Betty Jean Morgan                 1928 – 2020


Betty Jean Morgan, 91, of Paola, (Somerset Community) passed away March 20, 2020, at Olathe Hospice House.


Due to the Coronavirus, there will be a private service, immediate family only.  Burial will be in the Somerset Cemetery, rural Paola.


Memorials are to the Betty Morgan Scholarship Fund through Gardner-Edgerton NEA USD 231, Alzheimers Association, or Miami County Cancer Foundation and can be sent in care of Dengel and Son Mortuary – Crematory, 305 N. Pearl St., Paola, KS, 66071.  Family and friends are encouraged to post their condolences and memories on Betty’s tribute wall @


Betty was born Sept. 18, 1928, in Drexel, Mo, the daughter of Raymond  and Esther (Strom) Gentry.  She grew up in Drexel and graduated from Drexel High School with the Class of 1945.


She received her Kansas Teacher’s Certificate and began teaching at Coldwater, Mo., where she taught in a one room school house.  She taught there for two years.  She then taught five years in Somerset, five years in Louisburg, and 31 years at Gardner Elementary.  She earned her Associates Degree at Ursuline Academy and her Bachelors Degree at Baker University in 1963.  While earning her Masters Degree from the University of Kansas, she taught two summers at Gillis School for Boys in Kansas City, Mo.  It was in 1966 that she earned her Masters Degree from KU.  Her teaching career spanned a period of 46 years.


Betty was united in marriage to Carl  Morgan on March 28, 1948.  They made their home in Somerset.  They became the parents of two daughters.


She was a member of the Kansas National Education Association and on the board of directors for active teachers six years and retired teachers for three years.  She started the Sunflower KNEA Retired where she was president for three years.  She was a representative on the KNEA assembly for budgets and resolutions.  She was a lobbyist for KPERS.  She was president of Miami County Retired Teachers Association.  She was a member of Beta Sigma Phi, lifetime member of VFW Auxiliary and Paola American Legion,  She served as Democratic Chairperson in Miami County for 15 years.  She had also been caretaker for the Somerset Cemetery for many years.


Betty’s church membership was with the Paola First Baptist Church.


She was preceded in death by her parents, husband Carl Morgan,  daughter Carla Jean Morgan, brother Cyril Gentry, sister Zelma Gentry, and Harold “Pete” Hatch (husband).


Survivors include: her daughter Lisa (Ronnie) Coleman of Paola; four grandchildren Angie (Chad) Van Ness-Cunningham, Morgan (Cassidy) Van Ness, DeeAnna (Brady) Delp, and Weston Coleman; six great grandchildren Gage McMullan, Curtis, Preston, and Nathan Van Ness, Alice Cunningham, and Zoey Delp; four sisters Opal Foster of St. Marys, KS, Lois Ann Holtz of Paola,, Susie Rasco of Liberty, Mo, Sandra Gentry of Liberty, Mo.; two brothers George (Paula) Gentry of Paola and Kenney (Pauline) Gentry of Grandview, Mo.; many, many nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.