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James Douglas Soden
James Douglas Soden

ST JOHN – James Douglas Soden, 78, of rural St. John, Kan. ceased living on Sept. 1, 2022 at his home in rural Stafford County. He lived that life in St. John graduating from St. John High School in 1961. He attended Drury College in Springfield, Mo. and Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, Kan. James returned to Stafford County in 1964 to live and work on the farm established by his grandparents, T.A. and Sara Eula Malin, in 1919. He also farmed for his father, H.I. Soden. He developed irrigation on these properties. James repaired, maintained and built his farming equipment, taking pride in clean, well-kept machinery.

After retiring from farming, he expanded his interest in guns to collecting and gunsmithing. He continued his love for machinery by downsizing to utility tractors and their attachments, using them at their eastern Kansas lake cabin and the farmstead, to the benefit of friends and neighbors as well.

James leaves his wife, Karen of 38 years. He also leaves her children and grandchildren, who considered him their second father and “Grandpa Jim”:  Darren (Dessa) Brown and Farren, Brian (Kris) Brown and Schuyler Brown, Katrena Brown, Kourtney (Tristan) Smith and Kerisa Brown. He is also survived by a cousin, John Davidson. He was preceded in death by a loving aunt, Helen Malin Reuber, who loved the farm as much as James did.

Visitation will be 1 p.m. – 6 p.m. Saturday Sept. 10th, at Beckwith Mortuary Chapel with family present from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. A private inurnment will be held at a later date. James loved the pets that passed thru his life and requested memorials to be given to Chasing Tails Rescue of Great Bend and Pawnee County Humane Society, Larned, both in care of Beckwith Mortuary, P.O. Box 477, Larned, KS 67550. Personal condolences may be left at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Beckwith Mortuary 

P.O. Box 477 

Larned, KS 67550

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Sept. 4, 2022