In Memory: March 31

Bette Jean Stratton Gilbert, Vero Beach

Bette Jean Stratton Gilbert, of Vero Beach, passed away suddenly on March 27, 2020, at Cleveland Clinic Indian River County Hospital.

Bette Jean was born to the late John Burg and Bette Burg in Philadelphia, Pa. She graduated from West Chester University of Pennsylvania and had a full career as a teacher in the public school system in Montgomery County, Pa.

She was a seasonal resident of Vero Beach beginning in 2008 and became a year around resident of Vero Beach in 2013.

Bette Jean was an active and dedicated member of Our Savior Lutheran Church on 6th Avenue in Vero Beach. She was a very spiritual person. She was very upset that the pandemic situation was preventing church attendance during this most holy season.

Bette Jean was creative and imaginative. She very much enjoyed art lessons and painting in recent years. She was an exceedingly generous, kind and happy person. For years she made picture album books for every significant family event, births, birthdays, graduations and family celebrations that were cherished by all.

She was always, always sending gift boxes to all of the grandchildren, so much so that it became a family tradition. She spent hours making doll outfits that were given away and donated. Recently donated school specific doll outfits sold for record prices in a silent auction fund raiser. She was very talented.

Bette Jean was a wonderful wife, parent and grandparent. She is survived by her loving husband, Richard F. Gilbert; sons, William E. Stratton (Corynn), of Algeria, Theodore J. Stratton (Lindsay), of Hanover, N.H.; stepchildren, Richard B. Gilbert (Amanda), of Richmond, Va.; Dr. Jennifer C. Gilbert/Gelber (Mathew Gelber), of Berwyn, Pa., and Jason F. Gilbert, of Vero Beach; grandchildren, Willow and Jack Stratton; and step-grandchildren, Eliza and Benjamin Gilbert and Ryan and Katie Gelber; her sister and brother-in-law, Joanne and Sherwin Mowery, of Mifflinburg, Pa.

Bette Jean had a very fulfilling and active retirement for which we are all immensely grateful. She will be missed and loved beyond words by every member of her family.

In lieu of flowers the family is requesting that donations be made to the American Heart Association. A memorial service at Our Savior Lutheran Church will be scheduled at a later date.


Eleanor Lynch, Vero Beach

Eleanor “Lee” Lynch, a long-time resident of Vero Beach, died March 28, 2020. Lee will now rest in peace together with her beloved late husband, William G. Lynch, Jr.

Born in Belmont, Mass., daughter of Dr. William G. and Eleanor M. O’Connor, Lee grew up in the Boston area where she graduated from Newton Country Day School and then Newton College of the Sacred Heart (now part of Boston College) with an undergraduate degree in Chemistry (1960).

Following college, Lee worked as a Lab Research Assistant at Massachusetts General Hospital. Decades later, she achieved her Realtor license and went on to build a successful career as a real estate agent in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

February 24, 1962, marked the day Lee’s life changed forever when she married the love of her life, William (Bill) Lynch of Dorchester, Mass. Together, Bill and Lee raised a family and relocated from their home in Massachusetts to Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and finally to Vero Beach, Florida where they chose to retire.

Lee Lynch broke the mold when it came to raising a family. As an only child herself, Lee desired to become a wife and mother to a large family. She selflessly supported and lovingly raised three children, William G. Lynch III, Brian P. Lynch and Jeanne A. Lynch (McGinty). She went on to open her heart and her arms to three more family members as a supportive mother in-law to Claire Lynch, Valerie Lynch and Thomas McGinty.

Later in life, Lee was blessed to be a proud grandmother of seven – Elizabeth Lee Lynch, Caroline Rose Lynch, Margaret Kathryn McGinty, Sean Lynch McGinty, Maeve Victoria McGinty, Michael William Lynch, and Meaghan Elizabeth Lynch.

In addition, she was a loving aunt to her extended nieces and nephews from the Elizabeth Ann (Lynch) Gleason and Thomas and Jane (Lynch) McCourt families.

A seasonal and then full-time resident of Vero Beach, Lee split her time along the East Coast, getting back to Boston and Cape Cod every summer that she could! An avid golfer, Lee was a member of Trenton Country Club in New Jersey and Hawk’s Nest Country Club in Florida.

Lee developed and maintained so many wonderful friendships and relationships along her path. Fiercely loving and caring, she was loyal to anyone she became involved with. Her desire to contribute and serve her community, church and most importantly, her family was a gift to all that were fortunate enough to have known her.

We will miss her class, her smile, her fire and her unconditional love. A beacon of light to so many, Lee Lynch will shine within our hearts forever.

A private Memorial Service will be postponed to a later date due to the current healthcare crisis. Inurnment of Ashes will be with husband Bill at Hillcrest Memorial Gardens, Ft. Pierce.

In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Lee may be made to the McCourt Foundation dedicated to enhancing the lives of patients and families affected by health challenges within the neurology community.


Jeanne Claire Coleman Vance, 67, Vero Beach

Jeanne Claire Coleman Vance, 67, of Vero Beach, and Lexington, Ky., passed away March 29, 2020. Jeanne was born in Pikeville, Ky., Sept. 17, 1952, to the late Harold Miller Coleman and Grace Dotson Coleman.

Jeanne is survived by her beloved husband of 47 years, Stuart E. Vance; sister, Susan Hodapp (Michael); nieces, Sara Rumsey (Dexter), and Kate Harrison (Thorp); great-nieces, Stuart and Sally; and great-nephews, Peyton and Harry; and her sister-in-law, Mary Lee Muir.

A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice.

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