Phyllis R. Bell

LEBANON, KS – Phyllis Ruth Bell, age 82, passed away on August 1 , 2012 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE.   She was born August 5, 1929 in Smith Center, KS to Oscar Lawrence and Bonnie Lorene (Schroeder) Bloomer.  She was a newspaper editor/writer for the Lebanon Times.

Survivors include her husband Joe Cheesman;   daughters Rise Bell of Lebanon, KS, Vicky (Richard) Collins of Edmonds, WA and Gloria (Keith) Snow of Roeland Park, KS;   sister Pauline Bloomer of Smith Center, KS;   3 grandchildren and 4 great grandchildren.

Celebration of Life services will be held at 10AM on Tuesday August 7, 2012 at the Lebanon Christian church with Pastor Lance McDowell and Pastor Gary Bell officiating.

Burial will follow the services in the Price Cemetery in rural Lebanon, KS.

Visitation will be held on Monday evening from 5pm until 8pm at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary in Smith Center, KS.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to the Lebanon Chirstian Church and can be sent in care of the mortuary.


Howard Franklin Bradish

SMITH CENTER, KS – Howard Franklin Bradish, age 82, passed away on Tuesday July 31, 2012 at the Phillips County Hospital in Phillipsburg, KS.

He is survived by a son Jess Bradish of Nevada; 2 daughters, Loretta of Orland, CA and Freida of Paradise, CA.

There will be a private family service at a later date.

There will be no visitation Mr. Bradish was cremated.

Alfred “Ike” Beckmann

Alfred “Ike” Leroy Beckmann, age 83, passed away Tuesday July 31, 2012 at the Sterling House in Arvada, CO.  He was born February 4, 1929 in Smith Center, KS to Dietrich and Nebinda (Kennedy) Beckmann.  He was owner of Ike’s Mobile Service.

Survivors include daughters Terri Kingsbury of Smith Center, KS;   Jody (Jim) Luft of Arvada, CO and Sue (Bud) Meisel of Newton, KS;   10 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 AM Saturday August 4, 2012 at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary with Pastor Dennis Lambert officiating.

Burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery in Smith Center, KS.

There will be no visitation.

The family requests memorials be given to the Thornburg Church and can be sent in care of the mortuary.


Orville L. Borgmann

SMITH CENTER- Orville LeVerne Borgmann was born on June 16, 1923, the oldest child of Fred and Anna (Hermanns) Borgmann at the family farm southwest of Athol Kansas. Orville departed this life suddenly but peacefully at the Smith County Care Center on June 21, 2012 at the age of 89 years and 5 days.

He was baptized at St John Lutheran Church on July 15, 1923 and confirmed by Rev. Alfred Fleischmann on March 21, 1937. Orville had great pride in the fact he lived on the family farm for 86 years until his health forced him to move to the Smith County Care Center on June 29, 2009. Orville loved his home church, St. John Lutheran Church of rural Athol, as he was baptized, confirmed and a faithful member there until his death.

Orville attended the Silver Ridge Country Grade School one-half mile south of the farm, where he graduated in 1936. Following his confirmation in 1937, he attended Cedar High School graduating with the class of 1941. Attending his class reunions was always important for Orville.

Orville was blessed to have a sharp mind and was considered to be an area historian. He could remember with great detail the dirty thirties, family stories and lineages, and of course his favorite jokes which he always shared with his friends, neighbors and even the many medical doctors he encountered.

Orville spent his high school and early adulthood years as a faithful Luther League member. Because he was single, Orville continued as a Luther League member for many years. This gave him the opportunity to spend two terms as the Central District Federation president traveling to various Luther League events including training at Wartburg Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa and a special meeting at Luther College in Regina, Canada making many friends and memories during these travels.

After Luther League, Orville was a charter member of the St John Lutheran Brotherhood in 1949 and was a faithful Brotherhood member. He served St John for many years as the Sunday School Secr./Tres. keeping detailed records of attendance and offerings.

Orville farmed with his parents and milked cows for his vocation. It was during a dairy tour in spring, 1968, that he met Beverly Delyce Platt. Their mutual dairy interests lead to more common interests and soon their marriage on April 26, 1969 at the Lebanon Christian Church.

After their marriage, Orville and Beverly combined their two dairy herds together and continued milking cows and farming until Orville’s knee surgery in 1989. Beverly took great pride in the genetic history of their dairy cows and together they continued the “Silver Dude” lineage in their herd that was her Platt family dairy history.  They were faithful coworkers for their 41 years of married life always together and involved in each other’s activities as a pair.

After retiring from milking cows and farming, Orville and Beverly continued with their church activities. Their favorite pastimes were attending household auctions and being active members of the Smith County Historical Society. In 2001, Orville and Beverly were named the Historical Society Man and Woman of the Year.

Orville chose to donate his body to the KU School of Medicine. That decision is appropriate given the myriad of health issues Orville faced in his life. During each of his many doctors’ appointments, Orville would have a new joke for each doctor. These jokes had to be a bright spot in each doctor’s day.

Orville’s extended family was important to him. Attending family reunions and get-togethers were a highlight of his long life. He was thrilled to host his 80th birthday celebration for many relatives and friends in 2003.

Even though Orville’s physical body was deteriorating, his mind remained strong until his death. His stories continued to be a bright spot for the staff at Smith County Care Center. His faithful service to God and his repeated benediction “Bless us oh Lord and grant that we, someday will dwell in thy house with thee” was a reflection of his life-long faith.

Orville was preceded in death by his beloved wife Beverly in 2010, his parents Fred and Anna, a sister Lois and her husband Don Keller, and a brother Milford who died in infancy.

Survivors include his brother Roger and wife Stella Borgmann from Smith Center, five nieces and nephews and their families, his special friends Mike and Dianna Rice of Athol, many special cousins, relatives and friends.

Celebration of life services will be held at 4:00PM on Sunday July 1, 2012 at the St. John Lutheran Church with pastor Dave Kramer officiating.

Private inurnment will be held at a later date in the St. John Lutheran Church Cemetery.

The family will receive friends at the church one hour prior to the service.

The family has requested memorial contributions be made to the St. John Lutheran Church or the Smith County Historical Society and can be sent in care of the mortuary.


Katharina Anna Brown

Katharina Anna Krueger Brown was born March 1, 1945 in Wuertzburg, Germany, the daughter of Dr. Horst and Mathilde Beyer Krueger.  She passed away June 14, 2012 at the Presbyterian Manor in Emporia, KS.

She married Don Buhrle of Great Bend, KS on September 10, 1964 in Germany.  They were divorced.  She later married R. Lyle Brown, July 1, 2006 in Emporia, KS at their home.

She was trained as a nurse while in Germany and later worked as a Telemetry Technician in Salina Regional and Newton Regional Hospital in Emporia.  For many years she owned, bred, trained, showed, judged and rode horses, winning many awards as an equestrian, both as an amateur and professional.  She joked that she had to give that up because she ran out of bones to break.  She belonged to the National Quarter Horse Association and the North Central Briarders, a national organization for owners of Briard dogs.  She was an accomplished home decorator and cook, which she loved to do.

She is survived by two sisters, her twin Ursula Zelenka and Monika Schuetz both of Villingen, Germany in the Black Forest;   her husband Lyle of Emporia, KS;   children D.J. Buhrle of Phoenix, AZ;   Berkley Buhrle of Salina, KS;   Natasha Dietz of Oswego, IL and Matthew Buhrle of Olathe, KS;   3 step daughters, Deborah Ash of Emporia, KS;   Pamela Marah of Overland Park, KS and Kristi Lauridsen of Olathe, KS;   6 grandchildren;   3 step-grandchildren;   2 great grandchildren and 1 step-great-grandson.

Visitation will be 1 hour  prior to the service at the church.

Funeral services will be at 2:00 PM Monday, June 18, 2012 at the First Presbyterian Church in Smith Center, KS with Pastor Maggie McIntosh officiating.

Burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery, Smith Center, KS.

The family requests memorial contributions be given to the First Presbyterian Church and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Vanora W. Lehmann

SMITH CENTER, KS - Vanora Wilhelmine (Kuhlmann) Lehmann was born March 31, 1931 on the family farm in Athol, Kansas and passed away on June 2, 2012 with her family present in the Smith County Memorial Hospital at the age of 81.  She was the youngest and only daughter born to Henry and Emma (Hermanns) Kuhlmann.  Her older brothers, Bernard and Lavern, and sisters-in-law, Alvina and Blondina remained close friends all their lives. Vanora was baptized on April 19, 1931 and later confirmed on May 20, 1945 at St John’s Lutheran Church Athol, KS.  Vanora attended grade school in Athol and later graduated from the Gaylord High School in 1949.  After her graduation from high school, she worked at the Gaylord elevator and at Mark’s Market in Kensington.  On October 8, 1950 Vanora married Leland Lehmann at the St John’s Lutheran Church, Athol, Kansas.  For several years, they lived on various military bases while Leland served in the Army.  To this marriage, five children were born:  Dennis, Daryl, Dixie, Denton and Dirk.

Vanora was a devoted homemaker, and of her various part time jobs, she enjoyed selling Avon the most because of the ‘one on one contact’ with her customers. Vanora’s most endearing quality was showing love for her grand children and great grand children.  Playing games, reading books, baking cookies, and playing dress up were some memorable events at Grandma and Grandpa’s house.  Halloween Night and Grandma’s Carmel apples were just as important as Christmas time and her home made cookies and candy.  At Grandma’s house, the cookie jar was filled and refilled.  Vanora was a private person who preferred working in her yard and flower garden more than gathering with groups to socialize.  If livestock or a tractor destroyed her picture perfect blue grass lawn, the guilty party knew better than denying the deed.  Red zinnias and red cannas were always found growing in her garden, and she spent many hours picking and preserving her garden produce.  Baking whole-wheat cinnamon rolls or hamburger buns was her practice long before today’s trend to eat healthy. The Sunday meal of grilled hamburgers, hand cut French fries, and chocolate malts remains a family favorite. She sewed dresses as well as quilts with neat, even stitches. Landscaping, home decorating, health and devotional books filled her bookshelves. Vanora seldom passed judgment or spoke ill will of anyone, often and quickly praised her family, and always seemed to know ‘just what to say at just the right time’ when a family member needed comforting or advice. In Vanora’s life, God, her husband, and her family always came first.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Emma and Henry; her brothers, Bernard and Lavern; and great grandson, Montgomery Neussendorfer.

She is survived by her husband, Leland, of Smith Center, KS. Her sons, Dennis (Barb) Lehmann, and Daryl (Katherine) Lehmann, all of Gaylord, KS;  Denton (Kathy) Lehmann of Smith Center, KS; Dirk (Roberta) Lehmann of Eudora, KS.  Daughter:  Dixie (Dean) Matson, from Andover, KS.  Seventeen grandchildren:  Aubrey (Wil) Neussendorfer, Baylee and Catlin Lehmann; T.J. (Amanda) Lehmann, Candace (Chad) Brummer, Dallas (Jessica) Lehmann; Lindsey (David) Hunter, Wesley Matson; Scott (Crystal) Lehmann, Kristopher and Spenser Lehmann; Dominic, Cecilia, Victoria, Sophia, Olivia and Derek Lehmann.  Fourteen great grand children:  Nolan, Hayden, Emerysn and Quintin Lehmann; Trenton and Allison Brummer; Harley Lehmann; Elijah and Silas Hunter; and Elizabeth, Cody, Nathan, Tyler and Kaitlyn Lehmann.

Special friends include:  Alvina Kuhlmann, Blondina Kuhlmann, Erma Seitz, Loretta Beckmann, and Amanda McKenzie.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00AM Wednesday, June 6, 2012 at the American Lutheran Church with PMA James Germer presiding.

Burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery in Smith Center.

Visitation will be held Tuesday evening from 5PM until 8PM at the Simmons-Rentschler mortuary.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to the American Lutheran Church or the Smith County Community Foundation and can be sent in care of the mortuary.


Tom McNary

SMITH CENTER - Thomas Jasper McNary, Smith Center, KS, passed away May 29, 2012 at Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE at the age of 73.  He passed away peacefully with his wife, Bette, and children at his side.  He was born January 4, 1939 the son of Orval and Alice (Mulnix) McNary at Gaylord, KS.

When Tom was 2 years old the family moved to Colorado where he attended school for 11 ½ years.  Due to his parents employment they returned to Gaylord, KS.  He graduated in 1957 from Gaylord High School.  After Tom graduated he enlisted in the US Navy serving proudly aboard the U.S.S. Bassilone, a naval destroyer.  He was honorably discharged on December 5, 1958.

On September 14, 1958 Tom married the love of his life Bette Sims.  They were married for 53 wonderful years.  Tom and Bette were blessed with 3 wonderful children, Kimberly Ann, Steven Jasper and Michelle Renee.  Tom was a very loving, caring and compassionate husband, Dad and Grandpa who loved his family very dearly.

The highlight of Tom’s life were when his family was all together playing cards, going to the lake, going to the motel for Christmas and hunting with his son, son-in-laws, and grandsons.

He retired from owner/operator driving a semi from coast to coast for many years.  He was a crop adjuster/supervisor for 10 years until his health would no longer permit.  He was a life member of the Tin Can Sailors, VFW Post 1141 and North American hunters.  He was a member of the First Christian Church of Smith Center serving on the Board of Trustees, as an Elder and several other committees within the church.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Bette’s parents and sister Judith Griffith.

He is survived by his wife, Bette and daughter Kim (Kurt) Ifland, son, Steve (Brenda) McNary, and daughter Mickie (Tracy) Helberg.  Nine grandchildren, Adam (Crystal) Ifland, Blake (Jessica) Ifland, Aaron, Dereck, Blair McNary, and Scott, Travis, Justin and Kyle Helberg.  Great Grandchildren, Taylor Lapaille, Kalyn Ifland and Rosslyn Ifland.  Survivors also include his sister Eileen Ross of Parker, CO, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

The family suggests memorial contributions be given to either the First Christian Church of Smith Center or Kearney Overland Trails Dialysis and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Visitation will be from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM Thursday May 31, 2012 at the mortuary.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:00AM Friday June 1, 2012 at the First Christian Church with Pastor Linda Kemp officiating.

Burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery, Smith Center with military honors provided by VFW post 1141.

Melvin Lyon

SMITH CENTER – Melvin L. Lyon, age 88, passed away Feb. 21, 2012 at Smith County Hospital.  Lifelong resident of Smith Center and Smith County.

Melvin was born in Smith County, KS Oct. 14, 1923 to Rex and Eleanor Lyon, the oldest of 5 children, Max, Erma, June, and Elvin.

Melvin married Lois Secrest Dec. 25, 1950 in Franklin, NE.  Melvin attended grade school in the country, High school in Smith Center, graduating in May of 1943, after graduation he went into the Navy on return form the Navy he worked construction, custom wheat harvesting, farmed, and had apartment houses in town, 2 pool halls and a rock quarry for 35 years.  He belonged to the Lodge, Legion, and life member of VFW.

Melvin is survived by 2 sons Jay Lyon of Nelson, NE and Scott Lyon of Smith Center; a sister, June Thomas of Sunnyvale, CA; 5 grandchildren and great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and a host of friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents, brother Max Lyon, sister Erma Lanus, brother in law Dean Lanus, brother Elvin Lyon, wife Lois, son Dean and adopted son Clay.

Memorial graveside services will be at 10AM Saturday May 26, 2012 at the Fairview Cemetery in Smith Center with Pastor Lance McDowell officiating.

Inurnment will follow in the Fairview Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be given to the Melvin Lyon Memorial Fund and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Maxine V. Horsfall

KENSINGTON, KS – Maxine V. Horsfall, age 79, passed away on Saturday May 12, 2012 at the Hilltop Lodge in Beloit, KS.  She was born the daughter of Henry & Laura (Sherbert) Kopfer on June 23, 1932 near Broughton, KS.  She was a cook for many years.

Survivors include her daughter Debbie (Ken) Murray of Simpson, KS; 2 sons, Scott (Jana) Horsfall of Hays, KS and Phil (Kerrie) Horsfall of Great Bend, KS; 5 grandchildren; 2 great Grandchildren; father-in-law, Donald Bureman; Brother-in-law, Joe Horsfall; Sister-in-law, Mary Kopfer.  She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, an infant daughter, a brother, a sister, and a grandson.

Funeral Services will be held at 10:30AM Tuesday at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary in Smith Center with Pastor Becky Saddler officiating.

Burial will be at 2PM in the Greenwood Cemetery in Clay Center, KS.

Visitation will be held from 6PM until 8PM Monday evening at the mortuary.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to American Heart Association or Wounded Warrior Project and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Shirley “Jo” Larsen

SMITH CENTER–   Shirley Joan “Jo” Larsen, the daughter of Willis and Sarah (Jennings) Bonds, was born January 27, 1939 in Smith Center, Kansas.  She departed this life on May 2, 2012 at the Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center.

Jo received her education at Reamsville and later attended the Smith Center High Schools.  On September 3, 1966 she was married to Gerald Dean “Gary” Larsen.  Gary and Jo shared many happy years together traveling, dancing, and raising their children.  They were successful in upgrading and remodeling every home they lived in, Jo being the designer and Gary being the carpenter.  Jo had a very good eye for design.  They also ventured into the business world together, owning and operating the popular “Jo’s Place” tavern, a restaurant, as well as an assisted living Heritage Harbor.  Jo was a very detailed business woman.

In her leisure time, Jo was a very talented artist as an oil painter.  She enjoyed reading and watching “soaps” or as she called them, “her stories”.  She also had a love for her cats, never being without at least one, and being the rescuer of several more.  Pomeranian dogs also had a special place in Jo’s heart.

Jo always claimed to have been related to the Queen of England.  Anyone that knew Jo, knows she had the Pride, Demeanor and the Stateliness of any royal family.

She had a husband and caregiver which very few would have the privilege to have.  Gary gave his “Queen” the best life she could have.

Preceding her in death were her parents, and brothers, Ralph in 1946 and Albert in 1949.

Jo was an avid believer in angels and enjoyed collecting angel figurines.  She is now among them.  She will be greatly missed by her husband, Gary, daughter Sherri and Kris Dannenberg of Gaylord, son Mitchell Larsen of Iowa City, Iowa, daughter Kina and Delbert Elliott of Red Cloud, Nebraska, and her grandchildren Tember Hursh of Jasper, Arkansas, Elizabeth Dannenberg of Paola, Kansas and Gage Elliott of Red Cloud, Nebraska.

Funeral services will be 10:00AM Saturday May 5, 2012 at the Church of the Nazarene in Smith Center with Pastor Matt Lucas officiating.

Burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery, Smith Center.

Visitation will be held from 5PM until 8PM Friday at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary.

The family requests memorial contributions be made in her name and can be sent in care of the mortuary.