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Category Archives: Obituaries

Kathleen ‘Kathy’ Ann Young, 71, Melvern: March 2, 1952 – Sept. 19, 2023

MELVERN, Kan. – Kathleen “Kathy” Ann Young, 71, of Melvern, Kan., passed away after a five-year battle with pancreatic cancer on Sept. 19, 2023. Kathy was born March 2, 1952, in Topeka, Kan., to Vince Andre Young and Helen Mae Patterson.

Kathy owned and operated Kathy’s Kitchen, formerly Whistle Stop Cafe, in Melvern, for approximately 25 years.

Kathy graduated from Melvern High School in 1970 and the University of Hair Design Cosmetology School in 1971.

Steven Eugene Schoepflin, 53, Michigan Valley: March 29, 1970 – Sept. 4, 2023

MICHIGAN VALLEY, Kan. – Steven Eugene Schoepflin, 53, passed away Monday, Sept. 4, 2023, at his home in Michigan Valley, Kan. He was born March 29, 1970, in Ottawa, Kan., the son of DeWayne and Deloris (Jenkins) Schoepflin.

Steve graduated from Pomona High School, Pomona, Kan., in 1988, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Apparel and Textile Marketing from Kansas State University. Steve grew up in Michigan Valley and resided across many cities in his lifetime including Lawrence, Kan., Kansas City, Mo., Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Penn., Columbus, Ohio, and Cincinnati, Ohio.

Moving allowed Steve to show off his home improvement skills and hone his aesthetic sensibilities, building beautiful spaces for his family to live and grow in – architecture and interior design being one of his many passions. Steve was an entrepreneur with a knack for detailed design and business; he was a true “fixer”. His lifelong pursuit of learning started at a young age through his 4-H program. He loved watching K-State football with his family. Steve was a thoughtful and supportive husband, father, son, brother and friend.

Thomas Lee Garrett, 86, Carbondale: Jan. 5, 1937 – Sept. 8, 2023

CARBONDALE, Kan. – Thomas Lee Garrett, 86, passed away Friday, Sept. 8, 2023, at his home near Carbondale, Kan. Tom was born Jan. 5, 1937, in Chicago, Ill., the son of Herman Walter and Lola Del (Cummins) Garrett.

After spending a few years in Indiana, the family moved to rural Gridley, Kan., when Tom was six years old, where he grew up and graduated from high school in May 1956.

He moved to Southern California, where he met and married Elaine K. Riley. Tom and Elaine later returned to Kansas in 1963, where they raised their three children, Mike, Lisa and Lynne. Tom and Elaine were married for almost 66 years.

The couple worked together in a number of business ventures, from manufacturing kitchen and bath countertops to selling and designing home products. Tom later went into the construction of custom homes and remodeling for the rest of his career until he retired.

Franklin Maxwill Poertner, 82, Kansas City, Mo.: July 26, 1940 – July 11, 2023

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Franklin “Frankie” Maxwill Poertner, 82, passed away Tuesday, July 11, 2023, in Kansas City, Mo. He was born July 26, 1940, in Wamego, Kan., the son of Maxwell and Marie (Baggs) Carley. He was adopted and raised by Fred and Mabel (Burkdoll) Poertner.

Frankie grew up around the Vassar community. He attended Vassar Grade School and Lyndon High School.

Frankie was united in marriage to Christine Berthot, in 1970.

Frankie was preceded in death by his wife, Christine, in 1976; his birth parents, Max and Marie; his adopted parents, Fred and Mabel; and his brother, Harold Ed Poertner, Dec. 29, 2017.

John J. Fairchild, 75, Overbrook: Aug. 2, 1948 – Aug. 31, 2023

OVERBROOK, Kan. – John Jay Fairchild passed away Aug. 31, 2023, at Brookside Retirement Community, Overbrook, Kan. He was born Aug. 2, 1948, in Topeka, Kan., to John Fairchild Sr., and raised by Don and Joyce Forth on a dairy farm east of Overbrook.

He graduated from Overbrook High School with the class of 1966. John served in the United States Navy from 1966 to 1968. After returning home, he later graduated from Washburn University with a bachelor’s degree. John had a successful career as an accountant, retiring from Prolor Industries as the CFO.

He was married to Connie Cooper, and they were blessed with two children, Scott and Julie.

On Dec. 23, 1989, he married his soul mate, Robin James. They shared 31 years of marriage before her death Aug. 11, 2021.

Samuel Calvin Watts, 68, Quenemo: March 2, 1955 – Aug. 24, 2023

QUENEMO, Kan. – Samuel Calvin Watts, 68, passed away Thursday, Aug. 24, 2023, at his home near Quenemo, Kan. He was born March 2, 1955, in Ottawa, Kan., the son of Earl and Helen (Fields) Watts.

Sam graduated from Quenemo High School in 1973, and had lived all of his life near the Quenemo community. Sam worked for the city of Quenemo and retired as city superintendent. He had been a stockman for many years. Sam spent his free time riding motorcycles and horses.

On July 27, 1973, Sam was married to Linda Neill, in Quenemo. To this union a daughter was born, Jessica.

Marsha Ann McClellan, 83, Shawnee: Aug. 23, 2023 – March 18, 1940

SHAWNEE, Kan. – Marsha Ann McClellan, 83, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, at Olathe Hospice House, in Olathe, Kan. She was born March 18, 1940, in Lyndon, Kan., the daughter of Keith and Ruth (Johnston) Williams.

Marsha grew up in Lyndon, and graduated from Lyndon High School in 1958. She had lived in Prairie Village, Lenexa, and then Shawnee, Kan., for the last 60 years.

Marsha retired as head cook for the Shawnee Mission South High School after 35 years of working in food services for the district. She was a member of the Valley View United Methodist Church, Overland Park.

On April 11, 1960, Marsha was united in marriage to James McClellan, in Kamiseya, Japan. To this union two daughters were born, Karen and Krista.

Dr. Raleigh G. Trembly, 75, Wakarusa: Nov. 22, 1947 – Sept. 1, 2023

WAKARUSA, Kan. – Raleigh Gene Trembly was born Nov. 22, 1947, in Chanute, Kan. He was the oldest son of Gene and Alice.

The white-blonde-haired little boy was curious from the start and always on the go. He became the older brother of Randy and Tisha. The family eventually moved to the town of Wellington, in southern Kansas. He was known for being the kid to read every book in his school library – literally every book. He was involved in Boy Scouts, and there is a story about a mysterious fire that happened while on a campout and the trees that were replanted by him and his fellow hooligan pyromaniacs. As a boy, he loved to be outdoors fishing and riding his bike around town.

In the ninth grade, while high up in the neighborhood treehouse, he met Elizabeth Sarchet, who was the babysitter of his little sister. Teenage romance blossomed and on the day of their high school graduation he proposed – the only hitch was when the ring was lost down on the floorboard of the VW Beetle he had fixed up and restored. They were married Dec. 19, 1965.

By this time, he was already enrolled at Logan Chiropractic College, in St. Louis, Mo. He worked nights as a janitor and went to school all day to be able to afford tuition. He even helped a professor build a deck one weekend with a promise to pass a class he struggled in. Their first child, Paula, came into the world in 1968 while he was still a student. With a young family by his side, he was able to graduate from chiropractic college in 1969, and the family decided to move to Topeka, Kan. In 1972, Peter arrived on the scene. Pamela followed in 1977.

After working for his mentor, Dr. Rex Wright, he then had practices in the hospital district of Topeka and in Carbondale, Kan., and then back to a long stent in Topeka, at 29th and Burlingame streets. In 1993, he moved his practice to become the “Country Doctor” in Wakarusa, Kan., where he practiced until retiring in 2015. Dr. Trembly was very busy at the office helping people and forming relationships that would last for many decades.

James Duane Mercer, 78, Carbondale: Sept. 26, 1944 – Aug. 17, 2023

CARBONDALE, Kan. – James Duane Mercer, 78, of Carbondale, Kan., went to be with the Lord on Aug. 17, 2023. Jim was born Sept. 26, 1944, in Topeka, Kan. He was born to Claude S. Mercer and Ilo May (Lindsay) Mercer. They preceded him in death.

James attended Carbondale Schools and graduated from Carbondale High School in 1962. He was married to his high school sweetheart, Venice Mae Grindal, on Feb. 9, 1963. She survives of the home. The Mercers owned and operated school buses for more than seven decades.

Together they had four children, Debbie (Jim), Tim (Angie), Stacey (Troy) and Brenda. They have four grandchildren, Abbie, Jacob (Kaitlyn), Samantha and Lauren (RJ); and eight great-grandchildren, Kadence, Jaxon, Paisley, Malia, Kallie, Roman, Kennedy, and Meilani.

Jim loved the Lord, and loved his wife of 60 years. His greatest pride came from his four children. He took great joy from watching his grandchildren and great-grandchildren grow. As an avid and lifelong hunter, Jim had the stories to tell! He loved the anticipation and planning for the next hunt with his son, grandson, and a few trusted friends.

Verna Lee Rivera, 80, Ottawa: July 4, 1943 – Aug. 10, 2023

OTTAWA, Kan. – Verna Lee Rivera, 80, passed away Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023, at her home in Ottawa, Kan. She was born July 4, 1943, in O’Kean, Ark., the daughter of Oscar and Martha (Pritchett) Johnson.

Verna had grown up in Arkansas and had lived most of her adult life in Kansas.

Verna had worked as a seamstress for the H.D. Lee company, Ottawa, for more than 25 years until they closed. She then worked for Heartland Embroidery until her retirement.

Verna was married to Gale Wagoner. To this union three children were born, Raylene, Roy and Sherry.

Nathan Daniel Boggs, 42, Princeton: Sept. 18, 1980 – July 28, 2023

PRINCETON, Kan. – Nathan Daniel Boggs, 42, passed away Friday, July 28, 2023, near Princeton, Kan. He was born Sept. 18, 1980, in Lawrence, Kan., the son of Christopher and Diane (Hultz) Boggs.

Nathan had worked in construction as a welder. He loved being outdoors and spending time fishing.

Nathan was preceded in death by his mother, Diane; brother, Jason Boggs; maternal grandparents, Ray and Mary Hultz; and paternal grandparents, Carl and Sara Darlene Boggs.

Rawlin Dickie Ashwill, 80, Wakarusa: Dec. 11, 1942 – Aug. 5, 2023

WAKARUSA, Kan. – Rawlin Dickie “Dick” Ashwill, 80, passed away Saturday, Aug. 5, 2023, at his home near Wakarusa, Kan. He was born Dec. 11, 1942, in Long Beach, Calif., the son of Lewis and Mildred (Kersten) Ashwill.

Dick had lived most of his life in several towns around Osage County.

Dick received a Bachelor’s of Business and Finance from Washburn University, Topeka, Kan. He had served as the vice-president of the State Bank of Carbondale, Carbondale, Kan., until his retirement. He was a strong supporter of Washburn University. Dick loved his family, golfing, and watching his grandson play sports, especially Blue Thunder football. He was also proud of his oldest grandson becoming a police detective.

On May 26, 1967, Dick was united in marriage to his high school sweetheart, Carol Waetzig, in Carbondale. To this union a daughter was born, Brooke.

Donald K. Miller, 64, Lyndon: Feb. 7, 1959 – July 21, 2023

LYNDON, Kan. – Donald K. Miller, 64, passed away Friday, July 21, 2023, at a care facility in Valley Falls, Kan. Don was born on Feb. 7, 1959, at Stormont-Vail Hospital in Topeka, Kan., the son of Arlie W. and Betty L. (Nichols) Miller.

Don was married twice; both marriages ended in divorce. Don had no children of his own.

Don grew up in Lyndon, Kan., and attended Lyndon Grade School and graduated from Lyndon High School in May 1977. Don participated in many sports growing up, among them, football and baseball. He liked shop classes during high school, and enjoyed hunting and fishing. Don enjoyed following the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals, and the University of Kansas Jayhawks. Don enjoyed riding motorcycles and he liked 60s and 70s muscle cars, having once owned a 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS.

William L. Ragan, 79, Ottawa: Jan. 29, 1944 – July 24, 2023

OTTAWA, Kan. – William L. Ragan, 79, passed away Monday, July 24, 2023, at his home in Ottawa, Kan. He was born Jan. 29, 1944, in Quenemo, Kan., the son of William and Emma (Mollett) Ragan.

Bill, as he was known to all, had lived most of his life in Quenemo, graduating from Quenemo High School in 1961. He had lived east of Lyndon, Kan., for several years before moving to Ottawa four years ago.

Bill had been a butcher at Skip’s Grocery Store, and then spent nearly 40 years running Wild Bill & Miss Ellie’s, in Quenemo, and then E-Z Rock Café, in Lyndon. He had been a member of the Mt. Pleasant Community Church, near Lyndon.

Anthony Wayne Drake, 45, Ottawa: Sept. 7, 1977 – July 16, 2023

OTTAWA, Kan. – Anthony Wayne Drake, 45, passed away July 16, 2023, at Baldwin City Healthcare and Rehab Center, Baldwin City, Kan., after a short fight with cancer. He was born Sept. 7, 1977, in Topeka, Kan., the son of Charles and Diann (Abel) Drake.

Anthony grew up in Lyndon, Kan., and graduated from Lyndon High School in 1996. He had lived in Osage City, Burlington and Ottawa, Kan., with COF.

At the age of 18, Anthony participated in the World Special Olympics in New Haven, Connecticut for Team USA, and won two bronze medals in powerlifting. He also won numerous medals in the Kansas Special Olympics in track and field, basketball and bowling.

Fred Ivan Sweetwood, 67, Quenemo: Feb. 12, 1956 – July 15, 2023

QUENEMO, Kan. – Fred Ivan Sweetwood, 67, passed away Saturday, July 15, 2023, at his home in Quenemo, Kan. He was born Feb. 12, 1956, in Ottawa, Kan., the son of Clinton and Kathleen (Knight) Sweetwood.

Fred graduated from Prairie View High School, La Cygne, Kan., in 1974. He lived most of his life in the Quenemo community. He was a truck driver for more than 30 years, and retired after 20 years driving for WalMart due to his health. He was involved in Wreaths Across America, WalMart Heart, Trucker Buddy, and veterans programs. He was a member of the Lyndon First Baptist Church. He loved fishing, hunting, camping, NASCAR, and the Chiefs.

His family was his life and he was so proud of all of them.

John Edward Thompson, 44, Scranton: May 1, 1979 – July 6, 2023

SCRANTON, Kan. – John Edward Thompson, a man of great intellect and warm spirit, passed away July 6, 2023, at the age of 44, in Scranton, Kan. Born May 1, 1979, in Topeka, Kan., John lived a life filled with love, laughter, and a profound dedication to his family, friends, and work.

John was the beloved husband to his wife of 24 years, Shellanne, a devoted father to their son, Jake, and the son of Susan and Douglas Thompson. His love extended beyond his immediate family to his sister, Cassandra Robertson and family, brother, Mike Thompson and family, and niece, Bailee Morgan and family. He also had a close bond with his extended family, Thomas and Christina Flyntz, Josh Flyntz and family, and Andrew Piper and family. His love and care for his family were evident in his actions and words, making him a pillar of strength and support for all.

Raised in Carbondale, Kan., John graduated from Santa Fe Trail High School in 1997. He went on to earn an associate degree from Allen County Community College before obtaining a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science from Baker University. His love for learning was infectious, inspiring those around him to strive for more.

Ramona Parsons, 62, Scranton: March 14, 1961 – July 5, 2023

SCRANTON, Kan. – Ramona “Mona” J. Parsons, 62, of Scranton, Kan., left us on Wednesday, July 5, 2023, at Midland Hospice House, Topeka, Kan., surrounded by her family. She was born March 14, 1961, in Eldorado, Kan., the daughter of Leo Arb and Delores (Zumbrunn) Arb.

Ramona grew up in the Scranton area. She graduated from Santa Fe Trail High School, Carbondale, Kan., with the class of 1980.

On Dec. 20, 1980, Ramona was united in marriage to Philip Parsons.

Ramona had several jobs over her life, working at Flemings, several nursing homes, running a daycare out of her home, Casey’s in Scranton, Scranton Tavern, Forbes Sewing Factory in Burlingame, and recently as a custodian for USD 434.

Ramona loved camping with her family, and just spending the weekends at the lake. She was always at peace and happy in nature. She never missed an opportunity to go play bingo. Her favorite pastime was tagging along with her beloved husband Phillip. If he had a job to work on or somewhere to be, you could be sure Ramona was by his side.

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