Betty Lou Ikenberry, 83, of Baxter Springs, Kan., passed away at her granddaughter’s home surrounded by her family on March 14, 2018.
Born March 11, 1935, in Niagara Falls, NY, she was the daughter of the late Kathleen Mason and John Richardson.
Betty grew up in St. Catherine’s, ON, Canada. At 16, she ventured out on her own and joined the Royal American Show. The show traveled across the US, performing at state fairs and carnivals. As a Magician’s Assistant, her role was to entertain the audience with the art of illusion. She also had other responsibilities such as selling tickets, collecting money, etc. She spent four years traveling with the show and each year they wintered in San Antonio, Texas. During the off-season, she obtained her GED and later her Certified Nurse’s Training Certificate. She also took classes such as tap and ballet to enhance her performances. At the age of 20, she decided to take a nanny position in Long Beach, Calif. It wasn’t long after that she met her future husband. Once they were married, he whisked her off to the great state of Kansas. They moved throughout the state in the early years of their marriage, but in 1971 they moved to Baxter Springs, Kan. and called it home for over 45 years. Her most important job was that of a mother and grandmother, but through the years she took seasonal or part-time jobs to earn extra money for Christmas. She worked at Spring River Inn, King Louie’s, Conard’s Pecans, and the Joplin Airport to name a few. Her favorite job was at MSSC. She loved working in the catering department. She loved learning and took various classes throughout the years. Her computer class paid off, as she was an avid fan of Facebook, email, and her casino games! She knew long ago that if she wanted to stay in touch with her grandkids and great-grandkids that she would have to learn to navigate the Internet. She was an active member of her community and the VFW Ladies’ Auxiliary. She held all official VFW offices for the Auxiliary and she loved facilitating the Voice of Democracy and Patriot’s Pen contests within the schools. She was an avid history buff and loved being able to share her patriotism with the students.
She is preceded in death by her loving husband Carl of 62 years and her siblings: John Richardson, Virginia Richardson, Cheryl Ann Findlay, and half brother Jimmy Richardson. She is lovingly remembered by her sons, Harold Ikenberry of Seneca, Mo., Larry Ikenberry of Joplin, Mo., and Wayne (the late Robyn) Ikenberry of Carthage, Mo.; eight grandchildren, Ticey (Harold) Geyer, Alex Ikenberry, Nick (Rhonda) Ikenberry, Nichole Manion, Katie (Jesse) Short, Dalton (Kimberly) Ikenberry, Jesse Ikenberry, and Joey Ikenberry and 11 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Duke Redbird of Toronto, Canada, her half sister Norma Richardson of Quebec, Canada and by nieces, nephews, and extended family. Betty was a loving mother, wife, grandmother and friend to all.
A special thank you to Hospice Compassus and Phoenix Home Health & Hospice for their loving care and support. Also thank you to Derfelt’s Baxter Chapel for all of the arrangements.
Services will be held on Monday, March 26th at 2 p.m. at Derfelt’s Baxter Chapel, 328 E. 12th Street, Baxter Springs, Kan.