Elizabeth Marchant Terry, a prolific and talented magazine writer, died on December after a long battle with cancer. She was 45. Born March 7, 1962, in Santa Monica to English parents, Harold and Barbara Marchant, Elizabeth lived in Santa Monica Canyon before moving to Pacific Palisades. She attended Palisades Elementary until the age of 10, when she returned to England. Her childhood was divided between a 400-year-old house in England and the Palisades, where the Marchant family spent their summer holidays. At 18, Elizabeth enrolled at UCLA, where she earned degrees in languages and journalism. Upon graduation, one of her first assignments was an article on Patrick’s Roadhouse for the Palisadian-Post. Her versatile writing career subsequently took her on assignments all over the world: Paris, London, Australia, Wales (where she interviewed Anthony Hopkins) and Ireland (where she met and wrote about Paul Newman). In 1984, Elizabeth moved to Paris, working first for People magazine’s Paris bureau, then as an assistant to Maggi Nolan at the Celebrity Bulletin, which reported on famous people living in or visiting Paris. Elizabeth had the enviable ability to enter any social situation”from Fashion Week cocktails and gallery openings to dinner parties with French and English nobility”with grace and finesse, and was fluent in French, German and English. After relocating to Santa Monica in 1988, Elizabeth met James Terry, a talented actor and horticulturist. They married in 1991 on Catalina Island (James’ birthplace), and two years later relocated to London to be closer to Elizabeth’s mother, who was suffering from a long illness. Elizabeth joined Time-Life International as a freelance correspondent for People magazine, and she helped establish a European presence for its newly launched publication InStyle. She also covered Princess Diana’s post-Charles years. It was during this time in London that Elizabeth was diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer, which was successfully treated and put into remission. Soon after, Elizabeth accepted a position as West Coast editor for the online Web site of the French conglomerate LVMH. When the company pared down its editorial features (during the dot-com era), Elizabeth launched a successful freelance career, covering topics that interested and amused her: gardens, home d’cor, houses, travel, and interviewing celebrities. While in California, she worked for House and Garden and Vanity Fair in various capacities, and opened the West Coast bureau of The New Yorker. One of Elizabeth’s passions was trying to save the historic old houses of Santa Monica and Pacific Palisades. Another passion was focusing her fundraising talents for research on a little-known genetic condition called tuberous sclerosis, and she raised money in part by auctioning week-long stays at her family home in England. Ben Shapiro, a little boy she knew, bravely endured treatments for this illness. He inspired Elizabeth when she suffered through her endless cancer treatments. Despite regular check-ups, cancer re-entered her life painfully and unexpectedly as she returned from an assignment in Tahiti. She battled the illness for 10 years with patience, humor and optimism, while continuing to laugh, travel, work and help others. Elizabeth was working on a book with her husband titled ‘Gardening Angel,’ to be published by Harper Collins, San Francisco. The book aimed to describe her husband’s devotion and achievement in filling a small garden with organic cancer-fighting, anti-oxidant vegetables and herbs to help her fight cancer. She wrote an article for Oprah magazine on this subject, and James will finish ‘Gardening Angel’ based on her outline. Ultimately, after years of treatment at the City of Hope, Elizabeth serenely accepted her final assignment when she passed away at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center just before Christmas. In addition to her husband, James, Elizabeth is survived by her father, Harold Marchant; stepfather, Theodore (Ted) Braunholtz; brothers David Marchant and Michael Braunholtz; sister Ann Braunholtz; and her beloved Welsh Corgi, Stella. Elizabeth requested that donations in her memory be made in honor of her friend Benjamin Shapiro: The Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, 801 Roeder Rd., Silver Spring, MD 20920. Elizabeth will be truly and deeply missed by her ‘Auntie Peggy’ (Peggy Jago) of Pacific Palisades, a dear friend of her mother in England.
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