Veteran Feminists of America



We sadly report that Betty Newcomb, a former vice president and very active member of VFA for several years, died January 13, 2013 in Baltimore, of heart failure. She was 86 years old.

Betty, who was born and lived most of her life in Baltimore, had lived in Indiana with her husband, Bob and three sons for several years. There she cofounded the NOW chapter, was active on NOW’s national board and worked hard for all NOW issues like the ERA.  

In 1973 she founded the American Association for Affirmative Action (AAAA), an organization for directors of equal opportunity affirmative action programs that now numbers more than a thousand institutional members.

When she wasn’t working for VFA Betty was traveling to Paris, London, Madrid, Rome or New York City  to visit art museums  and  local feminists. About three years ago she lost her ability to speak and sadly, this Gemini woman, who loved to talk, was unable to communicate.

Betty and Bob, her husband, who passed on last year, had three sons and in later years, when they were retired, they  raised their granddaughter, Ming Lee, who is now in college.

Betty is survived by her sons, Blaine, Philip and Murray, three grandchildren, Nicolas, Arielle, and Ming-Lee.


A Memorial Service for Betty will be held Saturday, January 26 at the Stony Run Quaker Meeting House   5116 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21210  from 1 to 2 PM. Later reception 3 to 8 PM.

In lieu of flowers the family requests that donations be given to the Alzheimeer's Association ( ALZ.ORG)

To leave a message to the family : -

Hopefully, Betty’s work and influence will be recognized in history.  She’s left her influence on VFA, and her love and devotion to us cannot  be replaced.  VFA never received her bio, though we begged her to send it, so we will be  featuring her this month, in memorium. Jacqui Ceballos


Betty s son, Philip says: My mother did not seek the limelight, but she had major and lasting influence on our society. I seriously doubt Obama would be president without the AAAA taking off and assuring that Title 9 policies and procedures were implemented uniformly across colleges and university throughout the country.     She also had a major impact on national implementation of sexual harassment policy.  I think it was via the AAAA because Affirmative Action officers were involved in implementation of sexual harassment policies and procedures at Universities. 


Betty was a significant pathfinder for the Affirmative Action process that she had partially to invent, and for her leadership of the rest of us who were thrust into the administration of affirmative action in the face of disinformation and resistance, particularly among university faculty who believed themselves to be outside the pale of employment law.  Thank you Betty for that good fight…….Sheila Tobias, Co and Vice President, Veteran Feminists of America.


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