Betty Jean Hamby
October 15, 1924 – November 7, 2020
Betty Jean Kyle Hamby was born on the family farm in LaCygne, Kansas, on October 15, 1924.
As the sixth of seven children born to Lark and Ethel Kyle, Betty was blessed with a good personality. She was pleasant. She genuinely liked people and got along well with others. She was cheerful, friendly, hard-working, had a brilliant smile, a hearty laugh, and twinkling eyes. She lit up a room and was welcoming.
Her childhood was rooted in her church and her family. These were priorities throughout her long life.
Music was her gift. Betty’s oldest sister, Margaret, taught her to play the piano at the age of 3. Betty grew up singing in her local church in Amsterdam, MO. While attending SW Baptist College, in Bolivar, MO, she sang in the women’s quartet. She sang with various groups and choirs throughout her lifetime, the last being the singing notables from Raytown.
Also at SBU, Betty met Verdie Glen Hamby. Taken by her beautiful smile and sweet voice, V G would tease, “She didn’t go to college, she just toured the state singing.” In the 40s, V G was away in military service and Betty worked as a secretary for the Missouri Baptist general association in Kansas City. During the war, V G was in Germany and Betty worked at Boeing in Wichita, KS and lived with her sister Margaret’s family.
V G safely returned from service and on June 20, 1947, Betty Jean Kyle became Mrs. Verdie Glen Hamby and thus began their nearly 59 years of marriage. They first lived in Shawnee, OK where he attended OBU; she worked as a secretary for the college; and in 1949, they welcomed their first child, Nancy Lou.
After V G graduated, the little family moved to the Springfield, MO area and in 1951, their second daughter, Patricia Lee (Patsy) was born.
A couple of years later, the Hambys relocated to Kansas City, MO where Betty began a long career with Farmland Industries (CO-OP), assisting different executives, the last of which was Robert Johanson.
A supportive wife and mother and an accomplished professional woman, Betty loved her extended family and she made time for them and her church. Throughout her adulthood, she taught Sunday School classes, worked in the nursery, sang solos, harmonized in church choirs, and accompanied singing groups at the piano.
An artist at heart, Betty was a very talented seamstress. Many can sew well, but Betty also had classic good taste with a keen eye for fashion, attention to cut, appreciation of color, and forethought to fabric choice. Her clothing was beautiful and well made. She was proficient at the sewing machine and fearless at taking on any project. Betty made most of her children’s clothes, altered her husband’s clothes, covered chairs and cedar chests, made window treatments, baby blankets, and costumes for her singing group. She enjoyed watching KU basketball and Royals baseball.
The Kansas farm girl never outgrew her roots. She enjoyed planting flowers and working in her yard.
Betty was into details and anticipating needs; probably why she was such a good secretary. Her home was special with thoughtful care to showcase the first rose of the season or admire the last bud before frost. She celebrated regular days with pretty table settings; brightening what others might overlook as an ordinary day or a Monday when she had friends over weekly to eat dinner and watch Dancing with the Stars.
In retirement, VG and Betty traveled, visiting Europe, Australia, New Zealand, China, Alaska and Hawaii. Later she cruised the Caribbean.
Betty helped VG with his hobby of genealogy; and at 70 years of age, Betty mastered the use of the computer software.
She was preceded in death by her husband Verdie Glen Hamby (2006); daughter, Patricia Lee Wilson; parents Lark and Ethel Kyle; and all of her beloved siblings -- sisters Margaret, Mary, and Norma; and brothers Robert, Raymond, and Harry.
Betty passed from the comfort of her own home into the peace of her Lord. She is survived by her daughter, Nancy L. Hamby; her son-in-law James A. Wilson; her grandson, Andrew G. Wilson; step-grandson Anthony Wilson (Amy) and children, Hadley and Silas; and many nieces, nephews, cousins, and many friends.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to Lee’s Summit First Baptist Church or KC Hospice.
Due to the COVID crisis, we have decided to postpone services for Betty. Service date and time will be announced at a later date. Private interment will take place later at West Point Cemetery in Amsterdam, MO.
The memorial service will be live streamed on the First Baptist Church Lee’s Summit Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/FirstLS/
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Betty Jean Hamby
November 25, 2020
Betty was always the brightest star at all the family reunions. She and Verde were such a great pair. We will all miss them both forever. My sincere condolences to Nancy.
November 15, 2020
Nancy and Family, I'm so sorry for the passing of your precious mother. I had the honor of working with Betty through the years at Farmland. Her attributes listed in the obituary are so true. I have many good memories of Betty's mentoring and friendship. Sympathy and prayers go out to you. Edie Hensley
November 15, 2020
My mother, Lottie, loved the Hamby’s. They ate in her restaurant in Raytown and she truly enjoyed visiting with them. So sorry for your loss. Maria Burgen