Betty Kieffer Lessenden

Inurnment services for Betty Kieffer Lessenden, Lawrence will be 10am. Thursday July 7, 2011 at Pioneer Cemetery, University of Kansas West Campus.

She was born in Lawrence, the daughter of Fred H. Kieffer and Fern Whitsitt Kieffer.

Mrs. Lessenden graduated from Liberty Memorial High School in Lawrence. Following graduation from high school, she obtained her degree in microbiology from the University of Kansas, and subsequently worked as a microbiologist in Toledo, Ohio. She was known locally as a studio potter for many years.

She married Glenn Lessenden, MD, in 1947, he preceded her in death in 1989.

Mrs. Lessenden was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Lawrence, Kansas, Chapter EA of the PEO Sisterhood, and Chapter Phi (University of Kansas) of Alpha Chi Omega. She served as a member of the College Advisory Board for the University of Kansas College of Liberal Arts and Sciences for five years. She was formerly a member of the Douglas County Medical Society Auxiliary and the Kansas State Medical Society Auxiliary. She was a long-time member of the Lawrence Art Guild, the Lawrence Potter’s Guild, and the Kansas Artists Craftsman’s Association. She was a Lifetime Member of the University of Kansas Alumni Association, and a member of the University of Kansas Gold Medal Club. She volunteered for many years at the Ballard Center and for LINK.

She is survived by her two children, Dr. Glenn A. Lessenden, Jr, DVM, Platte City, Missouri, and Judy Lessenden, MHSA, Overland Park, Kansas. She has two grandsons, Michael and Alan, one great-grandson, Connor, and one great-granddaughter, Rylee, and a sister, Ruth Stohs, Lawrence, Kansas.

There will be a reception following the inurnment at the Depot, (Lawrence Visitor Center) 402 N. 2nd St.

Memorials may be made to the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Endowment Association or the Lawrence Humane Society in care of the Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. 601 Indiana, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Messages & Condolences

From Bruce Lacey...

Glenn, Judith, and the whole Lessenden family. I check the Journal World online obits every month or so… was so saddened to see your mother’s passing 3 weeks ago. She was such a dear friend of Ruthanne’s and there are too many wonderful times they (and our dads, and the families) shared to even recount. In addition, Betty was such a sweet person–even when I was a little kid she always took the time to greet me and ask how I was doing. She was a great asset to the Lawrence community and contributed so much. People like her seem all too rare, and I’m sad to hear she’s gone.
Ruthanne is at Brandon Woods with Alzheimer’s, and in the last year has reached the point she doesn’t know us anymore. Jean (in Boston now) and I (in SF) visit about 3 times a year each, but it isn’t much of a visit these days. In previous years she always kept me posted on your doings, via your mom. Sad to see them all leaving us, but I guess it is their time. I live in San Francisco now and do some film work, and also graphics and animations for legal trials. Two kids (twins) just out of college, and a wife who’s stuck with me for 25 years now. I hope all is well with you and yours. My sympathies on Betty’s passing.
Love, Bruce

From Cindy Murray...

I am the deacon from the First Presbyterian Church who visited your mother the last couple of years. I am sorry that I will be out of town and unable to attend the reception in Betty’s honor on Thursday. She was always cheerful when I stopped by and she liked to hear about the building of the new Highway 59 which took her pottery studio. I live across the road and gave her updates. She really seemed to enjoy Pioneer Ridge and her room was a charming reflection of her artistic talents. I will miss our visits and our special friendship. – Cindy Murray

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