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November 7, 2013

Elizabeth Nan Dean Chilton

MOORHEAD, Minn. — Elizabeth Nan Dean Chilton died on Oct. 12, 2013, in Moorhead, Minn., at age 93, succumbing to multiple illnesses. 

Elizabeth “Libby” had been married to Robert “Bob” Carter Chilton for more than 65 years. Once Bob passed this past March her normally strong constitution was compromised as she had lost the love of her life. Each of her children cared for her during her later years, just as she wanted. She will always be remembered by family and friends as a very special and fun loving mom, grandmother, great-grandmother, aunt, athlete, artist and girlfriend.

Libby was born in Jamesport, L.I., on Nov. 4, 1919, along with her twin sister, Eleanor Ann. As Libby tells the story, she was born breach and simply gave Eleanor a kick. Libby continued to use those legs wisely developing into a natural athlete when the family later moved upstate to East Aurora. On one occasion, the high school boys athletic coach pointed out Libby’s talents to his team to demonstrate how to kick a ball. She also had a great arm, and was quickly identified when the rotten tomato she threw at boys in a rumble seat hit its target. She was an avid skier, joining her close friend Jeanette Blair in the nearby hills, while Jeanette’s husband, Bob, captured the two of them in a painting. Later in life she excelled in bowling and golfing, routinely beating the boys.

Libby attended the Art Institute of Buffalo with her friend Jeanette Blair. Jeanette’s husband, Bob, a prolific Western New York artist, painted a vivid portrait of Libby whose red hair was the focal point of a piece he entitled “an incendiary bomb.” Following the end of World War II, Libby left the Village of East Aurora, to live with her sister, Edna, in Brooklyn. Libby, “one of 12” as she called herself, had brilliant red hair and great looking legs which caught the eye of “Bobby” Chilton, a Brooklyn Boy and Navy veteran. They attended the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church — the “Christian Mingle” of its time, as Pastor David Dyson dubbed it, because not only did Bob and Libby meet through the young people’s group, so did Edna and her husband, Al and Bob’s brother, Donald and his wife, Charlotte.

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