A cherished daughter, granddaughter and goddaughter. Favorite niece and cousin. Incredible best friend, girlfriend, sponsee and sponsor are some of the titles she held. Elizabeth was a lot of things to a lot of people. An avid exercise buff, devoted sun worshiper and dedicated health and wellness coach who enjoyed living the Florida lifestyle. Always willing to help others.
Elizabeth Rose Olsen is the daughter of Mariann and Len O’Connor, founders of the 501(c)(3) Foundation bearing her name. Elizabeth died in July 2016 of accidental multiple drug intoxication. This concluded an eight year struggle with drug and alcohol addiction fraught with ups and downs; successes and failures; clean time and some hard running. She left an enormous void for her family and for her countless friends in the recovery community of Delray Beach, a place she loved, where she lived and worked for seven years. The place she often found serenity especially when she was helping others in her same frightening situation.
Just about everyone called her Liz—her friends called her Boston Liz because she grew up so close to the city in the town of Hingham, Massachusetts. But even after living in Florida for seven years she still talked with the endearing qualities of a Boston accent. It was “pissa” to live in Florida. When “evah” she talked she dropped the “r” at the end of her words. She liked to get “togetha” with her friends, usually at Stahbucks “afta” she “pahked” the “cah”. None of her pronunciations were “wee-id” at all! She was a “Bawston” girl and “wicked” proud of it.
And she was beautiful. So very beautiful. American beauty for young women is often defined as being fit, curvaceous and blonde with perfectly straight white teeth and an alluring smile. Liz was all that, and she worked hard at it, real hard. Liz was an avid exerciser and sun worshipper and she thrived while working as a Health and Wellness Coach for Herbalife. She was nothing you would picture when thinking of a drug addict. She hid all her pain inside behind her outwardly bubbly persona.
Always the fashionista, Liz took great pride in helping others look and feel their best. She was intelligent, caring and motivated with an infectious personality and was a reflection of a loving and supportive family. She was well known and well liked, even loved, by so many.
Liz’s lifeless body was found at home in bed with no outward signs of trauma or drug abuse on Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at 11:22 p.m.
Elizabeth was dead, and after six weeks of waiting her parents received the autopsy results confirming accidental multiple drug intoxication. A local television station reported on 19 February 2017 that there were over 500 deaths from opioid overdoses in Palm Beach County alone in 2016. According to a 22 September 2016 article from the Chicago Tribune, someone overdoses on heroin or other opioid drugs in South Florida every two hours. It noted that Delray Beach had 195 overdoses in 2015 and had at least 394 in 2016.
Liz and many others, several of whom were her friends, are included in that number.
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