Cover photo for Betty Jean Meinke's Obituary
Betty Jean Meinke Profile Photo

Betty Jean Meinke

June 20, 1927 — January 1, 2024

Mission, Kansas

Betty Jean Meinke


Betty was born in Kansas City Kansas, June 20, 1927 at the home of her father and mother, Ralph and Lillie Garvin and her two year old sister Mary. Her younger brother Ralph was born in 1931.

Her father died in early 1936, due to pneumonia ,when she was eight years old. Her youngest sister Geraldine,  was born in April of that same year.

Her childhood was fun with three siblings to play and fight with. But Betty and her oldest sister, Mary, had to help raise the two two younger kids, which required them to take jobs early in life and contribute much of the money made to supporting the family.

Betty worked at the Katz drug stores for many years, managing the tobacco and candy departments at the Brookside and downtown KCK locations.

She married Vernon C Meinke around 1950 and went to work for International Harvester, doing keypunch, so that she could work near him, and have the same work hours, he worked for Sunshine biscuit in the Fairfax district. They built a home in Mission Kansas , where they lived fo 14 years.

In 1956 she gave birth to her only child, Mike, and became a stay at home mom for the next 17 years. She was very active in the school PTA, Parent teachers association, in Mission and in the KCK school districts.

In 1966 the family moved to KCK, in order to have ten acres, to allow Mike and his dad to raise horses. Betty later did have a horse, but did not enjoy the riding as much, she did however spend much time helping to feed and bathe the horses so that Her son and husband could ride in parades and horse shows. Mike also had a goat that was a great pet until it kept butting Betty to the point that she said it was time for him to go. I think that was the only pet she ever made Mike get rid of.

In 1972 the family purchased 60 acres west of Bonner Springs and built a large ranch house and barn. They moved there in 1973, living in the basement for six months while they finished the upstairs. There was one bathroom, partially finished, in the basement, that served as bathroom and kitchen for that six months. Betty learned to cook a lot of varied meals in an electric skillet.

Betty went back to work in 1973, since Mike was going to be starting college the next year.

Over the years she worked at  Mid-continent underground storage, and Safeway cereal .

In 1982 she became a grandmother, with the birth of her granddaughter Kristi. Betty greatly loved being the grandmother and baking cookies and reading stories to her.

In January of 1987 her husband Vernon retired, that summer they purchased a 26’ sail boat and Betty became his first mate. Unfortunately in November that year Vernon passed away.

After staying two years on the farm, she sold the sixty acres and moved to Lenexa.

She started working for the Johnson county volunteer center and joined the Beta Sigma Phi sorority to help keep busy.

During this time she rekindled a child hood friendship with Ralph Willets, whose nick name was “Bucky”

Betty went in with her son on a cabin on lake of the Ozarks, where she enjoyed the lake life, and fishing and cruising.

Bucky enjoyed exploring and they traveled to many places including Alaska and Hawaii, he unfortunately passed away in January 2001.

During the following years she was very active with her sorority and spending time with her close friend Phyllis Hill.

One thing she had always wanted was a convertible car, in 2014 she got one, a little red mustang. She enjoyed taking it on short trips to Weston, or driving around Wyandotte county lake.

The one thing Betty will always be remembered by was her smile, and never meeting a stranger.

In her last year, she spent it at Trustwell Assisted living, spending time with her close friend Joyce Kuttler and making many new friends.

She is preceded in death by her Husband Vernon, her Brother Ralph, and her younger sister Geraldine. She is survived by her older sister, Mary, her  son Mike, her granddaughter Kristi, Kristi’s husband Blu and her great granddaughter Kaylee.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Jean Meinke, please visit our flower store.

Past Services


Tuesday, January 9, 2024

1:30 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Johnson County Funeral Chapel

11200 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66210

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Memorial Service

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Johnson County Funeral Chapel

11200 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS 66210


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Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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