ELIZABETH E. “BETTY” LAU, 79, passed away on March 7, 2014 surrounded by the love of family, friends, her cat Emilia and her favorite classical music. All agree the world is a different place without Betty Lau. She was a person of faith, a dedicated social worker and a lifelong artist. A celebration of Betty Lau’s life is planned for 11 a.m. on Saturday, April 5 at the Unitarian Society of Cleveland, 2728 Lancashire Road in Cleveland. Memorial gifts can be made in Betty’s name to the Society. Betty was beloved by her chosen family: Barbara Lau and partner Gail Crabtree; Michael Lau and his children Megan and Braden; Leslie Fay and partner Sue Ditty; Susan Treleaven and partner Stephen Blakney and their children Noah Blakney and Gabriel MacConaill and his partner Joanna Litt; and Tim Emeis, his wife Peggy and their daughter Rachel. Betty was predeceased by her parents, Theodore August and Genevieve McGee Emeis. Betty believed in love, tolerance and justice and worked hard to align her life with her beliefs. She was an active member of the Unitarian Society of Cleveland for 50 years and a part of the Star Island family through her 40+ year involvement with the annual IRAS conference: Institute on Religion in an Age of Science. Betty graduated from Cleveland Heights High School and earned a BA from Oberlin College and an MSW from Case Western Reserve School of Social Work. Betty’s more than three decades career as a social worker included pioneering research on elder abuse that led to federal legislation aimed at protecting vulnerable older adults . She used her social work skills to help patients with chronic illness stay in their homes, and later in her career she helped found the first medical geropsychiatric program in the area. Betty was an award winning water colorist and designer whose wall-sized Joy mural has graced the intersection of Silsby and Lee Roads since the 1970s. Her felt banners ring the sanctuary of her church. A committed patron of the arts, she was a lifelong member of the Cleveland Art Museum and a frequent ticket holder at Cleveland Orchestra performances. She was a founding member of the Plein Air Painters and a talented photographer. Betty will be missed by family, friends, neighbors, members of her church community, and her fellow artists. She leaves behind a legacy of beauty, caring, and commitment to making the world a better place.

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