Obituary: Betty Ham |

Obituary: Betty Ham

Staff Reports

Betty Ham, former benefits manager for the state Employment Security Division and wife of another veteran state executive, died Friday of cancer. She was 76.

Ham had been in poor health for several years following her retirement after 20 years of state service, although her cancer had been diagnosed only about six weeks ago.

She’s survived by her husband, Richard, son Jim Ham and daughter Linda Bowers. The family held a private service, and requests that any donations go to the Cancer Society.

Ham was born in Durango, Colo., and raised in Las Vegas, where her father worked as an engineer on the massive Boulder Dam project.

In the late 1950s, the Hams moved to Carson City where Richard Ham served as then-Gov. Grant Sawyer’s chief of staff.

They later lived in Washington, D.C., and in Jacksonville, Fla., before returning to Nevada and taking state jobs.