Betty Jean Harper, 91, of Eau Claire passed away Thursday, June 8, 2023 at Azura Memory Care of Eau Claire.

Betty Jean Veverka Harper was born on July 13th, 1931 in Ellsworth, Kansas to Arthur and Libbie Ververka of Wilson, the “Czech Capitol” of Kansas. Betty was very proud of her Bohemian Ancestry. She prepared a family history based primarily on the interviews of her family. Betty loved education. She earned a BS degree in Elementary Education from Fort Hays, Kansas State College, a Masters degree from UWEC and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Wisconsin Madison. She taught second grade in Winona, Kansas preschool and second grade in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, and taught college and university classes in Iowa and Eau Claire. Betty also was a successful orchardist, planting various fruits and berries and was actively involved in the downtown Farmer’s Market and the Hillview Farm Market. Betty loved to teach about apples and was a frequent presenter for Community organizations and events at the Breakfast in the Valley.

Betty was very active her whole life. She was a member of the University Women’s Association and served as the president of the group for a time. She especially enjoyed meeting with her Taco Tuesday group at the Oakwood Mall and taking part in Senior Center Activities. Betty’s hobbies included playing the piano, photography, sewing, stitchery, traveling and gardening. She was a member of a local stitchery group. She was an accomplished cook, her specialties included tomato dumplings, kolaches, and breads. She often entertained at her home with warm welcomes and extravagant meals. Betty loved her family intensely and devoted much time to her grandchildren and friends. She compiled apple recipes and family recipes into multiple cookbooks she published for the enjoyment of future generations. She was full of life and her sense of humor was always surprising us, filling her home with love and laughter.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Arthur and Libbie Veverka of Wilson, Kansas and younger sister Karen of Salem, Oregon.

Betty is survived by her loving husband, Jerry; sons, Bruce Harper, Brad(Joan) Harper, Marc(Sherrie) Harper; grandchildren Warren, Grace and Abigail; sister, Cynthia McNutt of Kansas City, Kansas; nieces Ann Thompson(Drew), Diane Smith(Paul), Derek Popp and other family members and friends.

A private family burial will be scheduled at a later date, in Beulah Cemetery in Colby, Kansas, near where Betty and Jerry began their married life of 71 years.

Memorials may be addressed to the LE Phillips Senior Center, 1616 Bellinger Street Eau Claire, WI 54703.

Friends and family are welcome to leave online condolences below.


  1. I loved meeting and talking to Betty at the Senior Center. Such a sweet lady. They also allowed our Sunrise Exchange Club pick blackberries at their farm to sell at the Farmers market as a fundraiser. She will be missed, but you will feel her presence with your many memories of her.

  2. I remember Aunt Betty, as a person who was always smiling, serving food, and somehow looking a little more sophisticated than the rest of us. She was smart, kind, and gently funny. She will be missed.

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