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Santa Fe Trail High School sends 54th graduating class out on the trail

On a mostly sunny spring Saturday, Santa Fe Trail High School held its 54th commencement exercises, May 11, 2024, sending 86 members of the SFTHS class of 2024 out into the world toward new experiences.

Santa Fe Trail Band provided “Pomp and Circumstance” and the SFT Choir serenaded with “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” Student Council President Whitney Herren and USD 434 Superintendent Faith Flory welcomed the graduates’ crowd of friends, family and well-wishers to the school near Carbondale, Kan.

SFTHS Principal Patrick Graham introduced 2024 salutatorian Noah Burgoon, who introduced this year’s SFT valedictorian Drake Graham. Both of the scholars encouraged their classmates to remember their time at Santa Fe Trail High School and use the knowledge to face inevitable challenges ahead.

“The experiences that we have had in these halls are what have shaped us into the people we are today,” Burgoon said. “The memories that have been made in these halls will journey with us.”

The salutatorian said lessons picked up along the way will help when encountering obstacles in the future, even if unsuccessful. “Remember, every setback is a setup for a comeback,” Burgoon said.

“Embrace the challenges, for they are the stepping stones to your success,” he said. “Be fearless in the pursuit of your dreams, and never underestimate the power of your own potential. Always remember, the greatest power you possess is the power to believe in yourself.”

“Graduates, the world is waiting for you to make your mark!” he said.

Valedictorian Graham noted how fast high school years had past, during which he had the “privilege” of being the principal’s son. Although he didn’t need to be concerned about going to the principal’s office during his high school years, “No worries, he kept every single hallway interaction completely awkward.”

“It feels like yesterday we were navigating the halls as freshmen,” Graham said. “But, look at us now, ready to go into the world to make our mark.”

The valedictorian advised his classmates to remember Santa Fe Trail High School as they faced the future.

“As we start the journey beyond these halls, success is not about avoiding failure,” Graham said. “Failure is inevitable. It allows a new path to be taken to follow your dreams.

“When you find success, never forget the roots from which you have grown. It is the foundation of your journey.”

“Embrace the challenges, celebrate the victories, always stay true to yourself, and may your future be as bright as your potential,” he said. “Yes, our high school journey may be ending, but our lives are just getting started.”

Marais des Cygnes Valley 2024 graduates: ‘Officially’ headed toward new chapters in life

MdCVHS 2024 graduates, front from left, Aydin Deeter, Brooke Spillman, Olivia Lacey, Kelsey Rice, and Haylea Bethell, back, Jaxson Dorr, Hunter Trienen, Deken Coyler, DJ Johnson, Mason Rose, Kristopher Ruth, Gunnar Pendroy, and Corey Criss. Photo by Lisa Reeser.

Members of the Marais des Cygnes Valley High School class of 2024 officially declared the end of their public school days and the beginning of new chapters in their lives during commencement exercises held Saturday, May 11, 2024, in the school’s gymnasium at Melvern, Kan.

With Pomp and Circumstance, MdCVHS Principal Darrin Ashmore introduced MdCV’s 2024 co-valedictorians Olivia Lacey and Kelsey Rice, who thanked all of those who helped them get to this point in their lives. They congratulated their classmates and advised them not to forget their school years at Marais des Cygnes Valley as they continued their lives.

“We are officially done with high school! Guys we did it!” Lacey said. “Whether you are heading to college this fall, going to the workforce, or taking some time for yourself, we must always remember where we came from and the incredible potential each of us holds.”

She said the students “learned so much about ourselves” and that would help them in the future.

“As we have seen in the past four years, a lot can change,” Lacey said. “We’ve faced challenges that seemed insurmountable, like learning through a pandemic over Zoom classes. But we didn’t just survive; we thrived. We adapted, we supported each other, and we made it through. This resilience is what sets us apart.”

“I do know that endings are inevitable, and with this one, one door is closing while another is opening. High school wasn’t meant to last forever, and it’s time to say goodbye,” Lacey said. “As we go onto the next chapter in life, may we always remember what shaped us into the young and bright individuals we have become.”

Rice spoke about the student’s eagerness to get to this point in their lives.

“We were all saying, ‘I can’t wait to graduate,’” Rice said. “But why are we so eager to move on? Is it because we’re ready for new challenges, eager to make our own decisions, or simply excited to leave high school behind? Maybe it’s a mix of all these reasons. As we look forward to the future, let’s not forget what we might leave behind.”

She told of a lesson she learned “that I wish I had realized sooner – not everything is as serious as it seems. We often stress over small things that in the grand scheme of life, won’t matter that much.”

Her simple advice for the future: “Be yourself. Surround yourself with people who appreciate you for who you are. Do what makes you happy.”

“As we move forward into this next chapter of our life,” Rice said, “let’s carry with us the memories we’ve made, the lessons we’ve learned, and the friendships we’ve built. Let’s step into the future with confidence, knowing that we’ve got the support of our loved ones, close friends, and most importantly the strength and resilience we have within ourselves.”

Paul Dean Parks, 82, Miller: Dec. 17, 1941 – May 13, 2024

MILLER, Kan. – Paul Dean Parks, 82, passed away Monday, May 13, 2024, at his son’s home in Kansas City, Mo. He was born Dec. 17, 1941, near Admire, Kan., the son of George and Ellen Holmes Parks.

Paul attended Northern Heights High School, where he graduated with the class of 1960. He briefly worked at Diddie Glaser, in Emporia, Kan., following graduation.

Paul was forever joined in marriage to Carlene Marie Burenheide on July 3, 1961, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, Emporia. Paul and Carlene made their home on a farm near Miller, Kan. They would spend the next 54 years together on the farm.

While Carlene was raising their family, Paul was raising chickens, pigs, cattle as well as soy beans, milo and corn. Paul served his community for several years as a member of the Rural Water District No. 7 board.

Diana Kay Berry, 75, Osage City: Jan. 9, 1949 – May 13, 2024

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Diana Kay Berry, 75, of Osage City, Kan., went to be with her Lord on May 13, 2024. Diana was born Jan. 9, 1949, at Harveyville, Kan., the daughter of Chester and Flora Berry.

She graduated from Harveyville High School, Harveyville, Kan. Diana completed her associate degree at Christ for the Nation Bible College, Dallas, Texas, and became a minister.

The Lord placed up on her heart to start her own Hidden Treasures Ministry. She held many office positions in the Women’s Aglow ministry, and was involved in 24 years of prison ministry. Diana took ministry trips through Europe and Israel. She not only ministered at home but internationally, and supported international teams.

Diana will be forever remembered and loved by her siblings, Delores (Delbert) Tucker, of Admire, Kan., Linda Berry, Osage City, LaDonna (Marc) Pierce, Americus, Kan., Connie (Jim) Gardner, Osage City, Robert (Margit) Berry, Admire, and Kenneth (Chelsea) Berry, Osage City.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, May 3 – May 9, 2024

The following information was compiled May 3 to May 9, 2024, from records at the Osage County Courthouse, Lyndon, Kan.

Osage County Jail Log, May 9 – May 12, 2024

The following individuals were booked into the Osage County Jail in connection with charges or warrants as listed by the arresting agency.

Stephanie Ann Herrick, 48, Burlington: May 22, 1975 – May 10, 2024

BURLINGTON, Kan. – Stephanie Ann Herrick, 48, passed away Friday, May 10, 2024, at Life Care Center, Burlington, Kan. She was born May 22, 1975, in Ottawa, Kan., the daughter of Kerry and Mary (LeValley) Kitt.

Stephanie grew up in Lyndon, Kan., and graduated from Lyndon High School in 1994. She had lived in Osage City, Lebo, and Waverly, Kan., and had been in Burlington for the last nine years.

Stephanie had battled muscular dystrophy since high school. She loved butterflies.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Mary.

Alva P. Feltner, 72, Osage City: Sept. 7, 1951 – May 5, 2024

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Alva P. Feltner, 72, passed away Sunday, May 5, 2024, at Midland Hospice, in Topeka, Kan. He was born Sept. 7, 1951, at Varner’s corner, in Osage City, Kan., the son of Charles and Ruth (Reese) Feltner.

Alva had been a lifelong resident of Osage City. He graduated from Osage City High School in 1970.

Alva had been a dedicated employee at Benner-Williams Furniture Store, and then at Kan-Build. After health issues forced him to slow down, he was a driver for Branine Motors, all in Osage City. He had been a member of the Kiwanis, and delivered for Meals on Wheels.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Ruth.

Mary Kathryn ‘Mary K.’ Jones, 93, Melvern: Sept. 7, 1930 – May 8, 2024

MELVERN, Kan. – Mary Kathryn “Mary K.” Jones was born Sept. 7, 1930, in Fairfield, Iowa, one of five children born to Jesse Dale and Kathryn May (Ryan) Green. Even though she was born in Iowa, she grew up on the family farm three miles east of Melvern, Kan., on the “River Road”. She departed this life on May 8, 2024, in Osage City, Kan., at the age of 93 years, eight months, and one day.

She attended the Rock Creek one-room schoolhouse east of Melvern before transferring to Melvern Schools, where she graduated in 1948. While attending school at Melvern, she was a classmate of her future husband, although they didn’t date until after graduation. On Aug. 10, 1951, she married Bill F. Jones, in Garnett, Kan. They enjoyed more than 63 years together, raising two children, Kathryn “Kathy” and William “Butch”. Bill passed away Aug. 12, 2013.

Mary K. attended Kansas State Teachers College, at Emporia, Kan., where she earned a teaching certificate. She taught for one year in Valley School, a one-room schoolhouse three miles west of Melvern, then a second grade classroom at Melvern Schools for two years.

After her marriage to Bill, he was drafted and she went to work in the offices at Santa Fe Railroad, in Topeka, Kan., until he was discharged. They then purchased and made plans to move to their family farm southeast of Melvern, where she was a homemaker and helped on the farm.

Phyllis Arlene Bagby, 92, Overbrook: Feb. 23, 1932 – May 6, 2024

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Phyllis Arlene (King) Bagby, 92, of Overbrook, Kan., died Monday, May 6, 2024, at Brookside Assisted Living, Overbrook. She was born Feb. 23, 1932, in Richland, Kan., the daughter of Ernest and Dora Mae (Lee) King.

She graduated from Berryton Rural High School with the class of 1950.

On Aug. 9, 1950, Phyllis was united in marriage to Leon Robert Bagby, in Richland, Kan. They spent 48 loving years together until his passing in 1998.

Phyllis worked as a payroll supervisor at Josten’s for 27 years.

She was a part of the Twin Mound Cemetery Association, Overbrook Auxiliary, Clinton Presbyterian Women’s Group, Clinton Historical Society, and Clinton Quilters. Phyllis was a member of Stull United Methodist Church and Stull United Methodist Women.

Filings in the Osage County Courthouse, April 19 – May 2, 2024

The following information was compiled April 19 to May 2, 2024, from records at the Osage County Courthouse, Lyndon, Kan.

Jamison Charles Tevis, 42, Lyndon: June 23, 1981 – May 4, 2024

LYNDON, Kan. – Jamison Charles Tevis, 42, passed away Saturday, May 4, 2024, at Stormont-Vail Hospital in Topeka, Kan. He was born June 23, 1981, in Garden City, Kan., the son of Bruce and Marcia (Feltner) Tevis.

Jamie had lived most of his life in the Lyndon, Kan., community. He graduated from Lyndon High School in 2000.

Jamie worked many jobs through the years, but he was owner and operator of Tevis Plumbing and Construction for the last 10 years. He played football at Pittsburg State University, and St. Mary’s College, Leavenworth, Kan.

Jamie was an avid hunter, loved fishing, and working on and building motorcycles. He had been a mixed martial arts fighter for several years and he was always a champion of the underdog. His last step was to be an organ donor hero.

William David Criqui, 80, Melvern: June 15, 1943 – April 29, 2024

MELVERN, Kan. – William David Criqui, 80, passed away Monday, April 29, 2024, at his home near Melvern, Kan. He was born June 15, 1943, in Melvern, the son of Herb and Mary (Barbee) Criqui.

Bill, as he was known by many, graduated from Melvern High School in 1961. He had lived in and around Melvern all of his life except for wintering in Lake Havasu, Ariz., in his later years.

Bill served in the United States Army from January 1966 to October 1968 in communications. After his service, he and Jack Lacey created B&J Garage – although they later pursued other career opportunities their friendship and love for mechanics remained. Bill’s extensive career was at the Kansas Turnpike Authority as a mechanic and shop supervisor for 28 years until his retirement. Post retirement, he joined the Local 101 Union for five years, officially retiring from the 8 to 5 grind with McAnany Construction as a master mechanic.

He had been a member of the Melvern Church of God and the American Legion Post 317, Melvern. When he wasn’t working in his home garage, Bill enjoyed shooting pool and playing cards with good friends and buddies.

Osage County Jail Log, April 30 – May 5, 2024

The following individuals were booked into the Osage County Jail in connection with charges or warrants as listed by the arresting agency.

Marilyn A. Allen, 82, Osage City: July 1, 1941 – April 30, 2024

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Marilyn A. Allen, 82, passed away Tuesday, April 30, 2024, at her home in Osage City, Kan. Marilyn Ann Moxley was born July 1, 1941, in Osage City, the daughter of Clarence “CM” Milton and Dorothy (Pierson) Moxley.

She graduated from Osage City High School in 1959, and from Kansas State University with a master’s degree in education.

She was joined in marriage to Dale D. Allen, May 20, 1972.

Mrs. Allen taught elementary school students for many years in Topeka, Kan., at Lowman Hill and Lundgren schools.

Lois Kay Whitcomb, 63, Vassar: Oct. 12, 1960 – April 29, 2024

VASSAR, Kan. – Lois Kay Whitcomb, 63, passed away Monday, April 29, 2024, at her home near Vassar, Kan. She was born Oct. 12, 1960, in Ottawa, Kan., the daughter of Glenn and Janice (Yost) McFadden.

Lois had grown up in Ottawa, and graduated from Ottawa High School in 1979. She had moved to Oklahoma for a time and then returned to Ottawa.

Lois worked at a chicken plant in Oklahoma for several years, and then worked at McDonald’s and Braum’s.

Marjorie Alice Bigham, 91, Vassar: April 16, 2024

VASSAR, Kan. – Marjorie Alice Bigham, 91, departed this Earth and ascended to Heaven on April 16, 2024, when her Angel wings were ready. Marjorie was born in Pomona, Kan., to Clarence and Esther (Shaw) Swallow.

Marjorie spent her entire life in the Osage County area, and graduated from Quenemo High School in 1951. She married her high school sweetheart, Walter L. Bigham, May 18, 1952, in Vassar, Kan.

Marjorie was preceded in death by her beloved husband; parents; all five of her siblings; and two great-grandsons.

Marjorie is survived by her four children, Sharon (Bob) Shows, Deb (Dennis) Smith, John Bigham, and Walt (Kathy) Bigham Jr.; and 12 grandchildren, 27 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.

Osage County Cemeteries: Map and list

No Name No. 8 Cemetery, near Lamont Hill. Photo by Jan Williams.

In cooperation with the Osage County Historical Society, Osage County News has published online a list of Osage County cemeteries and their locations. The historical society had previously published similar information in a brochure, and volunteers of the society updated the list.

Osage County News has also created a map that shows the general locations of the cemeteries, which are listed with directions on the reverse side of the map. A printable version of the two-page map and cemetery list is available here.

When visiting the cemeteries listed, visitors are advised that some are on private property and property owners’ privacy should be respected. Not all cemeteries are located on all-weather roads, and some are in remote locations in Osage County; visitors should watch weather conditions and be aware of possible road hazards. Use of a highway map or GPS device to assist with navigation when trying to locate cemeteries is also advised.

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