In Memoriam: Elizabeth “Libby” Prest, A beloved Wife, Mother, and Friend
Libby Prest, a cherished mother, grandmother, doubles partner and dear friend to many, peacefully passed away on June 4, 2023, at the age of 85. Born in November 1937 in Los Angeles, California, Libby later settled in Minneapolis at the age of eight.
Libby’s educational pursuits were driven by her unwavering passion for art and history. She graduated from Shattuck - St. Mary’s Hall in 1954, cultivating a deep appreciation for culture and knowledge. Continuing her studies, she earned a bachelor’s degree in art history from the University of Minnesota in 1959. During her time at the university, Libby’s creative spirit and dedication led her to become the first librarian at The Walker Art Museum in Minneapolis, leaving an indelible mark on the institution.
Libby’s zest for life propelled her to explore new activities. She spent the winter of 1957 working at Sun Valley Ski Resort, the first U.S. destination ski resort, where she developed her love of skiing and mingled with the likes of Warren Miller.
In October of 1960, Libby married James “Jim” Prest, embarking on a new chapter together. They settled in Duluth, Minnesota, where they purchased their forever home in Hunter’s Park. The grand house required extensive renovation, providing an opportunity for Libby to showcase her remarkable design talent and creative vision.
In the years that followed, Libby and Jim welcomed the joys of parenthood. They had two children, Will, and Elizabeth, “Lisbee”. Balancing her role as a mother with her passion for design, Libby established an interior design business, skillfully incorporating her love for art, style, and aesthetics into her work.
In 1972, Libby’s design prowess was on display as over 400 visitors toured their residence during the Jr. League Tour of Historic Homes of Duluth. The tour program praised Libby’s ability to create an interior that harmoniously blended light and airiness with the Victorian era, staying true to the period of the house. Her unique talent for fusing contemporary elements with Victorian charm made their home an inviting space for all. In the 1980s, she did interior design work for Governor Arnie Carlson on the Governors’ residence on Summit Avenue.
Libby loved cooking and all things Julia Child, traveling, alpine skiing, tennis, canoeing, and gardening. She and Jim were active members of the Red Flannels and The Old Fashions dance groups. She was passionate about dogs, especially her many beloved German Shepherds.
Known for her warm hospitality, Libby and Jim delighted in hosting gatherings, ranging from dinner parties and birthdays to social tennis events and luncheons. Libby’s genuine interest in others’ lives was evident as she engaged in meaningful conversations, displaying her remarkable ability to remember names and connect people, fostering new friendships and giving back to the community. Her volunteer work included The Union Gospel Mission, American Red Cross, Salvation Army, March of Dimes, Animal Allies, Girl Scouts, and Junior League. She served at all levels from the Board of Directors to standing in sub-zero temperatures ringing the bell for the Salvation Army. No task was too big or too small.
While her achievements in the design world and her love for and commitment to the Duluth community were noteworthy, Libby’s dedication to her family was her true strength. She provided unwavering support to her children, helping them navigate challenges and pursue their passions.
Following the passing of her beloved husband, Jim, in January 2023, Libby leaves behind a legacy of love and resilience. She is survived by her son, Will and his wife Karen along with their children Charlie and Mason, and her daughter, Lisbee and her husband Greg along with their daughters Caroline and Stephanie.
As we bid farewell to Libby Prest, we honor her as a devoted wife, mother, friend, and respected member of the community. Her vibrant spirit, faith, unwavering drive, and ability to touch the lives of those around her will be deeply missed.
A funeral service will be held at Lakeview Covenant Church in Duluth on June 24, 2023. Visitation will commence at 1:00 pm, followed by a celebration of life and a reception at the Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that donations be made to InnerCityTennis (www.innercitytennis.org/donate/) whose programming supports thousands of underserved kids and families annually through tennis or The Union Gospel Mission of Duluth (www.duluth-ugm.org/donate) in Libby’s honor, reflecting her passion for supporting meaningful causes.
Arrangements by Dougherty Funeral Home, 600 E 2nd St, Duluth, MN 55805, 218-727-3555. Please visit www.dfhduluth.com to sign the online guestbook.