Flanagan, Elizabeth Anne

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Elizabeth Anne “Betsy” Flanagan, 68, of Blacksburg, VA, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, February 16, 2021 at her home in the Catawba Valley. She was born in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania to the late Thomas and Julia D. Flanagan. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, H. Michael Mitchell and their beloved Great Danes, Hunter, Scarlett, Beauregard, and Rufus.

Betsy was an avid learner throughout her lifetime and was a proud member of the Monongahela Valley Catholic High School class of 1970. She continued her education at Bethany College, earning her bachelor’s degree, with magna cum laude distinction in Spanish. She also earned her M. S.W. in Social Work/Gerontology from West Virginia University, and her Ph.D. in Higher Education with minors in law and graduate business from the University of Virginia. An educator, she always made time to mentor young professionals at all stages of her career.

Betsy served as Vice President in Personal Trust at SunTrust Bank in Richmond, VA, Assistant Vice President for Development and Director of Individual and Major Planned Gifts for the University of Virginia, and retired as Vice President for Development and University Relations at Virginia Tech, standing at the helm of the university’s first successful $1B fundraising campaign.
Accomplished, compassionate, altruistic, undaunted and fun, Betsy would help anyone and worked to leave things better than she found them. She ran marathons and loved travel, good wine, dancing, music, art, dogs, and had the most profound understanding of the power of relationships.

She leaves to celebrate her amazing legacy her village, Angela Hayes, Lee Rundquist, Andre and Erran Smith, Luca and Patty Paschina, Beth Geraghty, Karen Wells, Julie Farmer, Kelly Mulroney, Theresa Norton, and Norman Blanchard; mother-in-law Mrs. Mildred G. Mitchell; devoted niece, Nyasi Kelley; special cousins Tommy Flanagan, Rosie Fiorill, and Katie Flanagan; mentor, Dr. Annette Gibbs; neighborhood mother Mrs. Genevieve Ward; and a host of cousins, colleagues, friends, mentees, and members of the Hokie Nation who enriched her life. We offer our thanks to Dr. Benjamin Purow and his team at UVA for nearly 14 years of support, and the nurturing care she received in Blacksburg, allowing her to remain safe and happy at home.

Services are entrusted to McCoy Funeral Home in Blacksburg, VA and will be held privately. Betsy will be laid to rest in Belle Vernon, PA. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Virginia Tech Foundation, Inc. for the Betsy Flanagan Women in Leadership and Philanthropy Endowed Lecture Fund, 902 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24060 or to the Purow Laboratory/UVA Neuro-Oncology Fund c/o Erica Cook and Norman Tillman, UVA Division of Neuro-Oncology West Complex, 1215 Lee Street, Charlottesville, VA 22908.