Remembering Betsy Cooley
1945 – 2018
Betsy McGregor Cooley, a Washington artist who served as Executive Director of the Georgetown Citizens Association from 2002 until her retirement in 2016, died peacefully at her home on April 25. She was 73. The cause was brain cancer.
Betsy was born in Indiana, Pennsylvania, the daughter of Jane and Paul McGregor. She graduated from Chatham College in 1966, after which she worked at the Peace Corps central office in Washington, DC. In 1968, she taught English at Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, and returned home to earn a Masters Degree in Counseling at the University of Maryland in 1971.
Betsy helped launch the Federal Women's Program for the Civil Service Commission in the early 1970's. She continued her work on women's issues with Wider Opportunities for Women, a non-profit organization. In 1982, she established a fabric design business, Brushworks, creating tabletop linens for high-end boutiques throughout the United States.
In 2002, Betsy became Executive Director of the Citizens Association of Georgetown, expanding the scope of the organization’s events and initiatives.
Betsy Cooley was a skilled artist and exhibited her Plein Air works at the Yellow Barn Studio and Gallery in Glen Echo, Maryland.
She is survived by two daughters, Alison Hall Cooley of Easton, Maryland and Meredith McGregor Cooley, of Exeter, New Hampshire, and three grandchildren, Finley Simons, Gustav Mertz and Giselle (Gigi) Mertz. She is also survived by her sisters, Judy McGregor Bollinger of Alexandria, Virginia and Naples, Florida and Kathryn McGregor of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
A memorial celebration of Betsy's life will be held at 2 p.m. on June 23rd at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Georgetown. Please join us in wearing Betsy’s favorite colors, lime, and coral, to celebrate her shining spirit.
The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be sent to the Betsy McGregor Cooley ‘66 Memorial Scholarship Fund, Office of Advancement, Chatham University, Woodland Road, Pittsburgh PA, 15232.