Betty Jean (Smith) Lortscher, 82, of Bern, Kansas, was called home to her Lord, surrounded by her family on Saturday, January 4, 2020, at the Sabetha Manor.
Betty was born July 23, 1937, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada to Herbert and Etta (Flynn) Smith. In this home she learned to embrace family and love her Canadian Rocky Mountains. She graduated from University of Alberta, Calgary with a BS in Education. In 1971, she completed her master’s at Kansas State University. Her nine years of teaching experiences led her to geographic locations including the eastern and western Canadian arctic and Nigeria, West Africa. She and Gary met in Kabba, Nigeria and later married in Kabba on June 22, 1968. After they completed their educational teaching assignments, they enjoyed an incredible nine-month trip around the world.
Establishing her new home in Bern, Betty continued to use her love of people and home economics training as she served her community in multiple ways. She taught sewing classes in her home, was instrumental in starting the Bern Community Library, and local recycling program. Also, she assisted in coordinating the Maytag washing machine study and served on the Nemaha County Community Health Board and was an active member of the Home Improvement Club. She shared her love for music by giving piano lessons to several of her granddaughters, singing in the choir and playing piano at the Bern United Methodist Church. For many years, she coordinated vacation Bible school and hosted community Christmas caroling parties.
Providing a consistent listening ear, Betty embraced her role as loving wife to Gary and steady, compassionate mother to Brent and Yvonne. Her grandchildren and community also benefitted tremendously from her kindness and grace.
In the final years of her life, Betty and Gary embraced the challenge of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) by being involved in research with the goal of finding a cure. Betty participated in a variety of studies, then experienced significant improvement during 2017 after receiving four sets of her own concentrated stem cells which demonstrates the potential reversal of AD. The FDA banned using one’s own concentrated stem cells the end of 2017.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Dave Smith; and her sister-in-law, Verna Smith. Betty is fondly remembered by her husband, Gary; her son, Brent (Linda) Lortscher; her daughter, Yvonne (Tim) Krehbiel; her grandchildren: Kirsten, Dylan and Madison Lortscher and Helen, Rachel and Amanda Krehbiel and Faith Lachapelle. Extended family includes niece, nephew, and cousins in Alberta; sister-in-law, husband, niece, and nephew in Texas, all with their respective families.
Funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, January 10, 2020 at the Bern United Methodist Church in Bern, Kansas. Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 9, 2020 at the church. Following inurnment at the Bern Cemetery, a meal for family and friends will be held at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Bern United Methodist Church or KU Medical Stem Cell Research, sent in care of Popkess Mortuary, 823 Virginia Street, Sabetha, Kansas 66534.
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