Cover photo for Elizabeth "Betsy" Lee Kent's Obituary
Elizabeth "Betsy" Lee Kent Profile Photo
1945 Elizabeth "Betsy" 2024

Elizabeth "Betsy" Lee Kent

June 6, 1945 — June 8, 2024


Elizabeth Lee Kent née Beam of Schoolcraft, MI passed away on June 8, 2024.

Her life can best be described by thinking as she did, with the eye of an artist. Betsy lived a life as full as a painter's pallet. Family, friends, education, and career were her primary colors and artistic pursuits, gardening and travel were the blends that fill in the rest of the spaces. 

Born to Robert and Elizabeth Beam on June 6, 1945, and raised in Lawton Michigan, she was active in the Van Burean Folk Dancers until her graduation from Lawton High School. As a lifelong learner, her education served as the outline of her future. She attended Western Michigan University where she was a member of the Tri-Sigma sorority, earned her bachelor's degree and later her master's degree in Speech and Language Pathology. Completion of her Certificate of Clinical Competence served as the final brush stroke of her formal instruction. The education and training she received were used in the service of public education for the benefit of the many lives she touched and influenced during her tenure. After years of service, Betsy retired from St Joseph ISD allowing her to spend more time on other pursuits. 

Betsy was forever expanding her artistic interests beginning with dance, then painting with oils and acrylics and later embracing the challenge of watercolors. The same desire to learn new skills was also demonstrated when she took up stained glass beginning small and in short time developing her abilities enough to embrace larger projects such as windows and lamp shades. 

Without a doubt, the colors, patterns, and subjects of her artistry were inspired by the beauty of nature surrounding her. The gardens at her home, church and various other venues benefitted from her attention. Sadly, we will never know if it was the therapy of pulling weeds or the fellowship of the other gardeners that brought her the greatest joy. It may have been a draw. 

Even more depth was added to the painting when she for many years, artistically interpreted maps as the navigator on many a road trip with her chief mechanic, driver and husband. The miles travelled with the Old Speckled Hen Car Club were rich with grand adventure and fond memories shared with dear friends. They also enjoyed more widespread trips with various family and friends including ventures to Italy, Germany, France and Great Britain.

Betsy is survived by her devoted husband of 56 years, Eric Kent Sr., and two of their children, their spouses, and children: Eric (Nicole) Kent Jr. and their children Eric Nicholas, Catherine, and Joseph, and Melissa (Barry) Hendges and their children Andrew and Claire. She is also survived by her brothers and their spouses Robert (Judith) Beam, John (Sherri) Beam, Thomas (Julie) Beam, Michael (Adele) Beam, as well as in-laws and their spouses Virginia Graybill, Robert (Raenell) Kent, Anne (Kim) Kramer, Martha (Steven) Kahn and many nieces and nephews. 

It is in faith and the hope of life eternal that those she leaves behind have some comfort knowing that she can rest with those who preceded her, especially their daughter Heather Elizabeth whose childhood leukemia experience was an undertone of Betsy’s life's work. She was also preceded by her parents, brother-in-law Wallace Kent, niece Jennifer Beam, and great-nephew Issac Szymanski. 

Arrangements: Saturday, June 22, 2024, visitation at 10:00 am, Funeral @ 11:00 with a luncheon to follow. 

St. Luke's Episcopal Church 247 W. Lovell Street, Kalamazoo, MI 49007.

In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that donations be directed towards St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.

Arrangements entrusted to Langeland Family Funeral Homes Burial & Cremation Services, 622 S. Burdick St, Kalamazoo, MI 49007. 

 To view Betsy’s personalized web page, a tribute to her life, please visit 

To send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth "Betsy" Lee Kent, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

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Saturday, June 22, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Funeral Service

Saturday, June 22, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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