Elizabeth F. Portman, 92, a lifelong area resident, passed away peacefully on June 19, 2020 at her home.
Known to everyone as “Lib” or “Libby”, she was born on April 3, 1928 in Carmel, NY and was the daughter of Norman and Bertha (Metcalfe) Van Anden.
Lib graduated with her BA from Syracuse University in 1949. It was at Syracuse where she met Henry J. (“Bud”) Portman. Lib and Bud were married on April 3, 1950, at St. Andrew’s Church in Poughkeepsie, NY. Bud was her stalwart husband of 44 years until his passing on August 6, 1994. It was also at Syracuse where Lib and Bud met their friends known as the “Syracuse Gang”, who remained their cherished friends through the ensuing decades.
Lib was a First Grade Teacher in the Wappingers Central School District for over 40 years, retiring in 1986 from Myers Corners Elementary School. Over the years, she served both as a President of the PTA and as a President of the local Teachers’ Union.
An early devotee to the RV, Lib travelled extensively with her family throughout the United States, claiming to have stepped foot in all the “lower 48 States.” For a few years, Lib actually drove the RV as her transportation to and fro her teaching job at Myers Corners. It was through “camping” that Lib and Bud met their friends known as the “Pawling Gang”, who remained their cherished friends through the ensuing decades.
Lib also travelled throughout Europe, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East. She always wanted to see the Pyramids, and she did. She got a kick out of travelling under her Irish passport and the nod it gave to her Irish roots. As a lover of geography, she always kept a World Atlas at her side for reference. She would create challenging quizzes involving little-known and unique geographical facts, and most times she would stump those who were brave enough to undertake her challenge.
Most of her Summers were spent on Cape Cod, where she played hostess to friends and family, including many years for her mother, Bertha, and Bud’s great aunt, Louise Paquet, with Lance playing bartender providing the ladies with their Happy Hour pitcher of whiskey sours. During these Summers, Lib and Lance interchangeably referred to each other as Alf and Ralph from the “Green Acres” TV show in performing ad hoc and barely competent maintenance and repairs to the cottages.
Lib was a faithful and active 70-year member of her beloved Order of the Eastern Star (OES), the world’s largest fraternal organization which admits both women and men to membership. OES makes substantial charitable donations to Alzheimer’s disease research, juvenile diabetes research, juvenile asthma research, and provides support to Masonic and/or Eastern Star retirement centers and nursing homes. She devoted immeasurable time and much passion to the organization, holding virtually every office at the local and statewide levels. She had the honor and privilege of serving for the entire year of 1993 as the Grand Matron for the State of New York, a duty which she performed with boundless zeal.
Survivors include her sons, Brett Portman of Clovis, NM, and her devoted caregiver, Lance Portman, and his wife Donna, of Hopewell Jct., her beloved grandchildren, Quincy and Paul Portman, and several nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Lib is now reunited with Bud and resting in peace next to him at the Hopewell Cemetery, Hopewell Junction, NY.
Memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice. Please visit Elizabeth’s Book of Memories at www.mchoulfuneralhome.com.