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The Harvey County Independent
220 Main St.
Halstead, KS 67056

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Karen L. Chaffee

Posted 9/21/2017

Karen L. Chaffee, 75, from Newton, passed away Sept. 10, 2017 at Harry Hynes Hospice surrounded by family after a long struggle with cancer.

Karen was a 1960 graduate of Halstead High School. She loved being a mom and grandmother and always put the needs of her kids and grandkids before her own. She also loved her border collie, Rusty, who she missed dearly while she was in the hospital. She will be missed by her family and friends.

Karen is survived by her husband, Myron G. Chaffee, who she married Aug. 19, 1961. She is also survived by her children: Tammera Chaffee, Newton, Teresa Haliburton and son-in-law William Haliburton, Skiatook, Oklahoma, and Jason Chaffee and his fiancée Eyerusalem Amare, San Francisco; three grandchildren: Christopehr Haliburton, Natiana Chaffee and Mateo Chaffee; brothers: Benny Unruh of Halstead, Raleigh Unruh of Wichita, Harold Unruh of Boise Idaho, Alan Unruh of Halstead and Doug Unruh of Wichita; and one sister, Shirley Parsons of Shawnee.

She was preceded in death by her sons, Dr. Bryan G. Chaffee and Myron B. Chaffee; her parents, Ben and Mabel Unruh; and brother, Steven Unruh.

Funeral service was at 10 a.m. Friday, Sept. 15 at Golden Plains Free Methodist Church in rural Newton with Pastor Jean Bergren and Pastor Fred Hobson presiding. Visitation was at 5 to 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 14 at Petersen Funeral Home. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Newton.

Donations can be given to the Harry Hynes Hospice or to Doctors Without Borders in Brian Chaffee’s name, in care of Peterson Funeral Home.

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Bill Schaake

Posted 9/21/2017

Bill Schaake passed away on Friday, September 8, 2017, in Ellensburg, Washington. He was 87.

Bill was raised in Kansas and was a tried­and­true Jayhawker. He attended Liberty Memorial (now Lawrence) High School where he was an All­State performer and led his teams to state championships in both football and basketball. He attended the University of Kansas where he lettered in basketball and served as co­captain of the football team in 1951. He was a member of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, the Air Force ROTC program and was a life member of the KU Alumni Association and the K­Club. Bill also earned a master’s degree from Kansas State while living and working in Abilene.

After leaving KU, Bill spent two years as an Air Force Officer before moving on to his chosen career as a teacher and a football coach. His high school coaching career included stints in Abilene, Shawnee Mission East, Goodland, and Evergreen, Colorado. His college coaching career included stints at Wichita State, Minot State, North Dakota, Washburn and KU.

A short detour from coaching found Bill in Halstead serving as executive director of the Hertzler Research Foundation from 1969 to 1973.

In 1951, Bill married his high school sweetheart, Darlene Schindler. He is survived by his wife of 66 years and their four children: son Alan of Mililani, Hawaii (wife Johanna, sons Jason and Jeffrey); son Jay of Corvallis, Oregon (wife Kelly, daughters Jennifer and Emma­Kate, and son Josh with wife Tracy and great grandsons Chase and Ethan); daughter Janice of Kenmore, Washington (husband Mark Ohrenschall, daughter Rachel and son William); and daughter Denise of Ellensburg, Washington.

After retirement, Bill and Darlene moved from Evergreen, Colorado to Ellensburg, Washington to be nearer their expanding family. There they got seriously involved in their favorite pastime: collecting and selling antiques. They purchased an antique business and spent most of their retirement years happily running it from home in Ellensburg and from an antique mall in Cle Elum, Washington.

Please sign this guestbook at

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Della M. Talcott

Posted 9/21/2017

HUTCHINSON—Della M. Talcott, 62, died Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017 at Hospice House, Hutchinson.

She was born Oct. 12, 1954 at Springfield, Colorado, the daughter of Burt R. and Velma T. (Gunkel) Reeves.

She was a Veterans Administration Medical Center, Wichita pharmacy technician then transferred to the Hutchinson V.A. Office where she worked in administrative services.

On Oct. 21, 1972 she married Ronnie R. Talcott at Boise City, Oklahoma; he survives of Hutchinson.

Other survivors include son Nathan (Lisa) Talcott, Halstead; daughter Shelly (Damian) Hancock, Hutchinson; grandchildren Amber Talcott, Braydon Talcott, Ethan Hancock, Renee Hancock, brothers Roy Reeves; Alan Reeves, Wichita; Gary Reeves, Springfield, CO; sisters Fern Erickson, Canyon City, Colorado; Opal  Reed, Wichita; Elnora Cable, Canyon City, Colorado; Charlotte (Larry) Crites, Grayson, Kentucky.

She was preceded in death by a sister Donna Silengo.

Funeral services were at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 19, at Kaufman Funeral Home, Halstead, with Pastor Phil Auxier officiating.

Visitation and viewing was from 1 p.m. till service time also on Tuesday.

Cremation followed the service.

Inurnment will be at a later date in Halstead Cemetery.

Memorials may be given to Victory in the Valley in care of Kaufman Funeral Home.

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Cody Pankratz

Posted 9/14/2017

HILLSBORO – Cody Pankratz, 31, died Sept. 10, 2017 at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita.  He was born Feb. 23, 1986 in Hillsboro to Jerel and Serena (Stum) Pankratz.  

Survivors include father, Jerel Pankratz of Greeley, KS; mother, Serena (Chris) McGinn of Sedgwick; sisters, Paula (Kurt) Schwarz of LaCygne, KS, Heather (Jeff) Madison of Ft. Scott, KS, Alec McGinn of Wichita, Riley McGinn of Sedgwick; grandpa, Allen Pankratz of Hillsboro; grandma, Sandra Stum of Towner, Colorado; three nephews and one niece. Celebration of Life Service was at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 13 at The Hillsboro Mennonite Brethren Church in Hillsboro officiated by Pastor Brian Allen.  Memorials may be made to the local 4-H Council in care of Jost Funeral Home P.O. Box 266 Hillsboro, KS 67063.  Online condolences may be left at

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Sue Anne Berger

Posted 9/14/2017

Sue Anne Berger died unexpectedly in the place she treasured most, her home in Evergreen, Colorado on Aug. 30, 2017.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Oscar and Josephine Berger.

Sue was born on Oct. 8, 1941 and grew up on the family farm near Halstead and graduated from Halstead High School in 1959.  She graduated from Kansas State Teacher’s College in 1964.  Later she earned a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Mississippi (1968) and a master’s degree in mineral economics from Colorado School of Mines (1982).

A 27 year veteran of chemistry teaching, she began her career in Amarillo, Texas and taught at Bear Creek High School in Lakewood for 23 years.  In 1990, she was selected to receive the President’s Award for Excellence in Science Teaching, an honor that earned her a trip to the White House and a teaching grant.  The grant was a catalyst for the next phase of her career, making science exciting to students and teachers.  Her Mobile Science Show teaching team, with its “Science is Fun” Chevy van, was known throughout the state, especially in rural school districts.

Sue loved bowling, golf, riding her purple Harley-Davidson motorcycle, Fantasy Football, and trips to Central City and Black Hawk.  She made many dear friends everywhere she went.

She is survived by her brother Ron and his wife Annette (Al) of Lakewood. 

Sue had established a college scholarship fund to assist Jefferson County Public School graduates who intend to study the physical sciences.  Memorial donations may be made to the “Sue Anne Berger Scholarship Fund,” care of the JCEA Excellence Fund, 1447 Nelson St., Lakewood, CO 80215.

A celebration of life will be held Thursday, Sept. 21 at 1:30 p.m. – 4 p.m. at The Ranch House at Ken Caryl Ranch, 7676 S. Continental Divide Road, Littleton.

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Stacey Lynn Perkins

Posted 9/7/2017

Stacey Lynn Perkins, 52, passed away on Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, at Newton Medical Center in Newton, Kansas. She was born on Feb. 23, 1965, in Beloit, Kansas to James and Joan (Kulesza) Perkins.

Stacey went to Burrton High School and later became a CNA. She enjoyed listening to music, watching movies and spending time with her grandchildren.

Stacey was preceded in death by her mother, Joan Perkins; brother David Dennett; niece, Andrea Perkins; grandparents John and Mary Kulesza, and Voyd and Grace Perkins.

Stacey is survived by her father James Perkins of Halstead; sister Peggy Perkins of Halstead; brother John (Jane) Perkins of Ocala, Florida; daughters Jordan (Perkins) Pease of Halstead, and Jamie Perkins of McPherson; grandchildren, James, Colby, and Zakiyas, and her loving nieces and nephews.

The funeral will be held at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 419 Poplar, Halstead, at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 9. The Rosary will be held before the mass. A luncheon will be held at the Parish Center after the services.

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Linda L. Pena

Posted 8/31/2017

HALSTEAD—Linda L. Pena, 67, died Friday, Aug. 25 at Mesquite, Texas.

She was born Jan. 10, 1950, at Montezuma, Kansas to Peter T. and Lena (Boehs) Koehn.

She was a 1969 graduate of Montezuma High School and worked as a data entry clerk for Cimmaron Insurance and American Fidelity Insurance.

Survivors include daughters Angela (Will) Shaffer, Topeka; Aleecia (John Williams) Elledge, Garland, Texas; brother Dean Koehn, Nebraska City, Nebraska; sisters Dorothy Wedel, Montezuma; Shirley Deutschendorf, Columbia, South Carolina; Rose (Melvin) Wedel, Halstead; Geneva (James) Chapple, Newton, Jane (Delbert) Fast, Greeley, Colorado; Clara Smith, Rose Hill and six grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by brothers; Virgil, Ervin, Melvin, Waymon and Peter Koehn, Jr, sisters: Sylvia Koehn, Gladys Koehn and Louise Smith.

Visitation and viewing was from 10-11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 30 with the funeral service following at 11 a.m., both at Kaufman Funeral Home, Halstead with Pastor Rod Bevan officiating.

Burial will follow at Halstead Cemetery.

Memorials may be given to the American Cancer Society in care of Kaufman Funeral Home.

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Marjorie Sue Trahan

Posted 8/31/2017

MESA, Ariz.—Marjorie Sue Trahan died peacefully at home on Aug. 21, 2017, in Mesa, Arizona, at the age of 71.

Marjorie is survived by her beloved husband, Larry Trahan and their daughters Tawsha, Amy and Kimberly (Rose); sons David and John; grandchildren Rachel, Taylor, Hayley, Matthew, Mary, Nyah, Natalie and Zaria, and many nieces and nephews.

Marjorie was born April 19, 1946, to Agnes (McCoy) and Ernest Ensign in Ellsworth, Kansas. She graduated from Miltonvale High School and married her high school sweetheart, Larry Trahan, on July 3, 1964. 

Marjorie and Larry raised their five children, while living in Missouri, Kansas and Arizona. Marjorie had a daycare in her home for many years where wonderful memories and long-term friendships were made. Marjorie loved a good chat on the phone and spent many weekends either at a soccer match or looking for a good garage sale. 

A funeral mass was held Monday, Aug. 28, at 10 a.m. at St. Timothy's Catholic Church in Mesa, Arizona.  A memorial mass and graveside services will be held at St. Anthony's Catholic Church in Miltonvale, Kansas, on Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. 

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to your favorite child-centered organization.

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