Elizabeth Ann Szczepanski-Bohman
Elizabeth was known by many nicknames-- Liz, Beth, and Shorty. She had many accomplishments in her brief but rich life. While growing up, she was very active with 4-H, attending as many horse shows as possible. During this time of her life, she strived and devoted herself to being the best horsewomen she could be. Many accomplishments came with her dedication. She was a member of NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) competing Tradition of Virginia. She competed and showed at Congress in Columbus Ohio; she was also a member of Northern Ohio Cora. These only begin to mention the many vast accomplishments she achieved while growing up in Grafton and attending Midview High School from which she graduated in 2001.
With a passion for horses and all animals, her plan was to continue her education in the field of animal science. It did not take long for her to focus on what she later became to believe was “the best damn school in the Land.” and that was OSU. She prepared for the next step in her life’s plan by attending LCCC for one year (2001-2002,) taking some pre-requisites for her future. Not only was she preparing and making plans to attend OSU, she was busy with her passion of riding, and trying to find a way to take her then-best friend Biscuit to OSU with her. (For those who didn’t know Biscuit, she was her reining horse and they were completely bonded.) When the time came to attend OSU, she left home, eager to begin her studies and begin a new chapter in her life. Plans were to have Biscuit taken to OSU; Her studies were going well, and life was good. Beth was so happy that her plan was progressing, and things could not get any better for her.
Her new life began as she left Grafton and the comforts of home. She left her two little sisters Katie and Emily to care for her dog Hooch, and continue barn duty for the horses and kittens. After being away at school and adjusting to her new life, there was an amazing and magical moment where she became smitten. Tom Bohman entered her life. Everyone who knew her soon learned of Tom. This was a love story getting ready to bloom. With not so many trips back to Grafton and more time spent on campus, she and Tom were building what would later become a beautiful union between two OSU sweethearts. Education continued, for both Tom and Liz. They were making plans a little different from their earlier plans for the future. Graduation time came and busy plans for a wedding were taking place.
On August 26th 2006, there was a magical beautiful union between Tom Bohman and Elizabeth Szczepanski. They exchanged vows at North Eaton Church of Christ. During a very unique wedding, they had significant symbols of OSU-- the couple was giddy in love. Family members and friends felt blessed to witness this marriage. The happy couple left for a honeymoon to begin their new lives as Mr. and Mrs. Tom Bohman. (At this time another accomplishment for Liz was to be the best wife anyone could have.)
During preparation for her wedding, Liz had developed an on-going cough, thought at that time to be allergies. Upon returning from the honeymoon, Liz continued her cough and returned to the doctor. Some x-rays and test were scheduled, during this time as Mr. & Mrs. Bohman were beginning new jobs and preparing their home for the next step in their lives. Liz was also accomplishing another item. She was convincing her Babe, as she so affectionately called Tom, to allow her to rescue a puppy-- just a baby boxer that she later named Pearl.
Unfortunately, later in 2006, Liz received word that the tests relating to her cough were conclusive and she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Here was Liz situation--she was Mrs. Tom Bohman, educated at a great school, having landed a perfect job, and now the proud aunt of Camden, born in September, who was to become her best little buddy and the warm smile she needed . In the face of her illness, Liz and Tom and the physicans opted for her to have a stem cell transplant. Following this, there were many days for Liz of loss of energy, but she knew she had a battle to fight, and she was not giving up. She researched everything she could get her hands on about her diagnosis. She asked questions and read much medical literature. Through every moment of her battle, Tom supported her in every way necessary. Often a hug or just holding her hand gave her strength to continue her fight. Liz and her cousin started what they hope will become a foundation for Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.
In 2007, a benefit took place under the name “kickin’ the cancer blues.” Liz was unable to attend the activity because she was hospitalized for transplantation. The benefit was a great success, and it became something Liz was working hard at trying to establish for the help of other cancer patients, as well. Together Liz and her cousin Kristine have been creating a web site appropriately named by Liz called kickinthecancerblues.net. This idea came to the cousins from Liz slogan of “Kick Cancer’s Ass.” Following the transplant, Liz returned home about a month later. In addition to her greatest supporter of all, Tom, many family members and friends helped her to regain her strength .After awhile she was feeling better and looking better even without her hair. This was her statement of who she was.
As Liz felt she was getting stronger, she and Tom made plans. They worked and traveled, when they could, enjoying each moment they had together. Life seemed to be going well, and as Liz felt stronger, they starting looking for a house. Tom agreed to most of her wants, sometimes giving her a hard time in a playful way, but almost always knowing her smile and personality would win. They looked at homes to purchase and, they discussed what would be the best location. Liz decided to become a Mary Kay consultant during this time to keep busy. All seemed to be progressing well. In 2009 they were house hunting and becoming excited about the future. Then Liz’s cough returned. She was aware of how she was feeling, and tried to be aggressive through positive thought and medication to improve her health.
On Sunday, August 2, 2009, Tom took Liz to Riverside Methodist Hospital ER. She was weak and needed fluids, so the hospital staff decided to admit her. On Monday, Beth and Tom agreed to a routine procedure for Tuesday that would be an intervention to help ease her discomfort. Unfortunately, this routine procedure could not take place and complications occurred. Our dear Elizabeth, and Tom’s best friend and love lost her battle with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma on Thursday August 6th 2009.
She will always be remembered by anyone she touched, and loved by all who knew her. She will be sadly missed by her parents Jon & Cindy Szczepanski, her sisters Katie and Emily, and by the little smile that gave her warmth-- her nephew Camden. She has such a large family of relatives and friends- too many to list. She will be missed by all.
Tom you are special, in so many ways. You need to know, and we are sure you do, she loved every moment, every second she ever spent with you. She had no problem saying “Do not call or do not come over because my “Babe” and I are just going to cuddle.” She had no problem only sharing OSU football games with you and you alone. You are her number one man and very special “Babe.” Your love for Liz was never hidden, and from happiness to sadness, you showed your everlasting love. We will be family forever-- no matter what the future holds, because in our hearts we will carry Liz forever. Remembering her words--the song at your wedding “my little babe and his beauty” expressed with an open heart her love for you. Not only did Liz have many accomplishments, you, our dear son had many too! The most important one you had was to become a man of many hats: husband, friend, lover, and caregiver and for that, we will love you forever.
To learn more about Liz please click here.