State Rep. Betty Boukus of Plainville dies following battle with cancer

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Credit: House Dems

PLAINVILLE — Connecticut State Representative Elizabeth “Betty” Boukus died early Friday morning following a long battle with cancer, a representative for her said. She was 73.

Boukus represented the 22nd District for several years, which includes Plainville and New Britain. In 2016, she lost a reelection bid to Dr. William Petit.

Boukus was the Deputy Majority Caucus Chair and Chair of the Bonding Subcommittee of the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee and one of the founding members of the Connecticut Hall of Fame Committee. She has also served as a Director on the Boards of the Wheeler Clinic, Family Services Inc., CCARC and the Plainville YMCA.

During her legislative tenure, Rep. Boukus was recognized by the Connecticut Library Association, Family Center, Connecticut Coalition of Police and Corrections Officers, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Plainville Little League and Plainville Lions Club.

She graduated from Plainville High School before attending Central Connecticut State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She received her Master’s Degree in Education from the University of Hartford.

Boukus leaves behind her Gary, two grown children, and four grandchildren.

Last month, Governor Malloy honored her for her work in public service. Malloy gave a proclamation thanking her after a bond commission meeting. She was co-chair of the bonding subcommittee and was known by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle as a tireless public servant.

Several of her colleagues released statements Friday morning after hearing of her passing.

“My heart and prayers go out to Betty’s family, and they should know that Representative Boukus was one of the most beloved members of the General Assembly. She took on each of her responsibilities with a caring hand, always understanding that decisions had a human impact.  She was a giant for her hometown of Plainville, the kind of leader who cannot be replaced. Even as she faced health issues more recently, Betty campaigned the way she legislated – fighting selflessly for the best interests of her constituents. Certainly Betty’s experience, knowledge, and counsel as a legislative colleague were invaluable, but having her as a friend was the true gift to all of us who knew her. Representative Boukus was the rare person who knew the importance of giving back to society more than one takes from it.” –  Speaker of the House Brendan Sharkey (D-Hamden)

“Betty Boukus was a great friend, an incredible person and a dedicated legislator. Anyone who had the pleasure of knowing Betty knew that her personality could fill an entire room. She brought an unrivalled level of passion to the issues that she and her constituents cared about and worked hard to fight for what her district needed. She did all of this with a smile on her face and a clever comment up her sleeve. There will never be another Betty Boukus. The Connecticut General Assembly has lost one of its very best and she will truly be missed.” – Speaker of the House-elect Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/Southington).

“Betty was a mentor. She was always willing to offer young legislators advice – both solicited and unsolicited. She had the heart and soul of a teacher. Betty wanted all of us to be better legislators for our constituents and the entire state.  Betty’s Secret Santa collection for homeless veterans at the State Veterans Home in Rocky Hill has become an annual holiday tradition at the State Capitol. Her work touched so many. When I think about Betty’s joy for life it brings a smile to my face. She seized every day.  Even as she struggled with a long illness, Betty Boukus brought light into every room she entered.” – Incoming House Majority Leader Matt Ritter (D-Hartford)