Cover photo for Betsey Fletcher's Obituary
Betsey Fletcher Profile Photo
1927 Betsey 2015

Betsey Fletcher

January 18, 1927 — January 5, 2015

Betsey Sheidley Fletcher was born in Kansas City on January 18, 1927 and died surrounded by her family on January 5, 2015.  She was 87 years old.  Betsey lived a life full of family, community, intellectual curiosity, and love of nature.  She married the love of her life, John Parker Fletcher, on October 15, 1949 and lost him on April 24, 1993.  She raised three children, Janet, John and Bob.   Betsey lived her whole life in the Kansas City area, starting at the Border Star School and continuing through Southwest High School, Class of 1944.  She spent her first two years of college at Wellesley College in Wellesley, Massachusetts, where she found a world of learning, poetry and lifelong friends.  She transferred to Kansas University in 1946 and became a passionate Jayhawk.  At KU, she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma, was active in student government and the yearbook, and continued her love of learning as a serious student.  She graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. degree in English in 1948.  Betsey loved literature and reading her entire life and enjoyed a wide variety of novels, histories and poetry.  She was part of many book clubs throughout her adult years and continued writing informal research papers on literature and history.  Within a year after graduation, John swept into her life and they embarked on their lifelong journey together, with Betsey focused on being the best mother possible while John pursued his career principally at Russell Stover Candies.  Betsey and John were long-time members of Mission Hills Country Club, where they danced and dined and golfed and played tennis with a wide and deep circle of lifelong friends, and of the Second Presbyterian Church, where she married John.  Betsey loved Kansas City and her life revolved around giving back to the greater Kansas City community.  She was a leading board member at many community organizations, including the American Red Cross, receiving the American Red Cross Humanitarian Award in 1986; Children’s Mercy Hospital, where she was vice-president and secretary of the board for many years and led many board committees; Heart of America Family Services (now the Family Conservancy), where she was president of the board from 1975-77; Greater Kansas City Community Foundation; Visiting Nurse Association of Kansas City, where she was president of the Board from 1973-74; the Children’s Center for the Visually Handicapped, where she was president of the Board from 1952-53; the United Way; the Junior League of Kansas City; and many, many others.  She received the Spirit of Philanthropy Award as Volunteer of the Year in 2002.  Betsey and John traveled the world together and with their lifelong friends.  Betsey’s spirit of adventure was always present in those trips and in her lifelong love the Rocky Mountains, especially Estes Park, Colorado where she hiked and camped and fished with her family and friends many summers.  She climbed Long’s Peak (14,256 feet) in Rocky Mountain National Park in 1948, starting a family tradition of climbing Long’s that has continued down through the generations.  Those generations include her daughter Janet Graham and her husband Alan Graham, her son John Fletcher, her son Bob Fletcher and his wife Lynn Fletcher, and her brother William Sheidley and his wife Harlow Sheidley.  She was recently predeceased by her older sister Barbara Sheidley Petro.  Her love of life continues in her four grandchildren, Janet’s daughter Amanda Graham Dresie and her husband, Jared Dresie, and Bob’s children, Laura Fletcher, Katherine Fletcher and Daniel Fletcher, and her three great grandchildren, Madalin, Annabel, and Charlie Dresie.  In recent years, Betsey was in failing health after a series of strokes but her heart was always strong with her love of life and family to the end.  A private family burial will be held at Forest Hills Cemetery in Kansas City on Friday, January 9, 2015, followed by a memorial service at Second Presbyterian Church, 318 E. 55th Street, Kansas City, MO, at 1 pm on January 9.  In honor of Betsey’s community service, in lieu of flowers, please provide donations to Children’s Mercy Hospital or the Family Conservancy.  Please share a memory or offer condolences at www.overlandparkchapel.com.

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