Thomas R. "Tom" Holstrom, 63, of Blue Springs, Mo. passed away on April 19, 2012. A loving husband, father, grandfather, brother and friend, Tom will be remembered for his success as a chemist and executive in the manufacturing industry as well as for his passion for auto racing.
Frances "Frankie" Kaiser, 83, died April 20 at Woodhaven Care Center, Ellinwood. She was born Nov. 11, 1928 at St. Rose Hospital in Great Bend, the daughter of Frank and Anna (Schaplowsky) Wirtz. She married Melvin Patrick Kaiser May 13, 1952 at St. Joseph Church in Ellinwood. He survives. She worked for Home Health as a nurse aide.
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.
OTIS - Connie Lynne (Hoch) Hoopingarner, 72, passed away on June 22, 2015, at Locust Grove Village in La Crosse. Born on Aug. 24, 1942, she was the daughter of O.C. ('Poss') and Esther (Keenan) Hoch. In 1960, she graduated from Hoisington High School and went on to earn her Dental Hygiene Degree from the University of Missouri Kansas City. She worked as a Dental Hygienist until her retirement in 2002. On Feb. 29, 1964, she married Larry Dwight Hoopingarner in Las Vegas, Nev. They made their home in Manter.
Hugh Robert "Bud" Steadman, 90, died June 21, 2015, at Woodhaven Care Center in Ellinwood. Born May 23, 1925, in Great Bend, he was the son of Frank M. and Blanche Marie (Sterling) Steadman. On July 14, 1946, he married Delores June Schenkel in Bazine. She died on April 28, 2015. A lifetime resident of Great Bend, he was an engineering technician for Evans, Bierly and Hutchison.
MCKINNEY, Texas - Kimberly Dawn Burkhart died at her home in McKinney, Texas, on May 13, 2015. Born April 4, 1969, in Great Bend, she was the daughter of Cliff and Barbara Burkhart. She was employed by American Airlines as an International flight attendant. She served as an MP in the United States Army and was active in Desert Storm.