Betty Coumbe

It is with great sadness that we say good bye to Betty Coumbe of Naples, Florida, who passed away in Naples at the age of 97 on December 28, 2023.
Betty was born in Orange, New Jersey and was the daughter of the late John and Hazel (nee Gardner) Coumbe and was preceded in death by her brother William G. Coumbe of Hyannis, Massachusetts.
Betty grew up in Westfield, New Jersey and then attended and later graduated from William and Mary where she excelled in sports, playing four years of varsity tennis as the number one player, winning three intercollegiate women’s tennis championships. She never lost a collegiate team match.
Betty was a pioneer in both sports and business, while winning many trophies for her excellence in tennis and was later inducted into the William and Mary Athletic Hall of Fame.
She was elected Vice- President of the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority and later did graduate work in marketing and computer data processing at Columbia University and the New School for Social Research in New York City.
After completing her studies, Betty worked for a short time for the Blow Agency in New York City before embarking on a long career that spanned 37 years with the Grey Advertising Company, also in New York City. Betty rose to become Executive Vice President and Director of Account Management with Grey.
She was responsible for overseeing some of the Agency’s major accounts, including Proctor & Gamble, Kraft and Revlon. During Betty’s tenure with Grey, the agency become the top billing agency in New York City and was ranked as one of the top 10 international agencies in the world.
She retired from Grey in 1993 as Senior Vice President of the parent company and President of Triple Seven Programming Productions, Grey’s syndication television production subsidiary. In this latter capacity, Betty represented Gray as a long serving member of the National Association of Television Programming Executives.
Betty was a pioneer for women in the advertising industry and was one of the very first female executives to hold a senior position with a national advertising agency.
After joining Grey, Betty was delighted to discover that her employer strongly supported her continuing participation on the national tennis circuit which provided opportunities for her to partner with Grey’s clients in doubles matches at numerous advertising conventions.
Betty not only achieved a number three singles ranking by the Eastern Tennis Association but was also ranked number one in doubles for most of ten years running along with her doubles partner, Carmen Boland, a Wimbledon competitor.
Betty was the first woman elected to the Board of Governors at the Westside Tennis Club in Forest Hills, New York, the former site of the U.S. Open, where she continued as an honorary member until the time of her passing.
She enjoyed homes in Naples, Manhattan and on Cape Cod where her closest surviving family members currently reside.
Betty and her closest companion, the late Dr. Margaret Bevans, traveled the world together whole visiting 70 countries. Betty and Peggy reveled in sharing pictures and stories of their many vacations together.

In her later years, Betty was a co-producer of the movie, the Big Stone Gap, which continued to stimulate her creative and business talents.
Betty was a devoted bridge player as well as an ardent supporter of the Artis of Naples and was a long time member of the Pelican Bay Club, the Longshore Lake Club and the Hyannis Yacht Club.
Betty is survived by four nephews and nieces, William Coumbe (Kim Rivard) of Hyannis, MA, David Coumbe of Orleans, MA, Virginia Scialdone ( Steve March) of Centerville, MA, Jacqueline Coumbe of Hyannis, MA eight great nephews and nieces, a great great niece and nephew and the extended Coumbe family in Westfield, New Jersey.
Interment services for Betty will be scheduled for a date to be announced.