School 30

Carol Betty (Johnson) Hams

September 14, 1933 ~ August 25, 2022 (age 88)
Obituary Image


Life Reflection

Carol Betty Johnson was born to Earlie Kelly Johnson and Raymond Jewel Johnson in the Rosedale district of Kansas City, Kansas on September 14, 1933. Her earliest education was at the feet of her grandparents Horace and Elizabeth Kelly who affectionately referred to her as “Carol Perk.”  The seventh of ten children, Carol was curious, committed, and dutiful. She excelled in her early Christian instruction at Mount Carmel Baptist Church in Kansas City, Kansas. At the age of 14, she lovingly cared for her terminally ill father while her older siblings and mother worked to support the family. As a result, her family urged her to become a nurse, however, she was already committed to the education field.

After graduating high school with honors, Carol, or “Betty” as she was referred to by her sisters and close relatives, took a “gap year,” working at KU Medical Center to earn funds necessary to attend college. At Kansas City Kansas Community College, she was crowned first attendant to the Homecoming Queen. After graduation Carol attended Pittsburgh State Teacher’s College, earning a degree in English Literature. She continued her education through the years with graduate studies and additional certifications from the University of Missouri and the University of Texas-Arlington. At Pittsburgh State Carol pledged Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority. This choice resulted in the development of lifelong friendships as she worked tirelessly to support the iconic Ebony Fashion Show and Debutante Balls.

In 1959 Carol married Henry Lewis Hams Sr., a fellow educator. For a time, her priorities shifted to raising a family, but she returned to her passion, instructing literature, composition, and college prep courses across the metropolitan Kansas City area. Carol found satisfaction and pride as she returned to teach at her alma maters Attucks Elementary, Northeast Junior High School and Sumner High School during her lengthy career. Carol especially enjoyed teaching at Faith Lutheran Church, KCK where during her sixty-year membership, she taught Vacation Bible School, Weekday Church School, and Sunday School.

An aficionado of dance and music, Carol also developed a passion for art, especially watercolor and acrylic. She enjoyed filling her canvases with landscapes and nature images reminiscent of her travels. Carol was an avid reader and prolific letter writer, keeping a journal for throughout her life as she documented the simple pleasures and everyday miracles that brought her immense joy.

Carol’s parents, seven siblings, devoted husband, and  precious son Vincent Lewis Hams preceded her in death.

Carol unequivocally believed that her greatest accomplishments in life were her children. She leaves as living legacies Kimberly Ann Henderson (Kim) of Kansas City, Kansas, Kelly Roxanne Hams Pearson (Arbya Joe) of Parkville, Missouri, and Henry Lewis Hams Jr. of Chicago, Illinois. Also cherishing  her memory are stepdaughter’s, Judy Easterwood (Robert); Jacqueline Elaine Hams; sisters, Mary Lou Shelby; and Truvette McKinley; as well as brother-in-law, Oscar Shelby Sr.; and special sister-in-law, Ezola Johnson.

Those who made her spirit soar were those blessed to call her “granny”: Christine Carol Wilson, Vincent Kellogg, Michael Kellogg, Constance C. Antone, Eric Benjamin Kellogg, Jerome C. Pearson, Vamaria Kellogg,  Naiomi Kellogg, Michael Kellogg Jr., N’lani Kellogg, Nuraya Kellogg, Rye Kellogg, Eli Kellogg, and baby Valentina. Additionally, Carol was loved by a host of family, church members, neighbors, and friends.

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August 31, 2022

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Faith Lutheran Church
530 Quindaro Blvd.
Kansas City, Kansas 66101

Celebration of Life
August 31, 2022

11:00 AM
Faith Lutheran Church
530 Quindaro Blvd.
Kansas City, Kansas 66101

Interment at Leavenworth
August 31, 2022

1:30 PM
Leavenworth National Cemetery
150 Muncie Rd
Leavenworth, KS 66048

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