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Betty (Schwartz) Dick

June 12, 2022

Betty (Schwartz) Dick, aged 89 of Newton, Kansas died peacefully on June 12, 2022 at Presbyterian Manor in Newton. Betty was born on Oct. 8, 1932, in Ulysses, Kansas to Milton and Sadie (Wedel) Schwartz.  She grew up on the family homestead just outside Pretty Prairie. She graduated from Pretty Prairie High School, then earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Organ from Bethel College in 1954.  As she was the only trained organist in the church, Betty was instrumental — together with her Uncle “Pete Shorty” Schwartz — in acquiring and installing the first pipe organ in the First Mennonite Church in Pretty Prairie. She was the first church organist and served in that role for many years. Family lore says that once the organ was installed and Betty played at its dedication, Uncle Pete Shorty said, “Now I can die happy since we have the organ.” The church is located on land the Schwartz family homesteaded in 1884. While at Bethel, Betty met and married her husband, Arthur Dick, M.D., in 1954 and was active in theater at Bethel and performed Handel’s Messiah on Organ on more than one occasion.


Betty taught music in various schools around central Kansas, then moved to Baltimore, Maryland when Art served in the U.S. Army at Edgewood Arsenal.  During the posting, Betty taught elementary school music and served as the base’s chapel organist. The couple remained in Maryland for Art to complete his medical degree at the University of Maryland Medical School, moving to the Kansas suburbs of Kansas City in 1965 when Art began his medical internship at the University of Kansas Medical School in Kansas City, Kansas, where he later joined the Department of Neurology faculty.  Betty stayed busy raising the couple’s two daughters, Amy (Dick) Morgan and Julie (Dick) Sparks, both born in the late 1960s. Betty also led children’s choir at Village Presbyterian Church.


Betty lived most of her adult life on 68th Street in Prairie Village, moving only to Newton four years ago when her younger daughter, Julie’s, husband, Jeff Sparks, accepted the position as Pastor of Newton’s St. Luke Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Betty loved her family, music, art, cats, sunflowers, and most of all. children. She taught pre-school for decades – retiring only when she had reached 80. She started teaching in the early 1970s at Ward Parkway Presbyterian Preschool, spent a year teaching a music and art appreciation class for her grandsons, then taught preschool close to another decade at Colonial Presbyterian Church, the congregation she joined in the late 1980s. Generations of children can now read, write, sing and follow instructions due to her dedication and talents.


Betty was known to remember her friends’ and family members’ birthdays and special occasions with thoughtful, handwritten cards. She loved attending church and sharing fellowship with other women at Bible studies. Everyone was captivated by Betty’s bright smile and infectious laugh.


Betty was preceded in death by her father, Milton, and her mother, Sadie (Wedel). She is survived by her husband, Arthur Dick, M.D.; daughters Julie (Dick) Sparks (Jeff) of Newton; Amy (Dick) Morgan (Steve), of San Antonio; and two grandsons in Texas, Michael Morgan and Jack Morgan; as well as sisters Teresa (Schwartz) Zielke of Newton, Edna Ruth (Schwartz) Kemp of Pretty Prairie, and brother Jerold Schwartz of Denver.


A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 15, at bPetersen Funeral Home of Newton, Kansas. Online condolences may be made at www.petersenfamilyfuneralhome.com.


Memorial donations may be made to St. Luke Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Newton or Ward Parkway Presbyterian Preschool in Kansas City, Missouri.

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8 thoughts on “Betty (Schwartz) Dick

  1. To my dear Professor and good friends, Amy & Julie:

    My sincere condolences in the loss of Miss Betty. She was a wonderful lady, most remembered by me as a SME & WJC mom, as well as lifelong lover of great music! She taught countless children, empowering them with a lifelong love of music and the arts. She was truly a gift and will be missed by so many. I know that the last few years of her life were difficult ones and I commend you for providing her with such a caring and loving environment. My prayer is for each of you to feel God’s comforting presence as you pass through this time.

    Blessings Always,

  2. I will miss my friend Betty so very very much. She made the world more fun ,more musical and fuller because of her presence here on earth.

  3. My life was blessed by knowing Betty. She loved her family, friends, students and music. And she was a living testament to our God and our Savior Jesus Christ. I learned much from being her friend and teaching with her at Colonial. Hugs to you all.

  4. Well done, thy good and faithful servant! Betty’s life was like a song – composed with purpose, harmony, and beauty. Our family was blessed to know and be loved by this extraordinary woman!

  5. Mrs. Dick was my son’s preschool teacher. He will be a freshman in high school this year. She was an amazing, encouraging, fun teacher for Benjamin. I am so grateful for the seeds that she planted in his young heart. My husband enjoyed talking with her about Pretty Prairie. She was a delight to know.
    Well done, good and faithful servant. Matthew 25:21

  6. What a dear lady!!!Betty and I had many good times together starting the first mother’s club for ZTA at William Jewell College. We also worked together leading and Betty playing for the Children’s Choir at Colonial Presbyterian. ❤️🙏

  7. Betty was past “retirement age” when we hired her to teach preschool at Colonial. And yet, she taught all of us what an energetic, creative, loving preschool teacher looked like! She was a jewel and I learned so much from her! I never see a sunflower without thinking of her and the beautiful legacy she has left in so many little and big lives.

  8. I have such fond memories of our backyard neighbors, Betty and family. Our kids played together, then our daughter Julie’s kids were in Betty’s preschool. Betty was a breath of fresh air and such a delightful person. A gift from God.

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