Phone: 215-543-9339 (24-hour Availability)

Elizabeth I. Van Horn

Beth (Elizabeth) Van Horn of Philadelphia, PA passed away peacefully on April 1, 2018 after a lengthy battle with cancer. Born April 28th 1952 in Pittsburgh, PA, Beth graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a degree in art education. In her early post graduate period Beth was a painter, potter, and photographer before settling into a long career with Verizon (and its predecessor companies). She employed her creative and artistic talents as a Senior Product Manager undertaking new product development/rollouts in the Marketing Department.

After retiring from Verizon in 2003, Beth embarked on a rich post-retirement period. She devoted herself to the renovation and furnishing of a late Victorian home and garden in West Philadelphia. In addition to doing much of the work herself, she relished finding craftpersons who could help her realize her vision, as well as sharing her expertise with friends and neighbors who owned homes of comparable age in her neighborhood. She also pursued many other interests and endeavors.

Since 2004 Beth volunteered for the Middle Mekong Archaeological Project in Laos and the Ban Chiang Project at the Penn Museum. Since 2013 she oversaw public outreach for the Institute for Southeast Asian Archaeology . She was awarded the “Volunteer of the Year Award” for Penn Museum in 2017 in recognition of her outstanding contributions to Museum projects in Laos and Thailand. See article on Beth at

In 2007, Beth became Co-Director of Project MEOW of West Philadelphia, an animal welfare organization that humanely reduces the number of community cats in West Philadelphia using a method called Trap, Neuter & Return (TNR). She was committed to building a community-based, inclusive organization that served a diverse group of West Philadelphia cat caregivers and she achieved this. By the time she retired from Project MEOW in 2017, she had successfully built a network of cat caregivers that still exists (and treasures her) today.

Beth hosted many “homestay” students who came from countries around the world, including Japan, South Korea, and Saudi Arabia, to learn English at the University of Pennsylvania and Drexel University.  She patiently worked with each student to develop not only their proficiency in English but also in life skills.

Beth is survived by her mother Martha Van Horn, and siblings Barbara Rawlings, Jack Van Horn, Mary Lynn Hohman, and Sharon Van Horn, and as well as many nieces and nephews. Beth will also be deeply missed by her many friends, neighbors, and colleagues in Philadelphia and beyond. A memorial service is planned for the morning of June 2nd at 9:30 AM at Calvary Center for Culture and Community at 48th and Baltimore Avenue followed by a potluck porch brunch. In lieu of flowers, contributions to VITAS inpatient hospice in Philadelphia are suggested.

Phone: 215-543-9339