation.
She often recalled how wild Fulton County was to a “girl from down east,” but she quickly became accustomed to the rural lifestyle and often shared stories about life in this community and the adventures that it provided her through the years. She never lost her love of travel as her husband took them all over the United States. She had many interesting stories of their early struggles, including how she traded World War II ration stamps for sugar and tractor gas to be able to obtain enough gasoline for the auto to go south to see her husband in the Army before he went overseas.
She had many fond memories of her travels and visits to family in Australia. She had placed her feet in the Atlantic Ocean the Gulf of Mexico, the Pacific Ocean and the Indian Ocean as well as all of the Great Lakes.
Raising four children, she also stayed involved in the community, spending 24 years on the Forbes Road School Board. She was the board’s representative to the Tuscarora Intermediate Unit for many years and served some time as its president. Her service to the schools and community also included her work in helping bring instrumental music to the school system as she was very supportive of the original Forbes Road Drum and Bugle Corps. Active in the PTA and other local groups, she served until her death on the advisory council for the Area Agency on Aging and the Fulton County Services for Children.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Robert and Sadie Thorpe; her husband, John Woodrow Malot; and her sister, Eleanor. Betty’s brother, PFC Robert Thorpe, 7th Infantry Division, USA, is still MIA (12/2/50) at the Chosin Reservoir, Korea. She never gave up hope and traveled to New Jersey and Washington, D.C., to help call attention to all MIA soldiers.
She is survived by her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren: son Roger (Marianna) of Canberra, Australia; daughter Betty Funk (Fred) of Roseburg, Ore.; son R. Clem (Jana) of Harrisonville.; son Woodrow (Cary)of Rabun Gap, Ga.; grandchildren: Tim Funk (Loree) and sons Austin and Caden of Tucson, Ariz.; Cathy Minyard (Chris) of Boise, Idaho; Alicia Schooley (Justin) and son Jadin of Harrisonville; Molly Schooley and daughter Lyla of Mc- Connellsburg.
She enjoyed more than most anything her friends and her ability to live independently. She had great pride in her ability to drive at her age. Her driver’s license was recently renewed and did not expire until she was past 100 years. A friend recently likened her to “an old pine knot.” She found that amusing but probably not far from the truth.
Her broad background recently found her once again reciting poetry she has treasured over the years. This quote from Longfellow’s “A Psalm for Life” is one of her favorites: “Tell me not, in mournful numbers; Life is but an empty dream; For the soul is dead that slumbers; and things are not what they seem. Life is real, Life is earnest; And the grave is not its goal; Dust thou art to dust returnest; Was not spoken of the soul.”
Funeral services will be held on Thursday, September 29, 2011, at 11 a.m., at Howard L. Sipes Funeral Home Inc., McConnellsburg, with Pastor William Kuhn officiating. There will be a visitation held on Wednesday, September 28, 2011, from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the funeral home.
Memorial donations may be made to the Forbes Road Lions Club and Hustontown Fire Co. You may also simply do a kindness or a favor for another person, she would have wanted that.
Online condolences at www.howardlsipes.com.