Betsy Tillman Kulick

betsy kulick

February 8, 1952 ~ September 7, 2023

Born in: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Resided in: Oakton, Virginia

Betsy Tillman Kulick, 71 years old, of Oakton, Virginia passed away on Thursday, September 7 after an almost three-decade battle with breast cancer.

Betsy was born on February 8, 1952, to Robert A. and Nancy R. Tillman, in Colorado. She then grew up in Wisconsin living first in Milwaukee for a short time, then in Bayside, just outside Milwaukee, graduating from Nicolet High School. While in high school, she spent a year in Brazil as an exchange student. She then attended Pomona College, in California, for her undergraduate work, which included attending the experiment Dag Hammarsjold College, in Columbia, Maryland. She earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University. When working she earned several certificates.

Her 46-year professional career began at the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs. She moved to Washington, DC, to take a position at ComSat, which began a new career phase that included several freelance positions as a writer and analyst. Her interests in cybersecurity began in that related satellite work and working as a contractor for the Department of Homeland Security. She eventually joined the Department as a federal employee, where she made significant contributions to the development of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). She retired about two weeks before her passing from these professional positions.

While working in at the Chicago Council, she met Jeffrey Kulick. They were married in 1978, and she passed away two days short of their 45th wedding anniversary. They had two children, Andrew (Drew) in December 1981, and Scott in June 1984. Drew has a son, Tyler Cromartie, born in 2004.

She is survived by her sons and grandson, sister Barbara Tillman and brother Keith Tillman. There are nieces and nephews, and some of those have children, from both her and her husband’s families. She enjoyed “the cousins” as they called themselves.

Betsy developed long-lasting friendships in many circles. She continued to be friends with some her elementary school friends. She also had enduring friendships with the mothers of her children’s elementary school PTA and with parents of the children’s marching band friends. She had many friends among coworkers and colleagues, with some friendships going back more than 40 years.

Betsy had special connections with three places. While growing up, she and her family spent vacations and holidays at a cabin in Three Lakes, Wisconsin. As an adult, she often visited Chincoteague, Virginia, where she enjoyed birding. She also enjoyed the Outer Banks of North Carolina, frequently visiting OBX during the last few years of her life.

Her life will be celebrated in a memorial service on Friday afternoon, September 15, at 2:30, and Money & King Funeral Home in Vienna, Virginia. The celebration will be streamed via her page at the Money & King website:

Broadcast Date:

Money & King Broadcast


Memorial Service: September 15, 2023 2:30 pm

Money & King Funeral Home
171 W. Maple Ave.
Vienna, VA 22180


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Memories Timeline


  1. It is so hard to see bad things happen to good people. Betsy was always a delight, good energy to be around, laid back and fun. I am honored to have had her in my life and she will be missed.

  2. Betsy was a friend and colleague for many years. She lit up our office with her bright smile and good humor. She was our “Queen of Charts” as well as our “Queen of Hearts.” Boy, could she knock out great presentations on complex satellite issues! I know how much her husband and family meant to her and how much she meant to them. My deepest sympathy to Betsy’s family and her many, many colleagues and friends.

  3. Betsy was a friend who touched so many people. I always looked forward to walking and talking with her. She was so welcoming, interesting, witty, and had an infectious zest for life. Will miss her so much.

  4. What a great loss. I remember her midwestern warmth and wholesomeness when we first met at the start of our careers. Her broad smile and good humor lightened the sometimes tough days. We will all miss her, knowing she is no longer here to warm her friends’ and family’s lives.

  5. My wife Paula and I are devastated at this untimely loss. Paula enjoyed several sisterly encounters with Betsy. Our heartfelt condolences to Jeff and the boys. I got to appreciate Betsy’s talents when we worked first at Comsat. After I retired from Inmarsat in London, she helped me run MSUA for seven years, where we organized the first four MSUA conferences. She was a splendid multi-tasking talent. I’m sure her colleagues at Homeland Security feel the same way. She will be keenly missed.

  6. Deepest sympathy and condolences to Betsy’s family.
    She was a strong, hard-working, very smart woman!
    I was always in awe of her expertise on many projects at CISA.

    Rest in peace.

  7. I have known Betsy since I was 16 years old–we shared Brazil, college and many wonderful times in New York City, D.C., and California over the 54 years we’ve known each other. It is heartbreaking to lose such a bright light, who brought love and enthusiasm and talent to the world. My deepest sympathy and condolences to Jeff, Drew, Scott and Tyler and all the family. Condolences from my daughter Sarah as well, as she considered Betsy and Jeff her “back-up family” when she went to college in the D.C. area. The world has lost a wonderful soul.

    • Allie, this is Keith, Bets little brother, and you are someone we’ve heard so much about over all these years. If you care to, could you reach out me at whenever? Betsy asked me to lead her service on Friday and would love to connect if possible. Thx so much.

  8. Betsy was a dear friend and former work colleague who personified the concept of courage in her long battle with cancer. Despite all the adversities she encountered, Betsy’s irrepressible spirit, generous heart and trademark humour were always in evidence. She touched and inspired everyone – especially me. Rest in peace, dear Betsy. You are sorely missed.

  9. Betsy was a fun person as well as a great co-worker. We shared work issues and the difficulties of aging and passing parents. We shared many Midwest stories about the harsh winters and what we did and did not miss about the Midwest. My prayers go out to her family and asking God to provide you comfort during this very difficult passing of your dear beloved Betsy.

  10. Betsy was a beloved colleague. She was so fun to work with, so dedicated, and just a wonderful person. My thoughts are with her family.

  11. Bless all of you!
    Keith and Barb, I so wish I was there today to celebrate the life of your dear sister Betsy. I have so many fond memories with your family. Your mother, your father and of course Betsy, Barb and to my best friend Keith. I love you all so very much. The Tillman‘s have had a profound impact in my life.

    I’ve known Keith for more than 50 years and as a result of that became very close with the entire family. I celebrate the life of Betsy along with all of you, Keith, Barb, and all of the family. I love you all so very much and may this be a blessed day for all of you!

    To you Jeff, to your sons and family, I am deeply sorry. May you all find peace in the loss.

    Love to you all!

  12. Condolences from the Raphael & Langford fam. Drew, May God rest her soul, and provide comfort for you and your family, we love you buddy ❤️

  13. To the Kulick Family,

    We’re deeply saddened by the loss of Betsy. Her vibrant spirit was truly special. Heaven has gained a remarkable soul, leaving an irreplaceable void here with us. From the moment I met Betsy a year ago, she embraced me wholeheartedly into the CDM team. Her passion, determination, and leadership will be dearly missed. Our prayers are with the Kulick family during this difficult time.

    With deepest sympathy,
    TJ & Amira

  14. We remember fondly, good times with the Kulick family. Looking back at photos, we see Betsy’s smiles and can almost hear her laugh and good cheer.
    Carol and Frank Pierce-McManamon

  15. One of the first times Betsy really impressed me was when her company was sold and on a dime she pivoted and moved forward to secure a new position and then another in that government contracting world. That and how she would be out running before the crack of dawn. Her dedication to her mother. Such a capable woman. Then her love of learning, knowledge and being awesome and enjoying life just bubbled over generously to everyone around. Much love to her many survivors.

  16. Jeff and family, So sad, don’t know what to say, other than, we treasure the time we spent with you guys.
    We will be watching and grieving from California.

    Jeff, stay in touch.

    Mark Bennett and Gail Frommer; Long Beach, California

  17. Dear Jeff,

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. We share your sadness along with the celebration of many wonderful memories.

    With sympathy,
    Betsy and Joe Tretola

  18. Me and my team will miss her. Smart, respected, and welcoming. Miss her on meetings, asking the questions, and her assistance when and where needed.

  19. Betsy was our shining life-loving, brave friend. The Satellite Ladies will always remember and honor and miss her so very much.

  20. I was a close neighbor of the Kulicks for several decades. Betsy and I shared a keen interest in and involvement with our children’s schools and activities. We also felt a special bond as we both had grown up in Wisconsin. Betsy and I were invariably the first neighborhood residents outside madly shoveling during and after snowstorms!
    My daughters and I send our heartfelt condolences to Jeff, Drew, Scott and the entire family.
    Ellen Deeb

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