Betty Van Newkirk, 1915-2016
A native of Buffalo, New York, Betty received her A.B. from Bryn Mawr in 1936 and her M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1941. She located to Frostburg in 1949 with her husband, Dr. William C. Van Newkirk, who came here to accept a teaching position at Frostburg State College.
Though she worked as a part-time county psychologist and later taught college freshman English, Betty had long had a passion for history and writing. Since 1992, Betty Van Newkirk has written over 750 columns on Frostburg history for the Cumberland Times-News entitled "Frostburg Express". She has also published several local history books on Frostburg entitled, Windows to the Past(1993), Kaleidoscope (2001), and In the Heart of Frostburg (2002), as well as a 1996 monograph entitled, "Frostburg State College: A Monument to Miners".
Betty Van Newkirk was a driving force in the restoration of Frostburg's Palace Theatre and the 1977 founding of the Frostburg Museum Association. Housed in the former Hill Street Elementary School, the Museum still benefits from Betty's curatorial and historical services.
The following is an excerpt from Betty's obituary as it appeared in the Cumberland Times-News, April 2, 2016:
"Her love of Frostburg was evident in her many civic engagements, serving on the Frostburg Historic District Commission, leading efforts to save the Palace Theater, and, beginning in the 1980's, as a volunteer curator at the Frostburg Museum. That position, and her love of local history, led her to writing a weekly column for the Cumberland Times, "From the Museum." Selections from her columns were published in two books: "Windows to the Past." (published 1993) and Kaleidoscope" (2001). She also wrote a third book, "In the Heart of Frostburg" (2002) a history of the city interpreted through the activities of the Lutheran pastors who have served the community for two centuries."
Text - Albert Feldstein, photograph - Trish Limbaugh
The photograph is from the Windows to the Past by Betty Van Newkirk, published by the Frostburg Museum Association, 1993 and is used with permission of Trish Limbaugh.
Allegany County (Md.)--Biography; Allegany County (Md.)--Women.
Allegany County, (Md.)