JAMES L. “JIM” KEWLEY
Jim Kewley, age 83, of Emporia, died Sunday, March 13, 2016, at his home. The son of William and Mary (Schultz) Kewley, James LaVerne was born February 18, 1933, in Persho, SD. He served in the US Army during the Korean War. He and Alma Jean Brown were married October 5, 1959, in Pierre, SD. He was a farmer/rancher while they lived in Tripp County, SD. After they moved to Chase County, he worked for Neosho Construction as a truck driver until his retirement in 2000. He was a member of the American Legion. He enjoyed the company of his dogs and spending time with his family.
He is survived by his wife of the home; three sons: Michael Kewley (Gina) of Burlington, Bill Kewley (Janell) of Cottonwood Falls, and Greg Kewley (Carolyne) of Wellsville; two daughters: Kay Smith and Terry Hensley of Emporia; a brother, Robert Kewley (Judy) of Emporia; three sisters: Phyllis Talkington and Delores Conley of Matfield Green and Jean McElfresh of Emporia; nine grandchildren: Sara Ochs, Nathan Smith, Nichole Armstrong, Michael Kewley, Chase Kewley, Madison Kinkaid, Colton Kewley, Easton Kewley, and Annalise Kewley; and five great-grandchildren: Allison Ochs, Calvin Ochs, Genevieve Smith, Ava Gormley, and Mesa Armstrong. He was preceded in death by his parents; a son, Jimmy Kewley; a sister, Carol Horton; and a son-in-law, Bob Hensley.
A celebration of life service will be held Friday, March 18, at 11:00 A.M., at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home. Burial, with military honors, will follow in Prairie Grove Cemetery.
A visitation will be held Thursday, from 6:00 until 7:30 P.M., at the funeral home. Memorial contributions to the David Traylor Zoo of Emporia 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.
RHONDA K. (POTTER) REYER
Rhonda Reyer, age 62, of rural Strong City, KS, died Thursday, March 10, 2016, at her home. The daughter of Frederick D. and Marjorie L. (Thornton) Potter, Rhonda Kay was born October 30, 1953, in Emporia, KS. She married Cecil R. Butter and to that union was born two children, Tom and Tammy. They later divorced. She and Corwin L. Miller were married and to that union was born Tiffany. They were divorced. When she and Craig Reyer were married on February 14, 1996, in Emporia, she was blessed with two more children: Justin Reyer (Shelly) and Karen Schuckman (Jeff).
Rhonda worked in several restaurants and owned and operated the Flint Hills Restaurant in Strong City. She was a member of the Baptist Church. She loved to play bingo; however, she most enjoyed her family and being there for anyone who needed help or support. She was a fun-loving and giving person.
She is survived by her husband, Craig, of the home; a son, Thomas Butter of Strong City; two daughters: Tammy Jellison (Ken) of Topeka and Tiffany Harshman of Cottonwood Falls; three brothers: Gary Potter of Emporia and Donald Potter (Linda) and David Potter of Dallas, TX; four sisters: Sheryle Baker of Emporia, Nancy Weikle of Cottonwood Falls, and Debra Schroer (Ace) and Denise Bradshaw (Bobby) of Strong City; and 12 grandchildren: Kendra and Taryn Jellison, Izak Butter, Chelsea Kelly, and Dawson Butter, Maci, Reace, and Knox Harshman, Danae and Rhett Reyer, and Lexi and Kinley Schuckman. She was preceded in death by her parents; a grandson, Braysen Butter; and a brother, Fred Douglas Potter.
A celebration of life service will be held Tuesday, March 15, at 2:00 P.M., at the Flint Hills Community Church in Cottonwood Falls. Burial will follow in Prairie Grove Cemetery.
A visitation will be held Monday, from 6:00 until 7:30 P.M., at the church. Memorial contributions to Hand in Hand Hospice 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.
LUBETH (COOPER) WHITAKER
LuBeth Whitaker, age 60, of Toledo Township, KS, died Wednesday, February 17, 2016, at the Kansas City Hospice House in Kansas City, Missouri. The daughter of Edgar V. “Puncher” and Florence Jeannine (North) Cooper, LuBeth was born August 29, 1955, in Strong City, KS. She graduated from Chase County High School in 1973. She and Harry Whitaker were married and to that union were born three children: Dakota, Cheyann, and Denver. They later divorced.
LuBeth was a child care provider and worked in the deli department of Reebles Country Mart. She spent many hours working and raising quarter horses for the family business, Cooper Quarter Horses. She enjoyed reading, dancing, farming, making ceramics, and spending time with her grandchildren.
She is survived by two sons: Dakota Whitaker (Sylvia Swain) of Eudora, KS, and Denver Whitaker (Jennifer) of Colorado Springs, CO; her daughter, Cheyann Whitaker of Eudora, KS; her mother, Jeannine Cooper of Strong City, KS; a brother, Jim Cooper (Michielle) of Emporia, KS; three sisters: Janet Cannon (Larry) of Emporia, KS, Wanda Macy (Carey) of Alta Vista, KS, and Nancy Holland (Joe) of Redlands, CA; and seven grandchildren: Daniel Whitaker, India Whitaker, Dakota Whitaker, Cooper Whitaker, Kaden Bender, Caitlynn Whitaker, Ireland Whitaker. She is preceded in death by her father, Edgar V. “Puncher” Cooper; and her “partner in crime” Lisa Ann Miller.
A celebration of life service will be held Sunday, February 21, 2016, at 2:00 P.M., at Saffordville United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in Hillside Cemetery.
There will be a visitation Saturday, from 6:00 until 7:30, at Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home. Memorial contributions to the Kansas City Hospice House 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.
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.
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