Florence “Betsy” Burian passed away on January 16th, 2024. She was born to parents Evelyn Johnson and Ronald Nolan on August 18, 1947 in Philadelphia, PA. She graduated from North Penn High School in Lansdale, PA, and went on to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in English with an emphasis in Secondary Education from West Chester University.
Betsy held a number of prominent positions during her professional career, including Executive Director of the Bowie Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director of the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Prince George’s County, Bowie City Councilwoman, Deputy Secretary for the Maryland Department of Planning, Executive Director of the Dimensions Healthcare System, and President and CEO of the Charles County Chamber of Commerce. Betsy was named “Bowie Woman of the Decade” for the 1980s as a result of her unparalleled contributions to the community, and was an avid volunteer for the entirety of her life.
Betsy broke barriers. She was a woman in charge when it wasn’t commonplace. She served as a mentor to countless professionals, helping them to reach levels of achievement they may not have otherwise reached without her guiding hand. This continued until her final days, as she held regular mentoring sessions with aspiring businesswomen looking to make their mark.
In addition to her tremendous professional and community pursuits, Betsy was an exceptionally accomplished musician. She was a fantastic flutist and pianist, performing regularly on both instruments, including decades of accompanying area students (including her grandchildren!) on piano for solo and ensemble festivals and recitals. She was the accompanist for her church choir for many years and was an active musician well into the later years of her life.
Betsy was incredibly devoted to her family and friends. Forever your biggest cheerleader, Betsy could be found on the sidelines and in the audience for every important sporting event, concert, or professional achievement in the lives of her loved ones. She had a knack for lifting you up even if you didn’t know you needed lifting. She was present, engaged, and had your back – no matter what.
Betsy is survived by her children, Missy and Doug, her daughter-in-law, Medessa, her grandchildren, Ella and Gabi, and her brother, Ken, and his children, Ronnie and Amanda.
A celebration of life will be held on Sunday, January 28th, at 2pm at the United Parish of Bowie (2515 Mitchellville Road, Bowie, MD 20716). In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Betsy’s honor to the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Prince George’s County (https://donate.givedirect.org/?cid=4450&n=639297).