Elizabeth Means-Duckett, 92, who was born June 5, 1921, died May 13, 2014.
Leah Elizabeth (Betty) Rohr was born in Baltimore, Md., to Dr. Charles Bascom Rohr and Leah May Lindsay, a registered nurse. Her parents moved from Hagerstown, Md., to Alum Bridge, W.Va., in 1923, where her father opened an office adjoining their home and practiced medicine in West Virginia until he was nearly 87 years old. She attended Glenville State College, W.Va., then Wesleyan College in Buckhannon W.Va., graduating with a high school teaching degree in biology. Later she obtained a masters degree in biology in Huntington, W.Va. She married William Conrad (Con) Means from Camden, W.Va., in 1943, who served in World War II. After the war, daughters Leanore (Lea) Elizabeth and Gertrude Ruth (Trudy) were born and son William Conrad Jr. (Rad).
Retiring early from teaching in Morgantown, W.Va., they moved to Cape Coral in 1974 to take care of husband. She had previously taught for a number of years in several high schools in West Virginia, later also becoming a guidance counselor in Morgantown. Con had retired from West Virginia Hope Gas Company after working 35 years. He died in 1980 and in 1992 she married World War II veteran, cabinetmaker and English watercolor artist Jack Duckett (also his second marriage, having a daughter Christine Neiland and family in England). She met him on a trip in New Zealand, Jack being originally from Keighley (Lancashire), England. Retiring the nickname 'Betty' (at least in Florida) for Jack's chosen appellation of her middle name Elizabeth, the couple lived for some years in her Cape Coral home. Jack died Sept. 9, 2013, at 92. Elizabeth was especially proud of Jack's paintings and artistic abilities.
She was a longtime member of the Daughters of The American Revolution (as are her two daughters), dedicated family genealogist and organizer of Rohr/Reynolds family reunions, tireless bird watcher and member of The Brooks Bird Club, a dedicated gardener with quite the green thumb and a former member and show exhibitor with Jack of The Bonsai Society of Southwest Florida Inc. A seamstress and homemaker, avid reader on religious and scientific studies, nature lover and enthusiastic traveler over a good deal of the civilized world after her retirement, she was especially proud of her summer spent in Jerusalem on an archeological dig.
Her brother Charles Bascom Rohr Jr. died in infancy.
She is survived by her sister, Eugenia (Jean) Gertrude Brooks of Goldsboro, N.C., and three of her four children and their family members, daughter, Lea and husband Bill Beachem in Jane Lew, W.Va., and daughter Trudy and husband Rob Withey in Cape Coral, whose late parents became great mutual friends, having met in 1943 in boot camp in Indiana, prior to serving in the European theater in World War II. Son Rad died at age 57 in 2007, leaving his widow Sally Means, a daughter, Patty, and her three boys, Joey, Zack and David Desmuke in Fairmont, W.Va., also their son, Bob and wife Amanda Means of Pounding Mill, Va.
The last time she travelled to West (by God) Virginia was in June 2009, when some of the furnishings, equipment, archives and violins of her beloved father's medical practice and career were accepted into the collection of the remodeled West Virginia Archives and History Museum in Charleston, with a violin made by him at age 75 included in the special West Virginia commemorative exhibit, as well as a showcase window in the State Capitol Rotunda of items from Dr. Rohr's office. Both exhibits opened to the public on West Virginia Day, synonymous with the Rohr/Reynolds Family Reunion being held in Charleston.
Although Betty/Elizabeth was a somewhat private person, she will ever be remembered for her very warm, loving and gracious nature, be it as a friend or educator; always full of good humor, and possessing a big heart, with an inquisitive, childlike wonderment in the endearing, special way in which she viewed the world about her!
A Celebration of Life will be held Saturday, May 17, at Gulf Coast Village in Cape Coral where Elizabeth and Jack last resided. A memorial service will be held at Boyle Funeral Home in Jane Lew, W.Va, later in May. Interment will follow in the Weston, W.Va., Masonic Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions be made to Cape Coral Friends Of Wildlife, P.O. Box 152761, Cape Coral, FL 33915; or The Brooks Bird Club, Inc., P. O. Box 4077, Wheeling, WV 26003.