LARNED - Althea Shuss Vratil passed from this earth on Dec. 3. Born Sept. 23, 1922 in Larned, she recently resided in Overland Park, but had spent nearly all her life in Larned. She left school in 1943 to marry Frank before he was shipped overseas in World War II. Althea finished her degree 50 years later at the age of 71. Althea was a devoted wife, a selfless mother, and a doting grandmother. She loved her hometown of Larned and enjoyed playing golf and substitute teaching. She also loved everything KU.
HOISINGTON - Howard V. Whithorn, 92, died Dec. 1 at Harry Hynes Hospice, Via Christi St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Wichita. Born Oct. 6, 1919 in Hutchinson, he was the son of Virgil and Almeda (Wallace) Whithorn. On Dec. 4, 1959 he married Doris A. Turner in Kingman. A resident of Hoisington since 1962, he was the retired owner/operator for Peerless Pest Control in Hoisington.
OTIS - Norman W. Stieben, 93, died Nov. 29 at his home in Otis. Born Oct. 24, 1918, in Brownell, he was the son of Fred and Julia (Schlegel) Stieben. In 1938, he graduated from Otis Rural High School. He was a lifelong resident of Otis.
HOISINGTON - Howard Virgil Whithorn, 92, died Dec. 1 at Harry Hynes Hospice, Via Christi St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Wichita. Services are pending with Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home in Hoisington.
ELLINWOOD - Doris A. Starkey, 92, died Nov. 16 at Ellinwood District Hospital. Born Oct. 20, 1919 in Burlington, she was the daughter of William L. Graybeal and Mary Ann Finney Graybeal. An Ellinwood resident for nearly 50 years, formerly of Houston, Texas and Burlington, she was a bank teller and secretary.
Delores Ann Zachary, 55, longtime Great Bend resident, died on Nov. 28 at her home in Great Bend. Born on Jan. 6, 1956 at Ellinwood, she was the daughter of Leslie and Margaret (Dueser) Music. She graduated from Barton County Community College in Great Bend. She worked at the Safeway grocery store in Great Bend, and at the time of her death worked was a waitress at the Pizza Hut on north Main Street in Great Bend, where she had been employed 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.