Betty Ann (Strickland) Foltz, 88, of Ottawa passed away on Friday, February 5, 2021.
An avid Kansas sports fan, she spent many a March watching The Madness of KU, as well as fervently cheering on her beloved Royals and Chiefs.
Although born towards the end of the Depression, Betty’s childhood was rich with exploring the creeks and forests surrounding her family’s small farming residence near the campus of Ottawa University. Betty attended grade school in the original 3-room Garfield Elementary schoolhouse, and Junior and Senior High at the red brick Washburn structure on Main street. She was always so proud to say that her father Clifford (with only an 8th grade education) built the forms for the curved staircase inside the entrance of the building at 5th and Main. For some reason, this task had the building design team perplexed.
Betty was active in several different groups during her senior year at Ottawa High School but was most proud to serve as the captain of her Girls Athletic Association First Hour Championship Basketball squad. She played basketball throughout the Ottawa area, but primarily within church leagues. Betty would often voice her dismay at the fact that “girls had to play the same game as the boys, but only got to use half the court”. Being fond of all kinds of sports, she was always a defender of equality between genders.
In her adult life, Betty met and married Gordon Hughes of Wellsville, KS. She was proud and happy to be the wife of a farmer and enjoyed helping work the land with her husband. While living in Wellsville, Betty and Gordon had four children all who attended Wellsville schools. After her marriage to Gordon, Betty met and married another local farmer, Owen Frakes of rural Ottawa. Although their marriage was brief, Betty would frequently remark that she enjoyed the quiet of farm life and was able to share her children and grandchildren with Owen.
During one of her many High School Class Reunions, Betty became reacquainted with her childhood friend, Robert James “Jim” Foltz originally from Ottawa. Jim and Betty would later marry, and manage a B&B in Jeffersonville, VT before returning to their hometown of Ottawa, KS. Betty and Jim spent the next nearly 20 years happily working side-by-side on numerous rental homes around Ottawa. When not working on rental houses, they would travel the states visiting children, grandchildren, stepchildren and step-grandchildren. They were usually always in attendance for their grandkids youth sporting events shouting words of encouragement from the stands.
More times than can be counted, Betty was referred to, and considered herself, “Mom” to all her children’s friends. Speaking of friends, Betty had so many lovely friends, all gathered from over years. Many from church, card parties, boxing class, school mates, square dancing, neighbors, etc... The list is long and the stories even longer. Her bits of wit and wisdom, colloquialisms, and anecdotes will be long remembered.
Throughout her life Betty never ventured far from her beloved Ottawa. Over the years, she held a variety of jobs. From a telephone operator to a Lee’s Factory worker, from The Ottawa Herald to Kansas Gas Service Company, from Franklin Savings to Freda’s Dress Shop, just to name a few. Betty was a long time and active member of Faith Lutheran Church, and as always drew great strength and compassion from her faith in God.
Those members of the family who have passed through Heaven’s gates before her are Clifford Strickland (father), Ina Strickland Anderson (mother), Harry Anderson (stepfather), Gordon Hughes (husband), Noma & Russell McGuire (sister/brother-in-law), Clarence & Eunice Strickland (brother/sister-in-law), Doris & Chris Kruger (sister/brother-in-law), Robert James “Jim” Foltz (husband), Robert (Bob) Foltz (stepson).
Those family members ready to celebrate her amazing life are her children; Terry Hughes, Julie (Hughes) Kinney, Joe & Karen Hughes, and Laurie Hughes. Grandchildren; Brian & Megan Hughes, Brenda & Robert Carr, Jeremy Kinney, Jordan & Leah Kinney. Great-Grandchildren; Kate Hughes, Emily and Madison Carr. Stepchildren Chris & Nea Foltz, David & Leslie Foltz, Jeff & Danamichelle Foltz, Amy & Steve Mahoney. Step-grandchildren Jake, Sam, Nathan, Katie, Josh, Alex, Jordan, Christian, David, Aspen, Scott, and Patrick. Sister-in-law Beatrice Hughes of Wellsville, plus so many wonderful nieces and nephews that added to her amazing life.
The family has requested to delay Betty’s Celebration of Life until later in the year.
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