Obituary Notices and Memorials


MANNING , Elizabeth Ann Elizabeth Ann Coonan was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, on September 17, 1946. She was the daughter and second child of Helen G. Coonan and Captain Daniel J. Coonan, Jr. 'Betsy' traveled to Germany with her family when she was only two years old and lived in several German towns while she watched her father, a World War II bomber pilot, fly in the 'Berlin Airlift.' In 1951, the family returned to Massachusetts, and Betsy began the first grade at Talbot School in Billerica. By the time she moved to Bedford Ma., she was an accomplished dancer who could do the most perfect cartwheel anyone had seen. Betsys life blossomed when the family moved to Ellsworth Air Force Base, Rapid City S.D. Enrolled at St. John the Baptist Elementary School, Betsy spent four years becoming acclimated to the strict Catholic school system, making her transition to the parochial Cathedral High School across town a bit easier, but somewhat rocky, nonetheless. As soon as Douglas High School opened on the base, she transferred there for the last two years of high school, enjoying her time there and making many lifelong friends. It was with painful sadness, then, that another military transfer took Betsy away to Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash. She spent several years attending college and then switched to nurse training. Still dissatisfied with the career path she had chosen, she finally found her true calling as anairline 'hostess.' She attended and graduated from TWA training in Kansas City in 1966, and began a whirlwind string of adventures. Beginning her career as a Newark- based, domestic flight attendant, Betsy quickly advanced to holding flights to Europe. She met and married John Manning, a young medical doctor, and they moved to San Francisco where Betsy continued to fly internationally. She and John finally settled in Lancaster, Calif., where he established his own practice. Betsy contributed many hours to the development of the medical business and to the Lancaster community in general. When John and Betsy went their separate ways, Betsy finally completed the requirements for her Bachelors degree from Redlands University. She also tried her hand at flying as a student pilot. Betsy eventually became a realtor, selling numerous properties in the Antelope Valley until a deteriorating arthritic back condition interrupted her new career and led to a long struggle for recovery. Despite the extensive and painful therapy following two hip replacements, she never fully recovered. Betsy died on Christmas Day 2009. She is survived by her father, Colonel Daniel J. Coonan Jr. (USAF, Ret) of Santa Barbara, Calif., her sister, Patricia C. Colman of Goleta, Calif., and her brothers, Colonel Daniel J. Coonan III (USAF, Ret) of San Antonio, Texas, Stephen J. Coonan of Irvine, Calif., and Timothy J. Coonan of Escondido, Calif., as well as numerous nephews and nieces. A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m., Wednesday, December 30, 2009, at Joshua Memorial Park & Mortuary, 808 East Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster CA 93535, followed immediately by a graveside ceremony at the same location. Betsy lived her life with energy, enthusiasm, and a whole lot of class. She would light up a room whenever she entered, infecting all with her beautiful smile. Though she labored mightily against mounting odds, she never gave up the hope of full recovery. Betsy leaves a giant hole in our world. We will sorely miss her. -Her family.

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