Elizabeth Vasbinder, age 90, passed away peacefully on December 20, 2014. Elizabeth, also known as “Betty” or affectionately “Peiki”, was born on May 19, 1924, to Edward and Edna Brooks in Buffalo, New York. She was the fourth of five children and is survived by her brother, Donald Brooks of Batavia, New York. As a young woman she worked at the Curtiss Wright Corporation, in Cheektowaga, NY, riveting airplanes for the war effort. She met her husband, Jay Thomas Vasbinder, in grade school and they became life-long partners. They married in 1945, with Jay serving as a lieutenant in the Merchant Marines as an engineer.
Betty was a dedicated mother and grandmother. Her life revolved around their 6 sons and one daughter. They raised their children on a farm near Darien, NY, where Jay served as Superintendant of Buildings, Grounds and Construction in Hamburg, NY. Betty supported the children as a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader, taught Sunday school and supported the multiple sports in which her boys were involved. She was an officer in the Eastern Star of the Masons and President of the PTA.
In 1965 they moved the entire family to Cape Town, South Africa, to allow Jay to pursue a MBA, at the University of Cape Town. They lived there for 2 years where they developed a deep love for the game of rugby. When Jay completed his MBA, they boarded a ship with the intention of returning to Buffalo, NY. A protracted stop in Adelaide, Australia led to a 12 year Australian residence. Jay worked in the mining industry, where he served as a head of operations for a mining company. They returned to the US twice then settled in Cocoa, Florida in 1982.
In her retirement, the light of her life was her grandchildren and great grand children. She cared for and influenced the lives of 18 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren, as well as others that joined the family by marriage. She had an uncanny ability to quiet a crying baby and was well-known for her secret candy stash for her grandchildren as well as the others in the neighborhood. She believed deeply in supporting her family and gave unselfishly for their well-being. Children honored with her grace and kindness will never forget her.
She was also an avid sports and rugby fan, and was even awarded “Fan of the Year” by the Space Coast Rugby Club. As a supporter of the local rugby club, the Raleigh Vipers, she attended many games up to the year of her death.
Betty succumbed to a 20 year battle with cancer. She is survived by her brother, Don Brooks, the love of her life, Jay Thomas Vasbinder, and her children; Thomas Vasbinder and his wife Jana, John Vasbinder and Susie Andrews, David Vasbinder and his wife Nicki, Charles Vasbinder and his wife Karen, Edna Rovira and her husband Tony Rovira, Rusty Vasbinder and his wife Jeanette and Mark Vasbinder and his wife Mary Ann. She had 18 grandchildren whom she spoiled and loved, Tammy Sue, Tommy, Shane, Jason, Jianne and Janine, KeriAnn, Brian, Chris, Alex, Michael, Jay, Josh, Tammy Marie, Margo, Max and Marcus, along with Jenny, Rachael, Michelle, Jeremy, Alaina and Ashley.
A service and internment will be held at St. Timothys Church, 4523 Six Forks Road, Raleigh, NC on February 26th, at 11:00. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Transitions Life Care of Wake County.