Betty Cravens, 97, of Lenexa KS passed to her heavenly home on October 3, 2022. She suffered a neck injury from a fall on September 13 from which she was unable to recover. Betty was born November 20, 1924 in Parsons KS to Lee and Beatrice Goodnight. She is the last of eight siblings to survive. A graveside service will be held at 1:00 PM on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, at Fairview Cemetery, 5700 Rd, Cherryvale KS followed by a celebration of life reception at ABJ’s Cruiser Café, 215 N Liberty, Cherryvale.
The family moved to Mound Valley KS where Betty graduated high school at the age of 16. At 17, she got her first job at Parsons Commercial Bank and commuted from Cherryvale on the “inter-urban.” While she planned to become a teacher, as well as a wife and mother, she found she liked her business classes so well that she went to Business College to train as a secretary. Over her lifetime, she worked as a bank teller in Parsons KS and San Antonio TX, as a secretary in Ottawa KS, and at the Montgomery County KS Treasurer’s Office. Later, along with her husband, she owned and operated a bus station in Chickasha OK, Cravens Kerr-McGee in Cherryvale KS and Best Way Service Station in Collinsville OK.
Betty met her first husband, Warren Kasper, at a USO dance at the Independence KS airbase where he was stationed. In 1946 they were married in Cherryvale KS, Warren took a job with the City Service Gas Company and they made their way to Ottawa KS where they raised their four children: Karen, Douglas, Kathryn and Russell. Warren died prematurely in 1956 after a battle with cancer and Betty became a “supermom,” raising four kids while working full time. Her youngest son Russell also preceded her in death when he lost his battle with cancer in 2005.
In 1974, while on a bus trip to El Paso TX with one of her sisters, Betty met Larry Cravens. They dated for two years and married in 1976 in Chickasha OK. Betty became stepmother to Larry’s two sons, Larry Gene and Tommy, and grandmother to their daughters. Betty and Larry worked hard at the bus station and gas stations they ran, but they also played hard, buying a house on a lake near Caney KS. All their children and grandchildren have fond memories of the paddle boat and fishing and swimming in that lake.
Betty loved to go shopping, especially for clothes, shoes and jewelry. When she took her last road trip with Karen and Kathy in 2019 (4700 miles across 8 states), they stopped at every thrift shop they could find along the road. Betty was an avid mystery reader and a bingo lover. She looked forward to getting together with friends to win quarters and candy bars.
Betty spent her last 9 years at Garden Villas of Lenexa KS, a retirement community close to Karen’s home, where she made many dear friends of both the residents and the staff. Those left to cherish Betty’s memory include 3 children, 2 stepsons, 11 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.