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Betty Jean Emberton

Joe Denoyer - January 28, 2022 10:03 am

Betty Jean Emberton, age 99, died January 17, 2022, in Oro Valley, Arizona. She was born, June 13, 1922, in Elkhart, Kansas, the daughter of John Everett and Helen (Haines) McCormick.

Betty Jean’s family moved to Scott City, Kansas, just before Betty Jean’s freshman year. She was an award-winning Bassoonist in the high school music department and concert band. In her junior year, her family moved to Hotchkiss, Colorado. After graduation, she attended Western State College. After World War II, she returned to Western State College and graduated with a degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Music. She taught grade school in Grand Junction, Colorado, and also played the Bassoon in the Grand Junction Symphony Orchestra. After two years, Betty Jean returned to Elkhart and took a teaching job at Elkhart Elementary School. Betty Jean married Ted Emberton. They later moved to Hugoton and she began her 50 years teaching first grade; sharing her kindness with many young lives. Betty Jean was awarded the Kansas Teachers Hall of Fame honor; Hugoton’s Woman of the Year; was instrumental in establishing the Hugoton PEO chapter and was their first president. She was dedicated to Hugoton Baptist Church and was their organist for 50 years. Betty Jean had the opportunity to travel to Europe on several occasions, and visit her sister and her husband in southern California. At 92, Betty Jean relocated to an assisted and independent living facility in Tucson, Arizona, to be near her niece Von Ceil and her husband Jim.

She is survived by her sister, Barbara Lou Johnson of Yucaipa, California; nieces, Monzell Emberton McFaddin of San Ramon, California, Von Ceil Emberton Bleese and husband Jim of Tucson, Arizona, Michelle Emberton Dorsey of Douglas, Wyoming, and Susan Mitchell and husband Tony of Lawrence, Kansas; and many friends. 

Betty Jean was preceded in death by her parents; and husband, Ted in the spring of 1978.

Graveside service will be at 2:00 PM on Wednesday, February 9, 2022, at the Elkhart Cemetery in Elkhart, Kansas, with Jim Bleese officiating. Memorial contributions may be made to the High Plains Theatre in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 423 S. Main St., Hugoton, KS 67951. Condolences may be posted at

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