Elizabeth H. List, 90, of Westfield and Cape May, NJ, died peacefully surrounded by her family after a brief illness on August 14 at her home in Westfield. For over 60 years, Elizabeth and husband, Robert E. List, resided in Westfield and summered in Cape May. She was an active philanthropist and devoted elected public official, having served three terms on the Westfield Town Council and as the town’s historian.
Born in Orange, NJ, she graduated with honors from East Orange High School and in 1948, from Bucknell University, in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania with bachelor degrees in chemistry and French. It was at Bucknell that she met the love of her life, Robert E. List, Bob, and they married in 1952. Known by all as Betty, she started her career in New York City in advertising at Young & Rubicam. There she worked for Mr. Raymond Rubicam, CEO and cofounder of this global advertising agency.
Bucknell University provided the introduction to many lifelong friendships, including those from her sorority Delta Delta Delta, where she served as Tri Delta alumnae president and on the Northern New Jersey Bucknell Alumni Board. Additionally, Betty worked as a lead fundraiser with Charles H. Bentz Associates, in Westfield from 1977-1990.
Betty is the proud mother of Robert E List II, resident of Fair Haven, NJ (wife Carol) and daughter Karen Elizabeth List of New York, NY. She was predeceased by her husband Robert E List, and her sister, Barbara List Fallon, from Warren NJ.
Betty celebrated each day with gusto, actively loving her five grandchildren: Margot Elizabeth List (husband Giacamo De Feo) of Milan, Italy; Alexandra Douglas List of San Francisco; Sabrina Wood List of Boston; and Charlotte Ellingsen List and Robert E List III of Fair Haven, NJ. She is also the proud great-grandmother of Ottavio De Feo of Milan, Italy.
A 60-year resident of Westfield, Betty was active in the Presbyterian Church of Westfield, having served for years as a deacon and trustee. She taught Sunday school, served as an usher, and was active on the worship committee. While summering in Cape May. Betty was active at St. Peter’s by-the-Sea in Cape May Point and the Episcopal Church of the Advent/ St. John’s Chapel, year-round.
Betty served as the chairman of Westfield’s Public Safety Council, served on the executive board of the Westfield Town Republican Committee, Union County Republican Committee, Westfield Women’s Republican Club, and the League of Women Voters. She also served as chairman of the Westfield Planning board for four years. She held leadership and fundraising positions volunteering with DARE, Westfield Municipal Alliance/PANDA, the Citizens Advisory Chair Committee on Youth, Juvenile Conference Committee, Wallace Foundation, The YMCA/YWCA, and the United Way of Westfield. Betty served on the Mayor’s Cultural and Beautification Committee for seven years. She has been honored numerous times, including the Westfield Chamber of Commerce Community Service award, and the Pride Award from the College Woman’s Club, where she served as a trustee. Betty received The Rotary Club of Westfield’s nineteenth annual Charles P. Bailey Humanitarian Award in 2005. She was an active leader in the Westfield school system, serving as former president of the Westfield parent-teacher council, Wilson School PTA, and Westfield High School PTA.
Betty is a former board member and trustee of The College Woman’s Club, The Westfield Garden Club, The Westfield Service League, United Fund of Westfield, and chairwoman of the Westfield Historic Preservation Commission.
Betty and Bob were active members of Echo Lake Country Club (ELCC) in Westfield, where both were active golfers and where she won the club’s championship. Additionally, they helped bring the inaugural platform tennis courts and program to ELCC, and they won many tournaments as husband and wife and in interclub competitions.
Betty, a long-term member of the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May, shared many friends and wonderful summers enjoying her Friday night dinners with the ladies and watching the legendary sunsets. For over twenty-five years, she chaired the annual women’s bridge and fashion show, a spectacular family event, where her grandchildren made their modeling debuts, all for a good cause.
Betty is survived by her son, Robert; daughter, Karen; five grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and one niece, Lynne Zielinski, of Warren NJ.
The service will be held at the Presbyterian Church of Westfield on Wednesday, August 23rd at 11am.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Betty List can be sent to The Garden Club of Westfield care of Phyllis Pappas at 121 Cleveland Ave, Colonia, NJ 07067; The College Women’s Club of Westfield at P.O. Box 2694, Westfield, NJ 07091; or The Westfield Memorial Library at 500 East Broad St., Westfield, NJ 07090.