Elizabeth "Betty" Keesler Straehle, 91, of Howard County, died Thursday, April 24, 2014, at Howard County General Hospital.
Born May 26, 1922, in Greenwood, Miss., she was the daughter of the late William Parish and Elizabeth Magill Keesler. She was the wife of William Thomas Straehle Sr., whom she married May 3, 1947; and who died in 1990.
She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics from Mississippi State College for Women.
Howard County was her home for more than 50 years and she was an active member of the community. Her volunteer activities included the Howard County YMCA, where she served as a member of the board of directors and received their Service Award five times. In 1974, she was named the Woman of the Year for the YMCA of Greater Baltimore. She was a longtime member of the Forest Hill Swim and Tennis Club and served as the swim team director for many years.
She and her husband were involved in the formation of the Central Maryland Swim League. In 1991, the league renamed its championship the Straehle Invitational in recognition of the impact they had on the league. From 1975 to 1992, she was the meet director for the Howard County Invitational and, in 1978, she organized the Howard County High School Swim Meet and ran it until 1986. For all of their contributions to swimming in Howard County, she and her husband were inducted into the Community Sports Hall of Fame for Howard County in 2005. She continued to participate in both the swimming and water aerobics programs at the YMCA until last year.
She was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Howard County for more than 50 years. She served as a deacon and an elder of the church. She was an active member of their Women's Association. In addition, she was a charter member of the Howard County Chapter of the American Association of University Women. She also enjoyed playing bridge on a regular basis.
Surviving are son William Thomas Straehle Jr. and wife Karen Deakins Straehle; daughter Elizabeth Straehle Trainer and husband Brian Robbie Trainer; grandchildren Scott Thomas Straehle, Megan Straehle Grabowski and husband Gregory Todd Grabowski, Nicholas William Trainer, and Elizabeth Carolyn Trainer; and a great-grandson, Andrew Leonard Grabowski.
A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. Monday at First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, 9325 Presbyterian Circle, Columbia.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the First Presbyterian Church of Howard County, 9325 Presbyterian Circle, Columbia, MD 21045; or the Dancel Family Center YMCA Annual Giving Fund, 4331 Montgomery Road, Ellicott City, MD 21043.
Online condolences may be offered at http://www.slackfuneralhome.com.
Sign this guest book online at http://www.carrollcountytimes.com.