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Elizabeth F. Deithorn


Elizabeth F. “Betty” Fontanesi Deithorn, 74, of Doylestown, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 1, 2024 surrounded by family. She was the wife of Hugh F. Deithorn for 52 years.

Born October 28, 1949 in Library, PA, she was the cherished daughter of the late Bruno and Elizabeth White Fontanesi.

Betty’s family was lucky to have her and lucky enough to spend the last weeks of her life very close with her. While she was amusingly adamant her obituary not be too long, the family finds there is much to say about this dynamic force of a woman.

Betty was passionate about many, many things throughout her beautiful life. She loved music and her four children grew up listening to The Beatles, Queen, and the soaring notes of Luciano Pavarotti. She sang along and invented her own songs, too. She cherished her Pittsburgh upbringing and her Pittsburgh-isms and accent and forever ordered “pop”. Her Italian heritage was also very important to her, and her trip to Italy was one of her favorite experiences, as was anytime she had the chance to have pepperoni, capicola, prosciutto, or anything from her extended family’s Italian market, Parma Sausage.

Vacationing quickly became Betty’s favorite way to spend her retired years, and the many cruises she took with her husband Hugh rank amongst her best memories. She carefully and meticulously preserved those memories in her dozens and dozens of scrapbooks and picture books. She enjoyed scrapbooking and all her books have her unique blend of sentimentality and humor.

Always an artist, she doodled throughout life and she herself wrote memoirs and vignettes that share that mix of raw humanity and comic relief. She loved reading, too, and her personal book collection is rivaled only by those of libraries. She was also a gifted painter, and in her later years immersed herself in watercolors and oils; her favorite subject was her much-beloved dog she rescued, Avi.

When Betty wasn’t writing, painting, or vacationing, she was delving into her passion of familial history and heritage. She spent hours upon hours going into rabbit holes on and discovered and preserved so much new knowledge of her family’s many branches.

While she was a member of countless committees, clubs, guilds and groups throughout her life, her favorite pastime was her family. And finding a good deal – Betty loved being on the winning end of a good deal. Mainly though, her family. She was a fierce protector, a loving caregiver, and just a really fun and funny person to be around.

Along with her loving husband Hugh, Betty is survived by her children, Kimberly Bell and her husband William of Warrington, PA, Gretchen Deithorn of Doylestown, PA, Kiki Bell and her husband Michael of Kintnersville, PA, Daniel Deithorn and his partner Sarah DeRemer of Asbury, NJ; Six adoring grandchildren, Bryce, Blake, Pippa, Tallulah, Milton and Tillie; siblings, Bruno Fontanesi Jr. and his wife Perla, Catharine Holm, as well as many extended family members. Betty is predeceased by her sister, Maryanna Kline, and her brother, George Fontanesi.

A visitation for Betty will be held on Friday, May 10, 2024 from 9:30am until her funeral Mass at 10:30am at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, 235 E. State Street, Doylestown, PA 18901. Interment will take place privately at Washington Crossing National Cemetery at the convenience of the family.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in Betty’s name can be made to Justice Rescue, who helped her find her closest companion, Avi.

“What is this thing that builds our dreams, yet slips away from us…

Who wants to live forever

Forever is our today

Who waits forever anyway?”

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