1928 Sarah 2018

Sarah Loeser

February 22, 1928 — October 2, 2018

Sarah Elizabeth Loeser, known to her friends as "Betsy," peacefully passed away on Tuesday, October 2, 2018 at 90 years old. Her Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, October 11th from 3:30-5:00 p.m. at The Arbor at Bridgemill, 700 Freedom Blvd., Canton, GA 30114. Her family plan to have a memorial service on the beach at Kiawah Island, SC at a later date. Betsy was born in Durham, NC on February 22, 1928 to George Rountree and Margaret Farthing Crisp. She graduated from Durham High School during World War II. Her beauty and southern charm were recognized at the early age of 18, when she won the Miss Durham beauty pageant in 1946. She was married in Durham to Edward A. Loeser, a law student at Duke University at the time, who met her when she was hostess at the Baldwin Department Store restaurant in downtown Durham. Shortly thereafter, the couple moved to Freeport, IL where Betsy worked at a local firm until the birth of her first child, Larry. Subsequent corporate relocations resulted in moves to Pittsburgh, PA; Hammond, IN; Munster, IN; Raleigh, NC and back to Pittsburgh. Her second son, Dave, was born in Pittsburgh, and her three other children, Debbie, Julie, and Ed, Jr. were born during the time she lived in Indiana. Betsy was an avid bridge player for over 60 years and became a Life Master. She played social bridge and became a duplicate bridge director in Pittsburgh. In addition to her bridge games, Betsy volunteered at Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital and became a dedicated and gifted needlepoint artist. She also wrote an instructional book for duplicate bridge directors. Betsy relocated to beautiful Kiawah Island, SC, where she lived in a townhouse on the beach. During her 20+ years on Kiawah, she managed Charleston Collections, the gift shop located at Kiawah's Straw Market. She was a founder of the Charleston Bridge Center and was instrumental in the construction of the first duplicate bridge center in Charleston. She served as the Director at the Charleston Bridge center for decades. Her family was the most important thing in her life. Her role as Mother and Nana always took precedence in everything she did. She enjoyed regular joyful visits from her 5 children with their families, including ten grandchildren who now range in age from 19 to 33 years old. She was a major presence and influence in the lives of her children and grandchildren. In 2005, Betsy relocated to the Bishop Gadsden retirement community in Charleston, which she truly enjoyed and made many friends over the years. There she proudly was pictured as Miss February in the first Bishop Gadsden calendar, reviving her beauty pageant past. In 2018, she relocated to The Arbor at BridgeMill in order to be close to her daughter Julie and family, who cared for her in her final months. There she received excellent care and compassion from the staff and made many resident friends. Betsy had an uncanny ability to brighten everyone's life with her quick wit, warm smile, and impeccable style. She was never seen without her signature glamorous platinum up-do, bright and bedazzled nails, dangly earrings, long necklaces, red lipstick, blue eyeliner, an extra pair of glasses around her neck, and a wrist full of bracelets up to her elbow. She made friends everywhere she went, no matter if it was at the Pittsburgh Field Club, the gas station, grocery store, Prime Cuts hair salon, Bessinger's Barbeque or Ye Ole Fashioned Sandwich Shop. She was well known by Ye Ole Fashioned drive-thru staff who knew her standing order was a cup of barbecue and a Pepsi. Betsy left a special mark in people's hearts all over Charleston. She loved to shop and was a frequent visitor to a large group of favorite retailers wherever she lived. She loved to drive, but never pumped her own gas, and was always able to locate a full-service station before the invention of GPS. It was said that at the end of her driving days, she found the last full-service gas station in Charleston, which closed shortly after she gave up driving. Those who knew Betsy have many fond stories of her. She could never say no to anyone, no matter what the request was. She never met a stranger. As a mother, she learned to cook, teach, clean, write term papers, take care of dogs, hamsters, fish and parrots, and act as school advisor, all on the job and self taught. She loved romance novels and an afternoon nap. She was a lifeguard as a teenager, yet her children never saw her swim. She was a unique and dominant force in the lives of many, especially her family. She is survived by her five loving children and their spouses; Larry (Bev), Dave (Cindy), Debbie (Doug), Julie (Paul), and Ed (Diane), as well as the ten precious grandchildren that she cherished dearly. Betsy will be deeply missed by her family, friends, and all who knew her. We will always carry her memory in our hearts and in our daily actions. In lieu of flowers, online donations may be made to kiawahconservancy.org.
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