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Betty Dirks

d. December 29, 2017

Hillsboro – Betty Dirks, 86, died December 29, 2017 at Parkside Home in Hillsboro.  She was born May 14, 1931 in Inman to George and Sara (Harms) Kornelsen.  She married Ernie Dirks June 12, 1953 in Inman.  Survivors include: husband, Ernie Dirks of Hillsboro; sons, Norman Dirks of Hillsboro, Roger Dirks of Goddard; 9 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.  Predeceased by a daughter, Sheryl Jones in 2001, sisters, Rachel Friesen and Georgina Johnson.  Celebration 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, January 3, 2018 at Parkview Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro.  Burial at Gnadenau cemetery rural Hillsboro.  Family to receive guests from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at Jost Funeral Home in Hillsboro.  Memorials to the Church in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063.  Online condolences at www.jostfuneralhome.com


Life Story of Betty Kornelsen/Dirks 

I was born May 14, 1931 in the home where my folks George C. and Sarah (Harms) Kornelsen and my two sisters, Georgina and Rachel lived. After I was born my grandfather G. F. Kornelsen, who lived on the same farm place as my father, came to our house, picked up the baby basket with me in it and ran up the board walk to his wife, Elizabeth, and said “Betty May was born.” My sisters could not quite figure out what was happening so Georgina crawled under the dining room table until – well, there I was!! I lived on this farm for 10 years and these were enjoyable years.

My granpa learned to fly at age 70 which meant the grandchildren had airplane rides. He always landed in the pasture. I also had many happy years with my folks. Dad liked making doll furniture, etc. Mom was a seamstress so I was always well clothed. Sometimes flour sack material, old suits and dresses, but when mom was finished it always looked new!!! I grew up on high Christian values. In 1943 we moved to our own farm 2. miles south of Inman. I was 12 years old at the time. I attended South Inman grade school and graduated from Inman High School in 1950, after which I attended Tabor College for one year. While going to Tabor, I worked at the old Salem Hospital.

Our farm had many trees next to the highway and our favorite family sport was croquet, which we always played under the tress and it seems that just by “chance” a young man drove by and saw THIS girl playing croquet under the trees!! He asked his cousin, who was a friend of Rachel, to introduce me to him. Well, the rest of the story was Ernie dated me while at Tabor. We had many wonderful times together. I dated other boys but for some reason Ernie was more attractive and in June 12, 1953 we were married at Zoar M. B. Church at 7 p.m. It was a very hot day and he had worked in the wheat field and he was kind of late and I got nervous and hotter. When he arrived he looked very sharp in his blue suit and white shirt BUT, he had also gotten a haircut and of course it was obvious because of the line where his hair was cut showed due to his sun tan. But who cared, we were getting married in 102 degree weather, no air conditioning. We walked in together preceded by two brides maids Rachel and Velma (a friend), the best man, Irvin Fast, Ernie’s brother in law and two flower girls. Our colors were blue and yellow and there were palm trees in front and baskets of flowers and on an arch (which my dad built) covered with yellow and blue crepe paper flowers, which I made. In those days the couple knelt before the minister to get married and somehow my sister hooked a palm tree and it fell down in front of Ernie and me. This was a difficult moment not to laugh but the Lord gave us peace. We had a wedding reception after which we changed into our honeymoon clothes. I will never forget how anxious Ernie was to help me get the 23 buttons down my back open and six on each sleeve. I was so sweaty and the gown was difficult to get off. It was such a relief to get it off and some cooler clothes on. We left for our honeymoon to Denver, CO but for some reason by Arlington, KS, Ernie lost control of the car and we rolled into the ditch 1 . times and landed on the back of the car. Since it was dark our lights shown up to the highway and a truck stopped by. We had climbed out the windows and the Lord protected us. We were bruised but that was all. The truck driver took us to

Hutchinson, KS where we got a hotel and called home. Will and Georgina came and got us the next day and we spent the second night of our honeymoon in their upstairs bedroom. We got another car and continued to Denver where Ernie was to start his I.W. services at Mt. Airy Sanitarium. With baggage in our car we looked for an apartment and finally found one in a basement.

While in Denver, we moved 14 times. It was easy because we left our things in drawers and moved to the next furnished apartment. I took my LPN training at Denver General Hospital and graduated with honors in 1954. After this I worked at Mt. Airy Sanitarium where Ernie worked and we lived in one room there with a bedroom and a bathroom. We cooked our meals in electric skillet because we usually ate one meal in the cafeteria. After this, I worked at the General Rose Hospital.

We enjoyed Denver for 9 . years during which time our three children were born. Sheryl Coleen was born November 3, 1956. She married September 2, 1978 to Dean Jones. However, she passed away in her sleep March 26, 2001. This was a very difficult time for all of us. She and her late husband, Dean gave us four of our grandchildren, Kyle, Morgan, Sara Louise and Teddy Jones.

Roger Dirks was born February 18, 1958 and he gave us two more of our grandchildren, Katie and Peter from his previous marriage. He married Susan Dirks on July 24, 2004 and together they brought us three more of our grandchildren, Faith, Joy and Angel Dirks.

Norman was born to us July 2 1959. He married Voncille Goering April 12, 1986. She however passed away on Sept. 3, 2012.

I retired from nursing after 37 years of service, but could not stand being at home and started my own business as Betty’s Delites in 1993. I had always made brittle for many years and so decided to add chocolate and enjoyed this very much. My candy was known as edible chocolate art because I incorporated food paint and artwork. I shipped from coast to coast and even overseas. These were wonderful years for our family. Ernie and I went to many shows, won four best of shows and best of Kansas. These were happy days for us. It is a milestone in our life we will never forget.

The Lord has blessed us with many blessings as well as many ups and downs but the good part is, He gave us the verse “I will never leave you nor forsake you,” and for 64 years He has carried us through sickness and health and gave us three wonderful children, one son in law, two daughters in law, nine grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. God is great and we want to thank all of you.

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2 thoughts on “Betty Dirks

  1. Iva Lynn and I enjoyed visiting with Betty mostly by telephone as their daughter,Sheryl, married my nephew, Dean Jones..unfortunately both of these persons left us far too soon. However, their children provided a relationship with Betty that we will always remember. Iva Lynn and I will miss her.

  2. I always considered Betty as my second mom. Sherry and I were good friends during my 2nd year at Tabor and I watched over their home while the family was on vacation the summer of 1975. Sherry would jokingly call me her “older sister”. And I called Betty, “Mom”. I had the privilege of being Sherry’s maid of honor when she married Dean Jones. My deepest sympathy to you Ernie, Roger and Norman and families! May God give you peace during this difficult time!

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