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Karen S. Spears 1946 - 2024
James William “J.W.” McCulley

Karen S. Spears, 78, passed away May 25, 2024, at her home in Great Bend, Kan. She was born on May 2, 1946, in Great Bend, Kan., to Samuel and Delores (Thompson) Ward. On June 10, 1966, she married Alfred “Al” Spears in Great Bend. He passed on April 15, 1975.

A lifetime Great Bend resident, Karen worked as a lay away manager and in other positions at Wal-Mart for over 25 years. Prior to that, she worked for Dart-In for 15 years. She was a member of AFT Hutchinson. Raised on a farm, Karen was a “country girl living in a small town” who loved animals, especially cats and horses, and was a loving and generous mother.

Survivors include three sons, Donnie E. Beeler of Great Bend, Loren Duane Spears and wife Gretchen of Noblesville, Ind., and Tracy Allen Spears of Great Bend; 13 grandchildren; numerous great-grandchildren; several great-great-grandchildren; two brothers, Robert Ward of Anthony, and David Ward of Sedelia; two sisters, Mildred Dills of Great Bend, and Cheryl Thompson of Versailles, Mo.; and stepmother, Anneliese Ward of Great Bend. She is preceded in death by her husband; her parents; two brothers, Bruce and Donnie Ward; and brother-in-law, Bennie Dills.

Graveside service will take place at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, May 30, 2024, at Great Bend Cemetery, with Pastor Nathan Karriker presiding. Memorials have been designated to the COPD Foundation or American Heart Association, in care of Bryant Funeral Home, 1425 Patton Rd., Great Bend, KS 67530.

Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Bryant Funeral Home

1425 Patton Road

Great Bend, KS 67530

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, May 28, 2024