H. RAY MCCLELLAN
Ray “Racehorse” McClellan, age 82, of Elmdale, KS, died Monday, February 15, 2016, at Flint Hills Care Center in Emporia, KS. The son of Carl Newton and Malinda Lee (Anderson) McClellan, Henry Ray was born August 20, 1933, in Peacock, TX. He and Judy Mildward met and just celebrated 50 years of working together and enjoying their family. He was an independent truck driver who hauled for many people and Judy accompanied him on some of the trips. He worked for many local businesses and individuals, including Steadman Construction and LUCO. He worked as a jailer at the Chase County Detention Center and as a first responder with the Chase County Emergency Medical Service. Ray was the fire chief and mayor of Elmdale for 17 years. In his spare time, he enjoyed shooting pool, fishing, hunting, and spending time at Chase County State Lake taking pictures of the outdoors and animals. He spent as much time as possible with his family and would help anyone who needed his help.
He is survived by his wife, Judy, of the home; a son, Joe Reynolds (Terri) of Toledo Township; four daughters: Cathy Reynolds Sumon of Elmdale/Canada, Cindy Potter (Gary) of Cottonwood Falls, Malinda Collier (Steve) of Reed Springs, MO; and Kim Meyers (Jody) of Americus; a brother, Dusty McClellan of College Station, TX; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandson. He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Doyle McClellan; three brothers: Dale, Walter, and A.J. McClellan; and three sisters: Zella Mae Maile, Dean Candanious, and Winona Downs.
His family will celebrate his life and share memories during a gathering to be held at a later date. They will scatter Ray’s cremains at a later date. Memorial contributions, in lieu of flowers, to the Strong City Park Playground may be sent in care of the family. Messages to the family may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com. Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, Cottonwood Falls is in charge of arrangements.
PAUL D. “DIGGER” DAINS, SR.
Paul “Digger” Dains, age 72, of Cottonwood Falls, KS, died Monday, February 15, 2016, at Morris County Hospital in Council Grove, KS. The son of Walter Lewis and Martha Lorene (Morton) Dains, Paul was born February 27, 1943, in Morris County. He was a truck driver and worked for Murphy Ag for 22 years. He enjoyed fishing and spending time with his family and friends.
He is survived by his companion, Joy Kimbrel, of Cottonwood Falls; a son, Michael Dains, of Strong City; two daughters: Paula Davidson and Wanda Siebenaler (Mike), of Emporia; a sister, June Cunningham, of Emporia; numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Dains and Martha Craig; a son, Paul Dains, Jr.; and a brother, Perry Dains.
A celebration of life memorial gathering will be held Sunday, February 28, from 2:00 until 4:00, at St. Anthony Hall in Strong City. The family will scatter Paul’s cremains at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to the Chase County Kids Fishing Derby and sent to the family. Messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com. Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home, Cottonwood Falls.
EUGENE FLETCHER GRUNDY
Eugene Fletcher Grundy, a native of Greenwood County, Kansas, and a long-time resident of Albuquerque, NM, died on February 8, 2016, at the Golden Living Center in Cottonwood Falls. Eugene was born on December 1, 1914, the son of Benjamin and Alma (Nitsche) Grundy. He attended Climax public schools and was very athletic participating in basketball, track, and boxing.
Eugene married Aileen French in 1939 and prior to their divorce in 1950 they had five children. He later married fellow teacher, Alice Mae Parks, in 1950 and together they influenced hundreds of students. He was preceded in death by his wife, Alice; his parents; six brothers, Vernon, Herman, John, Ernest, Victor, and Herschell Grundy; one sister, Betty Meadows; and two children, James and Judith.
Eugene is survived by three children and their spouses, Charles (Anne) Grundy of Pueblo West, CO; Janett (Morris) Eidman of Toledo Township; and Peggy (Ray) McGeorge of Overland Park. Also surviving are five grandchildren, Benjamin Grundy, Kim Grundy Brown, James Thurston, Randall Carrier, and Patricia Carrier, and four great grandchildren. Also surviving is his sister, Phyllis Grundy Broddle, of Desoto, and sister-in-law, Jean Colyer Grundy, of Eureka.
Eugene attended Kansas State Teachers College (KSTC-Emporia) and graduated from Washburn University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education in 1956. In May 1961,
Eugene and Alice were the first students to receive master’s degrees from the Washburn University School of Education.
Eugene taught 45 years in Kansas and Oregon elementary schools retiring in 1977. He was principal at Cassoday and Rochester (Topeka) elementary schools in the 1950s. During World War II he was on the security staff at the Parsons Army Ammunition Plant.
Eugene was a lifelong athlete and was an avid bicyclist riding hundreds of miles per year. At age 75, he received public recognition for a one-day, 100 mile ride in the Sandia foothills and at age 90 was the subject of an article in the Albuquerque Journal focusing on his bicycling endeavors. Due to ailing health Eugene last rode at age 99 ½.
Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements including cremation. Private services will be held for the family at a later date. Messages may be left at www.brown-bennett-alexander.com.
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.
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