Obituary: Elizabeth A. Core

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3/7/1933 – 1/10/2024
Lawrence, KS

In her own words:
Elizabeth A. Core (March 7, 1933 – January 10, 2024) was born in Chilkoot Barracks, Territory of Alaska, the daughter of Ellis McFerrin Altfather and Dorothea E.B. Boeker. Her father, then a US Army Captain, was the only doctor within 100 miles. She had an older sister, Marjorie and a younger one, Carolyn. Throughout her early years “Beth Ann” attended 7 grade schools and 2 junior highs, graduating from Jefferson High School in San Antonio, Texas in 1950. She attended Park College, in Missouri, with a junior year of that taking place in Germany at a branch of the University of Maryland.

Her formative years found her in Denver, where she enjoyed family activities (cousins living in the area, also), playing sandlot softball, devoting herself to musical studies, taking school subjects seriously and being an active Campfire Girl. She attended Mt. View Presbyterian Church and participated in activities for youth.

During her high school years she continued with her piano studies and won medals in local and regional contests. She was pianist for her high school orchestra and also accompanied the male chorus and played parts for the band when needed. She also won the position of pianist for the Denver Junior Symphony Orchestra and then, after a family move, the same for the San Antonio Junior Orchestra. Once again Army transfers for her father kept her from playing with the cities’ junior orchestras.

During her college years, 1950 – 1954, Liz (as she was known) was active in all sports offered (broke records in swimming) and was voted Outstanding Woman Athlete in 1954. She graduated cum laude from Park College in 1954 with a major in mathematics.

Marriage to Earle V. Core, Jr. immediately followed in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Earle went into the US Army in August of that year for the required 2 years of the draft. Children of the marriage were Earle, III, Susan Ann and Barbara Jean. Earle and Beth (her name used in married years) were married for 35 years but divorced in 1989.

Beth was a secondary math teacher but, throughout the years, finally had taught or substituted for all grade school and junior high levels and in many high school subjects such as mathematics, English, science, history, physical education, College English and College Speech. Her proudest years were probably when teaching AP Calculus for The American School of Kuwait for 3 years.

Beth and family enjoyed pets and almost always had a small dog or house cat.

Earle and Beth lived longest in Wichita, both teaching, but managed to travel extensively. In addition to family vacations, they often continued graduate studies at universities throughout the USA, Europe, Australia and the Middle East, many times accompanying students and/or adults through The American Institute for Foreign Study. Occasionally one of their children was also on the overseas trip.

Following their 1989 divorce, Beth settled in Sharon Springs, Kansas, where she was teaching 7 subjects in 5 rooms. With her love of Colorado, in 1995 she bought a cabin on government land NW of Colorado Springs, and she and family had 11 delightful summers and vacations up there.

Her teaching position in Sharon Springs was closed after 2 years, so in 1991 she became a Farm Bureau Secretary for 6 years following which she did substitute teaching there in western Kansas.

In 1995, while living in Sharon Springs, she was honored with the Wallace County Foundation Service to Others Award. She was active at The Senior Center and in various churches as substitute pianist for services when needed. She enjoyed bridge games throughout her married life and later in western Kansas. Reading was a favorite pastime, but mountain trips were the favorite!

Beth’s greatest contribution to mankind, other than in the raising of her three children, probably was in going to Sri Lanka in 2003 and bringing her desperately ill ex-husband back to Wichita following which his severe infection required an amputation of the left leg.

Visiting family in Lawrence several times a year was a pleasure, and family often reciprocated to see “Oma” in her tiny home near the Colorado line and later at the cabin. From Sharon Springs she twice temporarily moved to Lawrence, Kansas to be ‘Mom’ at a Kansas University fraternity, first for Sigma Nu (which closed in 2 months) and then in 2005 – 2007 at Triangle.

In 2016, at the age of 83, Beth determined it was time to be nearer daughter Barbara and family. Renting a 26-foot U Haul truck and transporting her little Chevy, she left Sharon Springs, home for 27 years, and came the 364 miles to Lawrence where she has since lived. She had been active in West Side Presbyterian Church.

She was preceded in death by both parents, sister Marjorie, sister Carolyn, daughter Susan and son Earle III, as well as ex-husband Earle V. Core, Jr.

Beth Ann is survived by daughter Barbara VanCortlandt (partner Dave May), and 5 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren: Dalton Houser (Migné Reece), Leighann Houser (child Shay Adams), Skyler Houser, Quillan Houser (Hope and children Zeke and Hadley) and Jaiden Houser (partner Bret Soto).

Plans for a memorial service are pending. Remembrances should be mailed to daughter Barbara VanCortlandt of Lawrence. Memorials may be made to:

* Lawrence Humane Society/Pet Resource Center
* Lawrence Public Library/Home Delivery Program
* Interim HealthCare of Lawrence/Hospice

Lawrence Chapel Oaks Cremation & Funeral Services is honored to serve the family.

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