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Betty Lou ( Sees ) Little died on June 23rd, 2022 at 90 1/2 years of age.
She was born in Gordon, Nebraska on November 30, 1931 to Mary Basom and Otto Sees, the only girl of 5 children. Growing up as a farm girl during the depression was not a simple or easy life, but it gave her skills that would forever guide her decisions.
Her family moved to Marshfield, Missouri when she was 4 years old, where she resided until graduating high school. Their first home in Missouri was a log cabin. They didn't move into the house with indoor plumbing until she was a teenager- a house her father built. She was the valedictorian of her high school class, and would likely have been able to attend college on scholarship, but her parents had made the decision that she should go to business school, and paid her tuition before she realized there might be other options. She was the only child in the family who graduated high school, as her brothers were needed to work on the farm.
While on a bus traveling between Kansas City and Springfield she met Leonard E. Little, whom she married in 1951. Leonard was in the U.S. Navy when they married, and she lived and worked in San Diego, CA and the U.S. Island Territory of Guam.
Betty and Leonard moved to Kansas City, MO upon his Navy discharge, where Betty resided until her death. Betty and Leonard had four beautiful children, Leonard Michael ( Cathy ), Timothy James ( Ann Hakan ), Maria Anne ( Charles Fugate), and Douglas Patrick ( Jeanne ).After 22 years of marriage, Betty unexpectedly found herself to be a divorced mom with 4 children to raise. This heartbreak stayed with her, and she never remarried out of the fear of being hurt again. Having not worked outside the home since having children, she did what was needed to take care of her children, who were always her top priority. She got a government job with Internal Revenue Service, which allowed her to be home in the summer for her kids. She retired from IRS after 20 years of service, but always hated the job.
Betty was one of the most intelligent women you would ever meet, and placed a very high value on her children's education. There was never any question - her kids knew they were expected go to college, and despite her limited income, she was able to pay for the first 4 years of college for each of them...beyond that was their responsibility. All four of her children are in professional careers that contribute to the betterment of society. They all learned a strong work ethic from her. She may not have said it much to them, but she was proud of each of them, and bragged about them to others. She never received positive affirmations growing up, so never thought it necessary to give them to her children. But she got better, and learned to say " I love you" to her daughter.
To call her thrifty would be an understatement, but she always had what she needed, and rarely what she wanted. She made her children's clothes as much as she could, all meals were cooked at home, and she never bought bread- it was always home made. She was baking bread up until the last 6 months of her life. If something broke, she figured out how to fix it. To call a repairman was rare, and a sign that she either couldn't fix it or it wasn't a necessary part of life and she could do without. She showed love for others by her actions... cooking meals, phone calls with happy birthday wishes, homemade pies and cakes for birthdays, repairing and patching clothes, or even helping clean or manage life events. She didn't particularly like material gifts, or allow you to take her out for dinner, but would always accept an item if you told her you did not pay anything for it .. She never accepted any government assistance until the last year of her life, when she started getting Meals on Wheels. She did her own yardwork until the last year. She would sit in a yard chair and pull weeds from her flower beds. Very independent she was.
She never learned to drive, despite multiple failed attempts, likely because it wasn't a high priority for her. She would take the city bus or walk...and she walked A LOT. She would walk miles to get groceries, carrying them home. This likely contributed to her long life. She survived a knee replacement, 2 episodes of breast cancer, and VP shunt placement for spinal stenosis. She hated doctors and was a lousy patient, despite having 3 children in medical professions.
She might not have said things in a politically correct way, but her heart was always in the right place. Arguing with her did little good, and we usually figured out later that she was almost always right. She was funny and sharp and always had a project to work on. She had very high expectations for everyone, including products and services, and had no problem with returning anything...including toilet paper and an already cooked turkey.
In the last 10 years, she became the lady who fed the feral cats of the neighborhood, giving them each names like Welfare and Food Stamps. She acted as if they were a nuisance, but worried about them, and made them little houses in her back yard. She had a soft spot for animals from a young age. She often said she liked animals better than most people. She told us a story about when she was little, and she and her brother were coming home with a birthday cake. At the time, they lived near an Indian Reservation in Nebraska, and they met up with a Indian boy with a dog on a rope. The boy told them that the dog was to be his family's dinner. Betty and her brother proceeded with trading the dog for the cake, and taking the dog home. Not sure how her mom responded to the trade, but I always loved the story.
Betty is preceded in death by her parents, Mary and Otto, and all four brothers ( George Sterling (Happy), Alan Porter(Buddy ), Robert (Bobby), and Roy Dean (Deanie).She is survived by all four children, and multiple grand children ( Brooke Ferrell, Dylan Little, Erin Little, Claire Hakan Hickey, Maddie Little, Nathan Hickey, Sam Little, Cody Griffin, Shelby Griffin and Mary Little), and great grand children ( Lincoln, Josephine, Cassius, Justus, and Maggie ).She frequently said she couldn't die until Trump was out of office...and she made it...plus a couple extra years.
You were loved deeply, and will be missed more than words can say. We know life has not always been kind to you, and you were hurt by many, but you endured and thrived despite the trauma. You made your children into incredible human beings, and we will be forever thankful. We hope you have a peace and joy that surpasses all understanding. We will see you again, I am sure.
VISITATION will be on June 25th from 1-3 pm at Muehlebach Funeral Home, 6800 Troost, Kansas City, MO. BURIAL will be on July 7th at 1130 at Forest Hill and Calvary Cemetery at 6901 Troost Ave., K.C. MO.
To plant Memorial Trees in memory of Betty Lou Little, please click here to visit our Sympathy Store.
Saturday, June 25, 2022 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Muehlebach Funeral Care 6800 Troost Avenue Kansas City, Missouri 64131
Thursday, July 7, 2022 11:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Calvary Cemetery 6901 Troost Ave Kansas City, Missouri 64131
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