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Betty L. Fouch

June 6, 2008

Betty L. Fouch, a retired Western Michigan University staff member, died May 24. She was 86.

Fouch first worked at WMU from 1951 to 1953 as secretary to the chair of the Department of English, then returned from 1964 to 1970 to serve as secretary to the director of the Audiovisual Center.

She joined what was then Media Services in 1973, and retired in 1985 as coordinator of television traffic.

An active volunteer, Fouch received the Woman of the Year Award in 1981 from the University's Commission on the Status of Women, which she served for four years as treasurer. While at WMU, she also played a major role in establishing the Beth Schultz Swan Sanctuary at the Goldsworth Valley Pond in 1983.

In addition, Fouch was a consultant to the Association for Women Students, along with three other student groups; chaired the Handicapper Student Advisory Board; and trained blind and visually impaired students to use WMU equipment that turned printed material into spoken words.

Locally, Fouch founded the Coldwater Association for Retarded Children and Adults, as well as served as its first president. She also was a state board member of the Michigan Association for Emotionally Disturbed Children.

Fouch, who took classes while working full time and raising a family, earned a bachelor's degree from WMU in 1971. An avid book lover and writer, she chaired the Kalamazoo Poetry on Buses contest in 1979 and 1980 and had several of her works published.

Cremation has taken place, but friends will be assembling at a memorial gathering on Sunday, June 8, from 2 to 5 p.m. at the Portage home of Robert and Barbara Hahira. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Rose Arbor Hospice Program.

Media contact: Jeanne Baron, (269) 387-8400, jeanne.baron@wmich.edu

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