Elizabeth Van Siclen

Obituary of Elizabeth Van Siclen

Elizabeth Van Siclen, 82, passed away September 2, 2017 at Cypress Village in Jacksonville, Florida after a long illness. She was born in Ridgewood, New Jersey to Herman Lewis and Lena Violet Aiken on March 5, 1935.

Throughout her life, Betsy loved creating things. An artist, she created beautiful watercolor paintings and had many art shows where her works of flowers and places that she traveled to all around the world were exhibited. These works adorn the walls of many family members and friends. In her retirement, Betsy shared her talent by teaching art classes at Coquina Crossing in St. Augustine, Florida, where she was a resident for many years.

Betsy was called to become a nurse and began as a candy striper in local hospitals, went to Syracuse University, and graduated from Columbia University with a B.S. in Nursing. Betsy began her nursing career at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City. Later she dedicated her career to helping those with intellectual disabilities as a social worker for the State of New York (where she was awarded the State Employee of the Year award), and eventually went on to become a Nursing Director for the Head Start program in Sidney, New York. Betsy was generous with her time and talents, giving to many organizations over the years, including Beta Sigma Phi, PEO, church and local charities. She always enjoyed recipes and created many community cookbooks to help raise funds for local charities.

Betsy met the love of her life and husband of 58 years, Howard, while on a blind date arranged by her sister-in-law, Barbara, a fellow nurse. The couple went to the Barnum and Bailey Circus in New York City and their fate was sealed and they were married on June 7, 1958 in Mount Tabor, New Jersey.

Betsy's pride and joy was her family and she was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend. She is survived by her three sons, Gary Lewis (Carleen), Jeffrey David (Dawn), and Paul Andrew (Cyndee), her six grandchildren, Denise, Daryl (Megan), Connor, Devin, Zachary, Andrew, her sister, Jane Lewis Aiken, and her niece, Anne. She was pre-deceased by her husband Howard and her son, William Howard.

A memorial service will be held 1PM Saturday, September 30th at the First Congregational Church in Sidney, NY, Pastor Patricia Robinson will be presiding. The service will be followed by a reception to celebrate her life. Betsy will be laid to rest next to her husband and son.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions can be made to First Congregational Church, 1 Bridge Street Sidney, NY 13838.