Elizabeth De Lay

Obituary of Elizabeth Lynch De Lay

Betsy De Lay passed away peacefully on July 13, 2023, in her home in Olympia, Washington, following a one-year-long journey with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  Betsy was born in Olympia on November 1, 1956, to Tom and Norma Lynch.  The youngest of four children, baby Betsy was adored (and mostly spoiled!) by her older sisters, Katie Maxey and Laurie Lynch, and loved (and mostly tolerated!) by her brother, Tom Lynch.


Betsy’s childhood days were filled with stories of growing up on Olympia’s Westside and summers at the family Bay House on Cooper Point. She attended Garfield Elementary, Jefferson Junior High, and graduated from Olympia High School in 1974.  Lifelong friendships were made during her time as a Camp Fire Girl, musician (flautist and choral), and thespian.  Her vivid imagination and love of a good story took her to Washington State University, where she earned a degree in Theater Arts.


While at WSU, Betsy married Chuck Driscoll.  She and Chuck had two wonderful children together, Sean Driscoll and Maureen Driscoll Black.  Guiding, supporting, and inspiring the growth and development of Sean and Mo was Betsy’s proudest accomplishment.  Spending time with Sean and his husband, James DeHart, Mo and her husband, Trail Black, and grandsons, Callum and Rainier were among her happiest memories.


Betsy married Michael De Lay in 1994, doubling the size of her family with the addition of Michael’s sons, Patrik (wife, Jennifer) and Christopher (wife, Irene).  In 2010, she became a “mom” for the fifth time when they welcomed Wei Du, an exchange student from Shanghai into their family.  Betsy believed that families are formed in many different ways and opened heart and home to all.


The only title she cherished more than “Mom” was “Grammy.” She was a proud grandmother to Callum and Rainier Black; Alex, Zuzu and Enzo De Lay; Carter and Ivy Liu De Lay; and Victoria Du Fenner.


Following successful careers in hotel management and the travel industry, Betsy retired from Eli Lilly Pharmaceuticals in 2021.  She was very proud of her work with medical professionals on behalf of the patients they served, and valued her relationship with her Lilly family.


Betsy and Michael enjoyed traveling and spending time at their beach house in Ocean Shores.  She and Michael dedicated countless hours to feeding the underserved and homeless populations in Seattle and Olympia.  During their marriage, it is estimated that they served over 2,500 meals.  They enjoyed their volunteer work with Habitat for Humanity and international homebuilding missions through their church.


However, nothing made Besty happier than spending time with family.  She was blessed in abundance with loving family and friends.  She leaves behind sisters-in-law, Vicki Lynch Kimball; as well as multiple other in-laws, nieces, nephews, and cousins; friends, Ruth Hallett, Jane Garity, Michael Nerwinski, Fr. Jim Lee, and many other cherished friends (far too many to mention).  She was predeceased by parents, Tom and Norma Lynch; brother, Tom Lynch; brother-in-law, Barrie Maxey; grandparents; aunts and uncles.  She was comforted by the belief that she would be eternally reunited with loved ones who have gone before her.


Betsy’s message to all is:  We may not be able to determine how much time we have in the life we are given, but we can choose what we do with it.  Be grateful for the blessings you are given, give and receive love in abundance, be kind, choose to be happy.


A Catholic Mass will be held Monday, July 31, 2023, 12:00 p.m. at St. Michael Catholic Church, 1208 11th Ave. SE, Olympia, WA 98501.


In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, or the ALS Association.


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