Betty L. Bulkley, 96, of Topeka, passed away on Monday, January 9, 2023. She was born July 24, 1926, in Lawrence, the daughter of J. Howard and Florence (Lemon) Compton.
Betty graduated from Topeka High School in 1944. She attended Washburn University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree and later earned a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University Kansas, where she was also a member of Delta Gamma.
Betty married Roy Lyman Bulkley on October 22, 1949, at Central Congregation Church in Topeka and had one son, Dr. Timothy Howard Bulkley born January 22, 1952.
She began her career as an occupational therapist at Topeka State Hospital in 1949, serving 40 years with the State of Kansas. While employed at Topeka State Hospital she earned multiple awards, including being named co-winner of the Occupational Therapist of the Year by the Kansas Occupational Therapy Association.
She became the president of the Kansas Occupation Therapist Association in 1977. She retired from Topeka State Hospital as the Director of the Activity Therapy Department serving under the direction of Dr. Karl Menninger during her tenure with the state. During her career, Betty also served as a member of the Medical Records and Utilization Review Committee at Topeka State Hospital and conducted the first inter-disciplinary patient care audit there. She was actively involved in the health section of the Community Resources Council, a member of the agency evaluation committee for the United Way for Greater Topeka and represented the Topeka State Hospital on the Health Task Force of Shawnee County Community Assistance and Action. She was a member of the Topeka Bible Church.
After retirement Betty traveled the world with her husband, Roy. She loved taking safaris in Africa and her favorite trip was visiting the holy land, Jerusalem.
As you can imagine, throughout her life of 96 years, Betty mastered many talents from gardening, cooking, painting, Thi Chi Chaun, and cross stitch. She loved entertaining guests and always volunteered where needed. She was very social and enjoyed playing Mexican Train Dominos as well as a good matinee. Betty loved to read and was always reading at least one book at any given time. She adored her grandchildren and gave all around her a feeling of peace and ease. She was truly a light in this world and will be missed.
Her husband Roy L. Bulkley preceded her in death on April 4, 2007. She was also preceded in death by her son, Dr. Timothy H. Bulkley on May 31, 2020, and her sister, Dr. Linda J Ross August 2, 2016.
Survivors include grandchildren, Sarah Bloxsom and Laura Gloeckner, both of Lawrence, Hannah Rieger, Basil Rieger and Aubrey Rieger all of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, niece, Shelly Bulkley of Topeka, nephew, Michael Ross, Portland, Oregon and seven great-grandchildren.
A Celebration of Betty's Life will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, February 4, 2023 at Dove Southeast Chapel, 2843 SE Minnesota Ave. Private inurnment will take place in Memorial Park Cemetery.
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