Betty M. Popa, Age :67
Nov 06,1952---May 12,2020


Betty June Muir Popa, 67, formerly of Manhattan, Kansas passed away peacefully Monday, May 12, 2020 at her home lovingly surrounded by her daughter, son, and grandchildren. Betty’s celebration of life/funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 16th, at Porter Funeral Home, Lenexa, Kansas.  Rev. Chris Winn will officiate.  Graveside Services to follow at Resurrection Cemetery, 8300 Quivira Road, Lenexa, Kansas. There will be a viewing at 9:30 a.m. that day at Porter Funeral Home, 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa, Kansas. Additionally, there will be a delayed broadcast viewing option for those who are unable to travel.

Betty was born November 6, 1952, in Norton, Kansas, the daughter of John Thomas (Tom) Muir and Rosalie J. Benton Muir. She was the granddaughter of William L. (Lloyd) Muir and Myrtle B. Nixon Muir; and Floyd E. Benton and Marry Miller Benton. Beloved sister to William L. (Bill) Muir III. While residing in Norton, Betty established many wonderful and everlasting connections and friendships. Betty moved to Manhattan, Kansas where she graduated from Manhattan High School in 1970. Enrolling at Kansas State University, she joined the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Human Ecology and a minor in English. While a sophomore, Betty wed Russell Ward Keller and they later had a daughter, Alicia Christine Keller. When Alicia was two, her Mom and Dad separated and later divorced. A few years later Betty married the love of her life Captain Thomas Albert Popa of Hubbard, Ohio, and they had a son, Matthew Thomas Popa. When Matthew was four, the family moved to Northern Virginia due to Tom being in the Army. While in Virginia, Betty enjoyed baking up a storm, working at Hallmark, volunteering her time at various assisted living facilities, throwing lavish birthday parties, and decorating her home. She made many connections and touched a multitude of hearts. After Tom died six years ago, Betty was devastated by the loss of her companion, caretaker, and friend and decided to relocate to Lenexa, Kansas.  She enjoyed spending as much time as she could with her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren as well as attending Bible School and Church Services at Community Life Church in Shawnee, Kansas.


Betty is survived by her brother, William Lloyd (Bill) Muir III, her daughter Alicia Christine Keller, her husband Michael James Lankford Sr., her son Matthew Thomas Popa, her grandsons Michael James Lankford Jr. "Haley" and Jacob Thomas Russell Lankford, granddaughter Alexis Marie Cromwell, great-grandchildren Peyton Marie Lankford and Cyrus James Lankford; sister-in-law and brother-in-law Lou and Diane Rankin, her nephews Aaron and Christopher Rankin (significant other Vanessa Barr and children Joey and Isabella), and all the many Muir, Benton, and Popa cousins; and by step-siblings Suzy Ball Hedden, Sally Ball Kincaid, and Tommy Ball, and dear cousins Bob (Brenda) Popa.


Betty was preceded by her parents John Thomas (Tom) Muir and Rosalie June Benton Muir; Grandparents Lloyd W. (Lloyd) Muir and Myrtle B. Nixon Muir; and Floyd E. Benton and Mary Miller Benton; her uncle Captain William Lloyd Muir II; aunt Maude Muir Fleming; husband and Army Major Thomas Albert Popa; and loving in-laws whom she adored Albert and Violet Popa; and dear cousin Margaret Jean Green.


In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Betty J. Muir Popa Scholarship Fund at the Kansas State University Foundation, 1810 Kimball Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.


Casket Bearers: Matthew Popa, Michael Lankford Jr, Michael Lankford Sr, Jacob Lankford, William Muir and Russell Keller


(Porter Funeral Home requests that masks be worn for services.  Unfortunately, attendance limited due to Covid 19 and percentage of maximum per building code).


Michelle Bosley May 13 ,2020

Friend ,Merriam ,Kansas

I was blessed to have been a close friend to Betty,i always enjoyed her!i will miss you!

Chad May 13 ,2020

The Cooper family sends our warmest condolences and sympathies to the Popa family. We’re grateful to have met Betty and shared in some of life’s precious moments with her. Great idea with the virtual funeral. We’ll be tuning in.

Bibby May 13 ,2020

Friend of Matt ,Aberdeen ,South Dakota

What a beautiful person your mother physically and spiritually. May the Lord comfort you in your loss. Bibby a& Pop

Silvana Giarrana May 13 ,2020

Friend ,Fairfax ,Virginia

Betty will truly be missed! She was a beautiful lady with an amazingly lovely kind soul. We were blessed to be paired as homeroom moms for our kid's kindergarten class. She loved volunteering!! She loved collecting all kinds of dolls; including Franklin Mint dolls. Since I shared her passion for dolls she would call me over to see her latest. Just an excuse to spend a wonderful afternoon chatting and enjoying a cup of coffee and usually something delicious she had baked. Her husband Tom Popa was always lighthearted and hospitable. We were all good friends. Friendliest couple! When my husband passed in 2005 Betty was always there for me, lending an ear and encouraging me through the throughs of grief. She was so proud to be part of the Daughters of the American Revolution! I will always treasure the memories of our friendship and the wonderful soul that embodied my dear friend Betty. I pray she finds the peace she so deserved and is celebrating her return to God's kingdom with all those she loved! Rest in peace sweet Betty!!😘

Elise Foreman Carter May 13 ,2020

Friend ,Lawrence ,Kansas

I’m so sorry to hear about Betty’s passing. I had the privilege of getting to know this wonderful family. My heartfelt condolences as the grief of this is sorted through. Rest In Peace Betty. Elise

Kyle Robertson May 14 ,2020

Best friend to Matt Popa ,Alexandria ,Virginia

I was so lucky to know and be around Mrs. Popa for some years and it was such a delight to be in their house. It was always decorated to the T and always smelled like some good ole Mrs. Popa’s cooking! I remember when she used to talk me and matt to basketball practices and games and would let us listen to whatever we wanted (cool parent) cause my mom would only let us listen to 97.1 and those are oldies lol. Always had a smile and treated you like family when in her home or presence. My condolences to The whole family and especially Matt and Alicia. God speed and may she Rest In Peace. -Kyle Robertson

Rick and Lee Gutwald May 14 ,2020

Friends ,Alexandria ,Virginia

We are so sorry to hear of the loss of your mother. Your parents were such wonderful friends and were a part of our family for quite sometime. God bless you both and your entire family. Rick and Lee

Betty HISER May 14 ,2020

Friend ,Lee's Summit ,Missouri

I am so sorry for Betty's loss. We had such fun times together growing up in Norton. My prayers are with you and your family. Love Betty Jo

Lisa Marshall Cress May 15 ,2020

Theta Pledge Mom/sister-in-law ,Rogers ,Arkansas

Betty remains forever in my memory as a beautiful, loving, & caring young woman. I'm so glad she could share time with Alicia & family in recent years.

Ardis Cook Hutchins May 15 ,2020

Sorority sister ,Madison ,Wisconsin

I am so sorry to hear of Betty’s death. She was such a kind, caring, generous person.

Carla Ellas Stanley May 16 ,2020

Pledge Class Sister & High School Class ,Temple ,Texas

My thoughts and prayers are with you all! Betty was always a Kind and Loving person....Proud to be her Pledge Sister and Friend. 💛🖤💛

Sierra Cutting May 17 ,2020

Framily ,Annapolis ,Maryland

Matt, though I never met her, I know and love your momma through you. May she rest in peace in the comfort of His hands. Love you.

Deanna Kowalczyk May 18 ,2020

Friend ,Hampton ,Virginia

The Popas were a second family to me. Matt is not only my best friend, but my brother. Mrs. Popa always invited me in to her home, and accepted me with open arms. She would not only ask me how my family was and how my life was going, but she expressed genuine interest in how I was doing. As a teenage girl dealing with growing pains, this meant the world to me. I looked forward to any and all time spent in her home. I know this is a hard and sad time for my best friend, but I find solace and happiness in the fact that Betty’s pain and suffering has ended. I know she lived a very full life and raised two incredible children. Matt and I definitely kept her on her toes when we were younger, but he grew in to an inspiring young man that she was proud of and loved dearly. I love you all so much, and I’m here for you if you need ANYTHING during this time of grieving and remembrance. Love you always ~Deanna

Funeral Service
Porter Funeral Home
8535 Monrovia Street
Zip Code:
May 16 ,2020
10:30 AM
Google Map: