Betty Whitney Alderson

Betty Whitney Alderson died on November 4, 2023, in Lawrence.  She was born on November 19, 1924, in Topeka, Kansas to Evelyn W. Miller Whitney and Dwight Wright Whitney.  She went to Topeka High and graduated from Wichita North High School.  She attended the University of Kansas and graduated from the School of Pharmacy in 1946.  She continued her loyal support for KU for the rest of her life.

She married Donald K. Alderson in June of 1946.

In addition to her work as a pharmacist, she was active in Girl Scouts, Sigma Kappa sorority, Kappa Epsilon (pharmacy), Mortar Board, and local, state, and national historic preservation.

Betty is survived by her daughter, Marcia (Jim) Buchanan of Alexandria, VA, and Tom (Susie) Alderson of St. Joseph, MO; five grandchildren Sarah and David Buchanan, Tom (Karli) Alderson, Hobie (Kaitlyn) and Harrison Hoffmann and great-grandchildren Megan and Maci Alderson, Lorraine Hoffmann, and nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband Donald K. Alderson, her sisters, Peggy Whitney Hobbs and Jane Lee Ford, and her daughter Susan Alderson Hoffmann. 

A Celebration of Life will be held on November 15 at 2:00 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials in Betty’s name to University of Kansas Endowment or to Plymouth Congregational Church and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

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7 Condolences

  1. Peggy Ford Alford on November 8, 2023 at 9:37 pm

    My prayers are with you during this time of you loss. Sending our love. The three sistes are all together again now in Heaven.

  2. Todd Etter on November 9, 2023 at 9:23 am

    I met Betty very late in her life. She was an incredibly gentle and sweet person and my life is better for having met her.

  3. Michele Dillon on November 10, 2023 at 8:18 am

    It was a pleasure to know her. My condolences to the family

    Jayhawk Area Agency on Aging

  4. Sarah Frick Benda on November 11, 2023 at 5:42 pm

    I met Betty when I brought my mother,Lonnie Kelley Frick to Lawrence for a KU Mortar Board reunion. My mother was in the same class with Donald. Betty was gracious to host us in her home. My condolences to her family. Betty was a very interesting and kind person.

  5. KT Walsh on November 15, 2023 at 11:41 am

    My condolences to all of Betty’s family. I met Betty when we were both board members of The Lawrence Preservation Alliance. I loved her. She was always prepared & waited to speak up until others had given their two cents on an issue. She was so intelligent & her input was incisive, well thought out & always pointed us toward action. She cared so deeply about Lawrence/Douglas County history & preserving the places that tell our story. I sat next to her for years at the Historic Resources Commission meetings. She would step to the microphone & lay out good reasons to do the right thing. My favorite memory is the last HRC meeting I saw Betty at. She was having difficulty walking & becoming frail but she slowly went to the mic & gave the commissioners legal & ethical reasons they could use to deny a demolition. She was a warrior woman in a gentle disguise. She was my friend & I’ll miss her.

  6. Ann Gardner on November 17, 2023 at 11:56 am

    I met Betty through KU’s Mortar Board alumni club and enjoyed her for many years through that and other connections in the community. She was a dedicated and knowledgeable advocate for many community causes, and Lawrence is a better place because of her.

  7. Rusty and Paula Leffel on January 22, 2024 at 3:33 pm

    Compassionate, supportive, dedicated, loving friend to those who knew her. She always had a confidence of personal joy and place in life. Betty was a whole person who I am so glad to have known herself and through her husband Donald K. Alderson as well as Tom and Marcia and Susan. Paula and I join in prayers of thanksgiving for having known her. Rusty and Paula Leffel

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