Elizabeth Lee Clarkson Waitt Shearer 1920-2008

Elizabeth Lee Clarkson Waitt Shearer

Elizabeth Lee Clarkson Waitt Shearer, 87, of Lexington, died Monday, April 7, 2008.

She was born in Washington, D.C., the first-born child of the late Bessie Virginia Clarkson and Lee Massey Clarkson. Lee Massey Clarkson was director of Public Health for the State of Georgia, and later taught public health at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. Betty (aka “Betty Lee”) grew up in Atlanta, Ga., graduating from Girls High School in 1938. She attended Agnes Scott College, and worked for Southern Bell Telephone Company.

In June of 1941, she married Robert Graham Waitt, who had just graduated from the United States Military Academy. Graham was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant upon graduation and four years later, in 1945 had attained the rank of Lt. Colonel, and was serving as the Executive Officer of the 652nd Engineering Battalion (topographic) attached to General George Patton’s Third Army. He later served on General MacArthur’s staff in Tokyo during the occupation of Japan. Betty and Graham were very active at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Atlanta, where they served as co-superintendents of the Sunday school. Betty was also very active in St. Hilda’s Circle. She enjoyed playing bridge with her friends and volunteering in the community. Mr. and Mrs. Waitt had four children: Virginia, Elizabeth, Robert, & Miriam. Graham died in 1960.

In 1964, Betty married Vernon Hill Shearer (Don), after which she became an active member of the First Presbyterian Church. Mr. Shearer died in 1997. In 2000, Betty moved to the Kendal at Lexington retirement community where she quickly made many friends and led an active social life.

Betty enjoyed and excelled at creating a home for her family and was devoted to her children. She took great delight in entertaining her many friends and the friends of her family.

She is survived by her children, Virginia Atkinson Waitt Saunders, Elizabeth Graham Waitt Tomlinson, Robert Graham Waitt Shearer, and Miriam Clarkson Waitt Shearer; two sisters, Jean Theodosia Clarkson Rogers of Atlanta, and Charlotte Sayre Clarkson Jones of Memphis, Tenn.; 19 grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held Friday, April 11, at 3:30 p.m., at the Lexington Presbyterian Church in Lexington, Virginia. A second memorial service will be held on Monday, April 21st at 12:00 noon in the Atlanta area at St. James Episcopal Church, 105 Church St., Marietta, Ga. A graveside service will follow at Marietta National Cemetery in Marietta.

Memorial contributions may be made to a charity of choice, Rockbridge Area Hospice, the Lexington Presbyterian Church, or Habitat for Humanity.

This obituary appeared as part of the April 9, 2008 online edition of The Lexington News-Gazette.

And also in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on April 13, 2008.

Here’s a link to the guest book (which will stay online for a year) for Elizabeth Shearer.

Here is a photostory of photographs from her childhood in Atlanta, marriage to Graham Waitt, raising Virginia, Elizabeth, Robert, & Miriam; second marriage to Don Shearer; and her final years in Lexington VA. that I have also placed on Youtube.

Elizabeth Lee Clarkson Waitt Shearer 1920-2008