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Joe Betzen

Joseph Anthony "Joe" Betzen died June 17, 2024, in Iola, after a brief hospital stay. His final days were spent at Medicalodges Nursing Home where his wife JoAnne is a resident. She was holding his hand when he died. He was 88 years old.

Joe was born July 5, 1935, in Scott City, Kansas, to William and Anna (Koetting) Betzen. When he was 9 years old, the family moved from his boyhood home at Marienthal to a farm in West Texas, near the town of Hereford. He graduated from Hereford High School in 1952. He served in the U.S. Army from 1954 to 1957 and then spent several years working and attending college in Milwaukee, Albuquerque and Kansas City.

He married JoAnne Lathy on Aug. 5, 1961, in Kansas City. His sales position with J.I. Case Co. took them to Independence and Colby, Kansas, and in 1968, he accepted a partnership with Case dealer Habiger Sales in Iola. He would start his own Case dealership, B & W Equipment, five years later. In the 1970s, he left the implement business in his partner's hands and founded a series of other businesses, including JB Supply Co., Precision Pump Co., Rosehill Industries and J & J RV Sales. He retired in 2011.

For many years, Joe was a fixture at coffee table discussions around town and on area golf courses. He was known for his original golf swing, a ready opinion and a hearty laugh. At 6 feet 5 inches, he was a big man with a big personality. A lifelong Catholic, he was a Fourth Degree Knight of Columbus. He loved to travel, play cards and spend time with his family. In his later years, his children and grandchildren faithfully ignored his cheating at Texas Hold 'Em.

Joe and JoAnne resided in Iola for more than 40 years. They relocated to Humboldt in 2013. Joe was preceded in death by 11 brothers and sisters. Two sisters remain: Gertrude Weinzirl of Kansas City, and Cleta Jasper of Colorado Springs. He is survived by his wife JoAnne; son, Charles of Humboldt; daughter, Mary (Greg) Calzonetti of Wichita; daughter, Ann (Dan Threlkeld) Wilkinson of Shawnee, Kansas; and son, Jim (Tammy) of Nevada, Missouri. He leaves 12 grandchildren and 12 great grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial service for Joe will be held on July 12, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 514 Central Street, Humboldt, Kansas. A Rosary will be held just prior to the Mass, at 10:30 a.m. on July 12, 2024, at St. Joseph Catholic Church. The family will inurn privately.

Memorials may be made to Knights of Columbus and left in the care of Feuerborn Family Funeral Service, 1883 US Highway 54, Iola, Kansas. Condolences for the family may be left at

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St. Joseph’s Catholic Church (Humboldt)
514 Central St
Humboldt, KS 66748

Funeral Home in Charge

Feuerborn Family Funeral Service
1883 US Highway 54
Iola, KS 66749