Betty Jane Mitscher

Betty Jane Mitscher, of Shawnee and a longtime Lawrence resident and devoted mother, died peacefully following a brief illness on Thursday at her home with her family by her side.

She is survived by her sons, Kurt and his spouse, Karen of Olathe, KS, Mark, and his spouse Janet, of Shawnee, KS, and her grandchildren Mary Mitscher and Pat McKenney, Trevor Mitscher, and Shayla and Steven Clark. She had multiple nieces, Micki Tugenburg, Linda Fleming, Katherine Beach, Suzanne McRoberts, and Jill Roberts, of whom she was very fond. She was proceeded in death by her husband of over 60 years, Dr. Lester A. Mitscher, her daughter Katrina, her parents and her two brothers, Louis and Alan McRoberts.

Betty was born on November 3, 1931, in Ferndale, MI. She was the first child of Louise (Thomas) and John McRoberts. She excelled in Academics and Athletics at Ferndale High School and completed her teaching degree at Wayne State University. She met her future husband during her Freshman year, and they married upon graduation. After graduation she taught in the Detroit School District, until pregnancy forced her to resign. She then joined her husband in the labs at Wayne State University specializing in chemical analytics. Throughout the years, she assisted Les in his work, especially internationally.

Betty was a consummate host, often hosting University parties and graduate students both as a chef and pastry maker. Her Christmas cookie trays were legendary, and she shared that passion with Janet, Mary, and Shayla. She loved skiing and annual trips were highlights of the year, as were canoeing adventures in the Ozarks. Les and Betty loved to travel the world, often on month long adventures and they were most happy on Safari’s in Africa. Betty excelled at Needlepoint and was very generous in gifting her work.

More than anything else in life, she maintained exacting standards for herself, her family and her friends, which led to countless lifelong friendships. Those who knew her best cared greatly for her. She had a great love for the University of Kansas and established Scholarships for the band, pharmacy, and engineering. She also greatly admired the Kansas Rugby Team and her donations helped build locker rooms and other facilities for the team.

Visitation will be at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home from 6PM-8PM on Wednesday, February 14th . Private graveside services for the family and close friends will take place the following day at Oak Hill Cemetery. The family requests that donations be made via Rumsey-Yost to Monarch Hospice, which provided her with dignity and love in her last days.