Elizabeth Ann Shack

elizabeth shack
Elizabeth Ann Shack passed away on August 10, 2015. Sweet, dear Elizabeth was the beloved wife of Gary Roger Brown and the cherished mother of Lila Belle Brown. We miss her gentle touch, her kindness, and her sweet warm smile. We will always love her. Elizabeth was a caring, warm and gentle woman who approached her world with loving kindness and great respect. She deeply loved and cherished her family and friends. She devoted her life to making the world a more loving and just place for all of the people she encountered, and was constantly working to find ways to develop loving communities to support young children. Elizabeth was born in Chicago on April 16, 1959 and grew up in Racine, Wisconsin. Elizabeth had two sisters and one brother. Elizabeth was especially devoted to her younger sister Rebecca, Rebecca's husband Mark McAuliffe, and their children Kim and her partner Katie, Tanner, Hannah, and Jack. Rebecca and her family live in Wisconsin. Elizabeth had an older sister Suzanne who passed away in 1995. Elizabeth loved Suzanne and was so proud of the resilience of Suzanne's husband John Harris and their children Brandon, Amanda, and Christine. Brandon lives is Chicago with his partner Stephanie. Amanda and her husband Casey Wilson live in Colorado. Christine and her husband Zachary McDaniel and their son Colby live in New Mexico. Elizabeth always had warm regards for her brother Jim and his wife Mary who live in Racine. Elizabeth also leaves Lisa Goodrich, Lila's sister from Gary's first marriage. Lisa and her husband Scott have two children Zach and Zoe and live in Cheshire. Elizabeth was so proud of her grandchildren and their family. Elizabeth was devoted to her father in law James Brown of Cheshire, and to her sister in law Susan and her husband Dan from Kentucky, and her brother in law James and his partner Roberta from Cheshire. Especially dear to Elizabeth was her nephew Jim and his partner Jeff from Portland, OR. Elizabeth devoted her professional career to Early Childhood Education. She always believed that all children should have warm and loving homes with a stimulating and safe places to develop and grow into healthy accomplished productive adults. Elizabeth graduated Cum Laude from Loyola University Chicago with a BS in applied psychology with the Ann E. Heilman Departmental Award, and graduated with an MA in Early Childhood and Special Education, Summa Cum Laude, from St. Joseph's University in CT earning the Barbara McKillop Student Membership Award. Elizabeth was a great athlete and excellent long distance runner. At St. Catherine's High School in Racine, Elizabeth and several other freshman girls developed their own cross country team before the time of Title IX which required schools to offer girls sports. Elizabeth soon was breaking state records in the 800 and 1500 meter races. She attended Loyola on an academic and athletic scholarship and held the school record in the 10k. Elizabeth won the Chicago Half Marathon in 1980. She qualified for the NCCA Nationals and ran in the 10k losing to Joan Benoit. Elizabeth was inducted into the Loyola University Hall of Fame in 1996. Elizabeth strongly believed in contributing to her community. She was active in the PTA and worked to develop the outdoor classroom and the playground at the Spring Glen School. When she lived in the New Haven Beaver Hills neighborhood, she was a block watch captain as well as a Justice of the Peace. She sang with The Salt and Pepper Gospel Choir for more than 10 years. A memorial service will be held at The Spring Glen Church, Whitney Ave., Hamden on August 22, 2015 at 10:00 A.M. A reception will be held at the church community room following the service. Interment will be at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in support of woman and children's homeless shelter programming, c/o New Reach, Inc., 153 East Street, 2nd floor, New Haven, CT 06511.

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  1. Gary and family, you have our most heartfelt and deepest sympathies. Elizabeth was such a kind and caring person and we often times saw each other while on walks in the Beaver Hills neighborhood. May she rest peacefully. Ivan Toro and Linda Sciongay

  2. My deepest sympathies to Elizabeth’s family and friends. Neighbors and playmates in childhood through high school, I remember her soft smile and kindness well. Love and peace

  3. Our heartfelt prayers to Betsy’s family and friends. As high school classmates and friends we recall her soft spoken words and gentle demeanor. The image of her sweet smile as she blushed at the slightest humor was a constant. So blessed to have spent those years with her. May her memories also keep her spirit with you.

  4. Elizabeth did a wonderful job of caring for our son at St. Rita’s Daycare. She was always so loving towards him and was clearly deeply committed to his well-being. I felt very grateful for the love, compassion, and caring that she shared with him daily. I am so, so sorry for your loss. . .

  5. Gary, Lila, and family, please know that we are thinking of you in this difficult time. When I think about Elizabeth, I especially remember sharing the excitement of new motherhood with her–how enchanted she was by little Lila and how gracefully she adapted to motherhood. I recall Lila’s early birthday parties when Elizabeth had the most wonderful activities in the backyard. And the smile.. Karen Brown and Phil Brewer

  6. Gary and Lila, I am thinking of you both at this sad time. Even though we are miles apart I can feel the pain you must be in at your loss. I am so very glad I got to meet Elizabeth at Becky’s wedding and so enjoyed our night together just talking and having fun. Your family is an inspiration and I hope you can get past this and enjoy each other and your memories. If you make it back to town please look me up and if there is anything I can do don’t hesistate to ask.

    Beth Harris

  7. No words can express how sorry I am for your loss. Betsy and I grew up in Racine across the street from each other as best buds. She was a quiet, playful and gentile soul. She had accomplished so much in her life. You must be so proud. My thoughts and prayers are for you and Betsy’s everlasting peace.


  8. Dear Gary and Lila, we have fond memories of High Lane family bowling and seeing you walking in the neighborhood.

    You are in our thoughts and prayers,

    The Powell Family

  9. The Salt & Pepper Gospel Singers send prayers and comfort to Elizabeth’s family and friends. We remember her gentle, grace-filled presence, and how we rejoiced with her over the blessing of finding her loving spouse Gary, and then becoming a mother – her heart’s greatest wish, which Lila fulfilled. She shared her love and light with the world in so many ways. We mourn her absence in this world, but we celebrate her life and all that she gave. And we have faith that in the world of Eternal Light, her spirit is well and peaceful, resting in the Everlasting Arms.

    ‘Courage my soul, and let us journey on.

    For the night is dark, and I am far from home.

    Thanks be to God! The morning Light appears!

    The storm is passing over, the storme is passing over,

    The storm is passing over – Halleluia.’

  10. Sadly, I have returned to New Haven to learn about Elizabeth’s death. I shall miss our chance meetings grocery shopping and the opportunities to share our interests in early education and children’s services. I send sincere condolences to her family.

  11. Gary –

    My heart aches for your loss. As is with me, the best of those I loved live on in my heart, mind and actions. I wish the same for you. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  12. Dear Gary and family,

    I am so sorry for the loss of your wife, mother, daughter-in law, friend, athlete, scholar etc. etc. Elizabeth sounds like a remarkable woman and I’m sure she has touched many people in her all but too short life on this earth. May her memory be eternal and may god grant you peace and strength as you mourn her loss.

  13. Dear Gary & Lila,

    It is so hard to put in to words the DEEP

    missing of Elizabeth; she is such a dear friend and always gave of

    herself wholeheartedly in everything she did for her family, her

    friends, and her community. It gives comfort in knowing she is forever

    tenderly cared for in God’s arms, though, she will still be a part of us

    and our lives here on earth. We are in debt with gratitude for all

    that she gave to others, those of most fortunate to have known the true

    blessing of Elizabeth…With tears and love always for my dear friend…

    May God be ever near to you, and comfort you with His loving arms in only a way the He can…

    Sharing in this deep loss of a beautiful soul,

    Audrey & Mark Puscas in Salem, Oregon

  14. Elizabeth, you were such an instrumental figure in my life. I cannot believe I am just finding this out. My heart aches for your loss and I am emotionally devastated right now. You taught me so much and guided when I needed. You listened to me and were so gentle. Thank you always! Lila, you were your mother’s light, my deepest condolences to you and your dad.

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