Newburyport — Elizabeth "Liz" (Meigs) Courtney, 83, of Newburyport, died peacefully with her children at her side on Tuesday, July 2, 2013, at Merrimack Valley Hospice House following a courageous battle with an aggressive neurological illness.
Liz was born on May 14, 1930, the daughter of Dr. Joe Vincent Meigs and Elizabeth Wallace Meigs. She grew up in Chestnut Hill, Mass., and spent her summers in Quissett on Cape Cod. She graduated from Farmington School in Connecticut, and completed one year of college before marrying her lifelong husband, Peter. After living as newlyweds in Franconia, N.H., they raised four children in Lunenburg, Mass. Years later, as empty nesters they moved to Newbury to be close to Peter’s lobster business; and once retired they moved to Newburyport where their passion for antique homes was realized when they restored a unique historic house on Fair Street.
Liz’s family would agree that friendship was her greatest gift and joy. She had the knack for making long lasting friends from all walks of life. Also, with the “surgeon” hands she inherited from her father, along with her uncanny sense of style, she became an accomplished artisan of many mediums including paper lampshades and beaded jewelry. Her talent for patience and detail did not stop there. She’s left her family with the gift of beautiful genealogical volumes, a result of years of research and a passion for discovering her family’s heritage. She loved animals, learning about the natural world, stalking wild edibles, and enjoyed sharing music, books and movies with her family and friends. All of these qualities had a strong influence on her children with their chosen vocations and hobbies.
In addition to her book club, exercise group, movie night and Friday morning coffee gang, swimming was central to Liz’s life. She loved swimming at the YWCA where she served as a board member. She also enjoyed the Parker River, Plum Island, and tropical waters of Vieques, Puerto Rico, where she and Peter spent many “snowbird” winters. Liz had a love for antiques; searching for “A Fortune in the Junk Pile” was a favorite pastime. Sunday mornings would not be complete for Liz without some serious “object worship” whilst doing the “stations of the flea market” searching for treasures at Todd’s in Rowley!
Liz was predeceased by her husband Peter in 2005 and daughter Elizabeth (Lisa) in 1977. She is survived by two daughters, Katrina Randall and her husband, Robert, of Lyman, Maine, and Rachel Courtney and her husband, Kieron Walsh, of Dublin, N.H.; a son, Peter, Jr. and his wife, Lynette, of Greensboro Bend, Vt.; a brother, Wallace Meigs; a sister, Sarah Cody; brother-in-law, William Courtney and his wife, Neil; grandchildren, Jason Thibeault, Phillip Rooney, Haven and Jesse Moore, Brian and Megan Walsh; and great-grandchildren, Jerick Thibeault-Checchia, Zoe Jo Moore and Declan Walsh; and countless nieces, nephews, cousins, god-daughters and dear friends that are too many to name but not forgotten.
ARRANGEMENTS: A memorial service will be held Tuesday, July 9, at 11 a.m. at the First Religious Society (Unitarian Universalist Church), 26 Pleasant St., Newburyport; reception immediately following at the Dalton Club, 95 State St., Newburyport. Arrangements are by H.L. Farmer & Sons Funeral Homes and Cremation Service, Haverhill/Bradford. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The YWCA of Greater Newburyport, 13 Market St., Newburyport MA 01950; Merrimack Valley Hospice House, 360 North Ave., Haverhill MA 01830; or Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center, P.O. Box 1558, Newburyport, MA 01950. Condolences to her family may be made at www.farmerfuneralhomes.com.