Betty Jean Johnson, 85, of Leavenworth passed away peacefully Wednesday, Feb. 29, 2012. She was born, June 15, 1926, the daughter of Willard and Blanche (Dubois) Bird. Betty often recalled her wonderful childhood in Winchester, Kan.; she had many happy stories of "always having something to do” with her many relatives and friends.
In August 1942, she moved to Leavenworth with her family and graduated from Leavenworth High School in 1944. She was involved in many school activities, including playing the bass drum in the school band.
On Nov. 18, 1954, in Miami, Okla., Betty married the love of her life, Thomas S. Johnson, Jr. Together, they made a happy home in Leavenworth until he passed in November 2011. Betty was an avid reader, enjoyed bowling on Thursdays, loved long Sunday drives and in later years sitting on the front porch enjoying the outdoors while visiting with friends and relatives. Betty will forever be remembered for wearing an apron anytime she entered a kitchen, even when she would go for short visits to family, she would take along an apron.
Betty was a hard worker. As a child, her first job was as a paper carrier for the Topeka Daily Capital, her earnings went to purchase her first bike, she was so proud. In 1949, Betty went to work at Fort Leavenworth and retired in 1974 as the Chief of Commercial Accounts for the Defense, Finance and Accounting Service. She was well respected for the job she performed, her relationships with co-workers, and always suggesting new ways of doing things. From a very early age, Betty loved playing, listening and watching sports of all kinds. She was a staunch KU fan; she cheered the Jayhawks onto many a victory from her chair in the kitchen. Betty was the anchor of her family with a big heart; she loved and supported her husband, children and grandchildren in every way possible.
Betty is survived her children, Georgia A. (Gary) Vestal, William D. (Sharon) Johnson, B. Joan Johnson (Bob Slater), Pamela G. (Lawrence) Tuttle, Candace L. Johnson and Thomas S. (Virginia) Johnson III.; grandchildren, James Vestal and Jill (Alan) Vestal Shoup, Jenny (Robert) Guarino, Andrew Slater, Matthew Slater, Sandra (Nate) Tuttle Kiehne, Amanda Lockwood, Laura Lockwood, Tiffany (Gavin) Johnson Stead, Brittany Johnson, Christopher Johnson and Elizabeth Johnson; great-grandchildren, Kaitlin, Cory and James Vestal, David and Zachary Shoup, Kiersten, Stephen, Kylee and Kameryn Guarino and Benjamin and Kendal Kiehne, Madilynn Johnson and a step-great-grandchild Christian Kiehne, She is also survived by her long-time best friend, Mary Ioerger.
Betty was preceded in death by daughter, Jeanie Wright; her brother and sisters, Amos, Dorothy, Rose and Patty; her granddaughter, Melissa Tuttle; great granddaughter, Holli Vestal.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 4, 2012, at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home. A funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Burial will follow at Mount Muncie Cemetery. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorials to KidsTLC in Olathe or Kansas City Hospice House.