Obituary: Elizabeth Jean Mordy of Fairway, 88

Betty Mordy was a master gardener who loved trees and an aficionado of the arts, serving as a docent at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Photo courtesy Mordy family.

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Betty Mordy. Betty was born in Hays, Kansas to Harvey A. and Laura M. Zinszer. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Dean R. Mordy, and her son, Thomas R. Mordy. She leaves behind her children and their spouses: Laura Zinszer and Angie Boyle, Kate and Bill Cornell, Calvin and Angie Mordy, along with her greatly loved grandchildren: Alex, Amelia, Stephanie, Joseph, Cheyenne, Grant, Quinn, Aidan and Evan, and her three great grandchildren Lily, Eliza and Marshall. She also leaves behind many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Betty was known as “Zip” at the College of Emporia where she graduated with a degree in Art. She and Dean moved to Fairway in 1968 where Betty was an advocate for the planting of trees around the city. She led many drives to promote tree planting and was eventually recognized with a proclamation by the Mayor of Fairway with “Betty Mordy Day”, on March 5, 2002.

Betty was a Master Gardener taking her artistic talents from the canvas to the earth. She said that her canvas was the soil and the plants were her paint. Her gardens on Brookridge Drive were established in the 1990s, and and on June 10, 2003, the City of Fairway again recognized Betty by proclaiming it “Mordy Gardens Day”. Her gardens on Brookridge Drive remain living works of art.

Betty was a lover of the Lyric Opera and the Kansas City Symphony. She served as a docent for the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and on the Alter Guild at St. Michael and All Angels Church. Betty was active in the D.A.R. and took great joy in the AAUW Book Club. She loved Loose Park and could be found walking the gardens nearly every day. Betty lived in Seattle for seven years, and during this time was a docent at the Frye Museum and also volunteered at the Arboretum.

Most of all, Betty was a friend to all. She baked cookies, made soup, sang to the elderly, cared for the ill, opened her home to visitors, and loved her family and friends. She was a kind and generous soul who loved Jesus and will be welcomed with open arms by those that preceded her.

A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to either The Arbor Day Foundation or to the Rose Garden at Loose Park.

UPDATED: A memorial service has been set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 9 at St. Michael and All Angels Church, 6630 Nall Avenue.