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Obituary: Betty L. Blando '60

Born Aug. 28, 1937, Betty Lee ""Boo"" Dembufsky Blando, 73, died June 17, 2011, at Harrisburg Hospital in New Cumberland, PA, from complications of acute leukemia after a courageous nine-week battle. She was surrounded by medical staffers and her husband of nearly 47 years, William, and sister-in-law, Angeline Culfogienis of Baltimore, Md.

Betty was born Aug. 28, 1937 in Goshen to Howard and Libby Dembufsky, who preceded her in death. She graduated from Chandler Elementary School in Goshen and Goshen High School in 1955 as the class salutatorian. She began her professional career by working summers with her hometown newspaper, the Goshen News, while in high school.

An alumna of Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, class of 1960, she worked in public relations in the New York and San Francisco areas for a couple of years before moving east and finding work at an upstate New York state bi-weekly, The Rockland Independent, where she met her husband-to-be, Bill. They wed in 1964 and moved to Milton, Pa.

She was employed as the assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, her very favorite job. In 1967, the couple relocated to Albany, N.Y., and Betty accepted a similar position at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. Two years later she added to her Bachelor's in business degree with a Master's in education from Albany State University.

Betty held several administrative assistant posts during the couple's 1970-77 stay in Bridgeport, Conn., before relocating to New Cumberland in April 1977 and accepting consecutive administrative assistant positions at the one-time TRW plant, Black and Decker and the state of Pennsylvania. She also served as a volunteer in soliciting funds for various charities. But her most satisfying sideline was as a hospice volunteer for PinnacleHealth Hospice, putting in more than 20 years.

In addition to her husband and sister-in-law, Betty is survived by her nephews, Steve Culfogienis (and his wife, Teri, daughter, Erin, and son, Ryan); and James Culfogienis (and his wife, Ket, and son, Dylan). ""Curious and intelligent,"" described a former Goshen classmate, ""and liked by everyone she ever came in contact with. Everybody liked her."" Part of her charm was a warm, engaging smile, bright brown eyes and a delightful laugh that was distinctly Betty's - traits that served her well in college, the workplace, in social situations and even as a patient during the final two-month ordeal of her life.

Originally a dog lover, she later switched to cats. Coming from Indiana, Betty was a college basketball fan, but her most memorable game was witnessing tiny Milan High School win the Indiana State Championship in a classic David-versus-Goliath outcome that formed the basis of the movie ""Hoosiers."" A voracious reader of fiction and nonfiction, she also enjoyed politics, classical music and Broadway and local theater.

Funeral services will be held Thursday from Musselman Funeral Home and Cremation Services, Inc., 324 Hummel Ave., Lemoyne, Pa., with visitation from 9 to 11 a.m. with services to follow. Internment will be at the Tri-County Memorial Gardens, Lewisberry. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the PinnacleHealth Hospice, 3705 Elmwood Drive, Harrisburg, 17110; Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, 800 Corporate Circle, Harrisbury, 17110; the New Cumberland Public Library, 1 Benjamin Plaza, New Cumberland, 17070; or any worthy charity.