Betzi Abram, long-time resident of Fort Myers Beach (32 years) and later Fort Myers, passed away on Nov. 13, 2011. She said she was not leaving unwillingly, but that she will always carry large pieces of them in her heart whichever direction she is headed. However, she promised to carry her friends along only if she headed upwards. She was a long-time newspaper columnist and author with several prizes and a lively sense of humor to her credit.
Betzi was active for many years on the vestry at St. Raphael's Episcopal Church and a member of St. Margaret's ministry. In Fort Myers, she attended Iona Hope, where she also made many friends and taught a class in Memoirs for Healing. She was active as a member of the Beach Library Board, and was chairman of the Landscape Committee for the new library, which was responsible for the planting of many native shrubs.
Her columns on sailing, With A Grain of Sea Salt, ran for many years in the Beach Bulletin and other papers, as did her prize-winning column The Passionate Gardener. She was almost a founding member (#8) of the Gulf Coast Writers Association and wrote a monthly column called The Joy of Writing for their website. For many years Betzi taught classes in Creative Writing at Big Arts on Sanibel, the Alliance for the Arts in Fort Myers and in the Naples Adult Education Program.
Before coming to Florida, Betzi had a wide range of other experiences from Summer Theater, newspaper drama critic, tech editor for Lederle Laboratories Virus section, Janus Films and her own business in New York City for sales promotion. She was also co-founder of two independent film companies, Films for Children and TriMod Films which produced Martin Scorsese's first 35mm film "Who's That Knocking At My Door."
She leaves behind her four daughters, one son, nine grandchildren and five great grandchildren plus two perfect nieces, their husbands and offsprings and one small butterfly garden. None of her many beloved dogs, cats, fishes, gerbils, parakeets or chickens have survived her.
A celebration of Betzi's life will be at Iona Hope Episcopal Church on Feb. 11, at 11 a.m.
I'm perfectly ready to die when I must
For the date has been set by the God whom I trust.
But I have some suggestions I'd like you to know
Concerning the way you'll be running the show.
I'm sure that I've written a very nice will
(Intended to give all my children a thrill)
And disposed of the bulk of my earthly effects
In the generous way my public expects.
If there have to be flowers, please bring them in pots
So they can be shared with plant-loving have-nots
And if there are some who'd like to send cash
Pass it on to the needy, no use for a bash.
If you feel that you must, you can sniffle a bit
But you needn't cry buckets or work up a fit.
I hope you'll all gather in tender accord
And agree that I've gone to my perfect reward
For my life is not over - nor the drama completed
Thanks to Jesus, I know that Death is defeated.
My leaving is only the second act curtain
The last act's in heaven, of that I am certain.