Elizabeth Ann Tollen (nee’ Finn), also known as Betty Ann, Betty, and Liz, passed away suddenly on Friday evening, December 23rd. She was the daughter of the late Francis and Elizabeth Finn (nee Wright). She is survived by her sons Addison Tollen and Bryan Tollen (Lindsay), her four grandchildren: Addie, Hannah, Bradley, and Sean, and her siblings: Robert Finn, James Finn (Bonnie), Ronald Finn (Ginny), and Patricia Heim (Jay). She was predeceased by brothers Frances and Joseph Finn.
Betty Ann was born and grew up in Springfield, PA where she and her husband, Addison, raised their children. After he died in 1997, Liz was a full-time resident of Sea Isle City, NJ. An avid reader and gardener, she also loved to cook and bake, entertaining her family and many friends, often on a moment’s notice in the tall yellow beach house she designed and built in 2001. A modern-day goddess of the hearth, who loved working with her hands, fashioning things of beauty, oftentimes out of almost nothing, she took great pride in her home, scouring antique shops, bargain stores, and Saturday-morning flea markets (dressed in what she coined her “wake ‘n wear”), for furniture, art, and all manner of whimsy. By arranging these treasures with a deft and loving hand, she created a welcoming space, that reflected her fun-loving personality and generous spirit, where all who knew her loved to gather.
Liz, who could spot a bargain from miles away, also possessed a sense of style, shopping for clothes with that same critical eye and the thrill of the hunt that turned her home into a visual delight. More than anything, Liz loved people and with her beautiful smile, quick wit, and easygoing way, she befriended nearly everyone with whom she came in contact, spreading her cheer and goodwill even to people she barely knew.
Although she relished the limelight and loved to party and dance well into the night, Liz was also a quiet person who enjoyed her solitude. She approached every aspect of life with forethought, never acting on impulse, reaching age 79 without so much as a single traffic violation. She bore pain and setbacks with dignity and grace, rarely complaining or giving into despair, talking herself through each challenge as she would to a friend.
Above all, with her tremendous capacity to love and have fun, and the child’s sense of wonder she never lost, Liz had a special way with children. “Nanny” became the favorite aunt of her many nieces and nephews, and the quintessential grandmother to the four grandchildren she was proud of and so thoroughly adored, the living legacies of her love.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Elizabeth's memory would be greatly appreciated to the American Heart Association, 1617 John F. Kennedy Blvd., Suite 700, Philadelphia, PA 19103.
Relatives and friends are invited to her Visitation, Monday, January 2, 2023, 12:00 to 2:30 PM at The Donohue Funeral Home, 1627 West Chester Pike, West Chester, PA 19382, 610-431-9000, followed by her Funeral Service at 2:30 PM. Interment Private.