SHARON KAY (BUTTER) SPARKS
Sharon Sparks, age 66, of Strong City, KS, died Friday, February 5, 2016, at her home in Strong City. The daughter of Leroy G. and Levoda M (Buckbee) Butter, Sharon was born May 27, 1949, in Council Grove, KS. She graduated from Strong City High School in 1967. She and Ron Sparks were married April 20, 1968, at the Chase County Courthouse in Cottonwood Falls. She was a homemaker and cooked at the nursing home in Cottonwood Falls for 22 years. She loved her family and enjoyed spending as much time as possible with them.
Sharon is survived by her husband of the home, five daughters: Kim Walker (James) of Strong City, Kerry Sparks of Kansas City, KS, Kelly Sparks of Oskaloosa, Kathy Mullins (Danny) of Cottonwood Falls, and Mel Butter of Strong City; two brothers: Rex Butter (Kim) and Cecil Butter (Connie) of Cottonwood Falls; one sister: Nancy Falkman (Lou) of Prairie Village; eight grandchildren: Matthew and Michelle Givens, Tyler Mullins, Danielle Townsdin, Megan, Dillion, and Madison Grother, and Alec Keller; five great-grandchildren: Avery, Raiden, and Orion Givens, Stella Mullins, and Sophia Townsdin. She was preceded in death by her parents; two nephews: Chad Butter and Beau Wallace; and a great-nephew, Braysen Butter.
A celebration of life gathering, to share memories, will be held Tuesday, February 9, at 3:30, at St. Anthony Hall in Strong City. A private family graveside will be held at Strong City Cemetery.
There will be no visitation and the casket will be closed. Memorial contributions to the H. Dale Buck Animal Welfare Memorial Fund, Inc. may be sent in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, 66845. Online condolences may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
LARRY GENE HENSLEY
Larry Hensley, age 73, of Cottonwood Falls, KS, died Wednesday, February 3, 2016, at his home, with his wife at his side. The son of William Ova and Agnes Isabelle (White) Hensley, he was born February 23, 1942, in Strong City, KS. Larry attended St. Anthony Grade School and graduated from Strong City High School. He hauled hay and worked at the IGA in Cottonwood Falls before serving in the U.S. Army. Larry drove a truck, making deliveries, for Gambles and Schwans, worked as a used car salesman for Ed Bozart in Topeka, and owned and operated his own business, Larry’s Windshield Repair.
He was a member of the Kansas Trap Association and earned numerous awards and trophies. He was an avid fisherman and camper and enjoyed hunting, playing pool, and gardening. Larry and Anita Yoakem were married March 24, 2012, in Strong City.
He is survived by his wife of the home and other relatives and friends. He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters: Donna Trussell and Ruth Marie Hensley; and a brother, Bob Hensley.
A memorial gathering will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions to the Chase County Kids Fishing Derby or to assist with final expenses may be sent in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, P.O. Box 245, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolence messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
MARTIN KENT GARRISON
Martin Garrison, age 69, of Strong City, KS, died Friday, January 29, 2016, at his home in Strong City. The son of Robert and Eileen (Schwindt) Garrison, Martin was born October 24, 1946, in Wichita, KS. He graduated from Wichita High School-South. He and Nancy Grube were married December 23, 1972, in Maize, KS.
Martin serviced x-ray machines and worked, in maintenance, at Star Lumber and a racquet club in Wichita. After he moved to Chase County, he worked at the Chase County Leader News, Beverly Enterprises, and the Chase County Historical Society.
He is survived by his wife, of the home; a son, Quincy Garrison, of Strong City; a daughter, Slyvia Garrison of Wichita; a brother, Eric Garrison, of Kansas City, MO; and two sisters: Sharon Patton of Cottonwood Falls and Norleen Garrison of New Jersey. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Jerry Garrison.
No services are planned. Memorial contributions to the American Diabetes Association or the American Cancer Society may be sent in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
RONALD LEE ARMSTRONG
Ronald “Ron” Armstrong, 77, of Matfield Green, KS, died Wednesday, January 13, 2016, while on the Carnival Triumph Ship in the Gulf of Mexico. The son of Adelbert A. and Marjorie (McCrain) Armstrong, Ronald was born April 1, 1938, in Pueblo, Co. He served in the U.S. Navy. He and Peggy Wells were married and she preceded him in death in 1983. Ron worked as a maintenance shop supervisor at the Breckenridge Ski Area for 20 years. He retired in 1993. While in Colorado, he was a thirty-second degree member of the Freemasons and a member of the Denver, Colorado Consistory. After he retired, he moved to Matfield Green. During his time here, he served as Mayor for Matfield Green for several years, was the caretaker for the Land Institute buildings, and helped re-build the Matfield Green schoolhouse.
He is survived by his son, Michael, and his wife, Taylor, of Aurora, CO and a grandson, Owen Armstrong of Aurora, CO. He was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents.
A celebration of life service will be held Saturday, January 30, at 1:00 P.M., at the Matfield Community Church with Pastor Penny Goldberg officiating. Inurnment will be at a later time in the Matfield Green Cemetery.
Memorial contributions to the Matfield Green Community Center may be sent in care of the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Messages, for the family, may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
GILBERT “GILBY” HOMER TRUSSELL, JR.
Gilbert “Gilby” Trussell Jr., age 94, of Newton, KS, died Sunday, Jan 17, 2016, at Newton Medical Center in Newton, KS. Gilby was born Dec. 6, 1921, in Strong City, KS, to Gilbert and Mabel Trussell. He was the second of five children. His siblings Hope Bullock, Thelma Peterson, Harold Trussell and Bob Trussell all preceded him in death.
Gilbert graduated from Strong City High School and worked various jobs before volunteering for the Army Air Corp. He was a radio mechanic in North Africa during World War II. He went to work for the Signal Department of Santa Fe Railroad in 1948. He remained with the railroad until he retired in 1983.
He married Libby Waddell of Cottonwood Falls on June 5, 1949. They lived in Cottonwood Falls till 1966 when his job took him to Newton, KS, where his wife still resides.
He is also survived by their three children: Lee Anne (Wade) Coester of Cottonwood Falls, Cathie (Gary) Best of Dover, KS, and Larry (Pam) Trussell of Newton. Gilbert and Libby have seven grandchildren: Stacy (Christian) Dashiell, Nikki Coester, Amy (Ryan) Johnston, Amanda Belew, Bethany (James) Ensign, Brian Trussell, and Jenny Royston; and nine great grandchildren: Clara, Grace, and Joel Johnston; Eli, Zackary, and Hana Dashiell; Tabor and Zoey Ensign; and Trysten Belew.
Gilby was a member of Zeredatha Masonic Lodge #80, VFW, American Legion, and the Presbyterian Church of Cottonwood Falls.
A Celebration of Life service was held at the Presbyterian Church in Cottonwood Falls on Tuesday, Jan. 19. Inurnment, in Strong City Cemetery, will be at a later date. Memorials to First Presbyterian Church USA of Cottonwood Falls may be sent in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Messages may be left online at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
Shelli Ann (Thompson) DeCou
Shelli Ann Thompson) DeCou (died January 10, 2016, after a courageous nine month battle with colon cancer, with treatments at the Tammy Walker Cancer Center in Salina, KS.
Shelli was born on February 7, 1962, in Topeka, KS, as the youngest of four children born to Clarence and Phyllis Thompson. She spent her early childhood years in Clay Center, KS, and then moved to Abilene, KS, in 1974 at the start of her 7th grade year.
She graduated from Abilene High School in 1980, where she played in the high school band, and served as a Drum Major and a Wrestling Cheer Leader. She graduated from Kansas State University in December of 1984, with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management. She also played saxophone in the KSU Marching Band.
Shelli met Mark Alan DeCou while both worked for Koch Industries in Wichita, Kansas, and they were married June 4, 1992. During their 23 year marriage, Shelli worked for Koch Industries in Wichita, World Impact’s Morning Star Ranch of Florence, KS, the Chase County School District Food Services, and lastly was self-employed in a Commercial Cleaning business at the time of her illness.
Mark and Shelli adopted their newborn daughter, Rachel Elizabeth, born 12-5-2000. Later, they adopted Rachel’s biological newborn brother, Riley Austin, born 11-27-2001. Shelli dedicated most of her time to her Christian Faith, her children and their education, to her husband, Mark, cooking, and the Cedar Point Community Church in Cedar Point, KS.
Shelli is survived by her husband, Mark Alan DeCou; daughter, Rachel Elizabeth DeCou; son, Riley Austin DeCou, all of the home in rural Chase County; her parents, Phyllis (Thompson) and Greg Pierce and Clarence and Donna Thompson of Abilene; her brother, Kim Thompson of Wichita, and her sisters, Cindy Kelly of New Braunfels, TX and Julie Wilson of Troy, MI.
A celebration of life service will be held Thursday, at 1:00, at the Cedar Point Community Church with burial in Elmdale Cemetery. A visitation will be held Wednesday, from 5:30 until 7:30, at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home.
Memorial contributions to the Children of Shelli DeCou Education Fund may be sent in care of the funeral home, 201 Cherry, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Online condolences may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
CYNTHIA SUE MADDEN
Cynthia Madden, age 57, of Cottonwood Falls, formerly of Emporia, KS, died Sunday, December 20, 2015, at her home. The daughter of Richard L. and Mary Alice (Brickley) Madden, Cynthia was born October 2, 1958, in Emporia. She graduated from Emporia High School in 1977. She worked as a dietary aide at the Golden Living Center of Chase County in Cottonwood Falls and as a cashier at Casey’s General Store. She greeted everyone with a smile which spread much joy to others. She loved to cook and taught her family what was important in life.
She is survived by three daughters: Patricia Biggs of Emporia, Jo Schrater and her husband, Michael, of Cottonwood Falls, and Richell Winsky of Hutchinson; two brothers: Orin Madden of Emporia and Eddie Madden of Perry, OK; one sister: Julie Malburgh of Seattle, WA; thirteen grandchildren; and one great-grandson. She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Jan Goza; great-grandparents, Nora and Edward Brickley; and a granddaughter, Patricia Ray Biggs.
A celebration of life gathering will be held Saturday, January 16, 2016, at 1:00, at the Cottonwood Falls Community Building in Swope Park. Memorial contributions to the Buck Animal Welfare Fund may be sent in care of Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Messages for the family may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
OMA LOU (FREY) MUSHRUSH
Oma Lou Mushrush, age 86, of Elmdale, KS, died Saturday, December 19, 2015, at Stormont Vail Health Center in Topeka, KS. The daughter of Frank Shipman and Hazel Lucille (Talkington) Frey, she was born July 3, 1929, on the ranch on Stribby Creek in Chase County. She graduated from Chase County Community High School in 1947 and from Kansas State College of Agriculture and Applied Science (now Kansas State University) in 1951 with a degree in business. She and Robert R. Mushrush were married December 21, 1950, in Cottonwood Falls.
Oma Lou and Bob and their family worked side by side to develop an internationally recognized Red Angus ranch, Mushrush Red Angus, in the Elmdale area. She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church, USA, and Presbyterian women where she was instrumental in organizing the rummage sales and the clothes closet in Cottonwood Falls. She was a member of PEO, a Girl Scout leader, and a Sunday school teacher for many years.
Oma Lou is survived by her husband, Bob, of the home: a son, Joe Mushrush and his wife, Connie, of Elmdale; a daughter, Barby Hanschu and her husband, Rick of Ramona; eight grandchildren: Brandon Hanschu and his wife, Amber, Danelle Leiker and her husband, Mark, Daniel Mushrush and his wife, Christine, Casey Mushrush and his wife, Ericka, Laura Mushrush, Cole Mushrush and his wife, Genna, Chris Mushrush, and Madelyn Mushrush; and 10 great-grandchildren: Shaylee, Layton, and Daxton Leiker, Gavin, Addison, and Gage Hanschu, Sadie, Bella, and Kate Mushrush, and Mikayla Geppert. She was preceded in death by her parents and a sister, Juanita Gibb.
A Witness to the Resurrection service will be held Wednesday, at 2:00, at the First Presbyterian Church, USA, in Cottonwood Falls. Burial will follow in Prairie Grove Cemetery west of Cottonwood Falls.
There will be no formal visitation. Memorial contributions to the Sjogren’s Syndrome Foundation, Inc. or to the Chase County Fair Association may be sent in care of the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, PO Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Online messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
DOROTHY H. (VAN GUNDY) NURNBERG
Dorothy Nurnberg, age 95, of Grandview Community, Kansas, died Thursday, November 26, 2015, at Brookdale Senior Living in Emporia. The daughter of David and Nellie (Clark) Van Gundy, Dorothy Helen was born March 30, 1920, in Reading, KS. She graduated from Americus High School in 1938. She worked for REA, as a secretary, when she met Carl R. Nurnberg. They were married October 27, 1944, in Emporia, KS. Before his death on August 5, 2005, they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary.
Dorothy was a homemaker, working alongside her husband on the farm. For several years, she also did sewing at Crawford Manufacturing and drove a school bus for the Chase County school district. She was a member of the Saffordville United Methodist Church and the Grandview Club. She had a passion for quilting and donated many quilts for bazaars and to her family. She was an excellent cook with her “specialties” being gooseberry pie, cinnamon rolls, and goulash. She loved to travel and, if anyone was going somewhere, she was ready to go within minutes (even with seven children).
She is survived by three sons: Daniel Nurnberg and Howard Nurnberg (Karen) of Grandview Community and Thomas Nurnberg (Nancy) of Council Grove; four daughters: Leila Merry (Darrell) of Olpe, Marilyn Voorhees (Don) of Waverly, Arlene Dodge (Ron) of Emporia, and Charlene Palenske (Hal) of Strong City; a brother, Wayne Van Gundy (Emma Lou) of Americus, a sister-in-law, Helen Kinghorn of Littleton, CO; 19 grandchildren, 34 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a grandson, Chad Nurnberg; a brother, John Van Gundy; and two sisters: Mahala True and Lena Van Gundy.
A celebration of life service will be held Wednesday, December 2, at 10:00 A.M., at the Saffordville United Methodist Church in Toledo Township. Interment will be at Grandview Cemetery.
A visitation will be held Tuesday, from 5:30 until 7:00 P.M., at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home. Memorial contributions to Hand in Hand Hospice, Saffordville Community Center, or Saffordville United Methodist Church may be sent in care of the funeral home, 201 Cherry, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolence messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
CHRIS ANTHONY PASSMORE
Chris Passmore, age 57, of Allen, KS, died Friday, November 13, 2015, at Stormont Vail Health Center in Topeka, KS. The son of Harold Ted and Colleen (Hamilton) Passmore, Chris was born May 31, 1958, in Strong City, KS. He graduated from high school in Fort Smith, AR and completed a heating and air conditioning program at Flint Hills Vo-Tech. He and Gina Doolittle were married and had two sons: Jason and Nathan before they were divorced. Chris and Yvonne Gillispie were married July 28, 1995, in Emporia.
Chris worked for Dolly Madison and Safeway in Emporia before owning his own business, Passmore Home Improvement. He enjoyed working with his hands building and fixing anything and everything. He enjoyed making others happy and often put other’s needs ahead of his own. He loved the outdoors, including water skiing, fishing, and quail hunting. He and his family spent many happy days at Lake Kahola and he lived for his grandchildren. He was a member of the Antique Tractor Club in Emporia.
Chris is survived by his wife, Yvonne, of the home; his mother, Colleen Hynson, of Emporia; two sons: Jason Passmore (Linda) of Emporia and Nathan Passmore (Ashia) of Cottonwood Falls; a step-daughter, Heather Hardin (Dustin) of Emporia; six grandchildren: Halle and Macy Hardin, Lahna and Blaze Passmore, and Zoe and Mayah Passmore; three brothers: Ted Passmore (Carol) and Tom Passmore (Barbara) of Alexandria, LA and Alan Passmore (Enny) of Little Rock, AR; one sister: Connie Pretzer (Terry) of Strong City; and two half-sisters: Ann Passmore of Fort Smith, AR and Tracy Hynson of Houston, TX. He was preceded in death by his father, Harold Passmore and his step-father, Keith Hynson.
A celebration of life memorial gathering will be held Monday, November 23, at 2:00, at the Cottonwood Falls Community Building. Inurnment will be at a later date.
Visitation will be Sunday, from 4:00 until 7:00, at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home. Memorial contributions to an education fund for his grandchildren may be sent in care of the funeral home, P.O. Box 220, Cottonwood Falls, KS 66845. Condolences for the family may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
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