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1926 Betty 2017

Betty Lorraine Whitesell

November 16, 1926 — September 28, 2017

Betty Lorraine (Sorg) Whitesell died Thursday, September 28, 2017 at Homestead Estates in Liberal.

She was born on November 16, 1926 in Hiawatha, Kansas. She was the daughter of Winnie Gertrude (Standish) and Lawrence Christopher Sorg. This made her a many great-granddaughter of Captain Myles Standish who arrived in America on the Mayflower. The family were members of the Christian Church.
A sister, Delores Ann and brother, Marvin LeRoy were added the family. Her father took a position with the Sabetha Creamery so they moved there. Also, her grandmother Standish lived with them for the next few years.

Betty began as a piano student of Pauline Fisher. She began teaching piano under Pauline’s guidance, and soon held her own recital. At Sabetha High School, she played a clarinet in the band and orchestra, and twirled in the marching band. She graduated from Sabetha in 1944.

Betty attended Emporia State Teachers College, where she received a certificate as an elementary teacher. She began teaching in Caldwell, KS. She produced musical programs with the children that the community enjoyed.

In 1948, she married Emitt Whitesell at the Presbyterian Church in Caldwell. They began farming outside of Argonia, KS. In 1969, they moved to Caldwell.

Betty continued her education, completing a Masters Degree in Special Education with 5 different specialty degrees from Northwestern State College in Alva, OK. During her teaching career, she also taught in Argonia as substitute teacher, Bluff City, KS as a kindergarten teacher and Caldwell as special education teacher. She taught until May of 1981. They then moved to Weslaco, TX, until Emitt passed on May 12, 2003. She lived in Weslaco until 2013, when she moved to Liberal to live with her daughter Becky.

Betty was a member of Daughters of the American Revolution, and of the Turpin United Methodist Church in Turpin, OK.


Survivors include:

1 Son
Michael Jay Whitesell and his wife Donna Wichita, KS

1 Daughter
Becky Diane Whitesell Gibb and her husband Dennis “Pete” Liberal, KS

1 Sister
Delores Ann Sorg Rankin Omaha, NE


1 Niece, Delores’ daughter
Tracie Rankin Archer and her husband Dan Elkhorn, NE

2 Grandchildren
Michelle Whitesell Campbell and her husband Caleb California
Zachary Miles Whitesell Tulsa, OK


She was preceded in death by her parents, brother Marvin LeRoy Sorg, a baby sister, Barbara Standish Sorg, and a brother-in-law, John William Rankin.

Graveside inurnment will be 11:00 am Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at the Caldwell Cemetery, in Caldwell Kansas.

Memorial Contributions may be made Turpin United Methodist Church in care of Brenneman Funeral Home, 1212 W. 2nd Liberal, KS 67901.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.brennemanfuneralhome.com
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Lorraine Whitesell, please visit our flower store.

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Caldwell Cemetery

Caldwell, KS

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