Elizabeth Lily (Lester) Garts, 96, passed away the evening of Feb. 6, 2020 at the Meadville Medical Center following a sudden and brief illness. She was preceded in death by her husband, William Garts and her sister in law, Katherine (Garts) Lester.
Elizabeth (Liz) was born on November 3, 1923 to Welsh immigrant, Anne Russell and English WWI Veteran of the British Army Motorcycle Dispatch Riders, Fred Lester.
She grew up on a farm in Poland, Ohio, graduated from Poland High School, and began her career in Youngstown, Ohio, where she met her husband to be, Bill Garts, at a dance. They married, moved to Hubbard, Ohio and had one daughter. Her brother, Fred Lester, married Bill’s sister Katherine Garts. For many years Bill and Liz owned The News Depot in Greenville, PA. They later moved to the Meadville area and Liz worked as a professional driver, delivering cars. Liz was a masterful and fearless driver. Lost brakes, ice, snow, storms or floods did not phase her. She never had an accident.
Bill loved jazz, and was the host of jazz radio show, “Saturday Swing Session” at WQLN in Erie for 27 years. Liz did not care for jazz, preferring Christmas music instead (even in the summer), yet she frequently accompanied Bill to his radio show and to jazz concerts.
She loved decorating, interior design, entertaining, historic inns and restaurants, Youngstown, New York City, spring flowers, and books. She did the New York Times crossword puzzle in ink. If there was a celebration, special event or company was coming she would announce, “There’s a rainbow coming.” There were a lot of rainbows in her family’s life. A good number of them were brought about by Liz. Liz’s sage advice for coping with life’s sufferings and dark nights of the soul was, “Sometimes you just need to sit in a chair and let it hold you.”
Liz leaves behind her brother, Fred Lester (Katherine deceased); her brother-in-law, Jim Garts (Elaine); her nieces, Diana Bell (Richard), Marla Garts, and Monica Krieder (Frank); her nephew, Fred “Bill” Lester (KJ Shannan); and her daughter, Sue Zak (Ron Silberschlag).
She also leaves behind her extended family, the staff and residents of the Crawford County Care Center where she resided. Elizabeth will be greatly missed.
Calling hours will be Monday, February 17th from 12-2 & 5 -6:30 followed by prayer and scripture service at 6:30 at the Robert W. Waid Funeral Home, Inc. , 581 Chestnut Street, Meadville, PA.
Should friends desire, memorial contributions may be made to WQLN Public Radio, 8425 Peach St., Erie, PA 16509.
Memories and condolences may be shared at www.waidfuneralhome.net
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WQLN Public Radio
8425 Peach Street, Erie PA 16509