Cover photo for Elizabeth  Carlton Van Liere's Obituary
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1940 Elizabeth 2020

Elizabeth Carlton Van Liere

September 11, 1940 — May 27, 2020

Elizabeth (Beth) Carlton Van Liere died peacefully on May 27, 2020, at Madrona House Memory Care, Bainbridge Island, WA.

A loving wife and best friend. An extraordinary artist, a fine cook, and a one-time community activist.

Beth was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan September 11, 1940, to Betty (Elizabeth Reading) and Arthur Mosier. Her parents divorced when she was four. During her grade school years, she and her mother lived in the very small northern Michigan town of Carp Lake, MI. Her paternal grandmother and great aunt lived here and played a major role in her upbringing. In her pre-teens they moved to Ann Arbor where her mother worked for the lawyer of the University of Michigan. Beth attended University High School which was a laboratory school for the University of Michigan’s School of Education. It was the beginning of her creative and intellectual life. Upon graduation, she and her mother sailed to France on the Queen Mary and toured Europe for half a year. This too and a major impact on her life. Attending the University of Michigan, she majored in Art and French. In the course of her four years, she was awarded a number of academic achievement awards.

In the summer between her Junior and Senior years, she attended a Summer Art School in Leland, Michigan run by Michigan State University. Little did she know that this would lead to meeting the man she would marry and then spend thirty-five years in East Lansing. In 1962 Beth married Eldon Van Liere (an instructor of Art History at Michigan State University. Two years later she earned a Master of Arts degree and began a two-year stint teaching high school art. In the summer between those two years, she and her husband took a grand tour that took them to Portugal in the West to Greece and Istanbul to the East and The Netherlands to the North and Italy to the South with the majority of time in France. It was the first of fifteen trips to Europe over the years.

She has been painting steadily since graduating, but during this trip, she fell in love with the landscape of France and this became a major focus throughout her career. The mid-Michigan area was very supportive of her career. Between 1973 and 2000 she had thirty-eight shows and had works exhibited in the Governor’s mansion, Peoria IL, Sarasota FL, Western Maryland College, Newark DE, and Paris France. In 1994 she was awarded the Michigan State University Alumni Distinguished Service Award.

In 1992 Beth and husband purchased a small stone cottage in Carp Lake MI which became a summer refuge for little over ten years.

In 1997 her husband retired, and they move to Ann Arbor. Upon Beth’s departure, the local newspaper gave her a sendoff with a parting article with the title: “Good-bye to a Friend”. The stay lasted 5 years. They discovered that the old saying, “You can’t go back” was the case.

2002 moved to Bainbridge Island – a world away from the flatlands of mid-Michigan to one of mountains, ocean, and tall trees.

Wherever Beth was she had a studio, whether, in a basement, a rented space, or finally her own studio at home, it was her place. No matter what tragedies, or upsets that assailed them (and there surely some) she would take herself to this place of hers, and there she would dream, ponder, focus, and work. Over her career, she produced 550 paintings, uncounted drawings, pastels, acrylic sketches, lithographs, and monotypes. Her eye for color, the use of her brush was uncanny in the sureness she relived her dream of France, Northern Michigan, and Washington State in the privacy of her studio

She painted her last painting in 2015, She could no longer hold her arm up for any length of time. She was getting weaker and quit driving. She was diagnosed as having a rare disease (Basel Ganglia Calcification).

The house was too much for them and they sold it and moved to a condo. Her condition deteriorated so that by late 2018 she was placed in memory care where her husband visited her every morning until the pandemic shutdown. Two months later she passed away.

Arrangements are entrusted to the Cook Family Funeral Home of Bainbridge Island, WA.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth Carlton Van Liere, please visit our flower store.


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