Elizabeth ‘Babeth’ Soubiran Lancer
Feb. 25, 1920 to Feb. 8, 2018
Elizabeth (also known as Babeth) was a loving daughter, mother, grandmother and sister, as well as a caring and supportive friend. She freely gave of her time and talents to help those in need. She always had a sense of adventure. She firmly believed that when life hands you lemons, make lemonade.
She was born at Walter Reed General Hospital to Robert and Anne-Marie Soubiran on February 25th, 1920. Her parents moved to France when she was a baby and returned to the U.S. when she was 12, along with sisters Rosemary and Jacqueline. The family settled in Baldwin, Long Island, where she fell in love with Jones Beach. She graduated from Baldwin High School and earned a scholarship to the New York University School of Commerce.
After leaving school, she worked for the Intercontinent Corporation in New York City. She was fluent in French and Spanish and from 1943 to 1944, as a Junior Translator with the U.S. Army Morale Services Division, she worked on a French-English English-French military dictionary and French language phrase book (transposed into a special phonetic language) for use by U. S. Armed Forces personnel overseas.
She loved the outdoors (volunteering to rake leaves or shovel snow for friends), skiing, playing tennis and dancing. She was an expert cook and avid gardener. She travelled widely from Alaska (where she went white water rafting) to Australia and from the Galapagos and Machu Pichu to China and Russia as well as many, many other places in the US and abroad. In her later years, besides regular trips to Bermuda to see her daughter and her family, she travelled with them to England, where she saw Stonehenge, and to Iceland.
Elizabeth was always learning new skills. In the mid 1960s, she learned Cobol and Fortran programming as well as data processing systems. In her 50s, she took an ”All About Owls” course and had her first overnight camping adventure.
She was proud of her long career with the Federal Government. Her job took her to Japan in 1958 to 1963. While there, she served as President of the Yokohama International Women’s Club which sponsored Japanese students who wished to study abroad and oversaw projects for various Japanese welfare institutions including building a retaining wall for one of them. In 1981 she served as a Loaned Executive with the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area.
She was a volunteer with the Washington National Cathedral Literacy Program for over 10 years. In 1998, D.C. LEARNs presented her with their Adult Literacy Volunteer Award. The following year, The Questers Incorporated presented her with their Distinguished Community Service Award in recognition of “exemplary volunteerism and commitment to youth literacy.”
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 3513 N St NW, Washington, DC 20007on Tuesday, February 20 at 10:30 AM. Interment will immediately follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery.