Bettie Jo Akins, 75, of Olathe, Kansas, passed away on Sunday, October 24, 2021. She was born on March 27, 1946, in Memphis, Tennessee to John and Helen (Watson) Schurman.
Bettie grew up living all over the United States, graduating from high school in Tallahassee, Florida in 1964. In 1973, Bettie married Delwin Akins in Columbus, Georgia. After struggling to have children for several years, they were blessed by a daughter, Rachel, in 1978, and a son, Aaron, soon after.
For nearly two decades after marrying Delwin, Bettie was the glue that held the family together throughout the frequent moves required by Delwin’s Army career, with their three years in Hawaii holding a special place in her heart. After Delwin retired from active military service in 1990, the family settled in Olathe Kansas, where Bettie would spend the rest of her life. Throughout their childhood, Bettie’s love for her children overflowed, including an iron determination that both of her children would have college degrees, a privilege not afforded to her despite her many intellectual gifts. Bettie’s love didn’t stop there though – nieces and nephews, cousins, children of friends and friends of children – Bettie loved them all as her own. A visitor to the Akins house in those days could find any combination of the young people above seated at the dinner table, being loved by a good meal, a sympathetic ear, and wisdom offered up kindly and lovingly. Bettie taught her children her method of parenting, “all you need is love,” and in that sense, she was a mother-in-love to more people, family members or not, than can possibly be listed.
A lover of music, gardening, and reading, Bettie’s favorite pastime later in life was spoiling her four granddaughters, each of whom adored their Mee Moo just as much as she did them.
Bettie is survived by her loving husband of forty-eight years, Delwin; children, Rachel, her husband Danny, Aaron, and his wife Ai Leen; grandchildren, Macie, Avery, Catherine, and Adeline; siblings, James Schurman, John Schurman, and Kim Petrie, many nieces and nephews, and other individuals not related by blood but loved by her as family.
She was preceded in death by her parents John Schurman and Helen Watson, as well as her first husband, Shelby O’Shields.
The family will receive guests for a visitation from 1:00 to 2:00pm on Saturday, October 30, 2021 at Penwell Gabel's Olathe Chapel, with the funeral service following at 2:00pm. Burial will be at Olathe Memorial Cemetery.
The family would like to express their gratitude for the loving care that Bettie received at Aberdeen Village during the last years of her life. Should anyone wish to make a donation in Bettie’s memory, the family requests that donations be made to City Union Mission.
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