"As much as we humans like to plan, predict and control, life never goes according to plan. That said, my spirit has always been one that is goal oriented; forge ahead with determination and creativity. This approach worked out well; within 60 years I was able to work in different countries, rise in two very different professional industries, start my own business and raise two children within a 25 year marriage." - EH
Elizabeth Irene Hurst passed away March 2nd, 2022, of ovarian cancer, surrounded by her beloved family: her husband Ross Blair and her very special adult children, Baxter and Dixie'drea. Elizabeth responded to each health setback with courage and determination. All who knew her were witness to her valiant fight, her quiet dignity, and her unending concern for everyone around her. She seemed so invincible that this news strikes us as surprisingly unexpected and much too soon. It is especially hard to say goodbye to one who seemed like the rock upon whom all could lean.
Elizabeth is the daughter of Howard John (predeceased) and Irene Rivera Hurst. She was a fun-filled sister to Howard Jr. (Judy Roberts), William Allen (Pamela Hadad) and Andrea Hurst O'Connor (predeceased) and an incredible niece and aunt to her large extended family.
Elizabeth began her career in the design and architecture field in New York City after earning a BA in Communications from SUNY Oneonta and an Associate's degree from The Fashion Institute of Technology. An initial job with a multinational firm had her relocating to Edinburgh, Scotland. From her start as a practice manager, Elizabeth rose to become the first woman and first "Yank" to become a partner in an architectural firm specializing in restoration and conservation of historic properties.
During her 15 years in Edinburgh, Elizabeth met and married Ross Iain Blair. They had Baxter and Dixie and proceeded to introduce them to the Scottish Highlands on windy hikes and wet camping trips in between side trips to Europe. A strong proponent of lifelong learning, her next step was to undertake a Postgraduate Certification in Counseling Approaches (MSc) at Edinburgh University. This led to a career shift into the world of therapy and counseling. When the family decided to repatriate to America in 2004, Elizabeth worked in mental health support positions in Philadelphia before establishing Newtown Family Center, a private counseling practice in Newtown, Pennsylvania. The rapid growth of her practice through word of mouth indicated that Elizabeth had clearly found her calling, As she served others, she continued her research in mental health in Edinburgh University's Master of Science program in Psychological Approaches. She had completed all her course work and was beginning a thesis focused on Anxiety in Teenagers and was due to graduate with a specialist Master's degree in 2022.
Elizabeth was a dedicated and gifted therapist, a true empath. Over several decades, she helped children and adults achieve emotional well-being, balance, and inner peace. She spent many hours observing children in school settings and then advocating for the optimal programs for their mental and emotional health.
Before, and while working at, Newtown Family Center, Elizabeth was a boots on the ground kind of counselor. She went where the need was, including homes and schools. She was fearless in facing institutional barriers to appropriate educational practice for her clients. When it came to adults, Elizabeth had the gift of helping people to develop self-awareness and to live mindful lives. She has touched many with her devoted support and is both well respected and loved by all who sought her help.
Elizabeth had a gift for converting groups of people to communities who supported each other. From Book Club to volunteering at Newtown Friends and George School, she enhanced every group which she encountered and gained life-long friends on the journey.
Facing increasingly debilitating symptoms of the disease which attacked her, Elizabeth had the idea of establishing a foundation to provide women everywhere with information about a early symptoms of ovarian cancer and tests that can detect ovarian cancer before stage 3.. She worked with a dedicated group of friends, health, and business acquaintances with the help and support of Ross to follow through with her idea. Only a few weeks ago, the foundation, "Elizabethswish.org" was granted 501c3 status as a bona fide non-profit to benefit women. Through it, and its dedicated Board of Directors, information will attack this disease indefinitely.
Relatives and friends are invited to her Life Celebration visitation on Friday, March 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 at Newtown Friends Meeting, 219 Court Street, Newtown, PA 18940 and to her Memorial Service on Saturday, March 5, 2022 at 11 AM at The George School Meeting House, 1690 Newtown Langhorne Road, Newtown, PA 18940. ** Masks are required regardless of vaccination/immunity status. Thank you for your consideration.**
When contemplating her life, Elizabeth asked, "How can I change this trajectory? If I am completely honest, I asked myself "Who do you think you are that you can change this?" Then my inner voice answered. "You are nobody, and yet a nobody can turn into a somebody who can change the world". - Elizabeth Hurst
Like a stone thrown into a pool of water, the ripples that Elizabeth created will make all our trajectories healthier and happier.
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