Etiquette expert Elizabeth Post dies
Posted: Wednesday, April 28, 2010 8:02 pm
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) — Elizabeth Post, an etiquette expert known for writing books and magazine columns on manners, has died. She was 89.
Post died Saturday in the southwest Florida city of Naples, her family said. Post was the granddaughter-in-law of the country’s foremost etiquette expert, Emily Post. In 1965, five years after the elder Post died, Elizabeth took the helm of the Emily Post Institute in Burlington, Vt.
To Elizabeth Post, known by family and friends as “Libby,” good manners meant having a kind attitude toward everyone.
“Libby was very open minded, fair and flexible,” said daughter-in-law Peggy Post on Tuesday. “She was full of common sense and kindness. Not at all pretentious and not at all stuffy.”
Born in Englewood, N.J., in 1920, Post married William Goadby Post in 1944. He was the only grandchild of Emily Post, who wrote the seminal book “Emily Post’s Etiquette” in 1922.
Elizabeth Post became active in the family business in the 1960s, at a time when manners and social mores were becoming more relaxed.
“So much was changing,” said Peggy Post. “Libby kept that core message of etiquette going. Those principles of being respectful and considerate are important.”
Along with revising “Emily Post’s Etiquette” five times, Post also wrote several books of her own. Her wedding etiquette books were especially popular. She also wrote a column for Good Housekeeping magazine for 25 years.
About etiquette, Post maintained that it should not be something that is “restrictive or unpleasant.”
“Etiquette is meant to smooth the path between people to better relationships,” Elizabeth Post once said.
Peggy Post said that her mother-in-law was never appalled by the state of manners in recent years.
“She didn’t say, tsk tsk, at all,” said Peggy Post. She recognized that there’s always going to be rude situations. Most people don’t want to be rude. Most people do care about being kind and considerate. But because we’re such a rushed world, people get frustrated and there are a lot of sticky situations.”
Post retired from the Emily Post Institute in 1995, and with her husband, spent winters in Florida and summers in Vermont. The couple especially loved to fish together; Post once landed the largest tarpon caught by a woman in the United States.
Around the year 2000, Post and her husband made Naples their full-time home. Peggy Post called her mother-in-law a “really gifted artist,” who loved watercolor painting.
Published in The Messenger 4.28.10