ROCKPORT — Dr. Elizabeth “Betty” Eilers Killoran, wife of the late Dr. Paul Killoran, died peacefully at her home in Rockport surrounded by her six children on January 27, 2021, due to complications from bile duct cancer. She was 88.
Elizabeth Anne Eilers was born on July 7, 1932, in Washington D.C., the youngest of two daughters. Her father worked for the Federal government, and her mother had a job with the civil service. She grew up near Rock Creek Park and the National Zoo, where she developed an early appreciation for the outdoors and observing wildlife. Her experiences living through the Great Depression and World War II also left her with a lasting commitment to a global world view, political engagement, community, and practical thrift. Elizabeth’s intellectual curiosity was insatiable, and she excelled academically. She graduated salutatorian from Central High School in 1950 and obtained a history degree from Harvard (then Radcliffe college) in 1954. Elizabeth then switched to more scientific pursuits, graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1958. She completed her medical training to become an Endocrinologist, first with an intern year at Boston City Hospital followed by a residency in New York City at Columbia University affiliated hospitals including Bellevue Hospital. She obtained additional research and clinical training after residency at Weill Cornell College of Medicine and subsequently joined the faculty. Elizabeth was well respected as both a researcher and a clinician.
Elizabeth met her future husband, Dr. Paul Killoran, while a medical intern in Boston, introduced by mutual friends. At the time, both happened to be moving to New York City to continue their medical training. Betty and Paul shared many common interests, including classical music, especially opera, and sailing together on Long Island Sound. They were married on May 20, 1961. Their first child, Joseph, was born in 1966 and Katherine, soon followed in 1968. They decided to leave the big city for a more rural environment with a growing family, moving to Rockport, Maine later that same year. Peter joined the family in 1970.
With the arrival of triplets (Patrick, Timothy, and Christina) in 1973, Elizabeth largely retired from clinical medicine. She maintained her medical license by attending continuing medical education lectures at Pen Bay Medical Center, where she often listened attentively from the front row. She was an avid outdoor enthusiast and naturalist who enjoyed hiking, swimming, canoeing, kayaking, sailing, skiing, and skating, as well as birding. She and Paul were volunteers with the Coastal Mountain Land Trust and Megunticook Watershed Association. She traveled extensively with her family on hiking trips across Europe, America, Australia, and New Zealand. She was a lifelong supporter of Bay Chamber Concerts as well the Metropolitan Opera, and a regular attendee at the Met Opera simulcasts at the Strand Theater. She was always a tireless advocate for her children and a dedicated caregiver to her husband in his final years.
Elizabeth is survived by her six children and their spouses, as well as eight grandchildren. She will be missed dearly.
In lieu of flowers, donations in her memory can be made to the Coastal Mountain Land Trust, the Megunticook Watershed Association, and Bay Chamber Concerts.
Condolences may be shared with the Killoran family at www.longfuneralhomecamden.com.
Arrangements are with the Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, 9 Mountain Street, Camden.