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Each year, the lives of thousands of people across the country are saved because someone made the choice to become an organ donor. In April, Allegheny Health Network is honored to celebrate National Donate Life Month and pay tribute to all of those who have bestowed the precious gift of life to another through organ donation. Visit AHNdonate.org to learn more and register to be an organ donor.



Format: 04/18/2014
Format: 04/18/2014


KDKA-TV: Shooting victim's friends: Betsy Gannon's smile could brighten day

Tuesday, August 11th, 2009

Elizabeth "Betsy" Gannon was one of the women killed Tuesday when a gunman opened fire inside a Collier Township health club. Today her friends and colleagues are remembering her as a caring woman whose smile could brighten their day. 

"All I can think of is Betsy's beautiful smile," Mary McVay Fensel told KDKA. "She loved life and everybody loved her. This is a tragedy."

Betsy Gannon, 49, went to Canevin High School, graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and was an X-ray technician at Allegheny General Hospital.

Fensel says it was their Irish roots that brought the friends together 30 years ago. "Every time I think of her and how she did so much for other people," she told KDKA. "I wish we had more Betsy in our life."

Joanne Conti says Betsy helped care for her children when she was hospitalized for months. "You couldn't ask for a better friend. I don't know that I'm going to do without her. She was the best person."

Betsy's sister Peggy is coming in from Ohio to the house they grew up in on Sheldon Avenue in Green Tree.

Betsy's beloved Labrador retriever, "Lady," who was her constant companion on evening walks, waits patiently in the back yard.

To next-door neighbor Carl Rady, Betsy Gannon was like a fourth daughter. "She can't be gone. It can't happen that way," Rady told KDKA.

County detectives asked Rady to come to the morgue to identify her. "That was tough. I was fortunate they only showed me a photograph."

He had little to say about the man who stole Betsy's life. "The best thing he did was shoot himself. It's just a shame he didn't do it first."

This afternoon, Dr. Patrick DeMeo released the following statement fondly remembering his colleague:

"Everyone at West Penn Allegheny Health System is extremely saddened by the loss of Elizabeth Gannon. Betsy was not only a tremendous asset as a radiology technologist at Allegheny Orthopedics for the past 13 years, she was also a wonderful, caring person whose smile would brighten the day of both her colleagues and patients.

"I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Betsy's family during this difficult time. She will be greatly missed at West Penn Allegheny, where her life touched that of so many others."

To read more, visit the KDKA-TV web site.


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