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.


Yvonne Levin

GREELEY, CO – Yvonne Denise Levin, age 59, passed away on Saturday, April 28, 2012.  She was born March 26, 1953 in Smith Center, KS to Ivan “Ike” and Ruth (Smith) Levin.  She was preceded in death by her father, Ivan and brother Michael.  She is survived by her mother Ruth of Kensington; brothers, Kevin (LaRee) Levin of Tucson, AZ, David (Becky) Levin of Kensington, Shawn Levin of Kensington and nephews Garrett Levin and Grant Levin both of Kensington.

She was baptized and confirmed in the Lutheran faith at First St. John Lutheran Church of Kensington.

Yvonne was a graduate of the Kensington High School and had a Bachelor of Science Degree in Computer Science from the Regis University of Denver, CO.   She was an independent, career minded, dedicated professional who always took time to listen to others and put them before herself.  She had been employed by Pueblo Chemical in Garden City, KS, UAP in Greeley, Co., Sandoz, in Broomfield, CO. and was currently employed by Whitewave Foods of Broomfield, CO.

Yvonne was an outdoor enthusiast who enjoyed hiking in the mountains, cycling, and working in her yard.  She enjoyed traveling with friends, experienced hot air ballooning, and visiting the Grand Canyon, Mt. Rushmore, and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  She had the unique distinction of having climbed Longs Peak in Colorado not once, but twice.

Her hobbies included enjoying gourmet coffee with friends, shopping, jewelry, movies, and music festivals.  She especially enjoyed the arts that Denver had to offer, and the fine things in life.  She had a sense of pride in her appearance, home, and self.  Her first thoughts were always of others.

Lifelong friendships were also developed through her personal business as a “Weekenders Clothing Consultant” and as a Mary Kay consultant.  She always enjoyed hosting classes and shows, and meeting new people.

She had strong family ties and treasured the time spent together.  The Christmas holiday was one of her favorites.  She always made it extra special by her thoughtfulness and presence.

Her smile, easy laugh and gentle teasing will be greatly missed by all that knew her.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30AM Thursday May 3, 2012 at the 1st St. John Lutheran Church in Kensington with Pastor Dave Hutson officiating.

Burial will follow in the Germantown Cemetery.

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

The family has requested memorial contributions be made to the Yvonne Levin memorial fund and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Lance R. Bottom

Lance R. Bottom, age 41 of Wichita, KS passed away April 21, 2012.  Lance was born Sept. 12, 1970 in Beloit, KS to parents Robert R. Bottom and Sheila Heeler Birch.  He graduated from Springdale High School, Springdale, AR. in 1989 and lived the rest of his life in Kansas.

Lance loved his family, many friends and God’s great outdoors.  Hunting and fishing were a lifelong love and he enjoyed both while growing up, with his two Grandpas, his Dad, and cousin Matt.  Some of his fondest memories were of him and his daughter, Jordan, fishing together.  He picked up a lifelong love of recycling everything, from his Grandpa Jim.  Most everyone thought of Lance as a Big Teddy Bear, (at 6’6″) with a heart of gold.

Lance was preceded in death by his Father, Robert R. Bottom; his two Grandfathers, John R. Bottom and James L. Heeler; and two Aunts, Marnie Arnhold and Cindy Erickson.

Lance is survived by his daughter, Jordan Renee Bottom of Salina, KS; his mother and step-father, Sheila and Jerry Birch of Farmington, AR; two grandmothers, June Bottom of Glen Elder, KS and Margie Heeler of Smith Center, KS; 3 aunts, Carol Bottom of Marshalltown, Iowa, Janice Heide of Norfolk, VA, and Jean Grisier of Smith Center, KS; Uncle Jimmy E. Heeler of Smith Center, KS; also many cousins and many dear friends.

Family graveside memorial service will be April 28, 2012 at the Gaylord, KS Cemetery.

Memorials in loving memory of Lance may be made to, Teen Challenge Ranch of N.W. AR., PO Box 20, Morrow, AR., 72749 /www.arkansasteenchallenge.org

Lorrell Almquist

SMITH CENTER – Lorrell Eugene Almquist, 80, died Friday, March 23, 2012. He was born July 3, 1931 in Great Bend, KS to Carl and Rosalind (Smith) Almquist. He is survived by his wife, Virginia (Hickert) Almquist, of the home; daughters Sandy (Richard) Harris of Minneola; Deb (Ron) Augustine of Hays; step-children: Kathie (Monte) Davidson, Alta Vista; Ray (Valerie) Hickert, Wichita; Gus (Sharon) Hickert, Ingalls; Joan Hickert, Hutchinson; Anne (Tracy) Kingsbury and Susan (Tim) Meyer of Smith Center; sister Carolee (Dennis) Bailey, Scottsdale, AZ; eighteen grandchildren: Marc (Michelle) Davidson, Cale, Hayley, Logan, Carley, of Goddard; Amanda (Spencer) Levin, Mason, Kaylee and McKenna, of Wichita; Matt (Terra) Davidson, Kinsley and Connor, Lincoln, NE; Jonathan Hickert, of Wichita; Rhett (Christina) Hickert, Leo and Gavin, of Kiowa; Jessica Shaffer and Chrissy of Wichita; Ashley (Jason) Keilman, of Manhattan; Austin (Angela) Kingsbury, Keirstin and KaraJo, Sterling; Andrea Kingsbury, The Woodlands, Tx; Addison Kingsbury, Smith Center, Ks; Misti (Chris) Norris, Madelyn, Joshua and Abigail, of Hays; Jennifer (Brad) Hallier, Laurelle, Joselyn and Landon, of Hutchinson; Angela (Matt) May, Kaytlin, Alexandra and Dakota of WaKeeney; Tyler (Trisha) Augustine, Avery and Ainslee, of Hays; Michele (Jim) Stoddard, Alyssa and McKenzie, of Liberal; Michael (Stephanie) Harris, Miranda and Preston of Olathe; Matthew Harris of Gardner; and Mitchel (Carolyn) Harris, Connor and Hailey of Overland Park.  He is preceded in death by his parents, Carl and Rosalind (Smith) Almquist; and sister Yvonne Newman.

Lorrell graduated from Wichita East High School and attended WSU. He married Virginia (Zodrow) Hickert on November 24, 1974. They lived in Oberlin until they moved to Smith Center in 1977. He enjoyed camping, fishing, and boating with family and friends.
He served in the Korean War in the Air Force from February 1952 to February 1956. He was a past member of the Shriner’s.

Celebration of Life Services will be held at 1:30PM Wednesday March 28, 2012 with Pastor Greg Hubbard officiating.

There will be no visitation.

Inurnment will follow in the Fairview Cemetery in Smith Center, KS with military honors by the United States Air Force honor guard.

The family has requested memorial contributions be made to the Lorrell Almquist memorial fund and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

William Chestnut

RURAL FRANKLIN, NE- William (Bill) Edwin Chestnut departed this world Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at the age of 27 in his home near Franklin, Neb.

Bill was born Nov. 20, 1984 in Concordia, Kan. He grew up and went to school in the Cawker City and Jewell area of Kan. He professed a love for Jesus and was baptized at the age of 6 in the First Baptist Church in Cawker City, Kan. He attended regularly there and then at Lighthouse Community Church in Downs, Kan. Bill was active in youth group and looked forward to summer church camp. He had a heart as big as the ocean and if he could help someone in need he would. He did not like to see anyone suffer.
Bill loved fishing, hunting, camping and his pets, especially his dogs. He also liked riding his dirt bike, working on computers, shooting and gunsmithing. Bill collected swords and was very interested in the medieval era. If something interested him, he would research it extensively and learn all he could. He really enjoyed talking to family and friends and could go on for hours about stuff he learned.

Bill was preceded in death by great grandparents John (Jack) and Doris Kyle of Cawker City, Kan., William and Delphia Chestnut of Glade, Kan. and Leonard and Regina Braun of Speed, Kan. as well as many aunts and uncles.

Left to mourn his passing are his parents, David and Christina Chestnut of rural Franklin, Neb.; sister, Mandy and husband Steve Goble of Logan, Kan.; grandparents, Leroy and Thelma Braun of Phillipsburg, Kan., Bill and Lee Wilson of Cawker City, Kan. and Roger Montgomery of Boulder City, Nev.; niece, Morgan Goble of Logan, Kan. and nephew, Dawson Goble of Logan, Kan. as well as many aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

Celebration of Life Services will be held at 2:00PM, Saturday March 24, 2012 at Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary with Pastor Darrell Geist officiating.

The family strongly suggests memorial contributions be made to the Bill Chestnut memorial fund and can be sent in care of the mortuary.