Elizabeth Thais Thiers Schwerin Willson, "Betty", 94

December 06, 2009

SEPT. 4, 1915-NOV. 28, 2009

MYERSVILLE, Md. - Elizabeth Thais Thiers Schwerin Willson, "Betty" of Myersville, Md., beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great-grandmother and friend, passed peacefully in her sleep in the Washington County Hospital, Hagerstown, Md., Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009, at the age of 94.

Elizabeth was born to Ruby M. Roach Thiers Schwerin and Ray H. Thiers, on Sept. 4, 1915, in Eugene, Ore., and later became the adopted daughter of James Parker Schwerin. She graduated from high school in Long Beach, Calif., and attended William & Mary College, Williamsburg, Va., where she met her future husband, Franklin DeSales Willson. They married on Oct. 26, 1935, at the Saint Albans Chapel of the Washington National Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

They made their home in suburban Maryland, moving to Rochester, N.Y., in 1953 and then, in 1963, returned to their beloved Maryland and settled on a farm in Frederick County, Md. She was a docent at Rose Hill Manor Children's Museum in Frederick, Md., for 33 years, retiring in 2006 at the age of 91 after 33 years of service. She was a Girl Scout Leader; a member of the League of Women Voters, serving as their State Water Chairman for several years. She was also an avid gardener, hiker, bird watcher, bridge player and reader. She especially enjoyed taking family and friends for walks along the path she had developed along her Middle Creek as it meandered through the pastures and woods on her property, building dams, splashing in the water or sliding on the ice, and sharing her love of nature with the many children who were such an important part of her life.


Her husband of 63 years preceded her in death in 1998. Her three siblings, Margaret Thiers Stivers, William Thiers Schwerin and James Parker Schwerin Jr., also preceded her in death.

She is survived by one son, Franklin DeSales Willson Jr. and wife Judy of Middletown, Md.; and two daughters, Melissa Willson Voellinger and husband Leonard of Austin, Texas, and Christine Willson Baugher and husband Robert of Boonsboro, Md. She had 10 grandchildren, Kathleen Harper, Patricia Curtis, Kevin Harper, Melissa Croker, Michelle Bryant, Alexander Voellinger, Tracy Jenkins, Nicole Willson, Thomas Willson and Aaron Baugher; 10 great-grandchildren, Joseph Chancey, Rebecca Harper, Melissa Watkins, Kathleen Croker, Clifford Croker, Patricia Croker, Elizabeth Starling, Amanda Jenkins, Brandon Jenkins and Caleb Willson; and two great-great-grandchildren, Summer Rose Watkins and Daisy Sky Watkins.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009, at 2 p.m., at the Church of the Transfiguration, Maryland Avenue, Braddock Heights, Md.

Memorial donations in Mrs. Willson's name may be made to Rose Hill Manor, 1611 North Market St., Frederick MD 21701.

"Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops at all."

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