Visitation at Main Service
Obituary of Betsy Aswad
Betsy Becker Aswad, novelist, professor, wife of Richard and mother of Kristin and Jem, passed away in Johnson City, New York on July 24. She was 79. Betsy was born in Binghamton in 1939 to Jane and George Becker, grew up on the West Side and graduated from Binghamton Central High School. She received her B.A. from Harpur College and her Masters Degree and her PhD. in English from SUNY Binghamton, where she also was a professor from the 1960s through the 1980s, specializing in literature and creative writing. She published two novels, "Family Passions" and "Winds of the Old Days," the latter of which was nominated for an Edgar Allan Poe Award by the Mystery Writers of America in 1981. She married Richard ("Dick") Aswad in 1962 and lived in the same house in Johnson City from 1966 until the present, although she and Dick traveled widely in Europe, the United States and the Middle East. She was a voracious reader with a formidable knowledge of literature and poetry, and a lively, witty and highly opinionated conversationalist who was beloved by her family, her wide circle of friends and her students. She was also an early feminist, teaching a class on the history of the women's movement at SUNY Binghamton during the early 1970s and speaking at the Binghamton Kiwanis Club and on local news about the subject. She passed along all of these qualities, along with a deep love and appreciation for music, to her family. She is survived by her husband, her brother G. William Becker (of Towson, Md.), her two children and five grandchildren, Caleb, June, Daniel, Tess and James, along with many relatives and friends. Funeral Services will be held at the United Presbyterian Church of Binghamton (formerly First Presbyterian), 42 Chenango Street, Binghamton, Saturday at 12 Noon. Rev. Kimberly Chastain and Rev. Dr. William Levering will officiate. The family will receive friends at United Presbyterian Church, Saturday from 10 a.m. until 12 Noon. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in Betsy's memory may be made to any charitable organization of one's choice.