Elizabeth  O'Hearn

Obituary of Elizabeth Josephine O'Hearn

Elizabeth Josephine O’Hearn went home to the Lord on July 20, 2023. She was born on November 11, 1931 to Ollie Witte Freemen and Carmen Lee Turner in Alturas, Florida. After graduating from Ft. Meade High School, Betty moved to Tampa and began working at the Hav-a-Tampa cigar factory. While working full-time and raising 6 children, she decided to realize her life-long dream of becoming a nurse. She attended Brewster Adult Technical School, graduating in 1974 with honors. She began her nursing career at University Community Hospital and then transitioned to Shriners Hospital for Children. Betty’s time at Shriners was some of the most rewarding years of her life. She worked in the teenage unit and was lovingly known by the kids as Grandma Betty. While working there, she was introduced to Bill Tracy and a wonderful relationship blossomed. Bill was not only loved by Betty but by all her children. The maintained a closeness that lasted until his death in 2007. Once Betty retired from Shriners the real fun began. She became a devoted member of her church where she cultivated close friendships, particularly with Violet Samson and DaLane Terroll. The “Three Amigos” kept the road hot and no thrift store was safe when they were on the move. Betty was crowned the “Queen Bee” by her friends. Though her health began to fail, she remained busy, sharp, and quick with a laugh. She even managed a family motorhome trip to New England for a grand-daughter’s wedding in 2018. Betty was a voracious reader and her apartment could have doubled as the apartment building’s library. She went out with friends and family whenever she was up to it, drinking fruity cocktails like she was doing something incredibly naughty. She never met a cat who wouldn’t almost immediately make itself at home on her lap. Whenever she was asked how she was, her answer was invariably “upright and breathing”. Through her last few years, her daughter, Linda, took particularly good care of Betty, driving her to the store, taking her to doctor’s appointments, even buying her groceries for her when she was unable to go herself, and simply being a close companion and friend. Betty is predeceased by two of her sons, Dale Martin O’Hearn, and Dana Lee O’Hearn. She is survived by her children Linda Susan Tyler, Deborah Ann Moats, Denise Margaret Nichols, Dennis William O’Hearn Jr., and a whole mess of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and even one great great grandchild. Betty loved her family and her family loved her. She lived a full life filled with love, warmth, and joy. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Shriners Hospital for Children.

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