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Kenneth R. "Mert" Straub
1943 - 2011
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OTIS — Kenneth R. "Mert" Straub, 67, died Jan. 8 at his home in Otis. Born April 27, 1943, in Claflin, he was the son of Raymond and Helen (Zecha) Straub. On Dec. 21, 1968, he married Doris Bartonek in Olmitz. She survives. A longtime resident of Otis, he was the owner of Straub Construction and an employee of BOC gases of Otis for 25 years. After retirement he was a custodian for Otis-Bison High School.

Mr. Straub was a member of St. Ann Catholic Church in Olmitz. He was 3rd Degree Knights of Columbus.

Survivors include his wife, of the home; three daughters, Melissa Swift and husband Eric of Wilimngton, Mass., Tami Christiansen and husband Curtis of Enid, Okla. and Sharnelle Herrman and husband Chris of Great Bend; three brothers, Harold Straub and wife Eileen of Russell, Don Straub and wife Pat of Great Bend and Gary Straub and wife Kay of Albert; a sister, Diane Hackerott and husband Larry of Hays, and six grandchildren, Chandler Christiansen, Kendra Swift, Gage Christiansen, Courtney Christiansen, Aiden Swift and Hunter Herrman.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at St. Ann Catholic Church in Olmitz with Father Ultan Murphy officiating. Burial will be at St. Ann Church Cemetery in Olmitz. A wake service will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the church. Friends may visit from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday at Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home in Hoisington, and from 6 to 8 p.m. Wednesday and 9 a.m. to service time Thursday at the church. Memorials are suggested to St. Ann Catholic Church, Hays Medical Center-Hospice and the Otis Elementary School playground equipment, all in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at

Funeral arrangements provided by

Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home*

415 N. Main

P.O. Box 146

Hoisington, KS 67544

Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Jan. 11, 2011