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Elizabeth

Elizabeth Fain Franklin

d. August 7, 2022

Elizabeth Fain Franklin (64) died suddenly on August 7, 2022 of epilepsy, a disorder she had from the age of sixteen. Born in Nashville, “Betsy,” as she was known to family and friends, grew up in Philadelphia’s Germantown neighborhood with a three-year hiatus in Okinawa, Japan. A graduate of Greene Street Friends School and Germantown Friends School, she attended Oberlin College including a semester in Germany and two summers at the Baroque Performance Institute for recorder. Betsy liked to say that her favorite foods were butter, flour, sugar and salt. Following college, she worked in the 1980s as a baker and pastry chef at a number of area restaurants, among them Spring Mill Cafe, La Terrasse, The Commissary, A Slice of Heaven, and Roller’s Market. In 1991 she graduated from The Restaurant School of Philadelphia. A few years later she transitioned from preparing food to growing it, working as an organic farmer in Lansdale. With her keen eye for pattern and design, Betsy was happiest when creating with her hands—knitting, sewing, carving spoons, making linoleum block prints, improvising cookie recipes or painting Tolle ware, an expression of her German heritage. She worked for a time as a carpenter’s apprentice and also learned chair caning. She cared deeply about historic preservation and sustainable living. Betsy loved a good short story or parody, listening to a Mahler symphony, and playing an intense game of Scrabble. Friendly and sweet, Betsy had the ability to strike up a conversation wherever she went. She is survived by her mother, Catharine K. Franklin; brother, James Christopher Franklin; sister, Emily F. Harmar; partner, Paul Tsakos; and six nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture. A celebration of life is planned for May 2023.
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