Elizabeth “Betsy” Fitzgerald Brown, 62, of Virginia Beach, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019, at home from complications of ALS.
She is survived by her children, Catherine Brown McFarland (Nathan Allen McFarland) of Charlottesville, Samuel Robbins Brown III of New York City, Elizabeth Brown Shaub (Rane Watson Shaub) of Seattle and Thomas Fitzgerald Brown of Los Angeles; brother, Herbert Epes Fitzgerald III (Marian Galleher Fitzgerald) of Richmond; three grandchildren, Coleman Stuart McFarland, Robert Toms McFarland and Rankin Carrington Shaub; and her many cousins, nieces, nephews, aunt and uncles and godchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Herbert Epes Fitzgerald Jr. and Mary Toms Fitzgerald; and sister, Mary Fitzgerald Treta.
Betsy attended St. Catherine’s School in Richmond. She was known for her smarts, kindness, athleticism and sense of fun. Her popularity with friends and faculty was evidenced by her contributions as junior class treasurer, senior class vice president, and senior prefect, and, of course, the many social events she attended. After graduating in 1975, she attended Duke University. She loved her time there, both as a member of the field hockey team and president of the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. In between weekend invitations to the University of North Carolina, she studied economics.
Betsy graduated from Duke in 1979, and after a brief stint living with friends and working in Alexandria, she married and moved to Virginia Beach. She was vice president of Private Banking at Crestar Bank, served as president of the Junior Virginia Beach Garden Club, and as a vestry member and the Head of Flower Guild at Galilee Episcopal Church. She valued creativity, which she expressed through endless projects in her home and garden. Among all the activities, Betsy adored time at the beach or Gloucester Banks, her childhood summer home on the York River. None of these things, however, compared to the ultimate joy of family. Betsy devoted her life to her four children, her life’s greatest works.
Through the course of her 16-year long disease, she faced much adversity, yet, refused to accept it or slow down. Whether attending sporting events or graduations, planning debutante balls or weddings, and of course becoming a grandmother, she remained the force behind her family. Catherine, Beau, Liza and Thomas would like to thank her closest friends and many caregivers, especially Julie, Christina and Shari, for their years of dedication to Betsy.
A memorial service will be conducted at 1 p.m., Friday, Aug. 30, with the Rev. Dr. Andrew D. Buchanan officiating at Galilee Episcopal Church. A private graveside service was held at Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to Galilee Episcopal Church, 3928 Pacific Ave., Virginia Beach, VA 23451; or to the Iron Horse Party to benefit the ALS Association and Team Gleason.
Share online condolences with the family at H.D. Oliver Funeral Apts.