Elizabeth Augusta Claus Reilly, 89, died July 6th, 2011 at Mount Joy Hospice of Lancaster County, surrounded by family.
Born in Naumburg, Hesse, Germany, Oct. 2, 1921, she was a daughter of the late Jacob and Marie (Weinrich) Claus.
The family emigrated in 1923 and settled in the Philadelphia. Betty worked in family-owned bakeries throughout her teen years. During WWII, she worked for the war effort at the Budd Co. in Philadelphia.
In 1946, she married John J. Reilly and raised her family in the Philadelphia area until moving to Largo, FL, in 1970 upon her husband’s retirement. A devout, lifelong Catholic, she belonged to Saint Patrick’s Church in Largo for 34 years and was active in the Ladies Auxiliary; Ministry of Presence; Handbell Chorus and the Legion of Mary.
At the time of her death, she had been an active member of St. Anne’s Retirement Community for nearly a decade. Betty believed in blooming where she was planted and truly enjoyed life at St. Anne’s. She loved helping with baking, singing with the Nightingales, and later, the Songbirds, as well as “ringing” with the Perky Chimers. She attended mass daily; she enjoyed pinochle, bingo and, most of all, spending weekends with family and friends at her daughter and son-in-law’s Lancaster home.
She will be lovingly missed by her daughter and son-in-law, Eileen Nephin-Bish and James A. Bish, of Lancaster; as well as by her son, James Reilly, of Santa Barbara, CA and former daughter-in-law, Linda Reilly Bailey, of Corpus Christi, Texas.
Affectionately known to many as “Grandma Betty,” she is survived by her grandchildren whom she cherished: Daniel J. Nephin, husband of Kathleen Riordan, of Pittsburgh; Shannon Nephin, Lancaster; Meghan E. Nephin, wife of Dennis Wilkens, Mt. Pocono, PA; Jeffrey Reilly, Tampa, FL; Kelsey Reilly, Santa Barbara, CA; and foster granddaughter, Deborah Meck, Lancaster. She is also survived by her dear great-grandchildren: Ivy Elizabeth Wenrich, Lancaster; Anastasia Faye Reilly, Vincennes, IL; Lily Marie Nephin, Mt. Pocono, PA, Lance Reilly, Santa Barbara, CA and Olivia Joy Meck, Lancaster.
Her devoted siblings, Louis Claus of Spring Hill, FL, and Jack Anthony Claus, husband of Margaret, Fort Lauderdale, FL, also survive her, as well as nieces and nephews, extended family and friends. Mrs. Reilly was preceded in death by her husband in 1982, a son, John, and infant daughter, Margaret Mary, as well as siblings, Dorothy Claus Glace and Henry Claus.
Relatives and friends are invited to Saint Anne’s Chapel, 3952 Columbia Ave., Columbia, PA, on July 13 for visitation (open casket) 10 a.m.-11 a.m. followed by Mass at 11 a.m. with Msgr. Richard Onwuanibe as Celebrant. Interment at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Philadelphia, will be at the convenience of the family.
Memorial remembrances may be made in Betty’s memory to Hospice of Lancaster County or St. Anne’s Retirement Community.