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Elizabeth B Wauchope

April 1, 1921 ~ September 22, 2018 (age 97)

Elizabeth Wauchope (Betty) died at Lambeth House on September 22 at age 97. Betty was born in Raleigh, North Carolina. After graduation from high school she attended the Women’s College of UNC in Greensboro, NC for two years. She graduated from the University of NC at Chapel Hill where she was elected to the scholastic fraternity Phi Beta Kappa. She was also a charter member of the UNC chapter of the social sorority Alpha Delta Pi. She met her future husband, Robert Wauchope, as a student in his anthropology class at UNC Chapel Hill, and they were married in 1941. Betty came to New Orleans in 1942 when her husband was appointed to direct Tulane’s Middle American Research Institute and to build a Department of Anthropology. She learned typing and shorthand at Soule College and then worked for the James J. Reiss Candy Company before she and Bob left for Washington, D.C. in 1943. During World War II, Mrs. Wauchope was employed for a year as a secretary for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C. Her husband attended Naval Indoctrination School and trained for service in OSS, Office of Strategic Services. When Bob went overseas in 1944, Betty lived with her parents in Raleigh until the end of the war in 1945. She and Bob returned to New Orleans in 1946.
Mrs. Wauchope in her early years was active with the Audubon PTA, Tulane University Women’s Association, the First Unitarian Church, and the Independent Women’s Organization, a political activist group, in which she served as president for two years. After her husband’s death in 1979, she volunteered for several years at the Lighthouse for the Blind typing books into their computer braille system. In her later years she derived her greatest pleasure as an amateur musician playing recorders and early stringed instruments with friends and with the New Orleans Early Music Society. She performed with the early music group Musica da Camera for 12 years. She and three friends played together for more than ten years as “The Before Bach Ensemble", but informally they called themselves “SWAB” based on their last name initials: Smith (Helen), Wauchope (Betty), Anex (Gretchen), and Blanchard (Vicky). "The Swab Sisters" later added Barbara Hyland of El Paso to the group. They met weekly to play for fun, and also enjoyed playing for parties, weddings, memorial services, and Madrigal Dinners at the University of New Orleans. She was also a member of "Cadenzas”, a group of women who played various instruments or sang for each other at monthly meetings. Betty also loved traveling, both abroad with friends, and in the U.S with her children, especially to the National Parks. Mrs. Wauchope was preceded in death by her parents, sister Mary, brother Kenneth, her husband Robert Wauchope, and her son Kenneth who died in 2005. She is survived by her daughter Betsy of New Orleans. Those wishing to make donations in her memory may give to their charity of choice or to the Lambeth House Foundation, 150 Broadway. Arrangements by Tharp-Sontheimer-Tharp, 1600 N. Causeway Blvd. Information 504-835-2341. Condolences may be expressed online at

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