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Covington’s Betsy Nowland-Curry, former executive director of Ky Commission on Women, dies at 63

Betsy Blythe Nowland-Curry, 63, a native of Covington and former executive of the Kentucky Commission on Women, passed away on Monday at the University of Kentucky Medical Center after a long battle with cancer.

After growing up in Covington, the daughter of Nancy Jane Dempsey and Clark Nowland, Nowland-Curry’s career led her on a productive and distinguished path.

She got her degree from the College of Social Work at the University of Kentucky.


She was a social worker at UK’s Chandler Hospital and Executive director of the YWCA, worked in the Governor’s office under Gov. Julian Carroll, was a development director at Transylvania University, development director to GRW Engineers Inc., sales manager at Cloud Concrete Products, executive director of Kentucky Women Leadership Network and of the IT department of Gov. Paul Patton’s office.

She was executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Women and at the same time executive director of the Kentucky Commission on Small Business Advocacy.

She played a role in establishing Women Leading Kentucky.

She had many highlights during her career but was very proud to have written the grant starting the Spouse Abuse Center in Lexington.

She was also very proud of the in-depth study she coordinated on the true state of women in Kentucky, said her husband, W. David Curry of Lexington. She presented this study to several other states and showed them how to collect and organize their data to make their own reports.

Throughout her career, she felt the need to help others. She was known and respected for her organizational abilities and skills.

She was an alumnus of Leadership Lexington and Leadership Kentucky.

In addition to her husband, she is survived by a stepdaughter, Julie Curry of Lexington.

She was a member of Saint Martha’s Episcopal Church.

Visitation will be Sunday from 2-5 p.m. at Milward Funeral Directors, 1509 Trent Blvd., Lexington.

A memorial service will be Monday, January 11 at 11 a.m. at Christ Church Cathedral in Lexington, followed immediately by a party to celebrate her life.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cedar Hill Retreat Center, 3416 Crooked Creek Road, Carlisle, Ky. 40311 or Hospice of the Bluegrass.

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