Betty Eva (Hutchinson) Hanke, age 79, of Topeka, KS, formerly of Sac City, IA, passed away on Monday, July 29, 2019, at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka. Betty was born on July 9, 1940, along with her brothers William “Billy” and Robert “Bob”, (triplets), born to Joe and Eva (Cheney) Hutchinson in Sac City. She was one of 14 children to Joe and Eva.
Betty married Neal Hanke on December 29, 1955, in Sac City. Betty and Neal lived around the country following Neal’s career including Alaska and Colorado. Eventually they moved back to Iowa to be near both of their families. Together they raised their two sons, Ron and Tim.
Betty worked outside the home at JC Penney, the Veterans Administration and for years she ran the Base Exchange store on the Air National Guard base in Topeka. Many have fond memories of Betty always having a smile and making everyone feel special by ensuring that she had their favorite snacks stocked. At the base she was the ‘Family Program’ person long before it became a paid position. She was heavily involved in the volunteer work with family support group where she coordinated Easter egg hunts, Christmas dances and ran Operation Kids Camp (which Benjamin enjoyed immensely). She played softball with the guard, was a Cub Scout den mother and enjoyed organizing the family picnics for the very large extended family in and around Sac City.
Many remember that it didn’t matter what point you were in your life making good or bad decisions, Betty always took the time to be nice to you. She cared for many in ways they will never fully understand.
Survivors include her husband of 63 years, Neal, of Topeka, KS, and Early, IA; sons: Ron (Penny) Hanke of Washington and Tim (Beth) Hanke of Topeka; three grandchildren: Stephanie (Robert), Benjamin (Amber), and Sheri (Neil); five great-grandchildren: Summer, Allyson, William, Elliott and River; sister: Donnita Hicks of Sac City; sisters-in-law: Charolette Hutchinson of Sac City, Lois Hale of Dakota City, IA, and Donna Hutchinson, formerly of Wentzville, MO; many nieces, nephews, and extended family members.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents; her siblings: Everett (Betty) Hutchinson, Eugene Hutchinson, Adah (Lawrence) Bauer, Norma (Arnold) Ripley, Virgil Hutchinson, Maurine (Willis) Stanford, Robert “Bob” Hutchinson, Charlotte (Tom) Moore, Dickie Hutchinson; brother-in-law Everett Hicks; infant brothers: Paul, William “Billy”, and Keith; and great-granddaughter Samantha Graham.