Herschel Benton Betts passed away on May 15, 2019 at The Willow House Assisted Living in Hays, Kansas at the age of 92. He was born in Norcatur, Kansas on November 15, 1926, to Jacob and Loretta (Belt) Betts.
At the age of nine his family moved to Oberlin as his father was with the First National Bank which later became Decatur County National Bank. As a child Herschel remembered attending the dedication of Sappa State Park with his family and was pleased upon his return to Oberlin in 1968 to be a part of the project to build the Oberlin Country Club Golf Course in that area. He graduated from Decatur Community High School in 1945, served in the U.S. Army, and attended Fort Hays State College where he played football for four years and earned degrees in physical education and business. He later attended the University of Northern Colorado and completed a master’s degree in school administration.
Following his marriage to Marion Joan Bremer on August 17, 1949, Herschel coached football, track, and taught accounting at Coldwater and Ulysses, and at Concordia from 1956 to 1968. He then served as high school principal at Oberlin from 1968-1981. After retiring, he and Marion continued to make their home in Oberlin and on the farm near Dresden before moving to Cedar View Assisted Living in Hays in 2015.
Herschel was a member of the Oberlin Rotary for almost 50 years serving as District 5670 Governor from 1986-1987. He was also a member of the Oberlin United Methodist Church, Fort Hays University Alumni Association, and was a Decatur County Commissioner. Herschel and Marion enjoyed attending Rotary conventions and traveling to other continents and visiting family members.
Herschel is survived by his wife Marion; sons, Gene Betts and wife Jan of Austin, TX and J. Rod Betts and wife Lisa Kay of La Jolla, CA; daughter, Susan McMonagle and husband Charles of Bellingham, WA; six grandchildren: Anne (Mike) Schmidt and Mary Kate (Kyle) Juliff of Austin, Michael Betts of Denver, Casey Kay Betts of Houston, Christine (Adam) Ohlson of London, England, and Wes (Brianna) McMonagle of Sacramento, CA; six great-grandchildren: Mary and Henry Schmidt, Maddison, Ryan and Brett McMonagle, and Emily Ohlson; three nieces: Jan Ray of Palm Desert, CA, Jody Westby of Washington D.C., and Debbie Lohoefener of Oberlin; nephew, Greg (Mary Jo) Lohoefener of Kansas City; and cousin, Anne (Gene) Sullivan of Newport Beach, CA.
He is preceded in death by his parents; grandparents, Samuel & Eliza (Andekmann) Betts and Bailey and Mary Belt; brother, James; sister, Phyllis (Ray) Lohoefener; nephew, Kim Betts; and aunts and uncles.
A memorial service will be held Monday, May 20, 2019 at 2:00 pm at the United Methodist Church in Oberlin. Inurnment will follow at the Oberlin Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Oberlin Country Club Golf Course, Oberlin United Methodist Church, Oberlin Library, Fort Hays University Foundation, or Oberlin Cemetery (Memorial Tree Project) and may be sent in care of Pauls Funeral Home, 121 N. Penn Ave, Oberlin, KS 67749. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.paulsfh.com.