WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. - Elizabeth Louise Ghaffari, a former White Plains resident, died Oct. 26. She was 89.
She was born in Weston, Idaho on Dec. 5, 1923, the second daughter of Franklin S. Lindholm and Louisa Lewis.
She grew up in Logan, Utah with her older sister, Ellen. She attended Utah State University in Logan during the Second World War, and spread her wings for a semester abroad at the University of Zurich in Switzerland. After switching from an art major, she graduated in 1945 with an honors degree in English and was listed in Who’s Who in Colleges and Universities.
She then began a long career as a language professional. She taught English at Logan High School for a year; then taught grammar, composition, and literature at Utah State for four years and at University of Pennsylvania for two years, where she also did graduate study.
At USU she met and fell in love with Abbas Ghaffari, one of a group of students from Iran. She taught English at University of Tehran, served as staff writer and editor at the Iran-American Technical Cooperation Administration, wrote an English language textbook for the Ministry of Education that was widely used in Iranian public and private schools until the revolution, and gave birth to their first son, Kameron.
The family moved back to the States—first to Long Beach, California, where their second son, John, was born, and then to While Plains in 1961, where they welcomed their third son, Kevin. Abbas took a position as the American Representative of the National Iranian Oil Company in New York City, where he worked until the Iranian Revolution in 1979. This enabled the family to visit for months at a time in Iran and travel in Europe. During this time, Betty was a homemaker, diplomatic wife and hostess, and a wonderful mother to their three sons.
The couple were divorced in 1976, and she resumed her professional life as Elizabeth Ghaffari. She carved out a successful second career as a New York editor. She started out at Reader’s Digest Educational Division and then took over as supervising editor of the newly-formed, trailblazing Software Division in 1982, quickly becoming computer literate at the age of 60. Her editing career continued through the 1990s and included positions with Ladies Home Journal Books Division, Children’s Television Workshop, Westchester Business Journals, Doubleday, Viking Press, and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers. She also served as editorial consultant to several authors. After retirement she moved from White Plains to Westerly, Rhode Island in 2004 to be near her son Kam and his family. Elizabeth leaves behind her son Kameron E. Ghaffari and his life companion Susan Hurley of East Lyme, Connecticut; her son John S. Ghaffari and his wife Mahvash of Round Hill, Virginia; and her son Kevin F. Ghaffari of Baltimore, Maryland. She is also survived by her grandson Conor Ghaffari of Rhode Island; her three granddaughters, Aliza Ghaffari of Michigan and Shahrzad and Shahdin Ghaffari of Round Hill, Virginia; and her two former daughters-in-law, Deirdre O’Connor and Beth Avery. She was predeceased by her parents and her sister, Ellen, who died in 1958.
A family memorial celebration of her life is planned for a future date. Any communications with the family can be sent to her son Kameron, at 5 Upper Pattagansett Rd., East Lyme, CT 06333, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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