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1958 Elizabeth 2023

Elizabeth Dampier Rabinowitz

December 27, 1958 — May 24, 2023

Elizabeth ”Beth” Dampier Rabinowitz, a graceful soul who radiated kindness and an extraordinary beauty inside and out, died May 24th at home on Bainbridge Island, with her husband by her side following an almost two decade long struggle with Early Onset Alzheimer’s.

She arrived on Bainbridge in 1981, after her graduation from the University of Oregon where she studied gerontology and therapeutic recreation and later was instrumental in helping organize the island’s first senior day care center. For years she worked to enrich the lives of those with special needs, procuring jobs for developmentally disabled adults and adolescents, establishing elder care programs and setting up recreational activities and home care services for special populations. Her sparkling eyes and radiant smile caught the attention of people she met, but it was a genuine warmth

and compassionate exuberance for life that made her lovely and adored by so many.

Born December 1958 as the youngest of four in Hardwick, Massachusetts to the late Maurice and Jean Dampier, Beth’s family moved to San Marino, California in the early 60’s. She spent summers in the Rocky mountains of Colorado and in Santa Cruz California and developed a lifelong passion for riding horses, favoring dressage on her 17 hand Thoroughbred, Noah.

Looking to escape the pace and sprawl of Southern California she attended college in Oregon where she became enchanted with the charms of the elderly and special needs populations. Always athletic and devoted to the outdoors, Beth continued to ride, ski, hike,run, practice yoga, and later in life rowed with the masters women. While her college friends were often reveling in the festivities of undergraduate life, Beth could be found on weekends volunteering at the home for the aged or helping disabled youth. She regularly visited those in need, brightening their lives with laughter, compassion and a firm belief they thrived when actively engaged and deserved to live full lives despite their limitations. Her joy when caring for others was remarkable to see and a transformative lesson for her family who later tried to care for her in as loving a manner as she cared for others.

When the Bloedel Reserve opened to the public Beth was hired as one of their first employees and worked there for ten years before deciding to assist and teach in the school system. While teaching for 20 years Beth continued to work with special populations including developmentally disabled adults and, in a painful irony, she helped train people to care for those with dementia. Eventually her own notes were used by her family to address her care as the disease progressed.

Beth met her husband Neil at the University of Oregon. They were married five years later, in 1984, bought a home and raised two sons, Chad Jacob and Cole Alexander. The family traveled the world continuously on Neil’s photo assignments—river rafting, sailing, taking safaris, and wilderness treks. Throughout, Beth was a trooper and proved remarkably capable even when paired with the most skilled professional adventurers. Her zeal was inspirational as she awoke before the sun, carried cameras, assisted, was a stunning model and always mother, friend, caretaker, cheerleader to all. While enduring the most exotic and challenging situations she remained astonishingly poised, charming and graceful. Beth never put herself first and lived a life filled with devotion to others, treasured as wife, mother, and exceptional friend for her kindness and generosity of spirit and adored for the most extraordinary natural beauty of heart.

Besides her husband and two sons, she is survived by Chad’s wife, daughter-in-law, Mallory Piekarski- Rabinowitz, their son “grandson” Zev William Dampier Rabinowitz, her two sisters, Margaret Elise “Meg” Booth of Colorado and Lucy Jean “Jill” Need of England, Cole’s fiancé Stephanie Costa, and by numerous nieces and nephews.

To honor Beth’s memory the family asks friends and family to please visit and show compassion for the elderly and discover how much they still have to give.

The family is planning a remembrance gathering later this year.

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

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


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