Jul 13, 1936---May 11, 2023

Helen Teresa Hughes Leverich—Bitsy—passed away Thursday, May 11, 2023. The visitation will be from 10 to 11am with the funeral mass at 11:00am on Friday, May 26 at Blessed Sacrament, 2203 Parallel Ave in Kansas City, KS 66104.

Lunch will follow at Chicago’s, 534 Central Ave, Kansas City, KS 66101. A private interment ceremony will take place at a later date.

Bitsy was born July 13, 1936, in Kansas City, KS, the daughter of James and Catherine (Byrnes) Hughes. Her large Irish family referred to the sixth child as “The Baby,” so at number seven, she became the “Bitsy Baby.”

She attended Blessed Sacrament Grade School and Bishop Ward High School where she participated fully in drama classes and cheerleading; she graduated in 1954. The day after she graduated high school, at age 18, Bitsy began her career at the Union Pacific Railroad as a messenger. Forty-one years later, at age 59, she retired from the UP as Manager of Budget in Engineering Services, the only woman in management on the Western division of the railroad.

In the meantime, she married Bernard Joseph Leverich, with whom she created her five surviving children: Terese (John O’Neal), Joe, Anita (Stanley Crispin), Bill (Jane Kostelac Leverich) and Leah. Though they later divorced, she loved him, and his parents, Joe and Bertha, whom she named “the best in-laws ever.”

To provide for these children, Bitsy took a side job bartending at a joint in KCK formerly called Partners Two. A social butterfly, she thoroughly enjoyed meeting the regulars—the doctors and lawyers and police officers of Wyandotte County—who frequented her shifts. Bitsy worked hard, and one of the highest compliments she bestowed upon her children was always, “You’re a good worker.”

Bitsy’s generous spirit led her to sponsor our “brother,” Roger, after his home country, Rwanda, was ravaged by civil war. He arrived at her doorstep in 1996 and has been proud to call her “Mom” ever since.

In addition to her work, Bitsy loved animals, dancing the polka, traveling, attending family weddings and reunions, and taking her children and their friends to dinner.

She is also survived by her grandchildren, Jacob McHenry (Carmen), Sam and Emily Leverich, Jack and Ann Leverich as well as great grandchildren, Jett, Miles, and Blair, and many beloved nieces and nephews.

Thanks also to the folks at The Atriums.  In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial contributions to Blessed Sacrament or Ward High School.