Elizabeth Ruth Douglas (Betty) was born August 28, 1949 in Washington D.C., though if asked would have clearly stated that Marshall was her home.  She was the youngest of three children of Charles Alexander and Florence Lesch Douglas.  She spent her childhood in nearby Maryland and graduated from Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in 1967.  She attended Case Western and McGill Universities and graduated from Case Western in 1971.

After graduation she found work in the diamond business and continued to study dance.  Soon her longstanding love of horses prevailed and she began work as a show groom at national and international shows.  She moved to Virginia and settled permanently in Marshall where she worked managing stables and eventually with equine insurance.  She loved the hunt, the shows, the gardens, the river, and the volunteer tutoring.  She invested deeply in that which she loved and people as well as horses became “Betty Broke” and charmed by her invincible spirit.

She is survived by her life partner John Deering, his sisters and their families, her sister Margaret (Maggie), brother in law David Lawson. She was predeceased by her parents and sister Katherine (Kate).  She doted on and enjoyed her nieces Kathryn, Sarah (Benjamin), and Jessica (Ausin) and nephew Joshua (Erin).  She was however totally smitten with her great nieces and great nephew: Collier, Evelyn, Aili, and David Lawson; Madelyn Moreno, Margaret Sojka; and Tilly and Etta Hargrave.

Betty was known for her brutal honesty, consummate fairness, and infectious raucous laugh.  She charged through her life with boundless enthusiasm, unbridled energy, and wholehearted affection.

The world lost a remarkably good woman on May 12, 2020.

A celebration of her life is planned for a later and safer date.

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