William V. "Bill" VanSkike, 87, of Great Bend, died Nov. 29 at Via Christi St. Francis Regional Medical Center, Wichita. He was born May 21, 1923, in rural Arkansas City, the son of Harry and Mary Anna (Bossi) VanSkike. He married Grace Ellen Dickson on Sept. 3, 1950, at El Dorado. He was Barton County Extension 4-H Club agent for Kansas State University from 1956 to 1989. He was a Great Bend resident since May 1956, coming from Finney County. He was a United States Army veteran, serving as a rifleman, platoon sergeant and radioman in the 381st Infantry of the 96th Division during World War II invasions of Leyte Gulf and Okinawa.
Mr. VanSkike was a member of First Presbyterian Church and of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees (NARFE).
Survivors include his wife, Grace Ellen, of the home; three sons, Keith Preston VanSkike and wife Karen of Norton, Roger Lee VanSkike and wife Charlotte of Omaha, Neb., and Robert Kenneth VanSkike and wife Jenifer of Great Bend; one daughter, Jane Marie VanSkike of Whitewater; one sister, Dorothy Faidley and husband Karl of Arkansas City; a brother-in-law, Jack Works of Humboldt; 13 grandchildren, Joshua VanSkike and wife Lisa of Manhattan, Luke VanSkike and wife Holly of Manhattan, Jacob VanSkike of Norton, William VanSkike of Lawrence, Sarah VanSkike of Omaha, Neb., Jason Ritter and wife Melodee of El Dorado, Justin Ritter and wife Jessica of Potwin, Will Ritter and special friend A.J. of El Dorado, Brianna Ritter of Whitewater, Stacey Nichols and Chad Ritter, both of Denver, Colo., Todd VanSkike and wife Amanda, and Megan VanSkike, all of Great Bend; and eight great-grandchildren, Bethany, Dakota, Preston, Peyton, Gavin, Faith, Hope and Dalton. A sister, Mary Ruth Works, and three infant grandchildren, Michelle, Krista and Shaun, preceded him in death.
Funeral service will be at 10 a.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church, Great Bend, with the Rev. Dr. Scott Solether officiant. Interment will be at the Great Bend Cemetery, with military rites by a Fort Riley Honor Guard. Visitation will be from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at Bryant Funeral Home, with the family receiving friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Donations to memorial funds for the First Presbyterian Church, the Kansas 4-H Foundation, Golden Belt Community Foundation to benefit the Barton County 4-H Council, or for the church of the donor’s choice, may be made in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at www.bryantfh.net.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Bryant Funeral Home*
1425 Patton Road
Great Bend, KS 67530
Great Bend (Kan.) Dec. 1, 2010