Betty Wilson


Betty Wilson was born on June 29, 1933, in Medicine Lodge to Clifford and Pauline Blanchat. She passed away peacefully on Oct. 12, 2021, after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2015. She stayed alert and responsive all those years, even though the disease eventually robbed her of her ability to speak.
When Betty was born, her parents (her older brother, Bill, was born in 1930) were involved with farming and dairy operations in Medicine Lodge. In 1939, they all moved to a leased farm in Nashville, Kan. In 1943, Betty’s parents decided to move to Danville and purchase a house and 80 acres to continue farming. Betty lived in this house until graduating from Harper High School in 1951. The 1918 home and the property are still owned by Betty’s nephew.
After high school graduation, Betty attended nurse’s training but decided that she needed to look for other career opportunities. She worked at a Wichita bank and commuted to Danville on the weekends to remain in touch with her father and mother. During this time, Betty applied to be a stewardess and was selected to attend training in Omaha in January 1952. She quickly got a job offer after the training, but her parents were not excited about her moving out of state. Betty returned to Danville. However, in June 1952, TWA (Trans World Airways) hired Betty and she worked at the old Wichita Municipal terminal (now McConnell Air Force Base) for about four years until she started a family.
Betty was married to Dean Wilson on Oct. 30, 1954. They raised three sons in Wichita while Dean worked for Continental Airlines. Betty and Dean also started Wilson’s Appliance in Goddard in 1973. Betty was a tireless homemaker and put incredible energy into raising her sons and making sure they got what they needed to succeed. She was also responsible for making the part time appliance business a success by using her organization and sales skills.
In approximately 1980, Betty decided to go back to regular work. She was an indispensable asset for the Goddard School District and held many positions, including bus driver, landscaping, grounds maintenance, and custodial work. No job was too small or too big. She would work in the hot summers and cold winters outside and would frequently report for work in the 12-4 a.m. time frame when she was responsible for the USD 265 Central Office custodial duties. Betty took great pride in her work and was an important member of the district staff. She retired when she was 65 years old but then was immediately rehired and continued working until she was approximately 78 years old. In 1985, Betty and Dean were divorced and she never remarried. She put her energy into her work, gardening, children, grandchildren, rentals, and building her retirement home in 2009. She also owned wheat and pastureland in Harper County and worked with her tenant in farming operations. Betty became an avid pet lover and owner. She had a kind heart for most animals but especially cats. Betty could be best characterized by her passion for work and her tenacity in identifying problems and solving them quickly.
Betty is preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Bill Blanchat (passed away November 2020). She is survived by her sons, Steve Wilson of Arroyo Grande, Calif., Bob Wilson of Houston, Texas, and Tim Wilson of Goddard; three grandchildren, Adam Wilson, Leah Wilson, and Lori Chapman; and five great-grandchildren.