Elizabeth Allen "Happy" Sterchi
July 24, 1929 – May 13, 2018
Elizabeth Allen "Happy" Sterchi drew her last breath shortly before sunrise on Mother's Day, May 13. Happy was born on July 24, 1929 in Sanford, Fla. to Linton E. and Helen I. Allen. During the depression in 1934, the Allens moved to Orlando when Linton was recruited to help lead a nascent bank, First National Bank of Orlando. Happy attended neighborhood schools and graduated from Orlando High School in 1946. Following graduation from Duke University with a Sociology degree, Happy taught second grade at Concord Park Elementary. She met the love of her life, John Whitaker Sterchi, at First Presbyterian Church and they married in December, 1951. Happy and John had three children and enjoyed 17 wonderful years together before John tragically died at age 40 from complications from a brain tumor.
Happy was a Florida girl through and through. Growing up, she loved nothing more than being barefoot and fishing at the local watering hole with her beloved dog, "Boy Allen", by her side. She loved year-round tennis and golf, creating and tending her beautiful garden, putting her toes in the sand at New Smyrna Beach, and spending time with friends in the backwoods of Fla.
Happy was an intrepid world traveler who could pack a bag on a moment's notice. Whether travelling or at home, Happy embraced life at every turn. She engaged people from all walks of life with a genuine interest in their stories. She was a friend to all who knew her and her home was a welcoming haven for people both young and old. She had a generous and upbeat spirit, an infectious laugh and quick wit, could deliver a great joke, and was a master of the King's English. She devoured the daily paper, was a whiz at nightly Jeopardy, enthusiastically followed multiple sports, and loved her dogs and stray cats.
Always active in her community, Happy served on numerous boards including SunTrust Orlando, YMCA of Central Florida, Orlando Health Foundation, Valencia Community College Foundation, and The Heart of the City Foundation. She was a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church of Orlando and a longtime member of The Rosalind Club and the Country Club of Orlando.
Happy was a beautiful, gracious, grateful, and strong woman and an inspiration to many. She lived her life with integrity and joy and treasured her relationships with the Lord, her family, her friends, and her community. In her own words, she said, "I've loved the life that I've lived and I have no regrets."
Happy was predeceased by her parents, Linton and Helen Allen, and her husband, John. She is survived by her children, Allen Sterchi (Kerri), Anne Sterchi, and Kent Sterchi (Michelle); three grandchildren, Lindsay Sterchi Drake (Elliott), John Sterchi, and Erin Sterchi; and three great- grandchildren, Avery, Lucas, and Linton Drake.
The family extends sincere thanks to Ceci Caceres and her team at Luvarel for the wonderful ways they cared for Happy during the last season of her life.
The memorial service will be on Monday, May 21, at 10 a. m. in the Sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church of Orlando. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be given to The Heart of the City Foundation-Second Mile Fund, 106 E. Church St., Orlando 32801.
- Memorial Service Monday, May 21, 2018