Betty Jean ‘Branson’ Ahrens

by Lynn McMillen
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Betty Jean ‘Branson’ Ahrens, 90, died at home in Florence December 13, 2023. Visitation will begin at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 2nd at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church, 1900 Darby Dr., Florence, with a memorial service to follow at 1:30. The Reverend Jake Andrews and The Reverend Dr. Foster Eich will officiate. Committal in the church columbarium and a reception in the parish hall will follow the service.

Betty was born March 22, 1933 in Wichita, KS to George and Winifred Logan Tourtillott. She was raised in Ellinwood, KS. Upon high school graduation, she worked at St. Rose Hospital, Great Bend, KS, where Betty became a registered nurse.

On October 9, 1955, Betty married Curtis L. Ahrens of Ellinwood, KS and moved to Manhattan, KS where Curt was working on his Masters of Agricultural Economics, and later to Champaign, IL where he earned his PhD. The family moved to Florence in February 1963.

Betty was very active with St. Bartholomew’s choir, vestry, and the Women of the Church. Betty also tutored students with educational needs and worked at Riverbend Center for Mental Health.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents, her husband of 64 years, Curtis, and brothers Jim, Jerry, and Patrick.

Betty is survived by her brother, Jack Branson of San Antonio, TX; her children: Kimberly D. Ellis of Tuscumbia, Douglas L. (Katie) Ahrens of Peachtree Corners, GA and Pamela K. Ahrens of Florence; grandsons, Bradley Ellis of Tuscumbia, Kyle Ahrens of Atlanta, GA, and Matthew Ahrens of Venice, CA; and many nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Bartholomew’s Kitchen Fund.

An online guest book may be signed at

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