Elizabeth Hellen (Worth) Schavillie, 92, passed away peacefully on July 13, 2022 at her home in Concord, NC. She was comforted during her last days by her family and friends.
Elizabeth was born September 5, 1929 in St. Clair County, MI to Margaret Frances (Hackel) Worth and Jacob Worth. After Elizabeth’s birth mother passed of child birth complications when Elizabeth was almost two years old, she shared a great love with her stepmother, Olga Emma (Johannson) (Shultz) Worth.
Elizabeth was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Tony, which she shared 71 years in marriage. Elizabeth was preceded in death by three siblings; her younger beloved sister, Emma; older sister, Mary; and older brother, Henry. Her older sister, Anna (Worth) Piltz lives in Livonia, MI – their daily phone calls have been a blessing to Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is survived by their four children, Gerald Anthony Schavillie and wife Genevieve, J. Richard Schavillie and wife Diane, Diann Elizabeth Norwood, and Dena Elizabeth Anderson and husband Donald; six grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. Her nickname was GG (Great-Grandma).
Elizabeth met her sweetheart, George Anthony (Tony) Schavillie, at a Farmers Dance in Capac, MI when she was only 14 years old. Tony was a quiet man with a strong work ethic that quickly earned the approval from Elizabeth’s father. They were married at Saint John’s Catholic Church in Allenton, MI on May 4, 1946 and celebrated afterwards with family and friends.
Elizabeth and Tony lived on the 120 acre family farm on Sharrard Road in Capac. In addition to being a farmer, Tony also worked at the Ford Proving Grounds in Romeo as a test car driver. Elizabeth was also no stranger to hard work. She raised their four children and also helped with the farm – first dairy and then beef cattle – along with tending a large garden that she later canned into many jars of fruits, vegetables, and pickles for her family. Elizabeth worked as a teacher’s assistant at Capac Schools, and later was a personal care giver to many in Michigan and Florida.
The family attended Saint Nicholas Catholic Church in Capac where Elizabeth served on the Altar Society for many years. She also volunteered in the community in many ways. She chaired the annual Blood Drive for over 30 years. She took turns to chair the community Food Pantry that helped many families in need, including the many migrant workers that traveled to the community during planting and harvest seasons. Her love of others and desire to help others was constant. Her recent phone calls to family always ending with her asking, “Is there anything I can do for you?”
Elizabeth belonged to the Capac Historical Society and helped to relocate the town’s train depot to create the historical museum in Capac that continues to welcome many visitors each year. She was an avid gardener with many flowers that graced their home in Capac. She transplanted many of her perennial flowers at the church and museum grounds and also brought many to North Carolina over the years to share with her daughter, Diann. This ‘living legacy’ of God’s beauty continues to be shared with other neighbors in Concord.
After Tony’s retirement from Ford, they traveled to their winter home in Zephyrhills, FL where they enjoyed dancing several times a week and making many wonderful lasting friendships that continue to this day. Elizabeth and Tony enjoyed family vacations across the USA and cruises to the Bahamas, Caribbean and Panama Canal. They visited relatives in Missouri, Romania and Germany. The ‘Wirth’ cousins in Germany continue to stay in touch and have welcomed younger ‘USA cousins’ for visits.
Elizabeth and Tony moved from Florida to North Carolina in 2016 to share a home with their daughter in the Beverly Hills neighborhood of Concord. They quickly made friends with neighbors and were welcomed at the Epworth United Methodist Church. These friends are a blessing – each visit, call and card was greeted with joy from Elizabeth.
Elizabeth loved her family and enjoyed hosting many large extended family holiday gatherings over her long life. When someone met her, they would often say, “Elizabeth is one of the sweetest people that I ever met!” How true! Elizabeth will be missed, but her legacy of love continues.
Memorial request: In lieu of flowers, Elizabeth asked her friends to consider donating blood regularly in their community – to share this ‘Gift of Life’ to others in need.
Kaatz Funeral Home (Capac) is serving the family. Funeral services will be held Thursday, July 21 at Saint Nicholas Catholic Church, 4331 Capac Rd., Capac, MI. The family will receive visitors at 10 a.m., a Funeral Mass at 11 a.m., graveside services at West Berlin Cemetery on Holmes Road in Allenton, followed by a reception at St. Nicholas Fellowship Hall.