Elizabeth P. Overton passed away peacefully in her home on Friday, March 23, 2018. Known affectionately as Betsy, she was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on September 22, 1940 to the late Miriam “Betty” and the late Ernest Phields. Betsy and her late brother Ernest Garrett Phields were raised by their grandparents Bessie and James Garrett in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. The family, attended Wesley Union AME Zion Church, where her great-grandfather, Rev. Martin Luther Blalock, was a pastor and presiding elder for 25 years.
After attending John Harris High School in Harrisburg, Betsy graduated from the University of Indiana with a Bachelor’s degree in education. She earned a teaching certificate from Shippensburg University.
Betsy had a successful career at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. She held the position of the Chief of the Division of Field Operations of the Bureau of Child Enforcement in the Office of Fraud and Abuse Investigation and Recovery and retired with over 30 years of service with the Department of Public Welfare.
After meeting at work, Betsy married William “Bill” Overton in 1969. Their loving relationship lasted 27 years until his death in 1996. She and Bill loved traveling the world. Their pig roasts and barbecues were legendary, and for many years their home was the family gathering place for holiday celebrations.
Betsy loved “playing in the dirt” and took great pride in her elaborate and beautiful vegetable and flower gardens around her home. After a hard day working in the garden, she enjoyed relaxing on the patio and listening to the sound of the waterfall she built herself in her backyard. Following retirement, Betsy earned a Penn State Master Gardener certification and loved volunteering with the Penn State Cooperative Extension. In addition, she enjoyed creating beautiful Japanese floral arrangements (Ikebana). She was voracious reader, and you could always find several books by her side. Betsy’s daughter, Miriam, and her family were the center of her life. She was known for her great cooking, and she loved entertaining. Those who knew her best looked forward to her annual Christmas decorations, home-made cookies, and eggnog. Her friends and family experienced her friendship, sense of humor, loving advice, caring nature, and support.
Betsy is lovingly remembered and survived by her daughter, Miriam Phields (Kelley), of Atlanta, Georgia; stepson Philip Overton (Cathy) of Lewisberry, Pennsylvania; stepdaughter Delores Fisher; cousins Carole Blalock, Martin Blalock, Leslie Smith and Darryl Smith; and stepdaughter-in-law Joann Overton. She is also remembered by grandchildren Aaron Fisher (Tricia); Faye Fisher; Shileste Morris (Royce); William J. Overton (Nicola), Philip R. Overton; Sydney DeLoach Overton; and several great-grandchildren, numerous cherished relatives, and long-time friends.
She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, brother, grandparents, beloved aunts Jane, Mary, and Margaret, uncle Derell, stepson William Overton, Jr., and granddaughter Karina Pollard.
Services will be held at Hooper Memorial Home, Inc. on Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 11 a.m., visitation 10 a.m., burial William Howard Day Cemetery.