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.


Patricia M. Frank

SMITH CENTER- Patricia Mae (Luft) Frank was born May 23, 1924 in Minneapolis, Minnesota to Arthur W. Luft and Mabel (Kellene) Luft.  She attended the Minneapolis Public Schools and graduated from Washburn High School.  She was a member of the National Honor Society and various clubs in school.  One of her great interests was participation in sports and attending sporting events.  She was chosen by her classmates (over 300 in all) as the most athletic girl in her 8th grade class (Ramsey Jr. High) and also by her senior class in high school.  She continued this interest in sports her entire life and enjoyed tennis, golf, ice skating, bowling, swimming and fishing.  In later years some of those mentioned had to be given up.  She was an avid S.C. Redmen and K-State fan.  She was the first lady to be President of the S.C. Redcaps for the 1972-1973 term.

Pat was united in marriage on April 26th, 1947 to Maynard Eugene Frank of Gaylord, KS.  They were married in Minneapolis, Minnesota in Judson Memorial Baptist Church.  They lived in Gaylord for four years operating a café before moving to Smith Center.  Their move to S.C. was in 1951.  Pat worked for 2 years for Floyd W. (Whis) Hommon in his insurance agency.  She quit working in 1953 when her son Jerome Arthur Frank was born.  A second son Gregory Eugene Frank was born in 1955.

Pat and Maynard celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary on April 26th, 1972.  Their sons, Jerry and Greg, with the help of friends and relatives had a surprise party to celebrate the event at the armory.  Shortly after this happy event Maynard was taken to the hospital in May with severe heart complications and was hospitalized.  He passed away in the hospital on June 29th, 1972.

Pat started work at the Smith County State Bank and Trust Co. in 1961 after her sons were in school.  She was a secretary for the office and also handled the insurance business helping Blaine Rush and Linton Lull.  She learned various other jobs while working there.  She retired on December 31st, 1987 and for several years after retiring would help out as a teller when the bank needed extra help.  She also enjoyed being a part of the banks Christmas parties and the girl’s parties after retirement.

She belonged for many years to the S.C. Business and Professional Women’s Club, V.F.W. auxiliary 1141, American Legion Auxiliary 220, Chamber of Commerce and the K-State Alumni Association.  Pat also served as Smith County Treasurer for The American Cancer Society for over 15 years and later Memorial Chairman.  She was also treasurer for the Smith Center Country Club for over 15 years.  She was a member of the United Methodist Church and The U.M. Women Society.

Pat passed away on Saturday, March 10, 2012 at the Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center, Kansas at the age of 87.

Survivors are sons, Jerome A. Frank of Wichita, KS, Gregory and wife Tamra (who was like a daughter to Pat) of Smith Center, KS;   grandchildren Andrew Frank and wife Tracy and daughter Madalyn;   Jeni (Frank) Barta and grandsons Camden, Callen & Coy;   Jodi (Frank) Spiess and husband Garrett and grandchildren Brell, Brenik and Brexli;   Adam Frank;   Sherelle (Shaffer) Peterson and husband Anthony and grandchildren Maggie and Maddix;   Shawn Shaffer, Kyle Petrik and special friend Helen Watts, also a host of nieces and nephews and their families and many friends.  Pat enjoyed her grandchildren immensely and attended a good share of their school events over the years and also their outside activities.

She was preceded in death by her parents and sister Jane A. Aune who passed away in April 1998.

Visitation will be from 5:00 PM until 8:00 PM Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at the mortuary with the family present from 6:30 PM until 8:00 PM.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 AM Thursday, March 15, 2012 at the Evangelical Free Church with Pastor Greg Hubbard officiating.

Burial will follow in the Fairview Cemetery in Smith Center.

In lieu of flowers the family strongly suggests memorial contributions be given to the Smith Center Municipal Golf Course and can be sent in care of the mortuary.


Robert L. Peterson

RURAL LEBANON, KS – Robert Lamoine Peterson, 83, was born September 5, 1928, at home near Bellaire, KS to Milo and Lucile Peterson.  Surrounded by family, he went to be with his Lord March 8, 2012 at the Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center, KS.

He grew up on the farm and attended grade school at Lone Star country school.  He graduated from Smith Center High School in 1945.

He married the “light of his heart” Zelma Ryan, March 29, 1948 and began their life together on the farm north of Bellaire, KS.  Their union was blessed with a son, Joel and six daughters Lana, Lisa, Lori, Lila, Leah, and Lyna.  He and Zelma accepted Christ and were baptized at Womer Church where they attended and were active in serving the Lord until Womer closed and are now members of Thornburg Church.

They “lived their dream” out on the farm 63 years.  They had a Grade A dairy 27 yrs. until 1976, also raised stock cattle and farmed.  In recent years they enjoyed cattle by renting out their grass land.

Bob loved adventure and living to the fullest!  Through the years they had many family vacations.  First they roughed it camping and climbing mountains.  In later years, they upgraded to a motor home…still with family.  They also enjoyed being members of the Sod Busters Camper Club.

His lifelong passion for horses was passed down to each generation.  He started buying and training Paint colts 13 years ago and that led to working Fridays at the Mankato Livestock Sale.  The past four years he has lived vicariously by mentoring a grandson while training two horses to ride.

Bob lived his life in such a manner that others might see the love of Christ reflected through him.  His desire was that all would come to know Christ as their Lord and Savior.

Preceding him in death were his parents; his son Joel, brother Arden and sister-in-law JoAnn Peterson, sister-in-law Marilyn Ryan, son-in-law Mick Quinn, and great grandson Kaine.

Left to treasure his memory are his wife, Lyle & Lana Minner, KS; Ben & Lisa Bender, CO; Steve & Lori Siemsen, KS,  Roger & Lila Bohrer, NE, Keith & Leah Meyer, NE; David & Lyna Mace, KS; 19 grandchildren, 31 great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, brother-in-law Billy and his wife Colleen Ryan, brother-in-law Jim Ryan, and other relatives and friends.

Funeral Services will be held at 2:00PM on Monday, March 12, 2012 at the Evangelical Free Church with Pastor Dennis Lambert officiating.

Visitation will be held on Sunday March 11, 2012 from 5:00PM until 8:00PM at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary.

Burial will follow in the Cora-Cedar Hill Cemetery in Rural Lebanon, KS.

The family strongly requests memorial contributions be given to the Bob Peterson memorial fund to be designated later and can be sent in care of the mortuary.


Ron “Shakey” Rudy

KENSINGTON – Ron “Shakey” Rudy, age 52, passed away on Monday March 5, 2012 at the Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center, KS.

A celebration of life memorial ride will be leaving at noon Rebel Performance in Kensington, KS on March 17, 2012.

There will be no visitation.

The family has requested memorial contributions be made to the Ron “Shakey” Rudy memorial fund and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Norman Morgan

SMITH CENTER – Norman Morgan, age 78, passed away on Saturday, February 25, 2012 at the Smith County Memorial Hospital.  He was a retired postmaster.

Norman was born in Gravity, IA the son of Leland and Beulah (Downs) Morgan on March 23, 1933.  Norman joined the Navy serving in the Korean conflict and Vietnam.  He retired from the Navy after 26 years of service.  Norman worked for the US Postal Service in Gothenburg, NE; he was promoted to postmaster in Polk, NE and Belgrade, NE.

He is survived by his wife Kathryn of Smith Center; daughter Vikki Morgan of Smith Center; 2 sons, Rod (Jennifer) of Great Bend, Rick (Jane) of Waterloo, IA; sisters, JoAnne (Marvin) Perry of Chariton, IA, Sharon Smith of Clarinda, IA; 5 grandchildren, Austin, Alex, Taryn, Stephen (Emma) & Troy Morgan.  He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Richard Morgan.

Celebration of life services will be held at 10:30AM on Wednesday February 29, 2012 at the First Christian Church in Smith Center, KS with Pastor Linda Kemp officiating.

There will be no visitation.

Inurnment with military honors will be at 3PM Wednesday at the Kansas Veterans’ cemetery in Wakeeney, KS.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to American Diabetes Assoc. of Kansas or Gideon’s International and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Keith Fricker

Keith Fricker was born March 12, 1915, in Holton, KS, the only child of Elmer and Elsie (Owings) Fricker.  He died Monday, February 20, 2012, at Deseret Healthcare in Smith Center, KS.  He was two weeks short of his 97th birthday.

In 1919 Keith’s family moved to Smith County, KS to farm.  Keith graduated from Lebanon High School in 1934.  He married Merna Marie Upp on January 25, 1941.  To this union was born two children, Jane and Roger.  Keith worked for the state highway department and at the Smith County Courthouse in the early years of their marriage before becoming a farmer.

Keith’s hobby was gardening.  It gave him great satisfaction to share produce from his garden with his neighbors.  He was a morning person, and this stood him in good stead as both a farmer and a gardener.  Keith was a person of great integrity.  Those who knew him soon learned that “his word was his bond.”

Keith was preceded in death by his wife, Merna, and by his parents.

He is survived by his daughter Jane, and husband Jim Kirchner, Smith Center, KS; son Roger and wife Laura of Lebanon, KS; granddaughters, Jennifer and husband Mike Boehler, Laurel, Montana; Jessica and husband Brian Kort of Juniata, NE; Debra Kate Fricker, Smith Center, KS; six great-grandchildren; three sisters-in-law, Margaret Windscheffel, Smith Center, KS; Freda and husband Enos Groves of El Dorado, KS; and Pauline Upp of Gering, NE; and many nieces and nephews, and a host of friends.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00PM Saturday February 25, 2012 at Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary with Pastor Bill Linde officiating.

Burial will follow in the Sweet Home cemetery in rural Lebanon, KS.

Visitation will from 5pm until 8pm Friday evening at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary.

The family requests memorial contributions to the Smith County Food Pantry and can be sent in care of the mortuary.


Bonnie Seaman

LEBANON, KS – Bonita “Bonnie” Galene (Otte) Seaman, 45, passed away Saturday, February 18, 2012, at the Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center, Kansas. She was born on December 29, 1966, to Kenneth and Gretta Otte. Bonnie grew up on a farm in the Dispatch community north of Downs, Kansas in a large and loving family. She was the youngest of six children and loved life on the farm.

She attended Downs Public Schools and graduated from Downs High School in 1985. She loved sports and excelled as an athlete in volleyball, track and especially basketball. Bonnie went on to Central College in McPherson, KS on a basketball scholarship and graduated with an associate’s degree in 1987.

On May 29, 1987, Bonnie married Allen Seaman at the Christian Reformed Church in Dispatch, Kansas. Bonnie and Allen moved to Lebanon, Kansas in 1988. Their wonderful marriage blessed them with four daughters; Alika, Danika, Janika and Lainika. Bonnie loved being a stay-at-home mom to her girls and enjoyed home schooling them from grade school through high school. She loved to teach them (not necessarily math, we left that to Principal Dad) important things like how to swim, fix their hair, do their make-up and nails, and most importantly what it meant to be loved.

Bonnie also loved music and passed her love of music and singing on to her family. At an early age, the girls and their cousins, Jihan and Taylor Arnold (daughters of Rodney and Belinda Arnold), formed a group called the Daughters of Faith. Sherri Eakin accompanied them as they sang in churches and for nursing home residents. This early love for singing Christian music developed into a passion that grew as Bonnie’s girls grew older. In April of 2007, the girls formed the music ministry, Eternity Focus. Because of the unfailing support, loving self-sacrifice and unending encouragement of their parents, the girls followed their dream of sharing the gospel of Christ through music by recording several albums. Bonnie added to the ministry by providing visual/media ministry by showing videos that went with each song as the girls would sing. The family was on the road forty-eight weekends each year along with their drummer and best friend, Autumn Hoffman, and loved spending so many amazing moments together creating a lifetime of memories. The family truly loved every minute of the life that God had called them to live together. Bonnie’s love for her Savior, Jesus Christ, has been reflected in her nurturing of her family.

Bonnie is survived by her husband Allen and her daughters Alika Noel, Danika Joelle, Janika Lorelle, and Lainika Lanelle of Lebanon, KS; her mother, Gretta Otte, Downs, KS; her brothers Kenneth (Allen) Otte and wife Linda, Downs, KS; Kent Otte and wife Matasha of Phillipsburg, KS; her sisters Barbara Rhoda and husband Mike of Parker, Colorado; Brenda Prins and husband Wendell of Walla Walla, Washington; and Belinda Arnold and husband Rodney of Lebanon, KS; and many nieces and nephews. She will be lovingly remembered by her many relatives and friends.

Celebration of Life services will be held at 1:30PM Friday February 24, 2012 at the New Covenant Church (formerly Hardware Hank building) with Pastor Sam Caballero officiating.

Visitation will be held from 7PM until 8:30PM at the church on Thursday evening.  The visitation is going to be open mic… If you have something you would like to share about Bonnie you will have the opportunity on Thursday evening. “

The family has requested memorials to be given to the Bonnie Seaman memorial fund and can be sent in care of the mortuary.


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.