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The Harvey County Independent
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Halstead, KS 67056

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Betty M. (Elliott) Benjamin

Posted 3/15/2018

BURRTON—Betty M. (Elliott) Benjamin, 72, was born June 15, 1945 in Anthony, Kansas. She passed away on March 5 at her home in Burrton, Kansas surrounded by family. 

Betty retired from Hertzler Clinic in Halstead.  She was an avid seamstress and enjoyed making quilts and painting crafts.  She also enjoyed spending time with her family and hosting many family get-togethers.

Betty was preceded in death by her father, Leonard Elton Elliott , mother Marie Francis Smith, sisters Claira Fae, Billie Ray and Marsha Patton, son-in-law Kent Hudson and husband of 37 years, Ronald L. Benjamin.

Betty is survived by her children Tammie Quiring (Boyde) of Halstead, Billy Lemon (Tamara) of Winfield, Raylene Benjamin-Hudson of Kingman, Jeff Benjamin (Melissa) of Houston, Texas, grandchildren Donnie (Lauren), Brandon (Mallorie), Samuel, Hannah, Emma, Gabrielle, McKia, Madison, Olivia, Savannah and great-grandchildren Mackenzie, Taylor, Devin, Noah, Britton, Brooklyn, and many nieces and nephews.

Celebration of life will be held on June 16, at her home in Burrton.

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Connie Sue (McCart) Edmonston

Posted 3/15/2018

SEDGWICK—Connie Sue (McCart) Edmonston, 70, passed away Saturday, March 10 following a long courageous battle with cancer.  She passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by her loving family.  Connie was born to Dean and Anita McCart in Wichita, Kansas on June 14, 1947.  She is preceded in death by her parents and brother, Dennis McCart. 

She was a graduate of Southeast High School in 1965.  Connie married Loyal Edmonston on March 13, 1965 and would have celebrated their 53rd wedding anniversary this year.  The couple was blessed with three daughters: Daina Bailey (Todd) of Wichita, Jamie Giffin (Jerrod) of Sedgwick and Mindy Edmonston of Wichita.  They also have five wonderful grandchildren: Gage, Cooper, Regan, Brody and Carly. 

Loyal and Connie made a home in many cities during their 53 years together, including Belton, Missouri; Grandview, Missouri; Wichita; San Bernadino, California; Santa Ana, California; Lahabra, California; Clearwater, Oklahoma and Guymon, Oklahoma. 

In 1980 they made their last move to Sedgwick where they built a home together.  Connie worked in the printing industry for many years as a lithograph technician, retiring from Rand Graphics in Wichita in 2006.

She enjoyed line dancing, reading, puzzles and loved to watch the birds and other wildlife in her backyard.  She especially liked to spend time with her family.  She will be dearly missed by her family and friends.

Graveside Memorial Service will take place at Hillside Cemetery in Sedgwick at 2 p.m. on Saturday, March 17. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lillian Tear Library in Sedgwick c/o Petersen Funeral Home.

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William 'Bill' Rice

Posted 3/15/2018

SEDGWICK—William “Bill” Rice 81, died Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at Life Care Center in Andover, Kansas.  He was born May 13, 1936 in Wichita to Blane and Lorena (Schuneman) Rice. 

On June 14, 1973 he married Nancy Adamsat Sedgwick and she survives of the home. He was a member of the St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Wichita.

Bill was a retired sheet metal worker for Cessna Aircraft.  He was an avid hunter and outdoorsman and enjoyed spending time hunting in Marion County.  Camping was a past time he enjoyed with his wife and family, and they spent many weekends at either Marion or East Lakes.  Bill enjoyed tinkering in his shop and could fix anything around the house. His greatest love was that of his family and he enjoyed his time with his family and many friends and will be remembered for his story telling ability.

He is survived by his wife Nancy of the home; one daughter: Debra (Gary) Everitt of Cheney, Kansas; two sons: Darrin Rice of Startup, Washington and Brian (Gina) Rice of Sedgwick; two stepchildren Mike Adams of Indiana and Lynda (Tom) Stamback of Halstead; one sister Jonita Moore of Wichita; he is also survived by 13 grandchildren and 22 great-grandchildren.

Bill is preceded in death by his parents and one grandson Jeremy Adams.

Funeral service was March 10 at Petersen Funeral Home Chapel with Pastor Terry Wiechman presiding. Burial in Hillside Cemetery in Sedgwick.

Memorials are suggested to Alzheimer’s Association or Good Shepherd Hospice in care of Petersen Funeral Home.

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Donald William Steinert

Posted 3/15/2018

Donald William Steinert, 84, passed away at the Bob Dole VA Hospice House in Wichita, Kansas on March 3, 2018.

He was born March 16, 1933 to Arthur and Elsie Steinert in Hoisington, Kansas.  On March 23, 1953, he married Mary Louise Gower of Claflin, Kansas, and she survives.

He graduated from Hoisington High School then joined the Army and was stationed in Germany during the Korean War. He was in sales most of his life, most recently owning and operating Don's Satellite in Halstead. There were a few years that he worked in the doughnut business and really loved it.

He is survived by his wife of Halstead; daughters, Rhonda (Don) Christy of Halstead, Debra Steinert Warden (Wayne) of Wichita, Sue (Leroy) Whitmer of Halstead; sons, Don (Kathy) Steinert JR of Halstead, and Darren (Jennifer) Steinert of Newton, 14 grandchildren, 26 great-grandchildren, a sister Ruth King of Belton, Texas, and a brother Elmer Steinert of Copperas Cove, Texas.

He is preceded in death by his parents, brother Harlan Steinert, sister Erma Ernst, and son Ron Steinert.

Don and Louise recently moved into the Halstead Health and Rehab due to his progressive post-polio syndrome. He enjoyed fishing, hunting, cooking (especially bierocks, bread, and cinnamon rolls). He was a fierce card game player with family and friends and recently played a lot of cribbage with his good buddy, Bill West.

A cremation has taken place and an informal family-led memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. on March 17 at the Scout Cabin in Halstead. A small meal will follow with tea, coffee and bottled water. Bring your stories and plan on lots of love and laughter.

Condolences may be sent to Louise in care of the Halstead Health and Rehab, 915 McNair, Halstead, KS 67056.

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Donna Jo 'Jody' Arrowsmith Keiser

Posted 3/8/2018

Donna Jo “Jody” Arrowsmith Keiser passed away on March 1, 2018 at Washington, Pennsylvania.

She was born on Jan. 31, 1957 to Richard and Donna Arrowsmith of Bentley. On April 6, 2007 she married Dana Keiser at Halstead.

She is survived by her husband Dana, stepchildren Hanna Keiser, Kody Keiser (Alyx) and Patrick Pialand, her beloved grandchildren Dixie, Emma, Brantley and Owen, brother Ron Arrowsmith (Kelli), two sisters Loretta (Cliff) Ware and Marcia Marrara, two aunts and many nieces, nephews and cousins. She is also survived by her beloved pets, Duchess, Bubba and Frankie.

Jody took time to know many people, friends and family members well. She enjoyed life and she loved people and animals. She was interested in and studied many different ideas and subjects. She was fun loving, giving and artistic. She was deeply interested in being the best person she knew how to be and trying to do the best she knew how.

Jody tried to give back to the community and to her family in every way that she could. Jody’s beautiful presence in this world and beautiful example of how to live will be missed by all who knew her loving ways.

Jody was preceded in death by her parents Richard and Donna Arrowsmith and by her brother-in-law Albert Marrara.

Services are pending.

Memorials may be sent to Caring Hands Animal Shelter, Newton.

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Robert 'Bob' Paul Aylward

Posted 3/8/2018

WICHITA—Robert “Bob” Paul Aylward, 99, died Sunday, March 4, 2018. He was born on the farm in Stonington, Illinois on July 15, 1918. His family moved to Greenville, Mississippi when Bob was 10.

Bob graduated from Mississippi State College with a degree in Aeronautical Engineering. He was a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity. In 1940 Bob moved to Wichita, Kansas to work for Beechcraft. Bob became a Senior Project Engineer working on many projects and serving as President of the Supervisor’s Club.

Bob worked at Beechcraft/Raytheon until his retirement in 1983. He then continued his career as an expert witness for the Martin Pringle Law Firm, and then as an engineer for J.B. Dwerlkotte Associates.

Robert married Mariana Wetterhold on June 1, 1944 at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Wichita.

Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Phillip and Katherine Aylward; sisters, Katherine and Ione; brothers, Philip Leo, Francis, and Howard; first wife, Mariana Wetterhold Aylward, and second wife, Allene Fogelstrom Boston Aylward. Bob is survived by his daughters, Suzanne Montgomery, Sally Leyba, and Cynthia Dawson (Jon); sons, Philip Aylward (Linda), Michael Aylward, and Patrick Aylward (Mary Muset); grandchildren, Douglas Cramer (Amy), Katy Cramer Dorrah (Brent), David Montgomery (Karen), Lindsay Aylward, Vanessa Aylward Rohlman (Ryan), Ashley Aylward (Jonathan Martin), Samuel Leyba, Matthew Leyba, Jennifer Dawson Cardelus (Arturo), Christine Dawson Williams (Ben); great-grandchildren, Drew and Livi Cramer, Addie Dorrah, Grace Cardelus, Lyndon Brewer, Myles Martin.

Bob enjoyed operating planes and gliders, organic gardening, camping and water skiing with the kids, refinishing antiques, learning Spanish, and genealogy. Bob volunteered as a frequent blood donor, Meals on Wheels deliverer, preparer of tax returns for the needy, Eucharistic Minister, church lector, member of Knights of Columbus, and Serra Club.

Rosary was at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, March 7, at Downing & Lahey East Mortuary; Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, March 8, at Blessed Sacrament Church. In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established with: Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, 124 N. Roosevelt, Wichita, KS, 67208; Good Shepherd Hospice, 7829 E. Rockhill S-403, Wichita, KS, 67206.

His southern hospitality, his easy charm, his love of family and friends, and his religious core will live forever in our hearts. Share tributes online at:

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Lorene M. Koehn

Posted 3/8/2018

Lorene M. Koehn, 92, died on Thursday, March 1, 2018 at the Newton Medical Center.

Lorene was born Jan. 16, 1926 in Chickasaw, Oklahoma to Henry and Mary (Koehn) Sebrant.

As a young person she worked as a waitress and later as a factory worker for Hehr Manufacturing of Newton. 

She married Irvin Koehn on July 26, 1946 in Chickasaw, Oklahoma. They were married for 66 years until his passing in 2012.

Lorene was a homemaker.  She loved her pet dogs Sammy and Cricket, doing puzzles, rooting for the Atlanta Braves and bird watching in her yard. She especially loved and enjoyed her time with her grandchildren.

She is survived by her children Maxine Hamm (Clinton) and Lacy Koehn (Anita) of Newton; sister Ima Jean Hall of Washington and six grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband: Irvin Koehn; parents Henry and Mary Sebrant; five sisters; two brothers and one daughter: Marjorie Hamm.

A funeral service took place at 10 a.m. Wednesday March 7 at Petersen Funeral Home Chapel. Visitation was Tuesday at Petersen Funeral Home from 5-9 p.m. with family present from 6-8 p.m. Burial will be at Durham Park Cemetery, in rural Durham.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established to Caring Hands-Humane Society of Newton, 1400 SE 3rd St., Newton, Kansas 67114.

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Paula J. Stein

Posted 3/8/2018

HALSTEAD—Paula J. Stein, 77, died Monday, March 5, 2018 at Hospice House, Hutchinson.

She was born May 29, 1940 at Norwich, Kansas to Paul J. and Mildred A. (Boldt) Stucky.

She was a rural Halstead resident since 1995, formerly residing in Newton.

She was a retired elementary school teacher in the Wichita and Newton Schools for 36 years and was a substitute teacher following her retirement.

She was a member of Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, Newton; N.E.A. and Delta Zeta Sorority.

On April 19, 1985 she married Kenneth W. Stein at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, Newton.  He survives.

Other survivors include daughters: Cinda (Jeff) Abney, Hutchinson; Jamie Rogers, Gardner, Kansas; Pamela Stein, Odenton, Maryland; son: Michael (Beverly) Stein, Lenexa; and eight grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by a brother, Dennis.

Cremation has taken place.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday, March 10 at Trinity Heights United Methodist Church, Newton, with Pastor Donna Voteau officiating.

Inurnment will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Belmont, at a later date.

Memorials may be given to Reno County Hospice or Trinity Heights Methodist Church, Bell Choir in care of Kaufman Funeral Home, Halstead.

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Mildred Virginia 'Millie' Thach

Posted 3/8/2018

MOUNT HOPE—Mildred Virginia ‘Millie’ Thach, 87, died Saturday, March 3, 2018, at Mount Hope Nursing Center. She was born Dec. 18, 1930, in Burrton, to Vernon Joseph and Mary Burnice (Ansel) Hill.

Millie graduated Burrton High School in 1948.  She was a lifelong resident of rural Burrton.  Millie was a homemaker and farmer’s wife.  Her most important role was that of a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother.  Millie loved to cook for her family and numerous friends, and was famous for her cherry pies.  She also enjoyed watching sporting events, and had a soft spot for all kinds of animals. Millie was a member of South Hutchinson United Methodist Church.

On Oct. 15, 1949, she married William L. ‘Bill’ Thach in Burrton.  They shared 67 years of marriage before his death on Jan. 27, 2017.

Survivors include:  daughter, Jodie Thach of Burrton; son, Larry and wife Teresa of Wichita; granddaughters, Emily Galbreath and husband Ashford, Jessica Dunlavy and husband Justin; grandsons, Matt Westfall and wife Krys, Evan Thach and wife Kailey; and great-grandchildren, Helena Galbreath, Harper Galbreath, Elle Dunlavy, Kane Dunlavy, and Palmer Thach.

She was preceded in death by her parents.

Funeral service will be 2 p.m. Thursday, March 8, at Elliott Chapel, Hutchinson, with Pastors Kim Andrews and Claire Gadberry officiating.  Burial will follow in Burrton Cemetery.  Friends may call from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Elliott Mortuary, with the family present from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Elliott Mortuary, Hutchinson. 

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Hospice and HomeCare of Reno County, the American Cancer Society, or South Hutchinson United Methodist Church, all in care of Elliott Mortuary, 1219 N. Main, Hutchinson, KS  67501.  

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Chris Allen Freeman

Posted 2/28/2018

BENTLEY—Chris Allen Freeman, 57, passed away on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018. He was born in Wellington, Kansas to Errol and Penny Freeman. He was a graduate of Sedgwick High School Class of 1979.

Visitation was from 5-7 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27 at Baker Funeral Home, Valley Center. Service was at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28 at First Christian Church Youth Activities Building of Sedgwick.

Condolences may be left for the family at, Baker Funeral Home Valley Center.

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