Elizabeth Lassiter Biedenharn

Published 3:04 pm Wednesday, December 22, 2021

Elizabeth Lassiter (Betty) Biedenharn was born on July 14, 1921, and died peacefully at her home on Dec. 17.

Betty was born and raised in Vicksburg.

After growing up at the Church of the Holy Trinity in Vicksburg and participating in children and youth activities there, she graduated from Carr Central High School and attended Mississippi State College for Women.

Email newsletter signup

Sign up for The Vicksburg Post's free newsletters

Check which newsletters you would like to receive
  • Vicksburg News: Sent daily at 5 am
  • Vicksburg Sports: Sent daily at 10 am
  • Vicksburg Living: Sent on 15th of each month

On Sept. 28, 1941, Betty married Eric Carlton Biedenharn at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church in Bovina, and they moved to their farm near Bovina, where she would live for the next 80 years.

Betty became an active member of St. Alban’s and served on the Vestry and as president of the ECW.

In her younger years, Betty was very active in civic affairs: she was a member of the Vicksburg Warren Library Board and served as chairman the year the new library was built, and for a number of years was Vicksburg’s representative on the Mississippi Library Commission; she was the Warren County representative on the Mental Health Board at the time that the present Warren Yazoo Mental Health Association was formed; she served on the United Fund Board before it became the United Way; she was a founding member of the Vicksburg Art Association.

In the 1970s, Betty, her husband, Eric, and other Biedenharn family members along with Coca-Cola USA, had the Biedenharn Candy Company building restored and made it into the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum. It was later donated to the Vicksburg Foundation for Historic Preservation.

Betty’s main love and interest was always her family. She and Eric raised seven children on the farm and she continued to enjoy them, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren there until her death. Betty was predeceased by her husband of 43 years, Eric, her twin sister, Letitia Lassiter (Letty) Fry, her parents, Letitia (Tish) Stout, her stepfather, Malcolm H. (Mac) Stout, and her father and stepmother, Marion and Marie Lassiter.

She is survived by her children: Ann Biedenharn Jones (Jimmy), Betsy Selby, Eric Biedenharn, Jr (Ellen), M.A. Biedenharn, F.M. (Easy) Biedenharn (Mary John), all from Vicksburg, Letty Biedenharn from Richardson, Texas, and Eva Panelo (Sergio) from Idaho Springs, Colo. She is also survived by her grandchildren: Elizabeth Jones Curtis, Jim Jones, Richard Selby, Charles Selby, David Selby (Anna), Walker Biedenharn, Ford Biedenharn, Elaine Gonzalez (Carlos), Sebastian Panelo, 11 great-grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.

The family extends their heartfelt thanks to Liz Curtis, Glenda Ervin, Stephanie Squires and Matilda Stewart for their excellent care and support of our mother and our family and to the Encompass Health staff for assistance with end of life care.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, 5930 Warrior’s Trail, Vicksburg, 39180, Camp Bratton Green (Diocese of Mississippi, “Seeds You Sow,” PO Box 23107, Jackson, MS 39225 or www.dioms.org “Seeds You Sow”) or to a charity of your choice.

A visitation will be Monday, Dec. 27, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Glenwood Funeral Home. Services will be Tuesday, Dec. 28, at 11 a.m. at St. Albans Episcopal Church with Rev. Elisabeth Malphurs officiating. Burial will follow in St. Albans Episcopal Church Cemetery.

Pallbearers: Bobby Barlow, Ford Biedenharn, Walker Biedenharn, Carlos Gonzalez, Ben Porter, David Selby, Charles Selby, Richard Selby, Theo Williams.