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.
LORRAINE CHRISTINE “CHRISTY” COPPLE
“Christy” Copple, age 54, of Independence, KS, formerly of Strong City, died Friday, May 15, 2015, at St. Francis Hospital in Tulsa, OK. The daughter of Robert I. and Sharon M. (Garrison) Glanville, she was born February 23, 1961, in Emporia, KS. She graduated from Chase County High School in 1979 and graduated from Newman School of Nursing in Emporia. She and Larry Deering were married and Alisha Dawn was born to this union. They divorced. She and James Copple were married June 10, 1995, and Talitha Tremaine was born to this union before they divorced.
Christy worked, as a registered nurse, at several nursing homes in this area and was a homemaker. Recently, she had worked as a care provider for disabled individuals in Independence. She was a talented artist and enjoyed pencil drawing. Her family cherishes these drawings.
In 2008, Christy embarked on a new adventure, re-uniting with Larry Deering to become an active role in their auto restoration business, first located in Strong City and then re-located to Independence, KS, in 2010. She continued to pursue her hobbies and passions for Motorsports by joining the Wilkens/Leyda Outlaw fuel altered drag racing team as a photographer. She traveled with Larry and other team members for two seasons and was on the 2010 World Fuel Altered National Champion team of Wilkens/Leyda. She enjoyed her quiet time in the many flower and vegetable gardens at their home in Independence.
Christy lived a full life and her family and friends were always her sole priority. She will be dearly missed by all. Her family is honored to say that Christy was an organ donor. Her final act was to give a gift that will ensure that she will live on in the lives of many other people.
She is survived by her mother, Sharon Patton, of Cottonwood Falls; her father, Bob Glanville (Bert) of Cottonwood Falls; two daughters: Alisha D. Daw of Emporia and Talitha “Tia” T. Copple of Parsons; two sisters: Vickie Peterson and Carla Gallmeister (Scott) of Cottonwood Falls; a brother, Joe Glanville, of Gladstone, MO; and other family and friends.
A celebration of memorial service will be held Saturday, May 23, 2015, at 10:00, at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home in Cottonwood Falls. Interment of her cremated remains will follow in Strong City Cemetery. There will be a visitation Friday, from 2:00 until 4:00, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions to help pay her final 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.
CECILE BERNEICE (GRAHAM) POTTER
Cecile Potter, age 72, of rural Emporia, KS, died Thursday, May 14, 2015, at Holiday Resort in Emporia. The daughter of James Louis “Jimmie” and Mary Allen (Ramsey) Graham, Cecile was born October 2, 1942, in Strong City, KS. She and William Harold “Bill” Potter, Jr. were married September 30, 1957, in Emporia. He died June 17, 2003.
Cecile was a convenience store manager and a homemaker. Previously, she had worked as a bookkeeper, waitress, and an employee of a birdseed factory. She enjoyed working in her yard and flower beds, reading, and working crossroad puzzles.
She is survived by two sons: Bill “Chauncey” Potter (Cheryl) of Fulton, MO and Brian Potter (Christy) of Omaha, NE; a brother, Jimmy Graham (Linda) of Yates Center; two sisters: Karen Nurnberg (Howard) of Saffordville and Billie Jo Potter of Sublette; nine grandchildren; and 20 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; a son, Bradley Potter; a daughter, Julie Ann Potter; and a sister, Mary Jane Tyler.
A celebration of life memorial service will be held Monday, May 18, 11:00 AM, at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home with officiant, Pastor Rick Smith. Interment of cremated remains will follow in Prairie Grove Cemetery west of Cottonwood Falls. Memorial contributions to the American Lung Association 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.
WYATT DEAN BROWN
Dean Brown, age 94, of Cottonwood Falls, KS, died Monday, May 4, 2015, at the Golden Living Center of Chase County in Cottonwood Falls. The son of John Frank and Pearle Alice (Wyatt) Brown, he was born April 27, 1921, in Cottonwood Falls. He graduated from Chase County Community High School in 1940. He was serving with the U. S. Maritime Services in the Aleutian Islands when he was drafted into the U. S. Army. He served in Company D 424th of the 106th Infantry which was instrumental in the Battle of the Bulge victory during WWII. Dean and Rosa Joan Thompson were married October 19, 1956, at Elmdale.
He farmed and worked construction, with his brother, Keith, and then worked as a mechanic for Trayer-Jelf Chevrolet in Cottonwood Falls. He worked, on a production line, at Dolly Madison and retired, in 1983, after 18 years. After retirement, he worked, part-time, at Bluestem Farm & Ranch Supply. He loved to “tinker” in his shop and never threw anything away because he knew he could take a piece of junk and turn it into something useful. When his sons were young, he coached Little League baseball. He, also, raised miniature horses and enjoyed playing golf.
Dean was a member of Elmdale United Methodist Church, the Zeredatha Masonic Lodge #80, Falls Chapter of the Order of Eastern Star in Cottonwood Falls and the Scottish Rite and Arab Shriners of Topeka. He was, also, a member of the American Legion Post #78 in Cottonwood Falls and the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 971 in Newton. One of the highlights of his life was going to Washington, D.C. in 2012, with other WW II veterans, as part of the Honor Flight project. He is survived by his wife, Joan, of the home; two sons: Michael D. Brown (Pamela) of Hockessin, DE and Mark L. Brown (Brenda) of Mesa, AZ; three granddaughters: Alison Brown, Annie Brown, and Emma Brown; and a nephew, Richard Brown (Kathleen) of Eudora. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Keith Brown.
A celebration of life service will be held Friday, May 8, at 10:30 AM, at the Brown-Bennett-Alexander Funeral Home with officiate, Pastor Kimberly Shank. Burial, with military honors conducted by a Fort Riley Honor Guard, will follow in Prairie Grove Cemetery.
A visitation will be Thursday, from 6:00 until 7:30 PM, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions to the Chase County All-Veterans Memorial or to the Elmdale 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.
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