In memory of Betty Buchan Monsour

January 8, 2016

Betty Monsour 05.19.15Betty Buchan Monsour, who in 2014 retired from UAA as an associate professor of public health, recently passed away after a battle with cancer. The family requests that all gifts and memorials be in the form of donations to Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah. Services and interment will be private.

Remembering Betty Buchan Monsour:
On Jan. 5, 2016, Dr. Betty Buchan Monsour of St. George, Utah, passed away peacefully and returned to her Father in Heaven after a courageous battle with cancer. Born April 6, 1949, in Yokohama, Japan, Betty was the daughter of Major H.M. Buchan (Army Ret.) and Ida Caslar. She is survived by her loving and devoted husband, the Rev. Dr. John V. Monsour. Other survivors include: two sisters, Brenda Buchan Hatch and husband Tracy of Tallahassee, Fla., and Beverly Buchan Pelham of Graceville, Fla.; two nieces, Kimberly Pelham Tindall of Graceville, Fla., and Angela Pelham Thompson and husband Charles of Windermere, Fla.; and three great nieces, Lauren Henderson, Tiffanie Tindall and Alizah Thompson.

Growing up in a military family, Betty’s early years were spent on Army bases in Georgia, North Carolina, Texas and Berlin, Germany. A graduate of Choctawhatchee High School, Ft. Walton Beach, Fla., she received a Bachelor of Science in chemistry as well as a Master of Science in toxicology from the School of Pharmacy at Auburn University and a Doctor of Philosophy in epidemiology from the College of Public Health, University of South Florida.

In 2014, Betty retired from the University of Alaska Anchorage as an associate professor of public health in the college of Health and Social Welfare. Prior employment included serving as research director at the Southcentral Foundation, as well as the founder and president of Final Analysis Inc., a forensic consulting firm. She also served as the director of Forensic Laboratory Services for the Hillsborough County, Florida Medical Examiner’s Department. Betty also spent ten years with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement as toxicologist and supervisor of the Sanford Regional Crime Laboratory in Sanford, Fla. She began her career in Tallahassee, Fla., as staff director of the Medical Examiner’s Commission and chief of the Crime Laboratory Bureau, and was an original crime scene investigator (CSI) before the television shows. Later in her career she developed research interests in the areas of drug-impaired driving, elder drug abuse, medication management for seniors and testifying as an expert witness at legal proceedings.

Dr. Monsour was a member of several honor societies: Delta Omega (honor society in public health), Phi Kappa Phi (all-discipline honor society) and Rho Chi (pharmaceutical honor society). She was honored to be the first woman and youngest person to receive an appointment to the rank of Bureau Chief, State Crime Laboratory Bureau, Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

An ordained elder in the Presbyterian Church, Betty balanced her professional duties and responsibilities with a love of traveling the world; reading mystery novels; ballroom dancing; and most of all being a lifelong and passionate lover of all things feline.

Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Betty Buchan Monsour retired from UAA as an assistant professor. In fact, she retired from UAA in 2014 as an associate professor.

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