Betty Lou Applegate passed away peacefully on October 21, 2022 at Aegis Living in Kent, Washington at the age of 90. She will be greatly missed by her family. Betty was born on June 7, 1932 to Arthur Lee and Bessie Viola Hayes in Muskogee, Oklahoma. She overcame the trauma of losing her mother at 15 and persevered through tough times working to support herself through high school as a caretaker and graduating at the top of her class.
Betty married William (Bill) Thomas Applegate on April 25, 1953 in Augusta, Kansas. Bill also grew up in Muskogee and was best buddies with her younger brother Buck. Betty and Bill traveled to Kansas to get married through the rain in a car with broken windshield wipers with Betty hanging out the window to manually move the wipers. They soon relocated to Wichita, Kansas where they began to build their family, eventually becoming the proud parents of four beautiful daughters: Reba, Wilma, Judy and Nancy.
Betty had a strong work ethic, working hard to provide for herself and her family. In her earlier years, she worked as a seamstress in a denim factory in Muskogee. In Wichita, she worked at Midwest Plastics, manufacturing plastic goods like cutting boards, clackers and yo-yos. She then worked at Cessna where she manufactured airplane parts, working in the heat of summer in an unairconditioned factory until she retired after 28 years.
Betty understood the value of money and loved a bargain. She loved to shop at garage sales and thrift stores long before vintage items and upcycling was considered cool. She also enjoyed going to antique stores with her daughters and pointing out all the items she used growing up.
Betty liked to go fishing and loved putting puzzles together. She was a good gardener, often canning the additional produce to ensure her family had fruit and vegetables throughout the seasons. Betty was an exceptional cook who made the best pinto beans. She also loved ice cream (occasionally having it for dinner) and competing with her youngest daughter to bring home the first peppermint ice cream of the holiday season.
Betty had a radiant smile, an infectious laugh and at times a mischievous gleam in her eyes. From “showing” her adult granddaughter how to jump on a bed in a hotel room to posing for silly pictures with her daughters, her zany antics will be fondly remembered.
Betty is preceded in death by her husband Bill Applegate, her parents Arthur and Viola Hayes, her brother Arthur “Buck” Hayes and her sisters: Violet Rainey, Lola Sampson, and Wanda Wass. She is survived by her brother Lloyd Hayes, her sister Elizabeth “Widgie” Foster, her four daughters: Reba Buhrle of Wichita Kansas, Wilma (Bert) Montgomery of Sheridan Arkansas, Judy (Terry) Demieville of Temple, Texas and Nancy (Jeff) Gerken of Black Diamond, Washington; grandchildren Becky Seavey, Billie (John) Adame, Dana Harvey, Danny Harvey, Catherine Montgomery, Stephen (Heather) Montgomery, Jason Demieville, Jennifer (Evan) McCarty, Kelly Gerken, and Kyle Gerken; 13 great-grandchildren, 2 great great-grandchildren, many nephews, nieces, and friends.