Cover photo for Betty T. Long's Obituary
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1924 Betty 2024

Betty T. Long

August 1, 1924 — March 18, 2024


Betty T. Long, age 99, died on Monday March 18, 2024 at her home in Lakeview Village, Lenexa, Kansas. A Remembrance Service and Celebration of Life will be held at Lakeview on Saturday morning, April 20, 2024, at 10am.

Betty Colleen Torrans was born on August 1, 1924 in Texarkana, Arkansas, the third of five siblings. Her parents were Virginia Walker Torrans and William Harrison Torrans. Her family, as many others in that era, was greatly affected by the Depression. Despite hardship, Betty always described a happy childhood, with her father reading from the classics and her mother finding ways to keep everyone fed and clothed. Betty often said that her mother was the one who kept the family together and made sure they knew they were loved.

Betty was committed to furthering her own education, and persevered over some 20 years and five universities across the country to finally obtain her degree from the University of Kansas in English and Philosophy. Her studies began in Medicine, and in Chicago she met her husband Dave in a lab where they worked on a cure for malaria. Later she considered Journalism, as she had an interest in reporting and newspaper publication. Her love of classic writings and philosophy culminated in a degree, but she never stopped in her quest for knowledge, and she was always ready and eager for a lively discussion on philosophy or politics.

Betty and Dave married in 1946, and lived in Chicago while Dave finished his degree, and Betty worked for an advertising firm and attended night classes. They moved to Baltimore, where Dave’s family lived, and until they started their family Betty worked for the American Totalisator Company and attended night classes at Johns Hopkins University. A job change brought them to Kansas in 1965, where Betty did volunteer work, as well as working for Johnson County Information and Referral Services and later for Johnson County Community College. She commuted to Lawrence to continue her education. Betty and Dave shared a love of music, which led them to Village Presbyterian Church, where they were devoted choir members, attended adult education classes and worshipped all their lives.

Betty was a lifelong scholar, and devoted herself to reading and staying current with developments in science, art, education, cooking, politics, climate, religion and world events. Betty championed women’s rights and equality. Her interests covered many areas, and she continued her education to her final days.  Betty was a member of a Great Books group and kept up with the readings. She was an avid reader of the Kansas City Star, and over the years clipped hundreds, and hundreds, of articles for her friends and loved ones. She mastered email and typed letters on her computer. Her family never ceased to be amazed and proud of her accomplishments.

Betty was predeceased by her four siblings, her husband David who died in 2006 and her son Christopher who died in 2022. Betty is survived by her daughter Karen Plumb and husband Brad of Overland Park, her grandson David Plumb and wife Margaret of Carbondale, Colorado, and her granddaughter Megan Cummings and husband Gregory of Lenexa, Kansas. Betty had 4 young great grandchildren, Ethan, Eleanor, Caleb and Murphy who brightened her life with laughter and joy. Also surviving are daughter-in-law Elizabeth Conlin of Long Island, New York, as well as many beloved nephews and nieces. Betty cherished her family and friends beyond measure, and kept in touch with many.

Betty was committed to supporting her favorite causes and charities, including Village Church, Lakeview Foundation, University of Kansas Philosophy Department, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, National Organization for Women, Southern Poverty Law Center, and Heifer International. The family suggests contributions to Village Church Memorial Fund, or any of her favorite charities.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty T. Long, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, April 20, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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