George Arthur Ely, 58, died unexpectedly at his home in Great Bend on Dec. 20, 2011. He was born on July 16, 1953 in Mt. Holly, N.J. George had spent the past 35 years drilling oil, gas and water wells in Kansas, Oklahoma, and New Jersey. At his time of death, he had completed his first semester of the Natural Gas Transmission and Distribution program at Barton Community College. He would have graduated in May. He married Toni Arnett Williams on August 29, 1986, in Elkton, Md. She survives.
Lorraine H. Erickson, 90, died April 20 at Great Bend Regional Hospital. She was born Feb. 12, 1922, in Rush County, the daughter of Herman and Anna Marie (Wagner) Hemken. Lorraine was baptized and confirmed at Peace Lutheran Church at Albert.
CLAFLIN - Kurt Herbert Fuhr, 92, joined his Maker and others in Heaven on Holy Saturday, April 7. He was the last born to Fredrick and Hattie Fuhr in Bromburg, Poland on Sept. 11, 1919. He grew up in Claflin and attended Great Bend High School. In 1961, he was baptized in the Methodist faith. He was a lifeguard and Eagle Scout. He was married to Eledra Mae Fuhr on April 9, 1943 until her death on March 12, 1984. He was married to Beverly Kay Fuhr on Sept. 14, 1987 until her death on Aug. 18, 2010.
ELLSWORTH - Ray Alvin Rolfs, 45, died April 15 at Salina Regional Medical Center. Born July 10, 1966 in Ellsworth, he was the son of Alvin D. and Johnetta G. Kaiser Rolfs. Formerly of Great Bend, he was a resident of Mosaic in Ellsworth. He attended schools in Geneseo and Lyons. He loved playing basketball and running track for Special Olympics.
Roger D. Hickey, 63, died April 13 at Great Bend Regional Hospital. He was born Nov. 4, 1948, at Topeka, to Ray and Twila (Epply) Hickey. He married Janelle Brower on Nov. 21, 2001, at Las Vegas, Nev. A lifetime Great Bend resident, he owned Hickey Sheet Metal.
LARNED - Betty J. Fleske, 88, died April 13 at the Pawnee Valley Community Hospital in Larned. Born May 8, 1923, in Pawnee County, she was the daughter of Elmer and Bessie Flick Kirkwood. On Sept. 15, 1948, she married Elmer Fleske at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in Albert. He died on April 4, 1994. A lifetime area resident, she worked on the farm with her husband for many years.