Duane Smith

Duane Doren Smith, died on Saturday, February 04, 2012 at his home in Bellingham, Washington at the age of 78.

He was born as the first of two children on March 5, 1933 to Forrest and Letha Smith at their home north of Agra, Kansas.

Duane and his sister, Delores attended country schools and the Agra Public School, enjoying all the activities accompanying their rural life. Duane and his family moved to Kensington in 1947 during his eighth grade and later graduating from Kensington High School with the class of 1951.

After high school Duane spent two years at various jobs in Phillips and Smith County. He was inducted into the Armed Forces in 1953 and served his overseas duty at Big Delta Alaska until his discharge in 1955. He returned to Kensington to marry his high-school sweetheart. Duane and LeAnn were married on March 18, 1956 at the First Christian Church in Kensington. This church would be the location for his baptism, wedding, 50th Wedding Anniversary and his final Memorial.

After marrying LeAnn, Duane worked as a parts manager at Peterson Motor Company in Smith Center before joining L.J. Messer Company in 1958. Known to many as “Smitty” he spent 40 years serving the region as an salesman for L.J. Messer and Big A Auto Parts. He was always proud of the many friends he made while calling on his customers.  In addition to his job on the road, he also took over farming operations for his father-in-law in 1983 and did both until his retirement in 1998.

He took great pride in the lives and accomplishments of his son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren. In addition to family, one of Duane’s greatest joys was hunting and fishing. Over the years, he hunted for antelope, elk, deer and turkey in Kansas, Colorado and Wyoming. Another of his favorite pass times was flying radio-controlled planes with friends.

As best friends, Duane and LeAnn celebrated 55 years of married life – twenty-five in Smith Center and thirty in Kensington after building a home there in 1982. In July of 2011 they moved to Bellingham, Washington to be near their son and his family.

Duane was preceded in death by his parents and sister. Survivors include his wife, LeAnn of the home; son Kent and daugher-in-law Patricia of Bellingham, Washington: grandson Joel Smith and grand daughter-in-law, Nadia Al-Masri of Boston, Massachusetts, and granddaughters, Danielle Smith of Seattle, Washington, Natalie Smith of Des Moines, Iowa and Breck Smith of Pullman, Washington. In addition, he is survived by a brother-in-law, Otis Tindell of Lancaster, California and four nephews and nieces.

Duane was a member of the Masonic Western Star Lodge 174 and an active church member at Smith Center and Kensington, serving in numerous capacities.

Memorial Services will be held at 10:30AM on February 25th at the United Church of Kensington with Pastor Becky Saddler presiding.

Graveside honors will be held at 11:30AM February 25th with Fred Marran American Legion Post 166 at the Olive Branch Cemetery.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to the United Church of Kensington or the American heart Association and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Paul T. Seemann

SMITH CENTER - Paul Theodore Seemann, age 79, passed peacefully on February 9, 2012 at the Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center, KS.  He was born at home in Phillips County one-half mile south of Agra on December 5, 1932 to Wilhelm and Elizabeth (Rahjes) Seemann.

Often described as a people person, Paul’s life revolved around family, church, his profession, and the farming community.  Paul was baptized at St. Peter’s Lutheran Church of Agra on January 1, 1933 and confirmed on May 14, 1946 at St. John’s Lutheran Church of Athol.  His elementary school years were spent in one room country schools, completing eighth grade graduation in 1946 at Prairie View Munsinger Elementary School.  Paul learned to harness a team of draft horses at a young age as he helped his father farm. His love of horses continued throughout his life.  Paul graduated from Kensington High School in 1950.  After graduation he worked at Levin’s Lumber Yard in Kensington and the Kirwin Dam project.  Paul attended Kansas School of Barbering in Wichita, Kansas and received his first barber’s license in 1957.  Paul’s first barbering job was in Colby, Kansas at Rundel’s Barbershop.

In the summer of 1959, Paul met his future wife Katherine Leech, a local cosmetologist at the Dairy Queen. They were united in marriage on June 12, 1960 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Colby and blessed with three children, Phillip, Krista and Sara.

The family moved to Smith Center in 1963 when Paul purchased Thomm’s Barbershop.  He would spend 48 years dedicated to his profession and his patrons.  People traveled some distance to get a flattop haircut, Paul’s specialty.

In 1964 the Seemanns moved to their present country home so that Paul could pursue his love of country living and horses.  Paul would harness his favorite horses, Flicka or Jewell and ride in many local parades wearing his top hat.

Active in community service, Paul was a Chamber of Commerce member and Lion’s Club where he served as treasurer.  Paul was a devoted member of the American Lutheran Church in Smith Center serving several terms on the church council including one as council chairman.

On Sundays after church, he always listened to the Lutheran Hour Ministries. He carried his favorite Bible verses in his wallet and spent time each day reading scripture, listening to devotions and witnessing his faith.

He was an avid fan of Oakland A’s baseball, Kansas State and Smith Center Redmen athletics, and listened to radio sports broadcasts as he worked.  He also enjoyed his 4 grandchildren and cheering for them at their sporting events.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years Katherine and their children Phillip (Sally) Seemann, Wichita, KS; Krista Seemann, Olathe, KS; Sara Seemann, Lincoln, NE; Grandchildren Phillip, Heather, Matthew and Laura.  Siblings include Marie Wangerin, Kensington, KS; Thomas Seemann, Norton, KS; Margaret Joanne Seemann sister-in-law, Norton, KS; Priscilla Porter, Hastings, NE; Raymond Grauerholz, brother-in-law, Phillipsburg, KS.

He is preceded in death by his parents and siblings/in-laws Doris (Seemann) Strege and Ted; Paul Christian Seemann; Alma (Seemann) Johanen and Matt; Wilma (Seemann) Wangerin and Leland; Brother-in-law Harlan Wangerin; Ruth Seemann; Julia (Seemann) Landvatter and Robert; John Seemann; Cecilia (Seemann) Grauerholz; and Rudolph Seemann.

Memorial visitation will be held at Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary in Smith Center on Monday evening, February 13 from 4:00 – 8:00, and family will receive guests from 5:00 – 7:00.

Funeral Services will be held at American Lutheran Church in Smith Center on Tuesday, February 14 at 10:30 with burial at Fairview Cemetery and lunch following at American Lutheran Church.

The family requests memorials may be made to the American Lutheran Church, Smith Center, or to Lutheran Hour Radio Ministry in care of the mortuary.


Ivan R. Dunigan

SMITH CENTER-   Ivan R. Dunigan, age 81, passed away Saturday January 28, 2012 at his home in Smith Center.  He was born March 8, 1930 in Formoso, KS to Earl and Ethel (Richards) Dunigan.  He was a carpenter.

He was preceded in death by his parents, 4 sisters Irene Ewing, Darlene Ellis, Carol Weatherla and Shirley Peters-Tate-Decker;   3 brothers Cecil Dunigan, Dean Richard Dunigan and Dennis Dunnigan; son-in-law Rick Stansbury;  a grandson Stansbury and wife Virginia (House) Dunigan.

Survivors include a daughter Ginny Stansbury, Smith Center;   sons Mike Dunnigan, Hawthorne, CA and Joe Dunigan, Lakewood, CA;   sisters Phyllis Dunigan, Smith Center and Rosalie (Don) Sawin, Salina;   significant other Betty Sauer, Aurora, CO;   grandsons Rick (Javenia) Stansbury, Smith Center, Tim (Kayla) Stansbury, Topeka, Joe (McKayla) Stansbury, Smith Center and Shawn Stansbury, Smith Center; granddaughter Kairina Dunigan, Windom, MN;   great grandchildren, Neomi and Rylee, Isaac and Ian Stansbury, Jordyn and Colton Shoemaker.

Graveside services will be held at 10:30 AM Saturday February 4, 2012 in the Scottsville Cemetery in Scottsville, KS.

The family requests memorial contributions be given to Hospice Services of Smith County be sent in care of the mortuary.

Al Kusel

James Alfred Kusel was born October 6, 1931 in Newkirk, Oklahoma.

In September of 1934, he came to Cedar and lived with Mary Kusel.  In 1937, Al became her son.

Al attended grade school through the 8th grade in Cedar and graduated high school in 1950, from Gaylord.  At age 11 he came to live with his brother Ernie and helped him run the restaurant in Cedar.

After high school, he joined the Navy and served aboard the U.S.S. Prairie in Korea and Japan.  He was discharged from the Navy in September of 1953.

When discharged from the Navy, jobs were hard to get.  Al worked for Chalmers & Borton building concrete elevators, in southwest Kansas.  He met his future wife, Jan in 1955 and married her August 13, 1956.

They lived in Cedar and Al worked for the Bureau of Reclamation building the Kirwin Dam, the Irrigation District and Jim Houtz as a plumber.  Jan worked at the restaurant helping Ernie, ran the liquor store they’d opened in 1964 and she an Al were working their way into the greyhound business.

In 1965, they built the house they would live in until 2005.  After the house was built, Al sold his backhoe and chain digger and was officially in the “dog business” and remained so, until they retired in 1990.

1966 was the year Janeen was born and Julie followed in 1968.  Al and Jan were partners in all of their life adventures.

Al passed away November 24, 2011 at 80 years of age.  He was preceded in death by his mother Mary Kusel; three brothers Hank, wife Chris, son Jim;  Ernie; Leo, wife Sylvia, son Larry Cates; two sisters Anne, husband Paul; Elsie, husband Lloyd and daughter Marilyn.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Jan; daughter Janeen husband Bryan and son Dustin; daughter Julie, husband Rob, daughters Cheyenne and Hannah and son Logan; niece Janet Hoverson and husband Don.

A graveside inurnment and military service will be held Saturday at 2PM on February 4, 2012 at the Cedar Cemetery, Cedar, KS.

Memorials may be given to the VFW Kingsbury-Chase Post #1141 or Hospice Services of Smith County and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Delores M. Timmons

Delores Maxine Lehmann was born on May 21,1929 to John and Emma (Von Frieling) Lehmann on the family farm near Gaylord, (Smith County) Kansas.  On June 16, 1929, she was baptized at Christ Lutheran Church rural Gaylord.  She was confirmed in Christian faith on April 2, 1944.  She passed into her Heavenly home on January 26, 2012 at the age of 82 years.

Delores attended grade school at District 30, four miles north of Gaylord and graduated High School in Gaylord with the Class of 1947.  She obtained her Business degree at Brown Mackie in Salina, Kansas and returned to Smith Center, where she began work at the Smith County State Bank until she was married.

She married Junior (Dude) Timmons on November 12, 1950 at Christ Lutheran Church.  This union was blessed with five children, Cynthia, Barbara, Bradley, John, and Glenn.

Delores was a homemaker, a profession in which she greatly excelled.  She enjoyed cooking for Dude and her family, loved to bake, and made many meals throughout her lifetime. She was always planning her next meal.  The family always had her homemade ice cream for special occasions and no one ever left the house without samples of her goodies to take home.  She was affectionately known by her grandchildren as Grandma “D”, even receiving a letter from a grandson in Kentucky addressed only to Grandma “D”, Smith Center, KS. She taught them how to do many things such as using a conventional ringer style washing machine and how to cut up a chicken. Grandma D kept the candy dish and cookie jar full, frozen malts in the freezer, and her grandsons supplied with hot dogs to use as bait for crawdad fishing.

She was an active member in the Lutheran Church and also enjoyed the clubs she belonged to such as: The Neighborhood Society, Garden Lore, Red Hat Club, Entre Nous’, and the Doll Club. Much laughter was shared during the many family reunions with the “cousins”.

Delores and Dude enjoyed square dancing with the Jolly Mixers and Happy Squares in their early years. She enjoyed countless hours of listening to and attending the Barons dances where Dude played the bass guitar.

She was preceded in death by Dude, her husband of fifty-three years, her parents, and her sister Laura Mae Overleese.

She is survived by daughters: Cynthia (Ed) Pixler of Nottingham, PA and Barbara (Larry) Wilson of Smith Center.  Sons: Bradley (Barbara) Timmons, John (Amy) Timmons and Glenn (Pamela) Timmons, all of Smith Center.  11 grandchildren: Matt and Clay Pixler, Tim Wilson and Trisha Myers, Matthew Allen and Sara Timmons, Tony Blickenstaff and Angela Hahn, Kacie, Holly and Charlie Timmons. 23 great grandchildren:  Ana and Marissa Pixler, Lincoln, Emma and Avery Pixler, Sierra, Jordan, Brant and Brady Wilson, Gracie, Rease, Jill and Claire Myers, Darien Blackwill, Alia, Alaina and Alec Allen, A.J., Mason and Ayden Blickenstaff, Coryn, Ashlyn and Haden Hahn.  She is also survived by brother, Leland (Vanora) Lehmann, of Smith Center, sister, Erma Seitz of Elwood, NE, brother-in-law Don (Barb) Overleese of Franklin, NE and sisters-in-law Coleen (Timmons) Maydew and Roma Timmons of Smith Center.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 AM Monday January 30, 2012 at the American Lutheran Church with Jim Germer P.M.A. officiating.

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

The family requests memorial contributions to the American Lutheran Church or Deseret Health and Rehab Center and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Ronald E. Wanner

SMITH CENTER-   Ronald E. Wanner was born to Ervin & Lenora Wanner on February 13, 1938 in Oxford, NE. At the age of two the family moved to a farm north of Thornburg. Ronnie attended Pleasant Hill School.  His school years ended at 8th grade to care for his parents. Ronnie and his brother Gary spent countless hours hunting and trapping which they really enjoyed working and playing beside each other. They also helped their parents raise large amounts of garden produce.

In 1956 at the age of 18 he joined the National Guard in which he served for six years with his lifelong friend Ed Reinking.  Within these years, he began working for Arden Dierdorff.  Working alongside Arden, Ronnie felt farming was his calling in life.

In 1959, he met Joan Shellito whom became his lifelong partner.  1960 Easter Sunday they joined in marriage at The First Christian Church, Phillipsburg, Kansas. Born to this union four children. Myron Leon, Lori Ann, Martin Keith, Lynne Maria.

Ronnie enjoyed family fishing parties, going hunting, helping with fair projects and attending grandchildren’s sporting events.  With his love for the land, Ronnie could always be found on a piece of farm equipment with his buddy seat occupied by one of his eleven grandchildren.

On January 22, 2012 Ronnie left behind his wife Joan, four children ten grandchildren and one great-grand child. Myron and wife Manda of Smith Center; two grandchildren Dusty & Johny , Lori and husband Glen Stahnke of Ottawa; two grandchildren Derek and Justina and one great-grandchild Jordan , Martin  (Marty) and wife Bonnie of Smith Center; three grandchildren Christopher, Nicholas and Garrett. Lynne and husband Jerrod Wagner of Smith Center; three grandchildren Wyatt, Gavin and Owen.

Preceded in death by his parents Ervin & Lenora, brother Gary, and nephew Dustin. Brother in-law Huston and wife Joanne Shellito. Brother in-law Don Shellito.

Visitation will be from 5 PM until 8 PM Tuesday, January 24, 2012 at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary.

Funeral services will be held at 10AM Wednesday, January 25, 2012 at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary in Smith Center with Pastor Dennis Lambert officiating.

Burial will follow in the Fairview cemetery.

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




Penny Russell

SMITH CENTER-   Penny Russell, age 57, passed away January 10, 2012 at the Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center, KS.  She was born November 29, 1954 in Grand Rapids, Michigan to Warren and JoAnn (McKean) DeGlopper.

Penny married Don Russell in Grand Rapids, Michigan on October 19, 1973 and five years later they moved to Kansas.  They lived between Kansas and Nebraska for several years.  Don passed away in 1991.

Penny loved to quilt and read and really loved to play with her dogs.

Penny was preceded in death by her parents, husband Don and a brother Scott.

Penny is survived by her brother Warren DeGlopper and wife Lorraine of Blue Springs, NE;   a sister Gail Vasquez of Wymore, NE; many nieces and nephews.

There will be no visitation.

Memorial services will be held at a later date.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to the Penny Russell memorial fund and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Donald E. Yenne

SMITH CENTER-   Donald E. Yenne, age 85, passed away Thursday January 5, 2012 at the Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney, NE.  He was born July 19, 1926 in Rural Smith County to Archie and Katherine (Libby) Yenne.  He was a farmer.

Survivors include a son Mike Yenne of Nederland, CO;   daughter Donna Yenne of Woodburn, OR;   twin sisters Dorothy Carley and Delores Papin of Farmington, NM;   2 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 9:00 AM until service time Tuesday January 10, 2011 at the mortuary.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 AM Tuesday January 10, 2011 at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary with Pastor Becky Saddler officiating.

Burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery, Smith Center.

Memorial contributions may be given to the Donald Yenne Memorial Fund to be designated later by the family and can be sent in care of the mortuary.


Dale M. Fuller

SMITH CENTER-   Dale M. Fuller, age 94, passed away Friday December 30, 2011 at the Smith County Long Term Care in Smith Center, KS.  He was born April 25, 1917 in Waynesville, MO to Iona Ana (Ervin) and Alfred Fuller.  He was a construction worker.

He was married to Polly Singleton and to this union two children were born.  Then in 1950 Dale married Darlene Snow and to this union four children were born, Steven, Darla, Kent and Debra.

Dale spent most of his working life working on the big water dams.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Howard, three sisters Della Zeigenbeen, Donna McKinnon and Ruby Chadwell.

Survivors include his wife Darlene of Cedar, KS;   daughters Phyllis Irvin of Hays, KS, Darla Brock (Robert) of Enfield, Conn., Debra Bennett (Cecil) of Blanchard, OK;   sons Steve (Maureen) of Greeley, CO and Kent (Lenise) of Smith Center, KS;   brother Clifford and sister Melba Null;   13 grandchildren and 14 great grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 9AM-11AM Tuesday January 3, 2011 with the family present at the mortuary.

Graveside services will be at 2 PM at the Cedar Cemetery, Cedar, KS with Pastor Lyle Miller officiating.

Burial will follow in the Cedar Cemetery.

The family requests memorials be given to the Dale Fuller Memorial Fund and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Darrell D. Atchison

KIRWIN, KS–   Darrell D Atchison was born August 18th, 1931 to Gill Cribbs Atchison and Hazel (Dell) Atchison.  He died Wednesday December, 28th at Smith Center Memorial Hospital at the age of 80.
He grew up in Kirwin, Kansas where his parents farmed.  He has a brother Gill Atchison whom resides in Phillipsburg, Kansas with wife Loretta and children Greg, Corrina, and Gill Edward (Eddie) and four grandchildren.
Darrell married Patricia McAfee together they shared a life in Kirwin and had a son Brook D Atchison.  Brook resides in the family home, with wife Marguirite (Mick) Atchison who has provided meals, care and ears to listen to the daily stories.   Brook has three children Miranda referred to by papa as the one with big eyes and always had a smile, Vince known as the good little boy who’s a hard worker but a quiet one and Brittany the “baby” the pretty one.  Brook uses his welding skills passed down from Darrell where they worked side by side throughout the years.  Brook is passing the trade to the third generation where Vince works sided by side daily. Brook expanded the original shop and began manufacturing round hay bale trailers.  Atchison welding has become known as Atchison Manufacturing.  Five years later they had Bridgette Kay (Atchison) Ward whom resides in Almena, Kansas, with husband Jason Ward and two children Ashley Kay Constable referred to by papa as your girl. She was the first and most spoiled by papa from dipping cookies in his coffee for breakfast to never doing any wrong.  And Drake Shearer the “good little buddy, he’s awful good to me” and step daughter Jaslyn Ward.  Bridgette has a mobile pet grooming and boarding business, where she does pet grooming in surrounding area by travelling door to door in a mobile unit bathing and grooming dogs and cats.

Darrell graduated from Kirwin High school. He chose to live a simple life in the small town which he’d grown up.  He had many trades from painting to grading roads for the county to farming but his greatest talent was being a welder.  He could fix things that were mangled up to, better than new in no time flat.  This is what he did but not what he was.  He was content with his life and felt no reason for more because he had all of the things that he needed at his side his family.  He worked hard and made the most out of the few moments he allowed himself away from the shop.  From taking a dip as he called it on the tubes in the lake, to churning homemade ice cream which he always insisted Brook would like even though he hated ice cream.  To the smaller things like holding his kids on his lap and tickeling their back with a chalk pencil, to wrestling on the floor, or an occasional game of monopoly.

The family vacation wasn’t a week at the Bahama’s but a trip to the Kansas State Fair, where we’d stuff bags full of free literature, pens and paper fans or to Darrell (Goodies).  To stuffing ourselves with greasy pronto pups and funnel cakes or his favorite pork on a stick…  then on to hours of looking at farm equipment and gazing at the craftsmanship of each item.  When little legs were too weak to walk he’d toss her on his shoulders and walk on.  When we’d pass the rootbeer stand he’d always stop and get a cold one to my knowledge he didn’t even like rootbeer but it was .25 a cup and it was ice cold… Then on to the farm bureau where we’d watch a few minutes of free entertainment then back to looking for more goodies.    Now to most the Bahamas would seem like a great escape but to us the state fair was the best of memories anyone could ask for.    We didn’t have everything but he always made sure we didn’t do without anything.

Darrell’s greatest strengths were making people laugh by his funny stories, not being afraid of hard work, not letting his famliy do without and always managing to find the money needed.  His greatest weaknesses was loving too much and not being able to see what his greatest strengths were.  He was a strong man with strong pride who fought everyday to live another day….

May he rest in peace with his parents and wife until the rest of the family is with him….

Funeral services will be held at 10:30AM on Monday January 2, 2012 at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary in Smith Center, KS with Pastor Becky Davidson officiating.

Burial will follow in the Kirwin Cemetery in Kirwin, KS.

Visitation will be held 5PM – 8PM Sunday at the mortuary.

The family requests memorials be made in his name to be given to local Kirwin organizations and can be sent in care of the mortuary.