For Immediate Release
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Contact: Mary Curtius 703-228-7943 (voice) 703-228-4611(TTY)
Update: Read "Ellen M. Bozman – An Appreciation"
ARLINGTON, Va. – Ellen Bozman, a six-time chairman of the Arlington County Board who served on the Board for 24 years, died today of cancer. Bozman was 83.
“Ellen was an exemplary public servant and role model for all of us,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Barbara Favola. “She was a big part of what makes this community so special. Arlington is very fortunate to have had such a courageous and visionary leader.”
Elected to the Board in 1973, Bozman played a key role in the County’s emergence as a national leader in transit-oriented development, or Smart Growth. She was a leader in the early, long-range planning around Metro that has for decades ensured high-quality services and low taxes for Arlingtonians.
Bozman was a driving force in integrating the County’s social services programs to ensure that clients received comprehensive services as efficiently as possible. She was an advocate of community policing and helped make Arlington’s schools among the best in the nation. She was a tireless advocate for affordable housing. Elected six times to the Board, she served on it longer than any other member since its creation in 1932.
In the late 1960s, as chair of the County’s Health and Welfare Council, Bozman led a study of latchkey children, and spearheaded the creation of extended day programs for working parents. Those programs today provide high-quality before-and-after school care for thousands of Arlington students.
Bozman also championed child care and day care for the frail elderly, and took the lead in planning for Arlington’s first nursing homes. She helped establish Arlington’s popular Neighborhood Day and its Farmers’ Markets. She later served on the Planning Commission from 1971 to 1973, and was Chairman of the Arlington Committee of 100 from 1970 to 1971.
Bozman served in leadership roles in the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission, the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, the National Association of Regional Councils and the Virginia Association of Counties. In 1997, the Virginia Association of Counties awarded Bozman its Jefferson Cup Award, its highest honor, given to an individual for making an outstanding contribution to County government.
Bozman served as president of the Arlington Community Foundation from July, 2002 through June, 2004. She was a founder, in 2003, of the Alliance for Housing Solutions, and served on its Board of Directors from 2003 to 2009. She was a member of the Board of the philanthropic Marpat Foundation, from 1998 to 2009 and served on the Board of Directors of the United Seniors Health Cooperative from 1994 to 2001.
In 1998, the Virginia General Assembly issued a joint resolution commending Bozman on her service to Arlington residents. In 1986, she was named Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine. “Without Ellen Bozman, Arlington County would not be as nice a place as it is,” the magazine wrote.
Ellen McConnell Bozman was born April 21, 1925 in Springfield, Illinois. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Northwestern University in 1946. Bozman and her husband, William Bozman, moved to Arlington in 1950, part of the post-War boom of government workers who transformed the County. She began her political career in the Arlington League of Women Voters, serving as Voters Service Chair during desegregation of Arlington County Public Schools. She served as president of the Arlington League of Women Voters from 1963 to 1965.
Bozman is survived by her husband, William, by their three children: William McConnell (Mac) Bozman, of Winchester; Martha Bozman, of Arlington; and Bruce H. Bozman of Bristol, Wisconsin; and by four grandchildren.
The family will receive visitors at Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ, 5010 Little Falls Rd., Arlington VA 22207 from 7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday, January 23. A memorial service is scheduled for 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 24, 2009 at Rock Spring Congregational United Church of Christ.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Arlington Community Foundation’s Ellen Bozman Fund or to the Alliance for Housing Solutions.
Arlington County will lower its flag for 48 hours in honor of Bozman.
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.