Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ellen M. Bozman -My Great Aunt

Ellen M. Bozman; Arlington Activist

Ellen M. Bozman served six terms as Arlington County Board chairwoman and worked with many civic groups. (1983 Photo By Frank Sweets -- The Washington Post)

By Lauren WisemanWashington Post Staff Writer Friday, January 9, 2009; Page B07
Ellen M. Bozman, 83, a prominent civic leader and Arlington County community activist for nearly four decades who served six terms as chairwoman of the Arlington County Board, died Jan. 8 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington of complications from breast cancer.
Mrs. Bozman was on the county's governing board from 1974 to 1997 and was its longest-serving member. She helped advocate for issues ranging from after-school programs to eldercare, from social service programs to mass transit.

She played a key role in the county's Metro transit development, which transformed Arlington from a sleepy bedroom community into a thriving urban center. Because of her efforts, the idea of high-rises with retail, living and office space centered on Metro stations was embraced, said Sen. Mary Margaret Whipple (D-Arlington).

In addition to her County Board work, Mrs. Bozman served on numerous civic boards, including the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.

As a young woman, she had been a personnel analyst with the Bureau of the Budget and was raising her family when she was drawn into politics in the early 1960s. As voter services chairwoman for the Arlington League of Women Voters, she supported the desegregation of the county's schools. She was president of the league from 1963 to 1965.
Later, as chairwoman of a local fundraising organization called the Health and Welfare Council, Mrs. Bozman oversaw a study of children with working parents and spearheaded the creation of after-school programs for those children. About that time, she also took the lead in helping to create Arlington's first nursing homes.

"Civic responsibility was part of her ethic," said John Milliken, a former County Board member who served with Mrs. Bozman during the 1980s.
On the County Board, Mrs. Bozman advocated for affordable housing, public education and integrated social services programs. She was responsible for the creation of the county's first farmers market at the Arlington Courthouse in the late-1970s as well as Neighborhood Day, an annual countywide block party that started in the 1990s.

Mrs. Bozman ran for the County Board as an independent until her last campaign, when she ran as a Democrat. In each election, though, she was endorsed by the Arlington Democratic Committee and the nonpartisan political coalition Arlingtonians for a Better County.

Ellen Marie McConnell was born April 21, 1925, in Springfield, Ill. After graduating from Northwestern University with a bachelor's degree in political science, she moved to Washington for an internship at the National Institute of Public Affairs.
Mrs. Bozman once told The Washington Post that she "did not envision retirement." Until her death, she remained involved in the community as a board member for the Arlington Community Foundation, an organization she helped found in the early 1990s to raise money for local nonprofit groups and college scholarships.

Survivors include her husband of 59 years, William H. Bozman of Arlington; three children, William M. Bozman of Winchester, Va., Martha Bozman of Arlington and Bruce H. Bozman of Bristol, Wis.; and four grandchildren.
This article came from the Washington Post.

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