KENNETH R. STUDER
Ken Studer, age 62, of Elmdale, KS, died Saturday, August 22, 2015, at Rolling Hills Health Center in Topeka, KS. The son of John and Marellene (Long) Studer, he was born January 25, 1953, in Bazaar, KS. He grew up in Chase County and graduated from Chase County High School in 1971 . He, also, attended Emporia State University for two years. He and Deborah Lee Schafer were married January 24, 1983, in Wichita, KS. She preceded him in death on March 7, 1996. He was a self-employed welder who created many of the metal silhouettes of horses, cattle, and other objects seen in the pastures and yards in this area. He enjoyed gardening and raised watermelons, tomatoes, and other produce which he shared with others.
He is survived by two sons, Kevin Studer of Emporia and Derrick (Jennifer) Teufel-Studer of Haysville; a daughter, Julie Studer (Sabor) of Springfield, MO; three brothers: William Studer of Burlington, Mike (Debbie) Studer and Carl (Brande) Studer of Cottonwood Falls; a half-brother, Jim (Debbie) Hall of Emporia; a half-sister, Mary Browning of Burlington; and seven grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and Doug Jackson.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held Saturday, August 29, at 2:00, at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home. Ken was cremated, which was his request. Inurnment will be in Elmdale Cemetery.
Memorial contributions to Rolling Hills Health Center in Topeka may be sent in care of the funeral home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolence messages for the family may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
DALE N. STARKEY
Dale Starkey, age 74, of rural Cottonwood Falls, KS, died near his home Tuesday, August 18, 2015.
The son of Kermit and Virginia M. (Cahoone) Starkey, Dale was born July 29, 1941, at the Stubenhofer home, in Strong City, KS. He graduated from Chase County Community High School in 1959, and was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1963 serving with the 509th Engineering Company. He was honorably discharged in 1965 after having served in Vietnam. He and Linda Riniker were married December 5, 1987 and divorced in 2010.
Dale was a cow-calf rancher in the Bazaar area. He previously worked, operating heavy equipment, for George Yeager, and later, Harold Steadman in and around Chase County. He served on the Flint Hills Rodeo Board of Directors for many years and was a current honorary member, where he still served by working behind the chutes and assisting with the annual rodeo parade. In his younger years, Dale was a bronc rider, winning a championship buckle at Phillipsburg in 1969. After his rodeo days of riding, he turned to breaking colts that he raised.
He is survived by his son, Cole Starkey of Strong City; one sister, Linda (Bill) Stubenhofer of Strong City; a brother, Vernon (Hattie Rosa) Starkey of Cottonwood Falls; two step-brothers; Mike (Julie) Cooper of Lawrence, KS and Don (Judy) Cooper of Des Moines, IA; and several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and his step-father, Leslie Cooper.
A graveside celebration of life service will be held Saturday, August 22, at 10:00 a.m., at the Bazaar Cemetery near Bazaar, KS. Military honors will be conducted by the Chase County All-Veterans Honor Guard. Dale has been cremated as was his wish.
The family will meet friends Friday, from 6:00 until 7:30 p.m. at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the Flint Hills Rodeo Association or the Chase County All-Veterans Memorial may be sent in care of the funeral home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolence messages may be left at: www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
ERIC R. OLSON
Eric Richard Olson, age 28, of Cottonwood Falls, KS, died Sunday, August 16, 2015, at his home. The son of Warren and Karen (Steen) Olson, Eric was born May 30, 1987, in Santa Barbara, CA. He graduated from Emporia High School in 2005 and completed automotive classes at the Flint Hills Technical College. He had worked as a mechanic at Koch ‘66 Service Station and as an electrician at Tyson in Emporia. He was currently working at LMI, in Cottonwood Falls, as a mechanic.
Eric attended the Hamilton United Methodist Church. He loved to read and enjoyed music. From an early age, he would dis-assemble and re-assemble any object that interested him. He, also, tinkered with electronics and loved to build.
He is survived by his son, Maxamis Lee Olson and his daughter McKenzie Marie Olson of Emporia; his father and step-mother, Warren and Elizabeth Olson of Hamilton; his mother, Karen and step-father, Paul Stephens of Loomis, CA; three brothers: Joseph (Jessica) Olson of Hartford, Micheal (Brailee) Turner of Wichita, and Timothy (Alycia) Turner of Emporia; a sister, Patricia Stephens of Loomis, CA; grandparents: Joseph Richard Steen of Santa Barbara, CA, Sondra Sue Baugher of Garnett; and Vern and Betty Sell of Crane, MO. He is preceded in death by his grandmother, Diane Steen and two grandfathers: Herbert Olson and Mick Baugher.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held Tuesday, August 25, at 2:00 P.M., at the Flint Hills Community Church in Cottonwood Falls with Pastor Kimberly Shank officiating. Eric has been cremated. Inurnment will be at a later date.
Memorial contributions to the Olson Children’s Education Fund may be sent in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolence messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
LEOLA RUTH (CHILDS) EVANS
Leola Ruth (Childs) Evans, age 98, of Cottonwood Falls, KS, left this life Tuesday, July 28, 2015. The daughter of Chauncey D. and Pearl (Green) Childs, Leola was born April 29, 1917, at Elmdale, KS. She attended the Neva Grade School, graduated from Elmdale High School in 1934, and finished courses at Salt City Business College in Hutchinson, KS. She and Paul W. Evans were married September 23, 1940, in Kansas City, MO. He preceded her in death on March 18, 2002.
Leola was employed by Cahoone Grocery, Chase County Welfare Office, Exchange National Bank, Conners Abstracting, and Chase County Farm Bureau. While Paul was in the Navy during World War II, she was employed at the Bank of America in San Diego, CA. After the war, Paul and Leola moved to Lyon County and farmed near Americus from 1948 until 1960, when they moved back to Chase County to a farm on Peyton Creek which was to be their home from then on. She worked for Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company in Emporia until May, 1956. Leola retired, as Assistant Vice-President in Administration, on April 30, 1982, after working for 26 years at the Federal Land Bank in Emporia.
Leola was a member of the Americus Eastern Star, of which she was Worthy Matron in 1959. She belonged to the Elmdale Methodist Church and was a member of the United Methodist Women. She enjoyed fishing, gardening, and needle crafts. She worked beside her husband in the farming operation when her help was needed. She spent many volunteer hours, particularly at the Nursing Center in Cottonwood Falls, and was honored with a reception recognizing her service. She truly enjoyed the outdoor life and picked many gooseberries on Peyton Creek.
She is survived by two sisters: Helen Dull and Elizabeth Crawford, both of Cottonwood Falls; a sister-in-law, Ruth Childs, of Cottonwood Falls; and many nieces and nephews, other relatives, and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and brother, Wayne Childs. She was a wonderful daughter, wife, aunt, sister, and friend. She will be missed by all who knew and loved her.
A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, August 1, at 10:00, at the Elmdale United Methodist Church with Pastor Kimberly Shank officiating. Burial will follow in the Prairie Grove Cemetery near Cottonwood Falls.
The family will meet friends Friday, from 6:00 until 7:30 P.M., at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home. Memorial gifts to the Elmdale United Methodist Church or to the Chase County Historical Society may be sent in care of the funeral home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolence messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
OLIVIA KAYE MARESH
Olivia Kaye Maresh passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 16, 2015, surrounded by family. Olivia was born on January 26, 1976.
Olivia spent the early part of her life growing up in Parkville, MO, until her family moved to Overland Park, KS, in 1986, before the start of her 5th grade year and she graduated from Shawnee Mission South in 1994. Following high school graduation, Olivia attended the University of Kansas. She graduated from KU in May of 1998 with a BS in Journalism. During her time at KU, Olivia had the honor of working as a student manager for the KU men’s basketball team under Coach Roy Williams during her junior and senior years. While at KU, she was a member of the Alpha Chi Omega sorority. Following college, Olivia began working as an editor for the medical journal, Family Practice Management (American Academy of Family Physicians). She worked for the journal until her “retirement” in 2005, when she was able to follow her true love in life – staying home and raising her family full time. Olivia’s true passion in life was raising her 2 beautiful children. She was an active member in the PTA and spent the majority of her free time volunteering at their school. She was a loving mother and wife, who always put the needs of her family first and took tremendous pride in her children and their accomplishments. Olivia loved to travel, especially when a beach was involved and her goal was to always “show her children their world.”
Olivia is survived by her husband, Ian,and her children, Luke and Lindsay; her parents, Walter and Kaye Thompson of Overland Park; brother, Brett Thompson, sister-in-law, Teri Thompson; and nieces: Taylor and Bailey of Overland Park; brother, Doug Thompson of Independence, MO; father-in-law, Richard Maresh and mother-in-law, Mary Beth Maresh of Cottonwood Falls, KS; brother-in-law, Ryan Maresh, sister-in-law; Nikki Maresh and nieces: Ashlyn and Lauren of Del Rio, TX; brother-in-law, Craig Matlock; sister-in-law, Sherri Matlock and nieces and nephews: Ava, Jordan, Nen and Braxton of Shawnee, KS.
A celebration of Olivia’s life will be held at the Ritz Charles, 9000 W. 137th St. Overland Park, KS 66221 on July 27, 2015, at 6:00, with a reception until 8:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family has asked that a donation be made to an education fund being established for Olivia’s children. If you wish to make a donation, please direct your donations to Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Fond memories and condolences for the family may be left at www.johnsoncountychapel.com or www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
David J. Rettiger, 80, of Strong City, KS, died Sunday, July 19, 2015, at his home. The son of Irvin Joseph and Gertrude Cecilia (Stubenhofer) Rettiger, David was born September 18, 1934, in Strong City. He graduated from Strong City Rural High School in 1952. He then attended St. Benedict’s College in Atchison and graduated from Emporia State University with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting. After college, he began work at Arthur Anderson and then moved on to a successful career as an audit manager for the General Accounting Office (GAO). He and Donna Faye Balsiger were married August 14, 1967, in Miami, Oklahoma and their marriage was blessed in the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Lenexa, KS. They lived in Overland Park until 1980 when they moved their family back to Strong City, establishing Rettiger Realty, Tax and Accounting, developing other family businesses, and managing the Rettiger farm. David held fond memories from his youth and of his family heritage, and he loved fishing, hunting and spending time with his family and friends. He often spoke of the Rettiger stone industry accomplishments and was proud to restore the David and Rose Rettiger farmhouse and to receive Farm Bureau Century Farm designation for the family farm and homestead.
He is survived by his wife, Donna, of the home; three sons: John D. (Kelly) Rettiger of Flowery Branch, GA, Charles J. (Anne) Rettiger of Madison, GA, and William I. (Tristan) Rettiger of Gainesville, GA; two daughters: Cecelia L. Rettiger of Liberal, KS, and Elena D. (Maco) Lincoln of Strong City; and eleven grandchildren: Norris and Madison Rettiger; Nicholas, Irvin, and Eloise Rettiger; Emma, Isabel, and Katherine Rettiger; Wes Rettiger; and Nora and Mena Lincoln. He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers: Irvin and George Rettiger. A rosary will be recited Wednesday, July 22, at 6:00 PM and a Mass of Christian Burial held Thursday, July 23, at 10:00 AM with burial to follow. Services will be at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church in Strong City and burial at St. Anthony’s Cemetery.
The family will meet friends and family following the rosary service on Wednesday until 8:00 PM at the St. Anthony Hall in Strong City. Memorial contributions to St. Anthony Catholic Church or to Strong City Preservation Alliance may be sent in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, 201 Cherry, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolence messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
TONY CHARLES FRANCKA
Tony Francka, age 77, of rural Strong City, KS, died Monday, June 15, 2015, at his home. Tony Charles, the son of Mike and Anna Francka, was born September 18, 1937, on the home farm near Brighton, MO. He attended school in Morrisville, MO, and Southwest Missouri State College. He served in the U.S. Air Force for two years and was then requested to take a hardship discharge to help on the family farm. Later, he attended Body and Fender School in Kansas City and worked in several body shops around Kansas City and Springfield, MO.
He began working for MoorMan Mfg. and was later transferred to Chase County as District Manager. After leaving MoorMan, he became part owner of Stubenhofer Plumbing for a time, sold memberships for Farmers Union, and then started TOKA Refuse Service for Chase County. After retiring from the trash service, he did odd jobs along with painting and tree trimming, until 2010, when he officially retired to enjoy life on his acreage outside of Strong City.
Tony served as president of the Chase County Jaycees, was a board member of St. Anthony Catholic Church, a member of the Strong City Council, and served as Strong City fire chief. He was a member of the Flint Hills Rodeo, serving as president for five years, was nominated as Grand Marshall in 2005, and held an honorary membership until his death. He was a member of the local golf country club and the Chase County Chamber of Commerce. He coached little league baseball and loved to hunt and fish. Tony was, also, a licensed pilot and enjoyed flying private planes. His greatest pleasure was helping people.
Tony and Diane Van Hooser were married September 8, 1962, in Springfield, MO. He is survived by Diane of the home; three children: Ted Francka (Denise) of Strong City, Anthony Francka (Karensa) of Norton; and Tammy Romani of Peoria, AZ.; two brothers: Mike Francka (Carol) of Bolivar, MO and Joe Francka (Patty) of Jefferson City, MO; two sisters: Helen Stander (Ronnie) of Bolivar, MO and Ann Griesemer (Regis) of Springfield, MO; six grandchildren: Jace, Trey, and Danika Francka of Strong City and Amanda, Giovanna, and Matthew Romani of AZ; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother, and a sister.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Saturday, June 20, at 12:00, at the Chase County Junior/Senior High School in Cottonwood Falls, KS. Celebrants will be Father Theodore Khin, Father Edmond Kline, and Deacon Buzz Harris. Military honors will be presented by an Air Force Honor Guard. Tony chose to have a natural interment, at St. Anthony Cemetery, which was held Tuesday, June 16.
There will be no visitation. The family requests that family and friends join them for a community dinner following the service.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to the St. Anthony Altar Society or the Chase County Senior Center may be sent in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, 201 Cherry, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolences messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
MARTHA RUTH (SCOTT) KLINE
Martha Kline, age 90, of Cottonwood Falls, KS, died Tuesday, June 9, 2015, after a short illness, at Newman Regional Health in Emporia. Martha was one of eight children born to Silvey and Dixie (Shumate) Scott, Martha was born May 8, 1925, in Larned, Kansas. She graduated from Larned High School and Wichita Business College. Before her marriage, she worked as an executive secretary for oil companies in Great Bend and Wichita.
Martha and Melburn C. (Mit) Kline were married in 1959 and he died in 1968. After her marriage, she worked for the Strong City State Bank before accepting a position as the first Clerk of Board of Education for Chase County Unified School District #284. She served as clerk from 1965 until her retirement in 1988. She was a member of the ABC and Wednesday afternoon bridge clubs. Martha was an avid quilter.
She is survived by four step-children: Nancy Greeno (Ken) of Palm Desert, CA, Steven Kline of Fairway, KS, David Kline of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, and Mark Kline (Berit) of Copenhagen, Denmark, and; two sisters: Patricia Thompson of Alba, TX and Mystel Shiney (Fred) of Kechi, KS; three grandchildren, 1 great grandchild, and numerous nieces and nephews.
There will be no service. Her remains will be interred at Elmdale Cemetery. Memorial contributions to Burnley Memorial Library in Cottonwood Falls may be sent in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, 201 Cherry, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolence messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
BETTY JO (LAMMON) POWERS
Betty Powers, age 86, of Emporia, KS, died Friday, May 29, 2015, at Holiday Resort in Emporia. The daughter of Jay and Ora (Dill) Lammon, she was born December 6, 1929, in Hartman, CO. She graduated from Holly High School in Holly, CO. She and William Carl Powers were married January 20, 1950, in Emporia, KS.
Betty was a homemaker and drove a school bus for the Hickman-Mills School District in the Greater Kansas City, MO area for years. She enjoyed drawing and painting (pencil, colored pencil, and watercolor), quilting, and working in her flower and vegetable gardens. She and Carl spent much time camping. She was a member of the West Side Baptist Church in Emporia. She loved her family and the great-grandchildren were “the loves of her life.”
Betty is survived by her husband of the home; two sons: Marvin E. Powers (Ellen) of Emporia and Jesse J. Powers (Kay) of Longview, WA; a brother, Lawrence Lammon, of Torrington, WY; a sister, Charlotte Swift (Bob) of Colony; three grandchildren: Adam, Casey , and Kelsey Powers; and two great-grandchildren: Mackynzee Jo and Kamryn Powers. She is preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Nancy Lammon.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held Wednesday, June 3, 2015, at 1:00, at the West Side Baptist Church with officiate, Pastor Kenneth Armstrong. Interment of her cremated remains will be at Matfield Green Cemetery in Matfield Green, KS.
Memorial contributions to the West Side Baptist Church may be sent in care of the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, 201 Cherry, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolence messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
MARGARET ANN (KELLY) SWARTZ
Margaret Swartz, age 45, of Emporia, KS, formerly of Strong City, died Monday, May 18, 2015, at Newman Regional Health in Emporia. The daughter of James and Kathleen (Dickerson) Kelly, she was born December 21, 1969, in Emporia, KS. She worked as a certified nurse aide before she was employed as a personal care assistant. She enjoyed swimming and camping.
She is survived by a son, Daniel S. Elliott of Chicago, IL; a daughter, Kathleen N. Keeton (Eric) of Kansas City, MO; a brother, James Kelly, Jr (Camille) of Strong City; a sister, Kimberly Kelly of Emporia; her father, James, of Cottonwood Falls; and six grandchildren: NeVaeh Stevenson, Maggie, Crystal, Trinity, and Kreeann Matoney, and Eric, Jr. Keeton.
She was preceded in death by her mother in 2007 and her grandparents.
A gathering, to share memories, will be held Saturday, May 23, from 2:00 until 4:00, at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home. Interment of cremated remains will follow in Strong City Cemetery. Memorial contributions to assist with payment of funeral expenses may be sent to the funeral home, 201 Cherry, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolences messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
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