Elizabeth Anne Ives, born November 3, 1935, Clarks Green, Pa., daughter of Robert T. Ives and Elizabeth M. Ives, passed away on November 13, 2016, after a courageous battle with cancer. She enriched her family, friends, colleagues and the many children she knew with boundless imagination and creativity, passion for the arts, love and respect for the written and spoken word, and a gift for conversation.
Elizabeth graduated from Central High School in Scranton, Pa. in 1953. Then, after graduating from Pennsylvania State University in 1957 with a BFA, she worked for the Girl Scouts of America in Washington, D.C. where she began one of her lifelong pursuits: igniting the creativity and promise in children. Soon her considerable talents found a home in the Theater. Over a span of four decades, she was an actress, stage manager, and director at some of the country's most creative theaters including the Washington Arena Theater, the Stowe Playhouse in Stowe, Vermont, which she helped run in the 60's and 70's, theaters on and off Broadway in New York, and Actors Theater in Louisville Kentucky. She also directed and stage managed some of America's most popular shows on international tours. The stage allowed Elizabeth to travel the world—from Europe to Australia to Japan—and to nurture the most magical of human abilities: the imagination.
In “retirement,” Elizabeth joined her sisters Marion and Margaret in Derry, NH. There she started a theater program for teens, Kaleidoscope, which brought a new generation of talent to the stage. She also worked on the restoration of the Derry Opera House and was chair and treasurer of the Greater Derry Arts Council. She served on the committee on social justice at the First Parish Church and frequently volunteered at the Soup Kitchen. She was elected a library trustee of the Derry Public Library where she served for many years as Chair. In 2009, Elizabeth and her two sisters were named Derry’s Citizens of the Year. Elizabeth also served as Chair of the New Hampshire Library Trustee Association. Her passion for free public libraries, literature, books and ideas was limitless. Through inventive programming and the help of others, she brought the beauty of words and the power of ideas—both written and spoken—to countless children and adults. One of her favorite sayings was “If you Google a question, you get 100,000 answers. If you ask a librarian, you get the correct one.”
Elizabeth gave of herself to others and her community. In all her pursuits, she sought to embolden others to look beyond the world they knew and to see the best in everyone. She is survived by siblings Marion Willis and Margaret Ives of Derry NH, Robert T. Ives and his wife Ruth of Valparaiso, Indiana; niece and nephews Bob Ives of Vancouver WA, Bruce Ives of Chicago IL, Karen Williams of Naperville IL, Gordon Graham of Derry NH and their families (she has many great (and great-great) nieces and nephews who loved her dearly); and many dear cousins. To her family and her many friends and colleagues, Elizabeth (“E”) serves forever as a guiding light.
Calling hours were held on Wednesday, November 16, 2016 from 4pm to 8pm in the Peabody Funeral Homes & Crematorium, 15 Birch St., Derry. Memorial service was held on Thursday at 10 am in the First Parish Church, 47 E Derry Rd, East Derry. In lieu of flowers, Elizabeth wished for donations to the Derry Public Library or the First Parish Church of Derry, New Hampshire.