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Elizabeth Habash (nee Bishouty) passed away peacefully at home in Delaware on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
Dearly loved mother of Mitri and Muna; and grandmother to Stevie, Nizar, Elizabeth, Stephan, and Nicola, Elizabeth was born on 1 April, 1944, in Safad, Palestine. Her father, an army officer, died when she was young, and she was brought up with her mother, sister, two brothers, aunts and uncles. She was 4 years old when she, along with her family, endured the Nakba of 1948. The family settled in Zerka, Jordan.
Elizabeth held fond memories of her childhood, particularly mischievous and fun loving times with her younger siblings. Elizabeth was the Queen after all! As the eldest sibling, she recognized she could best support her family by leaving school early to work. Elizabeth was encouraged by her teacher to attend vocational school, and assisted her with the application. She often credited her own parent’s generosity within the community for the opportunities which she would be given via her teachers and others along the way. So starts the first of many decisions which would ripple through the lives of the entire family for generations to come. Elizabeth was accepted to vocational school, and eventually landed her first posting as a secretary at the UN. There, she would meet her future husband, Stephan Habash.
One day, he summoned her to his office to present her with a scholarship opportunity in the UK for her younger siblings, which she hurriedly relayed to her mother. Shortly thereafter, her siblings Anton, Joe, and Kareemeh left to join their mother Asma, who had been appointed as the house mother of the Arab house in Pestalozzi Children’s Village in Sedlescombe, Sussex. Elizabeth stayed back in Jordan and married Stephan in 1964. They had two children, Muna and Mitri. Stephan and Elizabeth loved to travel and adventure together through Europe and eventually migrated to Delaware. They owned the Ranch House Restaurant, which successfully operated as a local staple and gathering place for over 20 years. Stephan passed away July 13 1993. Elizabeth would always hold his memory near and dear, often recounting their love story. She always wore her wedding ring.
Elizabeth had a beautiful singing voice. She loved music, film, and art. Her collection of handmade embroidery and knitting artworks is vast. She was the life of the party, the center of attention, easy to talk to, open minded, a wonderful host, and dependable friend. She was strong and funny, the glue that held the family together. She made a valiant effort to attend many family gatherings of her nieces and nephews, and especially took pride in helping to raise her grandchildren, whom she doted on endlessly. Through her many years of health struggles, she remained steadfast and positive, poised and ever faithful, with a continued zest for life. Much like her own parents, and through all the lives she touched, the ripples of Elizabeth will continue to make the world a better place.
A funeral service will be held at 12:30pm on Wednesday, November 29, 2023, at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road, Wilmington, DE 19808, where family and friends may visit beginning at 11:00am. Interment will be held in All Saints Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in Elizabeth's memory to United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees or to Shiners Children's Hospital