Cover photo for Elizabeth "Betsy" Peake McKean's Obituary
Elizabeth "Betsy" Peake McKean Profile Photo

Elizabeth "Betsy" Peake McKean

d. May 8, 2024

Elizabeth “Betsy” Grey Peake McKean, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and devoted friend, passed away on May 8, 2024, surrounded by family and friends. Besty was a true southern lady. Gracious, kind, engaging, and hospitable, she will be truly missed by her family and friends.


Born on May 9, 1940, in Mobile, Alabama, Betsy was the oldest of the three children of Sara Elizabeth (Tib) Cottrell Peake and John Day Peake, MD, the first radiation oncologist in Mobile. She attended Julius T. Wright School for Girls, graduating in 1959, and attended Mississippi College for Women.


Upon returning to Mobile, she met George McKean on a blind date, asked him to be her knight in the MCA Court of 1961, and the rest, as they say, is history. They married on October 26, 1963.


The young couple built a home on the Eastern Shore where they raised their two children, Tibbe and George. Their friends joked that they would never see Betsy since she lived “so far away.” Not only did Betsy never lose touch with her friends in Mobile, she formed many new lifelong friendships. The ladies of her sewing club, affectionately called “stitch and stuff”, were among some of her closest friends. They began gathering as young moms to smock clothes for their children, and as the children grew up, replaced sewing with leisurely luncheons and occasionally traveling together. Betsy continued to meet for “stitchin” with her sewing group until her death.


Betsy was well-known and much beloved for her genial, kind hearted, and festive nature. Entertaining and planning social events were among her great joys. She was an accomplished and gifted cook and devoted much time and energy into preparing sumptuous dishes and meals for family and friends. She had a passion for flowers and an exceptional talent for flower arranging which she never hesitated to share.


Betsy enjoyed traveling abroad and was always eager to embark on a new adventure. Being an antiques enthusiast, when at home, she enjoyed working at Crown & Colony in Fairhope to indulge her love of antiques and share her knowledge with others.


Betsy was a member and enthusiastic contributor to numerous organizations throughout her lifetime, including the Junior League of Mobile, the National Society of Colonial Dames, and several mystic societies.


Betsy will always be remembered for her unwavering love and devotion to her family and friends, her grace, her love of beauty, and her gentle good nature. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, George H. McKean, their two children, Sara Elizabeth (Tibbe) McKean Neal (Ralph) and George H. McKean, Jr. (Anderson), three grandchildren, George H. McKean, III, Madelyn Hays McKean, and Jack Anderson McKean, her sister, Mary Day Dumas (William), her brother, John Day Peake (Mary Lou), and several nieces and nephews.


The family wishes to express their heartfelt gratitude to Betsy’s caregivers, Caudriel (Tootie) Spelton, Elizabeth (Libby) Franklin, Josephine Prim, and Penny Tyus. Your kindness, love, care, and dedication to Betsy will always be remembered and sincerely appreciated.


A Celebration of Life will be held at St. James Episcopal Church in Fairhope, Alabama, on Monday, May 13, 2024, at 10:00 a.m. Contributions in memory of Betsy McKean may be made to St. James Episcopal Church, Fairhope, Alabama, Thomas Hospital Foundation, Fairhope, Alabama, or to the charity of your choice.






19698 GREENO RD.

FAIRHOPE, AL 36532 To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Elizabeth "Betsy" Peake McKean, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Monday, May 13, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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