HUTCHINSON -- Michael K. "Big Mike" Preston took to the heavenly highway on July 29. The self-proclaimed "King of the Road" was born on April 11, 1947 in Stafford, Kans., to Edgar T. and Monica [DeBusk] Preston. Mike's formative years were spent in Macksville, Kans., where his one-of-a-kind personality began to take shape. After graduating from Macksville High School in 1965, Mike volunteered to serve four years in the United States Air Force. In 1975 he enlisted in the United States Army, and served his country an additional four years.
Ruby Ideker, died July 29, 2012 at the McCrite Plaza Retirement Community, Topeka. Arrangements are pending and will be announced by Beckwith Mortuary, Larned.
LARNED -- Ryan Patrick McGinness, 32, died July 27, at Hays. Born Feb. 1, 1980 in Great Bend, he was the son of James J. Jr. and Sharon Elaine Lloyd May McGinness. A lifetime area resident he was a Rig Operator for Professional Pulling at Hays.He was of the Catholic faith.
ELLINWOOD - Gary Ray Muller, 70, died July 27, 2012.
STAFFORD - Kenneth "Kenny" Ross King, 64, died July 27, 2012 at the Pratt Regional Medical Center.
MACKSVILLE - Eston Piland, 83, died July 25 at Sterling House in Great Bend. Born Aug. 20, 1928 in Macksville, he was the son of Russell H. and Alta M. (Dykes) Piland. A resident of Great Bend for eleven years, he lived most of his life in Macksville where he was a farmer and stockman and a graduate of Macksville High School. On April 26, 1950, he married Patty R. (Standish) in Hutchinson. She survives of the home.
LARNED – Abby Louise Trapp Prescott, 22, died July 25 at Larned. She was born Nov. 6, 1989, at Great Bend, the daughter of Louis and Loretta Torrez Trapp. A 2008 graduate of Larned High School, she was the Outstanding Girl Athlete & Football Homecoming Queen. A lifetime area resident, she was most recently employed by USD 495 as a paraprofessional until her health prevented her from working.
PAWNEE ROCK - Clay Steffen Schmidt, 52, died July 24 at his home in Pawnee Rock. Born June 14, 1960 in Larned he was the son of Jarold and Ruth Petersen Schmidt. A lifetime area resident, he sold auto parts at Carquest. On March 26, 1983 he married Crystal Davidson in Larned. She survives.
ELLINWOOD - Chester A. Kimble, 95, died July 24, 2012 at Ellinwood.
GREAT BEND – Donald Eugene "Gene" Sheets, 84, died July 25, 2012 at Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center.
OVERLAND PARK - Teresa G. Weiser, 94, of Overland Park died July 25, 2012 at Shawnee Mission Medical Center.
ODIN - Anna M. Boor, 98, died July 22 at Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center. Born Nov. 4, 1913 in Odin, she was the daughter of Joseph V. and Frances M. (Tinkel) Jenisch. On April 23, 1941 she married Nick F. Boor in Odin. He died on June 25, 1998. A lifetime resident of Odin, she was a retired homemaker and farmer.
LYONS - Carolyn Sue Brown, 68, died July 21 in Great Bend. Born June 1, 1944 in Shidler, Okla. she was the daughter of Homer Walter and Clara (Clapp) Spencer. On June 23, 1961 she married Dearl D. Brown in Lyons. He died on Feb. 11, 2009. A resident of Great Bend for the last five years, formerly of Lyons, she was employed in retail management and was an Army wife.
ST. JOHN - James "Jim" Melvin Tucker, 66, died July 21 at his home in St. John. Born on Feb. 8, 1946 in Stafford, he was the son of Melvin A. and Ellen E. (Branham) Tucker. A life-long resident of St. John, he was an oil field worker and case manager for Rosewood Services in Great Bend. On Sept. 20, 1970, he married Donna M. Blanding at St. John. She survives of the home.
HAYS - Melven Joseph Herl, 86, of Hays, died July 21 at Wheatland Nursing Center in Russell. Born June 21, 1926 in Antonino, he was the son of John J. and Caroline (Klaus) Herl. On June 2, 1947 he married Esther Sauer. She preceded him in death in 1999. He moved to Russell from the Smoky Hill Rehabilitation Center in Salina, where he had been for nearly a year. He was the owner of Mel Herl Electric and a partner in Herl Brothers Cars. He was a musician with the Mel Hall Orchestra, was involved in band promotions and enjoyed gardening.
LARNED - Peggy J. Thompson, 61, passed away Jan. 19, 2015 at Via Christi Hospital St. Francis in Wichita. Born July 6, 1953, in Hoisington, she was the daughter of John H. and Marjorie Wagner Niewald. On Dec. 17, 1983, she married Kelly Thompson. They later divorced. A longtime area resident, she worked at the Larned State Hospital for 23 ½ years as a LMHT.
OLMITZ - Marilou Axman, 84, died Jan. 20, 2015 at Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center. Born Nov. 1, 1930, in Odin, she was the daughter of William and Eleanor (Hickel) Linsner. On April 20, 1949, she married Frank W. Axman in Odin. He died on May 17, 1994. A resident of Olmitz since 1949, coming from Odin, she was a retired nurses' aide, working for the Hoisington Hospital.
Joseph John Zecha, 89, died Jan. 21, at Great Bend Regional Hospital. Born Oct. 25, 1925, in Claflin, he was the son of Emil R. and Mary Theresa (Kinzel) Zecha. A Great Bend resident for the past year and half, living in Denver, Colo. for 50 years, he was an auto mechanic for Montgomery Ward, retiring in 1990. He was a fine example of charity to almost everyone he met, befriending numerous persons in need throughout his life. He was an animal lover, especially dogs.
OLMITZ - Joseph E. Hlavaty, 77, died Jan. 19, 2015, at Locust Grove Village, La Crosse. He was born Nov. 8, 1937, the son of Erwin J. and Clara Elizabeth (Riedel) Hlavaty. He married Justina Maneth Oct. 6, 1958, at La Crosse. A lifetime Olmitz resident, he was a dairy farmer and stockman and also the postmaster for Olmitz for 25 years.
LA CROSSE - Zaden Phillip Lee Finnigan was delivered and passed on Jan. 18, 2015, at Hays Medical Center.
SALINA - Matilda Pauline "Tillie" Hoth, 98, formally of Holyrood, died Jan. 18, 2015. Born Aug. 30, 1916, in Ellsworth County, she was the daughter of Fred and Anna (Kempke) Hoffman.
CLAFLIN - Garry L. Simpson, 60, died Jan 19, 2015, at his home in Claflin. Born July 18, 1954, in Columbia, N.C., he was the son of Howard and Beulah (Stevenson) Simpson. A resident of Claflin since 2002, coming from Roper, N.C., he was a nurse, working for Washington County Hospital and Central Kansas Medical Center, and formerly owned and operated Prairie House Flowers and Gifts.
OLMITZ - Joseph "Joe" Hlavaty, 77, died Jan. 19 at Locust Grove Nursing Home, LaCrosse. Services are pending with Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home, Hoisington, Kansas.
Solomon "Sam" Maier, 103, died Jan. 18, at Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center. Born June 3, 1911, in rural Barton County, he was the son of Henry Jacob and Anna Marie (Daubert) Maier. On Sept. 24, 1947, he married Betty Jo Mangum in Lubbock, Texas. She died on Dec. 7, 2000. A resident of Great Bend since 1964, coming from rural Susank, he worked for Producers Gas Company, retiring in 1976. He enjoyed fishing, and pheasant, dove and rabbit hunting.
HOISINGTON - Rose Marie Bryant, 73, died Jan. 17, at Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center. Born Jan. 7, 1942, in Chase, she was the daughter of George and Georgia (Moore) Bird. She was a graduate of Lincoln High School in Lincoln. On Jan. 27, 1961, she married Carl Lee Bryant in Lincoln. A longtime resident of Hoisington, she was employed for 17 1/2 years as a CNA on the night shift at Cheyenne Meadows Nursing Home. She and her husband both shared a love of fishing.
MCPHERSON - Jan Carpenter Sink, 79, wife, mother and grandmother, died Jan. 16, at Galichia Heart Hospital in Wichita. Born May 12, 1935, McPherson, she was the daughter of Fred D. and Evelyn M. (Sward) Carpenter. In 1953, she graduated from McPherson High School. On Jan. 28, 1956, she was united in marriage to Edwin L. Sink, Jr. in McPherson. He preceded her in death on Feb. 11, 1999. She had worked for State Farm Insurance and Tri-County Special Education Co-op, both in Independence, before retiring from Commerce Bank in Bonner Springs, and relocating to McPherson. She volunteered at Save N ...
HOISINGTON - Gregory Alan "Greg" Bitter, 55, died Jan. 19 at Clara Barton Hospital, Hoisington. Born Sept. 6, 1959, he was the son of Harry and Irene (Deutsch) Bitter.
HOLYROOD - Richard E. Johnson, 77, died Jan. 18, at his home. Born Oct. 18, 1937, in West Grove, Pa. he was the son of Samuel H. and Blanche A. Johnson. He grew up in Rising Sun, Md. On Aug. 30, 1958, he married Grace Wilkens Johnson in Lorraine. She survives. A resident of Holyrood since 2005, having moved from the farm 3 miles east of town, he was a farmer and rancher.
OTIS - Velma V. Stieben, 90, died Jan. 17, at Locust Grove Village in La Crosse. Born May 28, 1924, in rural Galatia, she was the daughter of Henry and Anna M. (Koch) Miller. In 1942, she graduated from Otis Rural High School. On Aug. 29, 1943, she married Lester M. Stieben at Otis. He preceded her in death on Nov. 28, 2004. A lifelong resident of Rush County, she was a homemaker.