Elizabeth Mary Buckley
August 3, 1929 – May 24, 2021
Elizabeth Mary (Betty Mae) Buckley (nee Edelbach) was born on August 3, 1929, in St. Cloud, MN, the second of three children of Kenneth V. Edelbach and Mildred T. Edelbach (nee Lang).
She grew up in St. Cloud, MN and graduated with scholastic honors with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1953 from St. Cloud State Teachers College. Upon graduating she moved to San Diego, CA where she taught elementary school for two years.
In the fall of 1955, she moved to Munich, Germany as a U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) elementary school teacher. She was there for one year before being transferred to a DOD elementary school in Augsburg, Germany. During her time in Germany, she traveled extensively. Her travels took her to Italy for an extended summer vacation as well as Davos, Switzerland for a Christmas ski vacation. In the fall of 1956 at the Officer’s Club in Augsburg, she met Fletcher J. Buckley, a lieutenant in the 11th Airborne Division. Within 6 weeks of meeting, they were engaged. They married on June 8, 1957 in Heilbronn, Germany. In October 1958 came the birth of their first son, Michael Joseph, followed over the next ten years, by three additional sons: Thomas James, John Patrick, and Edward Fletcher. During their first twenty years of marriage, they moved 21 times – ranging from such places as Fort Huachuca, AZ; Red Bank, NJ; Korat, Thailand; Stanford, CA; West Point, NY; and Santa Maria, CA – eventually settling down in Cherry Hill, NJ.
The center of Betty’s life was her family – especially her husband and four sons. After more than 20 years in Cherry Hill, she was widowed when Fletcher died on August 17, 1996 due to primary sclerosing cholangitis.
Ever resilient, she built a new chapter of her life, cultivating a special group of friends, while still providing nurture to her adult sons. She maintained her house in impeccable condition – inside and out, cutting the grass, cleaning the gutters, and shoveling snow, all by herself well into her 80’s and going for two-mile walks every day no matter what the weather.
In the spring of 2012, she lost the sight in her left eye due to giant cell arteritis – this despite multiple visits to her physician who failed to diagnosis her condition. As a result of related complications in Feb. 2013, she moved down to McLean, VA to the Vinson Hall Retirement Community to be near some of her family. She first moved into the nursing home section, and then, as her health improved, to assisted living, and finally the independent living section of the community. She mourned the loss of living independently in Cherry Hill, but she was happy to be near some of her sons. Of course, she continued taking her daily two-mile walks.
She died on Monday, May 24th in the home of her youngest son, Ted. She was happy to be in his house and comfortable for this last chapter of her life, and she died peacefully surrounded by her boys. She is survived by her four sons, Mike, Tom, John, and Ted (Sam Roberson); her brother, Tom Edelbach; and many nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Catholic Charities. A Funeral Mass will be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Georgetown on Thursday, June 3rd at 3 pm and on zoom.
For those wishing to attend the services, we ask that you contact Ted Buckley due to pandemic-based capacity constraints.
Mass Of Christian Burial
Thursday, June 3, 2021
Elizabeth Mary Buckley
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May 30, 2021
Ted, our most heartfelt sympathy for the loss of your lovely mother. You two had such a special relationship and one that cannot be replaced. You will, though, always have so many precious memories of your lives together. Her light and love will continue to shine from you and your brothers. She was steadfast in her faith and is now reunited with your Daddy and her Maker. May that bring you some peace. Much love, Jan and Pete Peaver