Cover photo for Betty Melcher's Obituary
Betty Melcher Profile Photo

Betty Melcher

November 21, 1943 — November 16, 2021

Betty Melcher, 77, Herkimer, was a nine-year survivor of colon cancer, an eight-year survivor of breast cancer, and fought bone cancer her last year, passing away at her home on Nov. 16, 2021, just five days short of her 78th birthday. Visitation is from Noon until 9 p.m., Sunday, November 21 at Kinsley Mortuary in Marysville. A funeral service will be 2 p.m., Monday, November 22 at the Immanuel Stateline Lutheran Church, north of Marysville. Burial will be in the Afton Cemetery, west of Marysville. Betty Ann Melcher was born on November 21, 1943 at Taylor, Texas to Lawrence and Alvira (Kieschnick) Leschber. She was baptized into the Body of Christ at St. John Lutheran Church, Detmold, TX on Feb. 6th, 1944. Her father was drafted into the military toward the end of WWII and served in the Sea Bees on Okinawa for about 6 months. Soon after her father’s return from the Navy, the family moved to the Kenedy Ranch near Thorndale where, as a six-year-old, Betty began weeding and picking cotton. It was there near the cotton patch she learned not to play with baby rattlesnakes. Betty was born with a heart defect then referred to as “blue baby”. Despite this defect, she was an active child and twirled baton and played trumpet for the Thrall Texas High School marching band. Her senior year she was elected Drum Major. In 1962 she entered Concordia College in Austin TX. While attending there, her heart condition made it difficult to take the stairs and she was moved to the first floor of the dorm. Open heart surgery was a new procedure at the time and on June 3rd, 1964 she was placed on a heart and lung machine and had her heart repaired at Breckenridge Hospital in Austin, TX, by Dr. Calhoun. She was only the 10th person to have this procedure in Austin. Betty was married to Curtis Melcher on Aug. 28th, 1964 at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Thorndale, TX. Five hundred people were invited and most of them came to the reception at the American Legion Hall in Taylor, TX. Betty left Thorndale on Aug 30th for Springfield, IL where Curtis had enrolled at Concordia Seminary. No living arrangements had been made. The seminary had volunteer families host students while they looked for housing. Betty and Curtis were soon in an apartment close to the seminary Curtis would attend. Betty worked at Horace Man Ins. Co. to help pay for Curtis’ tuition. In 1966 she and Curtis went to Atlantic, IA where Curtis was in a ministerial internship for a year. In the spring of 1968 they went to Strasbourg, France on a ten-week study tour with a group of fellow seminary students. Trips were made to Paris, Switzerland, West Germany and East Germany. In Paris they saw the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and the Mona Lisa. Betty enjoyed the French pastries and Brie cheese. The trip was complicated by riots that closed the French transportation down as the couple was due to return to the U.S. On July 4th, 1968 she and Curtis came to Herkimer, KS where Curtis had been assigned as Pastor of Zion Lutheran Church and Trinity at Afton. Betty was soon involved as a Sunday school teacher and later as a morning school teacher. In 1971 her son Marshall was born. Daughter Melissa was born in 1973, Sonja in 1976, and Tasha in 1979. She was devoted to her children and enjoyed them very much. She began working in the Marysville Elementary School system as a substitute teacher and soon became a school secretary. Over the years she made so many truly dear friends there. She enjoyed being with the children and was well liked by them. She retired in 2013 after 31 years with the district. Betty enjoyed baking, gardening, house plants, and raising chickens, ducks and geese. She was a friend to many people, one of whom was elderly member of Stateline, Mabel Bradsby. For many years, Betty did shopping, light cleaning, and preparing and sharing of meals with Mabel every Friday. Betty was preceded in death by her brother, Robert Leschber, and sister-in-law, Phylis Leschber. Survivors include her loving husband Curtis of 57 years, son Marshall both of Herkimer, KS, daughters Melissa Shultz and husband Brian of St. George, KS, Sonja Holle and husband Jon of Mulvane, KS, and Tasha Speier and husband Eric of Manhattan, KS, and two sisters-in-law, Nell Reinap of Bastrop, TX and Gevonne Kuhrt of League City, TX. She cherished her two granddaughters, Ashlyn Shultz and Mycah Shultz and her seven grandsons: Jacob (Rachel) Shultz, Zach Shultz, Caleb Holle, Ben Holle, Jeremiah Speier, Shawn Speier, and Logan Speier. She adored her three great-granddaughters: Adrian, Octavia, and Georgina Shultz. She treasured her nieces, nephews, and many friends. Betty was grateful for every doctor and nurse who ever helped her, but especially was fond of Dr. Donald Argo, Dr. Shane Thoreson, and Dr. Travis Koeneke. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Lutheran World Relief. or Texas Wendish Heritage Society. Contributions may be sent to Kinsley Mortuary, 1006 Broadway St., Marysville, KS 66508. Video of funeral for Betty Melcher To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Betty Melcher, please visit our flower store.
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