Obituaries – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Category Archives: Obituaries

Ronald Roy Fike, 66, Carbondale: June 27, 1957 – Sept. 26, 2023

CARBONDALE, Kan. – Ronald Roy Fike, 66, Carbondale, Kan., passed away Sept. 26, 2023, at his residence in Carbondale. Ron was born June 27, 1957, the son of Ralph T. Fike and Katherine L. Shepard in Topeka, Kan.

Ron grew up in numerous parts of the world as a military child until moving with his family to Carbondale as a sophomore in high school. He graduated from Santa Fe Trail High School in the class of 1975.

Ron was a retired construction worker. He held numerous positions over his life, working most of his professional career as a drywall finisher.

Ron was a dedicated man to his family and his community. He was a super fan of the Santa Fe Trail High School Chargers and his passion was the children of the Carbondale community. He volunteered over 40 years of his life as a member of the Carbondale Recreation Commission. He dedicated so much time that the baseball fields are named Fike Field, after Ron and family. He spent hours preparing every year for the annual Easter egg hunt, and was well known throughout Osage County for his various appearances as Santa Claus in parades and events throughout the county.

Darlene Lea Buelke, 82, Michigan Valley: April 3, 1941 – Sept. 26, 2023

MICHIGAN VALLEY, Kan. – Darlene Lea Buelke, 82, passed away Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2023, at her home near Michigan Valley, Kan. She was born April 3, 1941, in Cleveland, Ohio, the daughter of James and Hazel (Syverson) Phipps.

Darlene had lived in Claremore, Okla., for many years before moving to Kansas in 2010.

Darlene was a high school math teacher and then became a school counselor. She had been a member of the Red Hat Society and the Overbrook Friends of the Library.

Donald Harry Martin, 82, Burlingame: June 5, 1941 – Sept. 25, 2023

BURLINGAME, Kan. – Donald Harry Martin, 82, of Burlingame, Kan., passed away Monday, Sept. 25, 2023, at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kan. Don was born June 5, 1941, in Rock Creek, Kan., the son of Harry A. and Zora C. (Garner) Martin.

He graduated from Meriden High School in Meriden, Kan.

Don was retired from the United States Postal Service. He was a member of the Army National Guard from 1963 to 1969; and a member of Christ Lutheran Church, Topeka, Kan., since 1977.

Barbara A. Sandridge, 82, Overbrook: June 8, 1941 – Sept. 23, 2023

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Barbara Ann Sandridge, 82, of Overbrook, Kan., passed away Saturday, Sept. 23, 2023, at Brookside Retirement Community, Overbrook. She was born June 8, 1941, in Kansas City, Mo., the daughter of Francis Gray Sr. and Marie (Space) Gray.

Barbara attended schools in Kansas City, Kan.

She enjoyed crafts, watching the KC Chiefs, and her Pepsi.

Tonya (Irey) Clark, 49, Melvern: Aug. 23, 1974 – Aug. 23, 2023

MELVERN, Kan. – Tonya (Irey) Clark, 49, lost her life in southern California as she was celebrating her birthday on Aug. 23, 2023. She was born Aug. 23, 1974, in Topeka, Kan., the daughter of Ron and Diana (Weiler) Irey.

Tonya grew up in Melvern, Kan., and graduated from Marias des Cygnes High School in 1992. She had lived in Arizona, and had just moved to California to start her dream job as a real estate agent.

Tonya was preceded in death by an infant brother, Jon Irey; and her paternal grandparents, John and Cora Irey, and maternal grandfather, Jon Weiler.

Ronald Bruce Gardner, 68, Highlands Ranch, Colo.: Aug. 23, 1955 – Sept. 17, 2023

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. – Ronald Bruce Gardner, 68, passed away Sunday, Sept. 17, 2023, in Grand Junction, Colo. He was born Aug. 23, 1955, in Topeka, Kan., the son of Joseph and Eunice (Redenbaugh) Gardner.

Bruce grew up in Osage City, Kan., had lived in the Kansas City area and the San Francisco Bay area, and then settled in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Bruce graduated from Osage City High School and then received a Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts from the University of Kansas. While at KU, he was active in the U.S. Navy ROTC Program.

Bruce worked as a graphic artist for most of his career, having worked for several newspaper, magazine and online publications, and as a freelance artist and photographer. He had been the art director for the San Francisco Giants Baseball team. Bruce was a member of both the Golden Gate and Rocky Mountain Austin Healey Clubs of America, and had been the president of the Kansas City Austin Healey Club of America. He was also a member of the American Institute of Graphic Artists.

Timothy David “Tim” Savage, 56, Vassar: March 12, 1967 – Sept. 18, 2023

VASSAR, Kan. – Timothy David “Tim” Savage, 56, of Vassar, Kan., passed away Sept. 18, 2023, from complications due to a serious vehicle accident. Tim was born March 12, 1967, in Rapid City, S.D. He was adopted by Glenn and Clara (Cunningham) Savage from Hub City, S.D.

Tim graduated from Spirit Lake, Iowa, High School. He graduated from Iowa Lakes Community College with an associate degree in business. Tim also served with the Army National Guard based in Spencer, Iowa. Most currently, Tim has been a route driver for Exodus, of Burlingame, Kan.

Tim’s pride and joy is his granddaughter Aurora Lynn Klingman. His home was filled with bald eagles and bison.

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 September 19, 2023. Kathy was born in Topeka, Kansas on March 2, 1952, to Vince Andre Young and Helen Mae Patterson Young.

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.

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