Betty Lee Davis
Betty Lee Davis passed away on Dec. 12.
Betty was born May 18, 1923 in Jackson County, to Virgil A. and Mabel L. Shippy Russell. Betty grew up on a farm on Russell Road in eastern Jackson County. Her father was a cabinet maker and carpenter and farmed 30 acres near Grain Valley. As a child, Betty loved to go with her dad when he went to the City Market to sell fruits and vegetables. She also accompanied him when he was asked to work for, then Eastern Judge, Harry S. Truman at the Jackson County (Home) Hospital on North Douglas. She and Margaret Truman learned to roller skate in the basement of the hospital. Betty was graduated with the class of 1941 from Lee’s Summit High School where she was a member of the girls’ basketball team.
Betty married Charles Henry “Chuck” Davis of Lee’s Summit on May 26, 1942, and to this union a son was born, Charles Russell Davis, on Dec. 8, 1945. Betty followed her husband across the country in 1944 during his aviation cadet and flight training to become an Army Air Corps B-17 pilot. He completed 30 combat missions in Europe before returning to Lee’s Summit.
Active in community service, Betty was a charter member of the Lee’s Summit XXV Study Club and served as President in 1954-1955. She was an active member for over 50 years, serving as an officer and contributing to numerous projects. XXV founded the community clothes closet for R7 School District children. In the beginning it was located in a small room in the high school. It was later expanded to become Lee’s Summit Social Services. Betty was very active in promoting the clothes closet; if one of the children needed something and a school nurse told Betty, the money to purchase the item soon appeared.
Betty began working for the R-7 School District in the 1950’s. She served as an attendance secretary for Lee’s Summit High School, subsequently moving to the central business office of the school district to work for Dr. Bernard C. Campbell. She initially served as a payroll clerk and was later promoted to Treasurer of the R7 District. During this time, Betty belonged to the Jackson County School Secretaries Association, eventually serving as a state officer of what is now the Missouri Association of Educational Office Professionals.
Betty was an active member of the Lee’s Summit Methodist Church since her marriage in 1942, serving on numerous committees and later as Church Treasurer. She was also active in the United Methodist Women, belonging to the Martha Circle. Betty was a well-known cook, sharing her famous cookie recipes with church staff and members of the congregation, as well as friends and neighbors.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Henry “Chuck” Davis who was killed in 1974; both her parents and her beloved mother-in-law, Mrs. Ray Betts Davis.
Betty is survived by her only child, Charles Russell “Russ” Davis, a retired United States Air Force colonel, and his wife, Nancy Lee Davis of McLean, Virginia. She also leaves behind cousins, Klonda Lightfoot Holt and family and Larry Lightfoot and family, very special friend, Mary Conkling and her son Bill Conkling, his wife Amy, their children, Chris and Drew of Lee’s Summit, and Richard Conkling and his wife, Kitty of Fort Wayne, Indiana.
Family visitation will be held at the Langsford Funeral Home on Dec. 21, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Services will follow on Dec. 22, at 10 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Lee’s Summit Educational Foundation, 301 NE Tudor Road, Lee’s Summit, MO, 64086, Attention: Ms. Kim Fritche.
(Arrangements: Langsford Funeral Home, 115 SW Third St., Lee’s Summit, MO, 64063, 816-524-3700.)