Hurst ‘helped people of Blair County’

A familiar face will be missing when Operation Our Town’s seventh annual golf tournament tees off Tuesday at Park Hills Golf Club.

Elizabeth K. “Betsy” Hurst, 69, Hollidaysburg, died Monday at her residence after an extended illness.

“She did a lot of work on our golf tournament. She will be missed. That was her baby,” said Randy Feathers, OOT board member and chairman of the golf tournament. “She was always passionate about the community and Operation Our Town. Operation Our Town would not be what it is without her input and dedication. She was a very loving and compassionate person. She was very involved in community events.”

Operation Our Town will honor Hurst, a member of the OOT steering committee, at the golf tournament for her service to Operation Our Town and the golf tournament, said Shawna Hoover, executive coordinator.

For many years, Hurst served as executive director of the Blair County Respiratory Disease Society.

After she retired, she became involved with Operation Our Town.

“She came to me and said she wanted to get involved with Operation Our Town. What a perfect fit. Shawna was young and green coming in, and Betsy took her under her wing and provided guidance. She was there all the time.

She was also involved with the Marty Bennetti fundraiser at Bishop Guilfoyle,” said Michael Fiore, OOT president.

“She was my go-to girl,” Fiore said. “She was dear to my heart and was one of the people if you needed something done, she would get it done. She was kind, gentle-hearted, she looked out for the community. She was passionate about giving back. She was a true friend.”

“She had a big heart and loved to help people. She was like a mentor to me; she always kept in touch with me,” Hoover said.

Dr. George Zlupko, founder of Altoona Lung Specialists and the Lung Disease Center of Central Pennsylvania, and former Blair County commissioner and OOT steering committee member Donna Gority knew Hurst through her work.

“Betsy was always pleasant. She really helped the people of Blair County,” Zlupko said. “I worked with her for many years. I was privileged to work with her. It will be a personal loss for me and others who were touched by her life. She was a great person.”

“She served a very important role in the community educating people about asthma, lung diseases, SIDS,” Gority said. “She was very giving of herself, very bright, enthusiastic, dedicated to the community and very positive to be around.”

Dana Thompson said Hurst was a close personal friend.

“I worked with her on various nonprofit committees,” Thompson said. “I am heartbroken. Betsy was a kind-hearted, loving person. She dedicated her life to our community. She had a wonderful family and surrounded herself with amazing friends.”

Arrangements are by Plank, Stitt & Stevens Funeral Home, 421 Montgomery St., Hollidaysburg.

Mirror Staff Writer Walt Frank is at 946-7467.

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