In Loving Memory of Ann Shawah Betar

September 20, 1915
Norwalk, CT
April 16, 2019
Trumbull, CT
Funeral Home

Spear-Miller Funeral Home

39 South Benson Road,
Fairfield CT US 06824

Visitation

Monday 10:30 a.m. - 12:00 Noon: St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church

5458 Park Avenue,
Bridgeport,
CT 06604

April 22, 2019

Service

St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church

Funeral Service

5458 Park Avenue,
Bridgeport,
CT 06604

Monday, April 22, 2019 12:00 Noon

Cemetery

Mountain Grove Cemetery

2675 North Avenue,
Bridgeport,
CT 06604

April 22, 2019

Family Gathering

Charity

St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church

5458 Park Avenue,
Bridgeport,
CT 06604


International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC)-SYRIA

https://Iocc.org


YWCA USA, Inc.

Ann Shawah Betar

Ann Shawah Betar, a longtime resident of Fairfield and Bridgeport, CT, passed away on April 16 in Trumbull, CT, surrounded by devoted family and caregivers. Ann, 103, died of old age, as had her loving husband, John G. Betar, seven months earlier at the age of 107. Ann and John were married for nearly 86 years and in 2018 were considered among the longest married living couples in the country if not the world. Ann was born in Norwalk, CT, on September 20, 1915, to John S. Shawah and Mary Shawah, immigrants from Soueidieh, Syria (now Samandag, Turkey). She attended elementary school in Norwalk and as a junior at Bassick High School in Bridgeport had plans to be a nurse when she graduated. Love intervened, and she and John, a fruit peddler from across the way, eloped on November 25, 1932, in Harrison, NY, to the chagrin of some relatives who thought the marriage would not last. That perception was short-lived. On the occasion of their 80th wedding anniversary in 2012, Ann and John were selected by the Worldwide Marriage Encounter to represent America’s longest living married couples. Mother of five and “Sito” and “Big Sito” to more than two dozen grandchildren and greatgrandchildren, Ann combined superb parenting and homemaking skills with a devotion to her husband, church, and community. She had an essential role for more than four decades in the Ladies Auxiliary of Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church in Bridgeport and was chair of the Women’s Council of Orthodox Churches in Bridgeport during the eighties. It was then that she also developed a talent for oil painting through classes at the YWCA, and in the following decades she produced a wide array of canvases—portraits, still lifes, and seascapes— many of which grace the walls of her family’s and friends’ homes. From 1991 to 2005, the Betars divided their time between Fairfield and West Palm Beach, FL, which led to a new color palette and enthusiastic gardening in both climates. Despite declining vision, Ann led an active life as a centenarian—a crocheting project or audio book was always in hand, or a watering can if she was tending to the many flowering plants that she nurtured. Most of all, however, she thrived on time spent with younger family members and their friends, listening to their stories, adding hers, always with a dollop of humor and just the right advice. Ann is survived by three of her five children—Maryann Skelton of Portland, ME, Judith Metro of Washington, DC, and Renee C. Betar of Litchfield, CT; twelve of fourteen grandchildren; and sixteen great-grandchildren. In addition to her husband John, she was predeceased by a son, John G. Betar Jr., and a daughter, Joan B. Mitchell, both of Fairfield, and two brothers, George Shawah of Bridgeport and Henry Shawah of Cambridge, MA. Ann also lived on after two of her grandchildren, Ruth Skelton of Lewiston, ME, and Andrew Pike of Litchfield, CT. A funeral service will be held on Monday, April 22, at 12:00 noon at Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, 5458 Park Avenue, Bridgeport, with the Very Rev. Romanos Malouf officiating. Entombment will follow in Mount Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport. The family will receive friends on Monday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon at the church. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Ann Shawah Betar may be made to Saint Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, International Orthodox Christian Charities - SYRIA (https:// iocc.org), or YWCA USA, Inc. For information or to offer an online condolence, please visit SpearMillerFuneralHome.com

Sign the Guestbook

Print Guestbook

3 Guestbook Entries for Ann Shawah Betar

  1. A beautiful life. Such a wonderful family. I’m better for having known Ann, John and their extended family. Sending love and wishes for peace in this time. M. BOLAND

  2. We have so many fond memories of Ann and John, like Christmas dinners together, the 85th anniversary celebration and the video message they sent Sam/Alice for their 60th. We’ll always cherish their warm, wise and wonderful presence in our lives and we’re grateful for the friendship with this extraordinary couple and family.