Betty Jane (Niswonger) Abernathy

January 3, 1930 ~ April 9, 2021 (age 91)


Betty Jane Abernathy, 91, of rural Perryville, Missouri formerly of Whitewater, passed away Friday, April 9, 2021 at Independence Care Center in Perryville, where she had been a resident for several years.

She was born January 3, 1930, in Rolla, Missouri, daughter of Truman Alvin "T.A." and Elda Alma Kassel Niswonger. She and Lentice M. "Abe" Abernathy were married April 27, 1951 at Zion Lutheran Church in Gordonville. He passed away Sept. 24, 2010.

Betty was a former member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Chaffee, a former member of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Jackson, and was a current member of Salem Lutheran Church of Farrar. Betty attended school at Randles and Delta Missouri, and after she and Abe were married, lived in Advance, Missouri. After Abe retired, they moved to the family farm in Whitewater.

Betty enjoyed being a home maker, and all that it entailed; quilting and gardening being some of her favorite tasks. She was a good lay theologian, an avid reader of the Bible, and knew her hymns quite well.

Loving survivors include four children, Terry (Amy) Abernathy of Colorado Springs, Colorado, Randy (Kelly) Abernathy of Hartsburg, Missouri, Rev. Roger Abernathy of Farrar, Missouri, and Karla (Mark) Buchanan of McLeansboro, Illinois; and a sister, Doris Coomer of Jackson.

Also surviving are 11 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren, with two expected, and two great-great-grandchildren.

In addition to her husband of 59 years, Abe Abernathy, she was preceded in death by an infant daughter, and a daughter-in-law, Julie Abernathy.

Visitation will be from 4-7 p.m. Tuesday, April 13, 2021 at McCombs Funeral Home and Cremation Center in Jackson.

The funeral will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, April 14, 2021 at the funeral home, with the Rev. Paul Winningham officiating.

Interment will follow in Cape County Memorial Park Cemetery in Cape Girardeau.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred by the family to Saxony Lutheran High School or United Christ Lutheran School in Frohna.

Online condolences may be sent to the family by visiting

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Betty Jane (Niswonger) Abernathy, please visit our floral store.


Public Viewing
April 13, 2021

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
McCombs Funeral Home & Cremation Center
640 West Independence Street
Jackson, MO 63755

Funeral Service
April 14, 2021

1:00 PM
McCombs Funeral Home & Cremation Center
640 West Independence Street
Jackson, MO 63755

April 14, 2021

2:30 PM
Cape Girardeau County Memorial Park Cemetery
2315 Hwy. 61 North
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701


Saxony Lutheran High School
2004 Saxony Drive, Jackson MO 63755
Tel: 1-573-204-7555

United Christ Lutheran School
10158 Hwy C, Frohna MO 63748

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