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Category Archives: Obituaries

Naomi Jean Wirth, 92, Shawnee: Sept. 9, 1930 – March 10, 2023

SHAWNEE, Kan. – Naomi Jean Wirth, 92, Shawnee, Kan., passed away Friday, March 10, 2023, at Colonial Village, Overland Park, Kan. Naomi was born Sept. 9, 1930, in Lyndon, Kan., the daughter of James and Virgie Sims.

She attended Lyndon High School, then moved to Topeka, Kan., to start her career at the Hallmark Card Co.

She met Chuck Wirth, and they were wed Nov. 4, 1951. Naomi and Chuck had two children, Debbie and Mark. In March 1973, she and Chuck moved to Shawnee, where she began as a teacher’s aide at Shawnee Elementary School.

Judi Hanson, 75, Sun City West, Ariz.: July 14, 1947 – March 2, 2023

SUN CITY WEST, Ariz. – On Thursday, March 2, 2023, Judi K. Hanson, loving wife, mother and grandmother, sadly passed away in Sun City West, Ariz., at the age of 75. Judi was born July 14, 1947, in Herington, Kan., the daughter of Gerald and Mabel  Villee.

On Sept. 26, 1970, Judi was united in marriage to Robert L. Hanson.

Judi did clerical work at Menninger’s and Westar Energy. After retirement, she and Robert relocated to Arizona, where she explored her passion for art while enjoying the Arizona sunsets and warmer weather. She was a wonderful wife, mother and grandmother who was always there when needed. She had many friends, and was a well-loved member of the community in Sun City West.

Edward ‘Pete’ Peterson, 91, Osage City: Dec. 15, 1931 – March 8, 2023

OSAGE CITY, Kan. – Edward “Pete” Peterson was born in Basehor, Kan., on Dec. 15, 1931. Ed was taken to heaven March 8, 2023, joining his wife, Patricia Peterson, who left us in 2017. He is survived by his eight children, Ed (Re-Pete), Kent, Carol, Susan, Anne, Todd, Morgan, and Mary; and 20 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren.

Ed grew up on a farm with his parents, six brothers and one sister. Many family gatherings with his parents, siblings, and their families over the years made for great memories.

Ed married Pat in 1953, and they started their family in 1954. Ed owned and managed a feed store and restaurant in Basehor until 1964, when he moved his family to Osage City, Kan. He bought the Osage Grain elevator and created a liquid feed for cattle, which was distributed throughout Kansas and Oklahoma. He provided jobs for many people from Osage City, and the elevator was also a gathering place for many “after hours” parties – the ensuing fun and funny stories are endless and continue to provide many memorable anecdotes. When he left the elevator business, he worked for KP&L, buying easements from farmers across the state.

Laurel Bryan, 91, Overbrook: Jan. 16, 1932 – March 8, 2023

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Laurel Maurine “Lolly” (Johnson) Bryan, 91, passed away on March 8, 2023, at Brookside Retirement Community, Overbrook, Kan. Laurel was born Jan. 16, 1932, in Akron, Colo., to Ernest David Johnson and Marjory Evelyn (Northcutt) Johnson.

She graduated from Burlingame High School, Burlingame, Kan., in 1950.

Laurel married James Donald Bryan, Jan. 27, 1951. They owned and operated the Bryan family farm in Scranton, Kan., for more than 50 years during their 71 years of marriage. As a farming family, they were both long-term members of the Young Farmers and the National Farmers organizations.

Although Laurel was born and raised as a “townie”, she quickly learned to operate various pieces of farm equipment, including grain trucks and tractors. Grandson Marc Carnes always spoke excitedly about Grandma driving the “big John Deere tractor” with the “double duals”! Laurel often came home after a long day in the fields to mix up a big batch of home-made ice cream with freshly-picked strawberries from her own garden. She also grew and shared her tomatoes, gladiolas, and roses with her friends and family over the years.

Monica Z. Prim, 91, Overbrook: July 11, 1931 – Feb. 17, 2023

OVERBROOK, Kan. – Monica Z. Prim, 91, Overbrook, Kan., passed away Feb. 17, 2023, at Brookside Retirement Community, Overbrook. She was born July 11, 1931, in Nebraska City, Neb., the daughter of Carl and Theresa Helen (Ramold) Zeiner.

Monica grew up in Nebraska, graduating from high school there. She then graduated from Nebraska State Teacher College, Peru, Neb., and taught elementary school in Nebraska, Topeka, Kan., and Overbrook. Later she was a PTF clerk at the Overbrook Post Office.

Monica’s interests were in all forms of home-ec, in which she loved baking, cooking, keeping house, knitting, sewing, and especially quilting. She played the organ for almost 50 years for funerals, weddings and masses at St. Francis of Assisi at LaPeer, where she was a member of the Altar Society. Monica was a charter member of the Santa Fe Quilters Guild, and also a member of Overbrook American Legion Auxiliary. Monica enjoyed her life and was involved in many community activities. She often said she really liked living in the country but wasn’t a “farmer.”

Willis Elgin DeWitt, 85, Burlingame: June 16, 1937 – Feb. 24, 2023

BURLINGAME, Kan. – Willis Elgin DeWitt, 85, died February 24, 2023. He was born June 16, 1937.

Willis grew up in rural Harveyville, Kan., and lived his adult life in Burlingame, Kan. He was the youngest son of Ivan DeWitt and Anna (Elgin) DeWitt.

Willis married Peggy Kivitter in 1957; they later divorced. To this union they had two boys, Willis Elvin DeWitt, Pittsburgh, Kan., and Wayne Eric DeWitt.

On Sept. 3, 1965, he married Betty Morey Hawker. To this union came a stepdaughter, Wendy Hinckm, White Cloud, Kan., and two daughters, JoEtta Wheeler, Virginia Beach, Va., and DeAnna Bean (Grady), Osage City, Kan.

Dustyn James Green, 31, Pomona: Feb. 23, 1992 – Feb. 27, 2023

POMONA, Kan. – Dustyn James Green, 31, passed away Feb. 27, 2023, in Scranton, Kan. He was born Feb. 23, 1992, in Lawrence, Kan., the son of Jim and Tammy (Ferrell) Green.

Dustyn graduated from Ottawa High School in 2010, studied psychology at Ottawa University, and was working on a Bachelor’s of Business Administration at the American Intercontinental University. He had worked jobs in landscape and construction, but he loved the work in architecture and computers. He was currently working at JM Smuckers, Topeka, Kan., and had started his own online business, Remote Life-Outdoors. He had been a member of the Mt. Pleasant Community Church, Lyndon, Kan., and the First Southern Baptist Church, Ottawa, Kan.

Marilyn Jean Walquist, 75, Lyndon: Dec. 14, 1947 – March 2, 2023

LYNDON, Kan. – Marilyn Jean (Pierce) Walquist, loving wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend, was reunited with her late husband when she passed into Heaven on March 2, 2023. Marilyn was just 75 years old. Marilyn was born to Lorenzo and Pauline (Tonetti) Pierce, Dec. 14, 1947, in Topeka, Kan.

After graduating from Lyndon High School, Lyndon, Kan., Marilyn attended Emporia State University.

Her life centered around her family. On Aug. 28, 1966, Marilyn married her high school sweetheart, Wayne Walquist.

The couple raised three daughters, Amy, Carrie and Megan, and always welcomed extras to their home. The family traveled many, many miles showing livestock and attending school activities for the girls. Avid K-State fans, the Walquist family enjoyed season tickets to football, including the pregame tailgates with friends, and occasional halftime breaks with other K-Staters. Truly, Marilyn did not know a stranger and the football games were no different. Marilyn was one of the biggest, and sometimes loudest, sports fan.

Helping others was not only Marilyn’s passion but her profession. She partnered with Wayne in Wayne’s Clothing, helped pick out last minute Christmas gifts at Beatty’s Western Wear, and spent many years greeting patients at Cotton O’Neil Clinic in Carbondale. Her compassion and care for others was recognized in 2003 when she was awarded the Manuel E. and Anne B Pustiz Award from Stormont Vail HealthCare.

Dennis Allen May, 54, Carbondale: May 13, 1968 – Feb. 28, 2023

CARBONDALE, Kan. – Dennis Allen May, 54, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, at his home in Carbondale, Kan. He was born May 13, 1968, in Topeka, Kan., the son of Bruce and Cynthia (Harris) May. He was raised by his mom, Cindy and Jerry Booth.

Dennis had lived in Scranton, Kan., and Carbondale all of his life.

Dennis graduated from Santa Fe Trail High School in 1986, and had worked as a carpenter for many years.

Patricia Ann Smith, 79, Topeka: Nov. 27, 1943 – Feb. 21, 2023

TOPEKA, Kan. – Patricia Ann Smith, 79, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, at Midland Hospice House, Topeka, Kan. Patricia was born Nov. 27, 1943, in Harvey, Ill., the daughter of Thomas and Winifred (Austin) Parsons.

She grew up in Blue Island, Ill., and graduated from St. Benedict Grade School, and from St. Francis Academy, Joliet, Ill.

She was a former nun in the order of the Sisters of St. Mary.

Patricia married the late Grant Smith in 1966, in Chicago, Ill. They later divorced.

Patricia worked as a dietary and nurse’s aide in the Topeka area for many years.

Marylou Pat Fallon, 86, Hutchinson: Jan. 29, 1937 – Feb. 28, 2023

HUTCHINSON, Kan. – Marylou Pat Fallon, 86, passed away Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2023, in Hutchinson, Kan. She was born Jan. 29, 1937, to Forrest and Mildred Bowlby, in Wichita, Kan.

Marylou grew up in the Mulvane United Methodist Church, Mulvane, Kan., graduated from Mulvane High School, and attended Kansas State University.

She married Stan Fallon in 1961, and had two children, Patrick and Kristi. The marriage ended in 1986.

Marylou worked for the Osage County Chronicle and Mulvane News, and retired from Boeing in 1999.

In her retirement, she enjoyed spending time with her children and grandchildren. She worked at the Mulvane Senior Center, delivered Meals on Wheels, organized and managed the Old Settlers Day Program annually, and worked on the Mulvane High School Annual Alumni Banquet, always maintaining contact with her class from 1955.

Dora Ellen Arb, 84, Topeka: Oct. 12, 1938 – Feb. 26, 2023

TOPEKA, Kan. – Dora Ellen Arb, 84, passed away Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, at her home in Topeka, Kan. She was born Oct. 12, 1938, in Lyndon, Kan., the daughter of Samuel and Ina (Haslett) Manning.

Dora grew up in Lyndon and had lived there until 2008, when she moved to Osage City, Kan. She lived in Topeka for the last three years.

Dora graduated from Lyndon High School in 1956. She had been an in-home caretaker for many years and a fulltime homemaker. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, Osage City, and had been a part of the Osage County Senior Center.

On July 19, 1957, Dora was united in marriage to Lester Arb, in Lebo, Kan.

Linda Sharon Ward, 66, Vassar: Jan. 12, 1957 – Feb. 17, 2023

VASSAR, Kan. – Linda Sharon Ward, 66, passed away Friday, Feb. 17, 2023, at her home on Lake Pomona, near Vassar, Kan. She was born Jan. 12, 1957, in Detroit, Mich., the daughter of Ralph and Carolyn (Morris) Ward.

Linda had lived in California for many years until moving to Vassar five years ago. She worked as a money handler for CostCo for many years. She was skilled as a shadow dancer and a drummer.

Linda was united in marriage to Steve Wheeler, May 21, 2006, in San Diego, Calif.

John Thomas, 71, Admire: Nov. 30, 1951 – Feb. 21, 2023

ADMIRE, Kan. – On Feb. 21, 2023, John Thomas walked into the open arms of Jesus with his final earthly breath and a brief smile as I believe he heard “Welcome home my good and faithful servant!”

William John Thomas was born Nov. 30, 1951, to William M. Thomas and Agnes P. Thomas, in Emporia, Kan.

John was the youngest of five siblings. He loved growing up on a farm by the creek. He graduated from Northern Heights High School pursued a degree in auto mechanics due to his love of all things automotive. He was drafted to the Army in 1972, and it was at this time he began his relationship with Jesus. He served six years with the 725th Maintenance Battalion 25th Infantry Division. His active duty was served at Schofield Barracks, Oahu, Hawaii. Later in life he joined the American Legion, and served as post commander at American Legion Post 389, Allen, Kan.

He declared his love for Thelma via airmail letter written on Feb. 21,1973. They were married July 4, 1976. They spent most of their life together at the home they built north of Admire, Kan. They were blessed with four children and 13 grandchildren.

Ronald Ray Neilson, 62, Scranton: Jan. 5, 1961 – Feb. 9, 2023

SCRANTON, Kan. – Ronald Ray Neilson, 62, was tragically taken in a vehicle accident on Thursday, Feb. 9, 2023. He was born Jan. 5, 1961, in Topeka, Kan., the son of Arley Ray and Josephine (Rose) Neilson.

Ron lived near Lyndon, Kan., all of his life. After graduating from Lyndon High School in 1979, Ron purchased a farm a few miles from his childhood home, where he co-farmed with his father and raised cattle.

On May 28, 1983, Ron was united in marriage to Connie Lynn Jones, in Ottawa, Kan. To this union four children were born, Kyle, Kevin, Katelyn, and Kade.

Ron became a rural mail carrier for the post office, and a fieldman for Overbrook Livestock Commission, Overbrook, Kan. He was a member of the Topeka Baptist Church.

Pat (Campbell) Bruce, 83, Lawrence: March 13, 1939 – Feb. 13, 2023

LAWRENCE, Kan. – Patricia Ann Campbell Bruce, 83, passed away Feb. 13, 2023, in Lawrence, Kan. She was born March 13, 1939, in Melvern, Kan.

She attended Melvern High School and the University of Kansas, and in 1961 became the first person in her family to graduate from college. Following several years in retail, she began a long career at the Kansas Department of Labor, in Topeka, Kan. Upon retiring in 2005, she continued working essentially full-time as a volunteer at Just Food, the Lawrence Public Library, the Topeka Genealogical Society, and Kansas Public Radio.

A major KU basketball fan since the 1940s, she saw Clyde Lovellette and Wilt Chamberlain play in Hoch Auditorium, watched her team win four national championships, and was among the thousands flooding Mass Street after the win in 2008.

Pat loved music, reading, genealogical research, British detective shows, gardening, good and bad puns, and her friends and family.

Connie E. Perry, 83, Carbondale: Dec. 1, 1939 – Dec. 27, 2022

CARBONDALE, Kan. – Connie E. (Bayless) Perry, 83, was born Dec. 1, 1939, to James A. and Audrey Marie Bayless. She grew up in Carbondale, Kan., along with her six siblings. After graduating from Carbondale High School, she moved to Florida for several years, only to return to Carbondale, where she met and later married Jim Perry, with whom she had four children, Nancy (Haufler), Jennifer (Elliott), Cynde (Foltz) and Jim.

Connie worked for Bell South in Florida, and later Southwestern Bell/AT&T, Topeka, Kan., from where she proudly retired in 1991. Connie also worked several years at the Wal-Mart Distribution Center, Ottawa, Kan.

She was the proud Granny to many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. One could see that love by looking at the many pictures she always displayed throughout her home. In addition to the love of her family, she was a huge NASCAR and KC Royals fan, which kept her occupied from February through October. She had her outdoor plants in the summer, and kept her bird feeders full year-round. She also had a love for dogs and would take in a stray in a heartbeat. Her beloved Sophie passed several years ago, which was one of the hardest things she had to live through. She loved to crochet, and has provided blankets to many. She enjoyed doing puzzles, especially with her kids and grandkids. She was also up for eating bacon and eggs at any meal of the day, and loved her coffee, morning, noon and night.

Gary L. Lindbloom, 79, Topeka: June 20, 1943 – Feb. 10, 2023

TOPEKA, Kan. – Gary L. Lindbloom, 79, Topeka, Kan., transitioned to his eternal life Friday, Feb. 10, 2023, surrounded by family. He was born June 20, 1943 in Eskridge, Kan., the third son of Wilford and Eileen (Pearson) Lindbloom.

He attended Miller grade school, Rapp School, and was a 1961 graduate of Osage City High School, Osage City, Kan. In high school, Gary played basketball and was active in the Future Farmers of America, of which he was elected president his senior year.

After high school, Gary worked in the Kansas City stockyards while receiving his auto mechanic school certification.  After graduation, he returned to Osage City to join the family farming operation, where he was mentored by his father, W.C. Lindbloom.  It was there he pursued his lifelong passion as a cattleman and farmer. His passions were his cattle and quarter horses he bred to be used on the farm.  The family farm was a partnership with his father, W.C. Lindbloom, and his brother, Dick Lindbloom.  It was a large operation with 1,500 head of cattle, 3,500 acres of owned land, and 3,500 rented acres. The farm was featured in the New York magazine in mid 1970s, recognizing it as a multinational business enterprise.

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