Ailing fan passes away after visit from Chiefs Hall of Famer
Kansas City, MO (KCTV) – At 86 years old, Betty Johnson had been with the Kansas City Chiefs through the good times and bad.
Many current players knew her as “grandma.” As a season ticket holder since 1986, she could be seen in the front row at home games on the 45-yard line, rooting for the players who mean so much to her.
Johnson passed away Thursday, but not before a visit by Chiefs Hall of Famer Nick Lowery.
“Nick Lowery was here and getting ready to leave when she passed. We knew she was waiting for her Chiefs,” one of Johnson’s four daughters, Susan Johnson, said.
Her family members say the Independence woman’s health had been deteriorated since breaking her hip in February. She had been in hospice care since April 7 at North Kansas City Hospital.
Doctors were amazed that the great-great grandmother had held on as long as she had.
Before her death, Susan Johnson said her mother had said goodbye to everyone except her Chiefs.
“I believe she (was) holding on to say goodbye to her Chiefs,” Susan Johnson said from her mother’s bedside before her passing.
Betty Johnson attended almost every home game last season. She only missed three games. Her last game she saw was on Nov. 30 against the Denver Broncos.
Family members recall the late Chiefs founder Lamar Hunt and Jack Steadman, a former vice Chiefs chairman, even saying hello to “grandma” from the sidelines.
From clothing to game balls and kisses, her spirit was also noticed from the players.
“Dwayne Bowe kissed her at every game, and Dante Hall even took his coat off his back and gave to to her,” Susan Johnson said.
Betty Johnson’s great granddaughter shared a photo of Bowe kissing her grandma at a recent game in hopes of the photo going viral to get one last kiss.
The photo has since been seen by members in the front office of the Chiefs organization and players.
“She is such a die-hard Chiefs fans and loves them so much,” Susan Johnson said. “Her Chiefs were more important to her than her home.”
The retired school bus driver lost her home in North Kansas City in order to pay for her Chiefs season tickets.
“She was even a Royals fan. More or less a big sports nut,” Susan Johnson said. “She had five daughters that she taught to love all sports.”
By Chris Oberholtz, KCTV