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Fred Swalley Jr. 1929 - 2023
Fred Swalley Jr.

CLAFLIN — Fred Swalley, Jr., 93, died Jan. 4, 2023, at Clara Barton Hospital, Hoisington. He was born July 15, 1929, in Delaware, Okla., the son of Fred Swalley, Sr. and Pearl Elizabeth (Norris) Swalley. In 1946 Fred graduated from Childers High School, Childers, Okla. 

On March 20, 1953, he married Dorothy “Darlene” Shinn-Sleezer in Bentonville, Ark. She preceded him in death on June 12, 2019.  

A resident of Claflin for over 60 years, Fred was a contract pumper. He owned Fry’s Tank Service from 1965 to 1993, and then pumped for Francis Urban Tank Service, Big Horn Oil, and Hummon Oil. Fred was a hard worker spending many 16 hour days on the job. He would also help farm for Pete Krier and Henry Burmeister. A storyteller and flirt, there was never a dull moment when Fred was around, gathering new friends wherever he went with his gift of gab. He was a true cowboy who loved his horses and rodeos. If he wasn’t riding in them, he was watching them. An APB went out on Fred once when he went “missing” only to find him at a rodeo many miles away. A proud member of the Odin Saddle Club, he participated in many Odin Rodeos, trail rides, and rode in numerous parades. His boots were well worn with many adventures and his stories well versed with humor and antidotes. 

Survivors include four sons, Rick Sleezer and wife Carolyn of Morrison, Colo., Bruce Swalley of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., Tracy Swalley and wife Cathy of Overland Park, and Brad Swalley of Great Bend; grandchildren, Dallas Sleezer of Lochbuie, Colo., Gwen Cole and husband Kenny of Hoisington, Sydney Swalley of Daytona, Fla., Tyler Swalley and wife Jessica of Wichita, Olivia Ellis and husband Grant of Overland Park, Jake Swalley and fiancé Tyla Palmer of Miami, Fla., Morgan Dodds and husband Greg of Waukee, Iowa, McKenna Swalley of Wichita; step grandchildren, Gavin Brivik of Los Angeles, Calif. and Alex Brivik of San Diego, Calif., Junior Hamby of Brown Valley, Calif., Robert Hamby and family of San Angelo, Texas, Cynthia Kuntz and family of Wheatland, Mo., Carrie Roe and family of Morrison, Colo., Patricia Janes and family of Porter, Okla.; great grandchildren, Royce, Dallas, Braeden, Alexander, Greyson, Juaquin, Joelysia, Jaylia, Jubilee and Brody. He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; brothers Floyd, Jim, Jack, Harry, Bill, and Roy Lee Swalley; and sisters, Edna Meyers and Helen Arning.

Visitation will be from 1 to 5 p.m., Sunday at the funeral home. Funeral service will be 10:30 a.m., Monday, Jan. 9th, 2023 at Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home with Pastor Diana Webster presiding. Burial will follow in Claflin Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Claflin Ambulance Fund or Clara Barton Hospital Foundation, in care of Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home, PO Box 146, Hoisington, KS 67544. Notices may viewed and condolences sent at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home

PO Box 146

Hoisington, KS 67544

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Jan. 8, 2023