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Former F.C. Mayor Betty Blystone, Dedicated Civic Activist, Dies

BETTY BLYSTONE (Courtesy Photo)

Former City of Falls Church Mayor Betty Blystone died on Aug. 8, according to her daughter Debbie.

Blystone was one of the most effective civic leaders in the City for more than 20 years, beginning with 12 years’ service on the School Board from 1971 – 1983 and six years on the City Council from 1984 – 1990, including two years as mayor from 1988 – 1990.

She also served as president of the Citizens for a Better City (CBC) from 1991 – 1993 and again from 2003 – 2004 and was a 50-year member of the F.C. League of Women Voters, honored as the recipient of the Matty Gundry Award by the F.C. Commission for Women, of the Carol V. Shreve Award for Meritorious Humanitarian Service by the F.C. Chamber of Commerce and of the Jane and Wayne Dexter Award for excellent service from the CBC.

Blystone and her colleagues in the leadership of the City in the 1970s and 1980s, including former four-term mayor Carol DeLong, guided the City through many challenges in that era to firmly establish excellence in governing and policy making as an ongoing legacy for the City, including with key infrastructure improvements and a campaign to combat the decline in the City’s population during the 1980s.

Sally Eckfelt of the CBC stated that Blystone was “a leading light in our community, one of the ‘greatest generation’ and one of our most admired.”

Falls Church City Councilman Phil Duncan offered the following tribute to Blystone:

“The Falls Church we know and love today is built on a foundation laid with vision and care by “Greatest Generation” leaders such as Betty Blystone, who died Saturday. Betty was a model public servant: deeply knowledgeable about the City; a keen sense of where we should go as a community; a steady hand and calm presence in turbulent times; and a fun person to sit down with and dish about politics and people. Goodbye, “BettyB,” you will be missed.”