Cover photo for Elizabeth Holst Tockman's Obituary

Elizabeth Holst Tockman

d. June 19, 2022


Elizabeth Holst Tockman


Elizabeth (Beth) Holst Tockman, J.D., 76, of Tampa, FL, formerly of Baltimore, MD and Sayre, PA, died on June 19th after a long battle with colon cancer. 


She is lovingly remembered for her love of family and friends, her personal integrity, keen intellect, wide-ranging curiosity, and commitment to tikkun olam, repairing the world. 


Born and raised in Sayre, PA, Beth graduated valedictorian of her high school and went on to receive her B.A. in International Studies from the School of International Service at American University in Washington, D.C. She continued her studies at the University of Chicago Law School on a full scholarship. Beth met her future husband, Dr. Melvyn (Mel) Tockman, during her last year of law school at a lecture by consumer advocate Ralph Nader. After graduation, Beth practiced law in Baltimore where Mel was completing his medical training.


Her focus during her legal career was on public service and civil rights, starting as a clerk for a state court judge, then working with the Maryland Commision on Human Relations on a grant from the EEOC to investigate workplace discrimination. Beth went on to work for various local and state public agencies doing civil rights and land use cases. She was most proud of her work improving the system for foster children, including increasing adoptions and supervising and training attorneys and social workers handling child abuse and neglect cases and guardianships of disabled adults. She later served in the Maryland Judiciary as General Equity Master with a full docket of non-jury cases and settlement conferences.


Beth was a devoted mother to son David and loving wife to husband Mel -- and enjoyed spending time with them and with her extended family (including her beloved cat Louis). She was able to draw on her background in international relations and love of languages during family trips and professional travels for Mel’s medical research studies while at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. They stayed in China, Israel, Italy, England and France visiting many others. In retirement, Beth continued to be a voracious reader, and was the Editor of the Village Voice, a monthly newsletter of their senior community at Unisen (formerly University Village) in Tampa. The family belongs to CongregationBeth Am in Tampa.   


Beth is survived by Mel, her husband of 51 years; son, David; stepbrother, William Holst (Laura); sister-in-law Jan Kernis; and brother-in-law Stu Tockman (Yolanda), and will be missed by them as well as by many other family and friends.


A private graveside service will be held on Wednesday, June 22nd at 11am.  Please see the Zoom link below for those wishing to join virtually.

Meeting ID: 813 874 3330

Passcode: SEGAL2022



Past Services

Graveside Service

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Hillsborough Memorial Gardens

2323 W Brandon Blvd, Brandon, FL 33511

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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Starts at 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Unisen Veranda Dining Room

12401 N 22nd St, Tampa, FL 33612

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Memorial Service

Friday, July 1, 2022

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Eastern time)

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