Elizabeth “Beth” Ingraham Doty, activist and retired Presbyterian minister (PCUSA), 79, passed away Thursday, May 27, 2021, at CarePartners Hospice in Asheville, N.C.
Beth was born April 6, 1942, in Hartford, Conn., to Stanley and Helen Ingraham of Bristol, Conn. She and her sister Edith grew up in Bristol, attending Patterson Elementary School and Bristol High School. The family moved to Laurinburg, N.C., in 1959. Beth attended Laurinburg High School for her senior year, where she graduated in 1960. She enrolled at the Woman’s College of the University of North Carolina (WC) in 1960. In 1964, she graduated from the Woman’s College (UNCG) with a degree in anthropology and sociology. While in college in Greensboro, N.C., she became involved with the Civil Rights movement, which defined much of her interest and concern over her remaining life. She felt committed to those who were marginalized in our society and in the world. Beth was an avid tennis player most of her life and loved all sports.
She has two sons, Arthur “Murphy” Doty, residing in Asheville, N.C., with his wife Amanda, and their children Emma, Ellie, Wylan, Luke and Kimsey; and Christopher Ingraham Doty, residing in Lexington, Ky., with his wife Laurie and their two children, Max and Brooklyn. Murphy and Chris’s father resides in Pompano Beach, Fla.
Beth previously lived in Chapel Hill, N.C., after graduation from college and worked at Duke Hospital. She also lived in Martinsville, Va., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Wilmington. She retired to Rehoboth Beach in 2007. While living in Chattanooga, she was active in the League of Women Voters, the NAACP, NOW, and numerous other organizations.
Beth spent many hours, while raising her two sons, volunteering, or working for nonprofits that were dedicated to the principles of peace and justice, and open and accessible government. In Wilmington, she worked for Common Cause of Delaware as an organizer and later became executive director.
An active member of the Presbyterian Church USA, as an elder, she experienced a call to ministry in the mid-1980s while attending the PCUSA General Assembly and graduated from Lancaster Theological Seminary with a master of divinity degree. Ordained in 1992 in New Castle Presbytery, she served four Presbyterian churches over the next 15 years in New Castle County and in Maryland. Near the end of her ministry, she founded a nonprofit ministry in a low-income community close to one of her churches.
In retirement, Beth moved to Rehoboth Beach, where she lived for 12 years with her partner, Merrijane Pierce, who passed away in 2016. In Sussex County, Beth was active in the Democratic Party. In 2012, she was elected as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. She was also actively involved in All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Rehoboth Beach. While in Rehoboth, she was president of the West Rehoboth Community Land Trust for several years and was active in Democratic politics at the state and county levels. In 2018, she moved to Asheville, to be closer to her oldest son Murphy and his family.
Beth is survived by her two sons, Murphy (Amanda) and Christopher (Laurie); her seven grandchildren, Emma, Ellie, Wylan, Luke, Kimsey, Max and Brooklyn; her sister, Edith Burge and her husband Robert Burge; her niece, Kristen and her husband Brian; her nephew Rob and partner Lisa. She was blessed to have many dear friends throughout her life.
A service of celebration will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 23, at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Rehoboth Beach. Her remains will be interred at St. George’s Chapel in Harbeson, immediately following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the following: West Rehoboth Community Land Trust; Meeting Ground in Elkton, Md.; All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Rehoboth Beach; New Hope Presbyterian Church in Asheville, N.C.; or, Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry.
The care of Ms. Doty has been entrusted to Wells Funeral Homes of Candler, N.C., and an online memorial register is available at Obituaries at www.wellsfuneralhome.com. Parsell Funeral Home in Lewes has also been entrusted for her interment.