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Karen P. Neuforth 1953 - 2021
Karen P. Neuforth 1953 - 2021
Karen P. Neuforth 1953 - 2021

On or about March 7, 2021, Karen P. Neuforth was taken from us too soon. She passed suddenly at the home of Greg and Malia (Rosner) Kupillas (Malia is Karen’s 2nd cousin) a half mile from where she grew up and lived the majority of her life. Karen was a big sister to Malia. Karen was born January 20, 1953, the daughter of Glenn and Juanita (Sutton) Neuforth.

Karen dedicated her life to community service and historical research. Her knowledge of local history and genealogy have been lost forever, and will be missed. However, some of her knowledge will live on in what she wrote for The Village Crier, the newsletter of the Barton County Historical Society, and Generations: The Family and Ancestry of Oscar Michaeux, which was published in the Journal of the African-American Historical and Genealogical Society, Spring 2002. Twice a month she presented Pages in Time (The New Edition) on Eagle Radio with Steve Webster. She was always willing to help someone research their family history. 

She was the Executive Co-Director (2019 to Present) and Research Director (1986 to 2019) at The Barton County Historical Society and Village. She received the 2014 Kansas Museum Association’s Award for South Hoisington, Stories from the Other Side of the Tracks; research and exhibits documenting the B-29 Bombers and Great Bend Army Air Field; and the creation of the Ray Schultz Research Library.

She served as a member/officer of the First Congregational United Church of Christ where everyone enjoyed her beautiful voice as she sang. She was also involved in the Great Bend Arts Council (Executive Director and Board Member January 2004 – Present); the Great Bend Zoological Society (Served as President multiple times); the League of Women Voters – Great Bend (Treasurer); and the Barton County Fair Friends where she served as the arts and crafts superintendent of the Barton County Fair. She was active in the Great Bend Chamber of Commerce, for which she volunteered at the 3I Show, Great Bend Farm and Ranch Expo, the Great Bend Airfest, and the Great Bend Community Theater.

Karen was also the fifth generation to farm the land where she was raised. In high school, she sang in the Madrigal Pop Singers and Acapella Choir.  At Barton Community College she was a part of the Hilltop Singers.

A Celebration of Life Service and reception will be held at the First Congregational Church of Christ on June 8th at 7:00 p.m. She will be buried at the Clarence Township Cemetery at a later date.

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, June 2, 2021