A memorial service honoring the life of Betty Lance Binkley will be held on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at two o'clock p.m. at Brenner Mortuary in Pittsburg.



Betty died on June 16, 2004 in Bethesda, Maryland from pneumonia after a nearly fifty-year struggle with Multiple Sclerosis.

A memorial service honoring the life of Betty Lance Binkley will be held on Saturday, May 3, 2008 at two o'clock p.m. at Brenner Mortuary in Pittsburg.

Betty died on June 16, 2004 in Bethesda, Maryland from pneumonia after a nearly fifty-year struggle with Multiple Sclerosis.

Elizabeth Jean Lance was born on February 14, 1925 in Pittsburg, Kansas.  Her parents were John F. Lance and Clara Strickland Lance.  Her father, namesake for John Lance Arena, was the Hall-of-Fame honored basketball coach at Pittsburg State University (“PSU”). 

Betty grew up in Pittsburg with her sister Leota and brothers John and Raymond.  She graduated from PSU in 1946.  She had been Junior Class president, editor of the college newspaper, president of Theta Alpha Phi Drama Society, and the lead actress in all the plays at the college during her four years.  She received numerous awards, including “The Alpha Girl of 1946” from Alpha Sigma Alpha and was included in “Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.”

After graduation, Betty taught drama and English at Roosevelt Jr. High School in Coffeyville, Kansas.  She married John I. Binkley in 1947 -- and the couple moved to Denver, Colorado, where she distinguished herself as an English teacher and community activist.

In 1953, Betty gave birth to her son Lance.  Three years later, she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (M.S.), the auto-immune disease.  Her condition progressed, and she retired in 1955 to be a full-time mother, remaining active in the community when she had the energy.  The family moved to Washington, D.C. for  her husband's job in 1961.  Six years later, Betty became paralyzed from the neck down and full-time live-in care was necessary.

Coincidentally, in 1970, Betty's sister Leota and brother-in-law Marshall Sage moved to the Washington, D.C. area with his job. Leota drove twenty-five miles each week for years to help her sister.

With the help of health care aids Doris Rose, Shirley Pennington and Sarah Burgess, family, friends, neighbors and members of the Cedar Lane Unitarian Church, Betty managed her life and household for 32 years.

On June 16, 2004, Betty succumbed to pneumonia after a six-day hospitalization in Bethesda, Maryland.  Although M.S. had progressively afflicted her body for nearly 50 years, she remained gracious and witty and an inspiration to those who loved her.  She will be most remembered for her intelligence, personality and spirit.

She was preceded in death by her parents John and Clara Lance, and her brother Dr. John F. Lance, Jr. Her sister Leota Sage passed away in January, 2008.  Betty is survived by her brother Dr. Raymond W. Lance of Pittsburg and son Lance G. Binkley of Arlington, Virginia. During her last years, she was blessed to have become close to her great-nephew Kyle C. Johnson of Washington, D.C.