Betty Lou Prigel, 92, Nevada, MO passed away on Friday, April 12, 2019 at Barone Alzheimer’s Care Center in Nevada, MO.
Betty was born July 17, 1926 in Holden, MO to John Franklin Clinger and Lillie (Tomlinson) Clinger. As she was born 12 years after her youngest brother, one surmises that Betty was a late in life, happy surprise to her family! She grew up in Holden, MO and was an active, mischievous girl who loved pranks and having fun. She especially enjoyed playing basketball which illustrates her indomitable optimism as she never grew past 5 feet tall. She insisted that she was “zippy” and always said she was 4’ 11 ¾” tall! As a young woman during World War II, Betty moved to Washington DC and joined the war effort as a secretary at the Pentagon.
She was united in marriage to Edwin Lee Prigel Sr. on July 23, 1947, who preceded her in death on December 12, 2012. After their marriage, Betty was a busy farm wife and raised four children. She was active in church on a local and state level. She was a founding member of the Basin Knob Club that still meets today. She and Ed were early leaders of the soil conservation movement. Her children and grandchildren remember Betty tirelessly taking them to activities and acting as lifeguard at the lake near the farmhouse—in spite of the fact she never really learned to swim! (She did keep a floatation device on a rope in case of emergency and thankfully, this never had to be tested.) Grandchildren remember Grandma Betty frying eggs for breakfast or serving Honeycomb cereal. She was the one who took care of children, grandchildren and other practical matters, making Ed’s adventures possible.
Betty had an inquisitive mind and her favorite pastime was reading. All Betty’s children and grandchildren will remember her saying, “Books are our friends.” Many rooms in the farmhouse became lined with bookcases full of books that she found at garage sales, used bookstores or while on one of her many trips with Ed around the United States. In her later years, she took writing classes and wrote a column for the Warrensburg Daily Star Journal. Family and friends will remember her epic series of Christmas letters titled “Squiggles from the Prigel’s” that she faithfully crafted to rhyme (sometimes not real well, but still!) and mailed annually for over 20 years. Other things that will always remind her loved ones of Betty are her famous icebox yeast rolls, German potato salad, brisket and homemade cinnamon rolls; riding rollercoasters with the grandkids (until she was 70 and she decided she should stop); her love of NASCAR and especially Jeff Gordon who she called “Jeffie”; hunting for morel mushrooms and fishing in the lake for supper; her strawberry patch; her bell collection; her faithfulness in praying for her loved ones; garage sales; trips to Branson with the younger grandkids; teaching English to Cambodian immigrants; a terrible sense of politics (she loved and stayed loyal to Richard Nixon, J. Edgar Hoover and Bill Clinton); capri pants that fit her like long pants; Hush Puppy shoes; her love of pulling pranks; her big smile; her unconditional acceptance of literally everyone (!) and most of all, her sincere and constant faith in God.
Betty is survived by four children, Edwin L. Prigel, Jr. (Linda) of Osawatomie, KS, Rebecca Butterfield (Kenny) Nevada, MO, David Prigel (Becky) Springfield, MO and Jean Dowell (Ralph) Atchison, KS, and grandchildren Katie Sharp (Eric), James Prigel (Mariko), Mike Prigel (Laura), Josh Smith ( Melody), Jeff Smith (Clarissa), Chris Butterfield, Andy Prigel, Lauren Gum (Steven), Ryan Blumenstock, Molly Dowell Baum (Ryan), and Martha Dowell (Alex Denton); 23 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews, and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and three brothers, Harry, Roscoe, and Curtis Clinger.
Funeral Services will be held at 12:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at Ferry Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Bill Platt and Pastor David Rorabaugh officiating. Interment will be 1:30 p.m. at the National Cemetery in Ft. Scott, KS. Visitation will be from 11-12:00 on Tuesday prior to the service at the funeral home.
Memorials are suggested to the Vernon County Cancer Relief in c/o Ferry Funeral Home in Nevada.
To send flowers to Betty's family, please visit our floral section.