Eloise Liddicoat, 94


Eloise Duffy Liddicoat, who grew up as a motherless child during the Great Depression, became the stalwart mother of five in Clarkston and lived a life filled with adventure, good fortune and occasional tragedy, died August 29, 2020, at her home and with family in Ann Arbor.
She was 94.
A native of Rochester, N.Y., Mrs. Liddicoat at various times also lived in Keweenaw County, Mich., Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and London, England.
Her passions were many – preservation of culture and history, travel, the reproductive rights of women – paired with an authentic curiosity about the human condition and tempered by a lively sense of humor.
Yet her life was anchored by an unwavering devotion to her family.
Mrs. Liddicoat was born December 3, 1925, the second and unexpected child of Lee and Catherine Duffy of Churchville, N.Y. Her mother died before her sixth birthday.
In 1944, she enrolled at the University of Rochester, graduating three years later with honors in a WWII-accelerated program. It was there she met her first husband and the father or her children, John W. Bell, and with whom she moved to Ann Arbor when he enrolled in law school.
In 1955, they moved to Clarkston where she raised her children in an idyllic country setting, and where she became an energetic and early supporter of the Independence Township Library (now the Clarkston Independence District Library).
And she kept the family together, in slightly less idyllic circumstances, when her marriage ended. Seven years later, she connected with the true love of her life, a former Ann Arbor acquaintance and lifelong bachelor, William Liddicoat. They were married in 1972.
With Mr. Liddicoat, she lived for a decade in Saudi Arabia, where he worked as a geologist.
In retirement, the couple returned to Clarkston and Ann Arbor, and in the late 1980s, purchased a home in his family’s ancestral land in Keweenaw County. There, the Liddicoats became vigorous proponents for the historical preservation of Central Mine, a formerly thriving 19th century copper mining center turned ghost town.
Sadly, Mr. Liddicoat passed away in 1998, but his widow stayed on as Central Mine became a heritage site affiliated with the Keweenaw National Historical Park.
Her life was struck by tragedy again in 2004 when her youngest child, Nick Bell, also a resident of Central Mine, was killed in a cycling accident nearby.
A grandson, Richard Bell, of Clarkston, also died in 2013.
Beset by failing physical health but still mentally vigorous, Mrs. Liddicoat returned to Ann Arbor in her final years, once again becoming a supporter of local cultural heritage as a volunteer at the Kempf House.
She was intensely interested in the lives of other people, including the friends of her children, and made friends of her own wherever she went.
To her children, she was a self-made woman of great courage and wisdom, who ensured their physical and emotional security even when she didn’t have much of her own.
She will be forever missed by those left behind.
In addition to her youngest son, grandchild and late husband, Mrs. Liddicoat was predeceased by her parents, and sister Hazel Root, of Mumford, N.Y. She is survived by her children, Leslie (Kurt) Maslowski, of Ocala, Fla., Dawson (Connie) Bell, of Mason, Mich., Zac (Corena) Bell, of Clarkston, Hilary (Dave) White, of Holland, Ohio, Nick’s widow Theresa Rekawek, of Central Mine, ten grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
No services are planned at this time.
Those wishing to make memorial contributions in her honor may do so to the Keweenaw County Historical Society, Planned Parenthood or a charitable organization of choice.

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