Cynthia Anne Bostick Georgeson, who won Miss Owensboro and Miss Kentucky in 1970 before going on to have acting and public relations careers, died Tuesday at 70 years old.
Georgeson was born June 3, 1952, in Owensboro. In her teenage years, she developed a passion for theatre and became a member of the Rose Curtain Players at Owensboro High School. Her acting and singing garnered high praise from her peers and the community.
Kirk Kirkpatrick grew up with Georgeson and performed alongside her, and the two remained close friends through the years. He said it was obvious early on that she was special.
“She was an incredible talent,” Kirkpatrick said. “Even when we were all in high school, she belonged on a touring company. She starred in the first big musical they ever had in 1970 called Hello Dolly, and the Messenger-Inquirer’s revue at the time was pretty incredible. She always praised Owensboro and loved growing up here, and never forgot her hometown.”
The revue reads, in part, “Cynthia projected her interpretation and personality over the footlights, belted the songs and handled the lines of the weak plot with almost professional ease. And she brought emotion to Before the Parade Passes By, a better interpretation than Miss (Carol) Channing gave when I saw the original production in New York five years ago.”
Georgeson’s dreams of college and a big city led her to pageants. At just 18 years old, she became the second Miss Owensboro to go on to win Miss Kentucky in 1970 (to date only three women have done so), which meant she also got to compete in the 44th Miss America pageant in 1971. Her talent in all three was singing Life Is a One-Way Street.
Her scholarship pageant winnings sent Georgeson to the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City, where she became an actress. Her credits on IMDB include roles in the soap operas As the World Turns and in Texas, as well a character in the 1975 film That’s the Way of the World which depicts the music business and the life of record executives.
Georgeson eventually started her own public relations company, during which time she had her son, Cameron. She and Cameron moved to Cincinnati, where she worked for Procter & Gamble. A job offer then brought her to Racine, Wisconsin, where her career with the Johnson Family companies began. At SC Johnson she met John, who became her husband of 34 years, and his son Russell. They became a family of five when the couple welcomed their daughter, Kara.
Sharon Sharp, one of Georgeson’s sisters who still resides in Owensboro, said it was important to remember Georgeson’s soft side, such as volunteering at the Wendell Foster Center. Sharp said her sister also left a lasting impression on everyone she knew.
“She knew everything about you,” Sharp said. “She was someone that you would tell things to, and she had a way of convincing you that you had conquered your worst fears. She always said that. She was proud of her friends, so proud of her family. In a word, she was liked, and she was certainly the light of our family. Anyone who knew her will miss her from the bottom of their heart forever.”
A memorial to celebrate Georgeson’s life will be held at Preservation Hall, 740 Lake Avenue in Racine, from 4-7 p.m. this Friday. View her obituary here.