ELLINWOOD — Steven Whynn DeWerff, 61, passed away on Oct. 11, 2016, at his home in Rohnert Park, Calif.
Born on July 4, 1955, in Ellinwood, he was the son of Bessie and Kenneth DeWerff. In 1973, he graduated from Ellinwood High School and attended Pittsburg State University. He returned to Ellinwood in 1974, where he worked in farming, ranching, welding, and oilfield services. He later moved to Wichita where he worked for Boeing Aircraft and Cessna Aircraft in aircraft tool construction for many years. Steve battled type one diabetes for the majority of his life, and later held a series of jobs and roles, as his disease and its resulting disabilities progressed. He nonetheless obtained a Masters in Business Administration from Newman University in Wichita in 2003.
Steve was a devoted Christian and member of the First Baptist Church in Ellinwood. He was also involved in Big Brothers and Big Sisters in Wichita, Kansas.
Steve’s children and grandchildren were his pride and joy. He loved to laugh, and to make people laugh. Steve knew the lyrics to virtually every “oldies” song, and loved to sing. He loved classic rock the best. Steve was always up for a long conversation. And he loved the Kansas State Wildcats, Kansas City Chiefs, and Kansas City Royals. His beloved Wildcats won the football game the week Steve passed away.
Steve is survived by his loving wife of 27 years, Claudia DeWerff; his children, Emily Ridder (Jason), Wichita; Mackenzie Martin (Todd), Dallas, Texas; Megan Williams (Jason), Perth, Australia; and Corey Schwerdt, Rohnert Park, Calif.; his mother, Bessie DeWerff; his siblings, Linda Borror (Barry), Ellinwood; Jeff DeWerff (Sherry), Ellinwood; and Jane Thier (Greg), Wichita; and his grandchildren, Graham Ridder and Ari Martin.
Steve was preceded in death by his father, Kenneth DeWerff.
Funeral services will be held at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at the First Baptist Church in Ellinwood with Pastor Dave Wesner officiating. Burial will follow at Lakin Comanche Cemetery in Ellinwood. Memorials may be given to the American Diabetes Association in care of Birzer Funeral Home, Lyons.
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Oct. 19, 2016**