Happy Homemakers Club Disbands After A Long Run

Judy Kramer
County Reporter
A group of Benton County women formed a group in the 1940s, as part of the MU Home Extension Club, to lend a helping hand to the community. Members met at Edmondson School and planned programs where skills such as parenting, sewing, and cooking were taught. In 1986, there were 35 to 40 members who began meeting in each other’s homes. After 2011, the club pulled away from the Extension Office and changed its name to Happy Homemakers. As needs of the community changed, the club began offering classes or programs in health, plants and patriotism as well as homemaking skills, and it expanded services to the community at large. On November 14, the group met for its annual holiday dinner at Northtown Restaurant and Lounge, where members formerly disbanded the club.
“During the last few years we have been losing members,” said Happy Homemakers President Betty Upton. “We are getting older and some members have moved or died. We were down to four members, some of us with health problems, and felt it was time to look for something to do that did not require as much responsibility on our part.”
The group’s members came from Lincoln, Cole Camp and Warsaw and worked with people from all of those areas. They helped local people with gas assistance during winter months, supported Sagrada Scholarship Bible Camp in Lincoln, and gave scholarships to high students to be used at the college of their choice for what they needed most.
When asked what her plans were now that the Happy Homemakers was disbanded, Upton said that she was going to continue with several other organizations that she belongs to, and would work on her crafts.
“It has been a very good life, and we’ve enjoyed all the people who have come and given programs for women,” said Upton. I’m just not going to join any new organizations.”
The last four members of the club were Betty Upton (president and member since 2009), Shirley Keeley (treasurer), Lorraine Abraham (member since 1986), and Jerry Porter (member for last two years.) Past members from recent history of the club are Carol Rupp, Jeanna Grayum, Norma and Ed Ard, Sandy Schieszer and Billie and George Long. Billie Long, a master gardener from the Sedalia Extension Office, performed many programs on plants for the Happy Homemakers and eventually became a member.