Elizabeth Louise Crane Holt
December 30, 1939 – February 17, 2015
Born on December 30, 1939 in New York, New York, Betsy was the first child of Ruth Carrington Crane and George Levering Crane, M.D. She lived briefly in Durham, North Carolina then moved to Orlando when her father was sent to Europe during WWII. After her parents parted ways and her mother remarried, Betsy moved to Winter Park where she enjoyed growing up with her sister and two brothers. While at Winter Park High School, Betsy, a beautiful and popular student, was a Wildcat cheerleader, was on the swim team and newspaper staff, and was active in many civic clubs. After high school, she went to Florida State University where, aside from her studies, she performed water ballet with the Tarpon Club. Little did she know the best was yet to come.
Betsy and Jim met at the Episcopal Student Center at FSU in March of 1958. It was truly love at first sight, and they married the following October in New York City. They began their fifty-seven year love story in Hialeah, Florida, where daughters Cathy and Susie were born. Jim’s new job brought them to Orlando in 1965 and to the house they have called home ever since.
Loving the Lord since she was a little girl, Betsy shared her many gifts with Emmanuel Episcopal Church. She graced us with her lovely voice in the choir, taught Bible school, served on the vestry and several Diocesan commissions, was a wedding advisor, and was a devoted member of the Altar Guild.
She volunteered countless hours with many civic organizations including Girls Scouts, Orlando Junior Sorosis, Orange Swim Association, Red Cross, Central Florida Pediatric Society and League of Women Voters. Betsy was able to share her love of cooking and caring for others by volunteering at Meals on Wheels and the Daily Bread and Fresh Start programs at the Christian Service Center.
Along with being a devoted wife and mother and being involved in church, community and social activities, Betsy went back to school and obtained her Associate Arts degree from Orlando Junior College in 1970 and her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Central Florida in 1990. These studies helped to fulfill her intellectual curiosity and, frankly, also helped her to beat Jim at Jeopardy on a regular basis.
She appeased her love of the arts, culture and history by traveling and especially loved Greece, Italy, France, England, Scotland and Ireland. More locally, she traveled the country with Jim and was also a camping enthusiast who always made each trip amazing fun for the whole family.
Betsy was beautiful, brilliant, witty, fun-loving, and classy. She was a lover of football (go ‘Noles), classical music, dancing, reading, cooking and entertaining, but mostly of people. She had a beautiful heart and loved her family above all else. Her exceptional spirit, sparkling blue eyes and captivating smile will be dearly missed.
Betsy was a beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, grandmother, aunt and friend. She is survived by her adoring husband, Jim Holt; her devoted children and grandchildren: Cathy Holt and her children Emily Rankin, Elizabeth Stringfellow and Hannah Stringfellow; and Susie (Hal) Bailey and her children Claudette Bailey and Preston Bailey; and brothers Nick Sharpe and Tucker Sharpe. She was predeceased by her sister Carrington Crane Sheets.
A celebration of Betsy’s life will be held on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. at Emmanuel Episcopal Church, 1603 Winter Park Road, Orlando, FL 32803, (407) 894-1641. The family has designated the Emmanuel Altar Guild or Emmanuel Music Guild for memorial contributions.