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Claretta E. (Whitthuhn) Pfannenstiel
1926 - 2011
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NESS CITY — Claretta Elizabeth (Witthuhn) Pfannenstiel, 85, passed away Dec. 24 at St. Francis Regional Medical Center in Wichita. Born on Sept. 10, 1926, in Bazine, she was the daughter of Edwin and Clara (Michel) Witthuhn. She was raised on a farm near Bazine. She attended elementary school in Bazine, two years of high school in Ness City and two years of high school in Bazine where she graduated. She attended Ft. Hays State University and Friends University in Wichita. She began her teaching career at a rural school in Bazine, then taught at the Bazine Elementary School, and ended her career at the Ness City Elementary School. Claretta was the owner of Ralph’s Supermarket and Mini Super Mart in Ness City. On April 15, 1947, she married Ralph William Pfannenstiel at Sacred Heart Church in Ness City. He preceded her in death on July 18, 2003.

Mrs. Pfannenstiel was a member of Sacred Heart Church, where she was a longtime organist, Sacred Heart Altar Society, community service organization Epsilon Sigma Alpha, and was a founding member of the Ness County chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma. She was also on the Ness City Library Board for many years. She dedicated much of her life to sending cards to the community as a representative of Sacred Heart Altar Society. She was also known for her philanthropy within the community.

She is survived by her children, Mike Pfannenstiel father of Amanda (Bruce) Buethe, of Ness City, Matt (Kelsey) Pfannenstiel, of McPherson, Keith (Amanda) Pfannenstiel, of Greeley, Colo., parents of Benjamin and Noah; Mark and Sara Pfannenstiel, parents of Lindsey (Josh) Watkins, of White Plains, Md., parents of Brynn, Dakota, and Madison, and Lauren Pfannenstiel (fiance Josh Crombie), of Ness City; Monty and Susan Pfannenstiel, parents of John and Summer, of Ness City; Marcia and Mike Pritchett, parents of Michael and Mac, of Hutchinson; Myra and Tom Lindeman, parents of Emily and Katie, of Wichita. Other survivors include her sister, Bernice Moore, of Bazine.

She was preceded in death by parents, Edwin and Clara Witthuhn; husband, Ralph Pfannenstiel; daughter-in-law, Teressa Pfannenstiel; and grandson Phillip Pritchett.

Funeral Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 29, at the Sacred Heart Church in Ness City, followed by burial in the Sacred Heart Cemetery. Rosary will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday with the parish vigil at 7 p.m., at the church. Friends may call from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Wednesday at Fitzgerald Funeral Home, in Ness City and at the church prior to the services. Memorials may be sent to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and Ness City Public Library. Condolences may be sent to the family at


Funeral arrangements provided by

Fitzgerald Funeral Home*

207 N Pennsylvania Ave.

Ness City, KS 67560

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Dec. 28, 2011