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.



Ruth Lee

SMITH CENTER – Ruth Viola Lee, youngest child of W. S. and Lura Swank Lee, was born June 23, 1915 at the family home southwest of Harlan and passed to a better world on December 20, 2011. She had three brothers, Bill, Frank, Robert, and her sister, Katie.

Ruth attended a rural one-room school and graduated from Harlan High School in 1933. She then taught ten years in rural schools. Later she obtained a position as a clerk typist with the State of Kansas in Topeka.

When her father became seriously ill, she gave up her job in Topeka and came home to Smith Center to help take care of him. After his death in 1951, she stayed be a companion to her mother and cared for her the rest of her life.

Ruth was employed by Matson Grocery Store and was taught business bookkeeping by Wilbur Matson. She later attended Brown and Mackie School of Business in Salina to become more proficient, and bookkeeping became her career. She was the bookkeeper for Atwood Implement and later for Center Equipment until retirement.

Ruth loved gardening.  After she bought her own home on South Logan Street, she filled the landscape with flowers. She enjoyed the flowers she grew and shared them with family and friends.

Ruth became a member of the Harlan United Brethren Church at a very young age and participated in church activities when she was younger. She gained a solid faith that she made evident to friends and family.  In her later years, she continued to attend the Harlan Church when she was able.

Ruth enjoyed her family and was very close to her siblings. She was a favorite aunt to her niece and nephews, and made each and every one feel special.  Her niece and nephews recall many happy family gatherings. She was a helper for her family members and friends at times of sickness and called on them regularly. Her motto was to do one good thing every day.

Ruth was preceded in death by her brothers, Bill, Frank, Robert, and her sister, Katie, and her nephews , Jerry Lee and Garen Lee.  She will be missed by her niece, Jana and Joe Jones and family,Shawnee, KS; and nephews, Lyn and Janis Lee and family, Kensington, KS;  Ray and Linda Lee, and family, Olathe, KS; and Richard and Janet Lee and family, Riverside, CA; and Alice Ann Lee, Smith Center, KS.

Funeral Services will be held on Tuesday December 27, 2011 at Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary with Pastor Jim Karg officiating.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday December 27, 2011 from noon until service time at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary.

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

The family requests memorial contributions be made to the Harlan Church or the Gaylord Statue of Liberty fund and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Loren E. Schultz

SMITH CENTER – Loren Schultz, age 76, passed away on Sunday December 18, 2011 at the Smith County Memorial Hospital in Smith Center, KS.

Survivors include his wife Kay of the home; son, Randy of Smith Center; 2 daughters, Sheryl (Duane) Macklin of Smith Center, Lori Schultz of Smith Center, KS; 1 brother, Garry Schultz of Council Bluffs, IA; 3 sisters, Melva Mcguin of Beloit, KS, Nila Smith of Salina, KS, Donna Conrad of Smith Center, KS; 2 grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held at 2PM Tuesday December 20, 2011 at the Church of the Nazarene with Pastor Matt Lucas officiating.

Visitation will be held from 10AM until service time at the church.

Burial will follow in the Fairview cemetery in Smith Center.

The family has requested memorial contributions be made in his name and may be sent in care of the mortuary.



Bill J. Woods

Billy Junior Woods was born to J. W. and Netta (Sterba) Woods at their home in Smith Center on March 28, 1926. Dr. Victor Watts assisted in the birth. Bill was the oldest of 8 children.

Bill attended elementary school at Hummer Grade School south of Smith Center. He attended high school at Harlan, Kansas. Soon after graduating he enlisted in the Army and served two tours of duty during World War II in Germany. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal while serving in the 75th Infantry Division. Bill joined the Army in 1944 and was honorably discharged in 1948 as a Staff Sergeant. Bill is a lifetime member of the local V.F.W.

September 4, 1948 Bill married Ardis Kaup at the First United Methodist Church in Smith Center. They moved to Ft. Riley Kansas and then to Fort Carson Colorado before settling down on a farm south of Smith Center. To this union five children were born: Dianna, Dennis, William, Debra and Roy. Bill was baptized in the First Christian Church in 1970 and served as a Deacon and helped with homebound communion. Bill had been a custom harvester, worked for Anderson Farms, International Harvester and various other jobs before he retired and then did lawn work around Smith Center and Smith County.

Bill was preceded in death by his son Dennis in 1970; his parents J. W. and Netta Woods; brothers Bob, Edgar, Harry Woods; in-laws Roy & Mabel Kaup; brothers-in-law Raymond and wife Jeri Kaup; Bob Kaup; sister-in-law Roberta and husband Ted Wilson.

Bill is survived by his wife of 63 years, Ardis; daughter Dianna (James) Grauerholz of Valley Center, Kansas; William (Le’Ann) Woods of Wichita, Kansas; Debra (Bryan) Tillett of Smith Center, Kansas; Roy (Michele) Woods of McPherson, Kansas. Grandchildren, Bob (Jeanne) Jason, Chad, Kyle, Sean and Tyler Grauerholz; Julie (Tony) Laura, Sarah, Nathan Schaar; Michael Grauerholz; Erica Woods, Austin Woods; Jessica (Brandon), Chayston Berry; Sara (Tyler), Brennan Darnell; Mallory Tillett; Richele Nicole Woods. Survivors also include his brothers Paul (Ava) Woods of Florida; Frank (Chloe) of South Carolina; sisters Rachel (Otto) Rohla of Colby, Kansas; Margaret (Jim) Dykens of Norton, Kansas; sisters-in-law Ann Woods of Oregon; Gladys Woods of Smith Center; Ruby Woods of Florida; and Virgina Kaup of Phillipsburg, Kansas. He has a great grand-daughter due in December and a great grandson due in March.

Funeral services will be held at 2PM on Wednesday December 21, 2011 at the First Christian Church with Pastor Linda Kemp officiating.

Visitation will be held from 5-8 Tuesday at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary and Wednesday from 10AM until service time at the church.

Burial will be near his son, Dennis, in the Fairview Cemetery in Smith Center, Kansas.

The family has requested memorial contributions be made to Hospice Services of Smith County or First Christian Church and may be sent in care of the mortuary.

James L. Gwennap

SMITH CENTER-   James L. Gwennap, age 89, passed away Sunday December 11, 2011 at the Smith County Long Term Care in Smith Center, KS.  He was born April 16, 1922 in Smith County to Floyd Alfred and Mary Ellen (Lewis) Gwennap.  He was a farmer and mail carrier.

Preceded in death by his parents, wife Elisabeth, sisters Mildred and Fern, brother Dale and grandson Chris Parker.

Survivors include sons James P (Mary) of Smith Center, KS;   Eugene (Peggy) of Springfield, MO;   Gale of Bennington, KS; daughters Margaret (Wayne) Parker of Westmoreland, KS and Martha (Tim) Rhoades of Alvo, NE;   brothers Kenneth of Council Bluffs, IA and John of Omaha, NE;   11 grandchildren;   9 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be from 5PM until 8 PM Wednesday December 14, 2011 at the mortuary with the family present from 6PM until 8 PM.

Memorial services will be at 10:30 AM Thursday December 15, 2011 at the Simmons-Rentschler Mortuary with Pastor Dennis Lambert officiating.

Inurnment will follow in the Fairview Cemetery, Smith Center.

Memorial contributions may be given to the James L. and Elisabeth Gwennap Scholarship or Smith County Long Term Care and can be sent in care of the mortuary.





Kurt Bowman

Kurtis Tate Bowman was born April 5, 1971 in Oakley, KS, the second son to Jay and Connie (McGuire) Bowman.

Growing up in Colby, Kurt participated in a variety of activities. In sports he was a multiple-time state placer in kids wrestling, third baseman on Colby’s 1986 State Championship K-18 baseball team, a medalist at State Wrestling, and a decorated lineman in football. Kurt was an active member of 4-H earning Grand Champion ribbons at the State Fair for nine consecutive years.  He participated in Colby High School’s select vocal choir and National Honor Society among other activities. He graduated as a member of the class of 1989.

Kurt attended the University of Kansas, majoring in secondary education. He was a member of Alpha Kappa Lambda fraternity, serving as both house manager and president, a representative on KU’s Panhellenic Association Judicial Board, and a participant in intramural wrestling.  He was a proud and loyal KU alumni, but was unique in that he actually preferred KU football to basketball later in his life.

Following college, Kurt settled in Smith Center where he worked as a paraprofessional and coach at Smith Center High School. The experiences he gained in his first positions coaching football, wrestling, and track shaped his coaching philosophy for the remainder of his career. For his dedication to the sport of wrestling he was awarded the Matt Overmiller Memorial Achievement Award.

In 1999, Kurt married Jessica Hyman of Smith Center. Over the first few years of their marriage, the couple lived in Oberlin and Canton before settling in Hillsboro in 2006.

In 2005, Kurt was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Disease. Even through the challenges he faced with his health and treatments, he refused to let his condition define him. He maintained a positive outlook and was determined to live every moment to the best of his ability. He dedicated himself to the Hillsboro wrestling program both as assistant high school coach and head middle school coach.  In January of 2011, Kurt began classes at Tabor College to earn a degree in special education.  In the spring of this year, he was accepted into the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Kurt passed away at the age of 40, Thursday December 8, 2011, at the Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, KS.

Survivors include his wife Jessica (Hyman) Bowman of Hillsboro, KS; mom Connie (McGuire) Bowman of Smith Center, KS; brother Steven (Connie Sue) of Whitewater, KS;   mother-in-law Rhonda Hyman of Smith Center, KS; niece Cora Bowman of Overland Park, KS; aunts Vae Jene (Don) Herron of Lawrence, KS and Robyn (Daryl) DePeel of Windom, KS; uncle Chuck McGuire of Springfield, MO; and numerous cousins.

Visitation will be Monday December 12, 2011 from 3 PM until 8 PM at the mortuary.

Funeral services will be at 1:30 PM Tuesday December 13, 2011 at the H.W. Lohrenz Building Chapel on Tabor College Campus with Dr. Del Gray officiating.

Burial will be 10:30 AM Wednesday December 14, 2011 at the Cora-Cedar Hill Cemetery, Rural Bellaire, KS.

In lieu of flowers the family strongly requests memorial contributions to the Kurt Bowman Memorial Scholarship and can be sent in care of the mortuary.



Pearl Ratliff

Pearl Pauline Marie Gutzman Ratliff passed away Monday, November 28, 2011 at Prairie Haven Nursing Home in Kensington, at the age of 97.

Pearl and twin brother were born December 17, 1913 at home North of Kensington to Hulda (Wachs) and William Gutzman.  She attended country school and graduated from Kensington High School in 1932.

Pearl met Wayne Ratliff in Kensington on November 11th at the Armistice Day Celebration and were married on February 17, 1934 at her parents’ home.  She was a homemaker and loved to make quilts, do crafts and write letters.

Survivors include 3 daughters Marion (Jerry) Larson of Cedar Falls, IA, Coleen Gale of Phillipsburg, KS and Janice (Gene) Miller of Stockton, KS;   6 sons Kenneth (Janice) Ratliff of Kensington, KS, Lyle (Vergie) Ratliff of Kensington, KS, Alvie (Analee) Ratliff of Athol, KS, Royce (Connie) Ratliff of Phillipsburg, KS, Gerald (Patsy) Ratliff of Glade, KS and Warren (Cindy) Ratliff of Glade, KS;   son-in-law Ralph Kern of Virginia Beach, VA;   brothers Raymond Gutzman and Tommie Gutzman;   54 grandchildren and spouses;   56 great grandchildren and spouses and 2 great great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, twin brother at birth, her husband Wayne in 1990, youngest son Brian in 1960 daughter Dianne
Kern in 2004 and son Dean in 2010, brothers Wayne Gutzman, 2 great grandsons and 2 great granddaughters.

Memorial services will be at 10:30 AM Friday, December 2, 2011 at the United Church of Kensington with Pastor Becky Saddler officiating.

Private family inurnment will be at German Town Cemetery, Rural Kensington, KS.

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

Naomi B. Duntz

On June 25, 1910, Naomi Bell Hartsook was born at Reamsville, Kansas, to Charley and Clara Estella Hartsook.  As a young girl, Naomi gave her heart to the Lord Jesus Christ;   it was at this time her eternal home was established.  Her parents spiritually guided her through Bible study and prayer around the family altar.  In spite of many hardships, she faithfully served the Lord over the years, teaching Sunday School at Reamsville, Gaylord and Smith Center.

Naomi was the granddaughter of David and Amanda Nelson who were among the first settlers in Martin Township.  Grandfather David Nelson assisted in building the Reamsvillle Church.  Naomi was the last close relative to David Nelson.

Naomi attended Pleasant Valley School for her first eight years and went one year to Smith Center High School.  She grew up working on the family farm doing fieldwork, picking corn and doing any task needing to be done.  She also worked for the Smith Center Produce candling eggs and at the switchboard for the Reamsville telephone.

Harold Dohe and Naomi were united in Marriage Septemver 6, 1936.  To this union two children were born, Eldon Eugene and Ava LeAnn.  When Harold passed away in June 1968, Naomi stayed on the farm helping Eldon.  In 1972, she built a new house in Gaylord and lived there until October 1979 when she and Harry Duntz were united in marriage and she moved to Smith Center.  Harry preceded her in death in December 1995.

Naomi passed away November 22, 2011 at the Smith County Long Term Care in Smith Center at the age of 101.

Left to mourn her passing are son Eldon Dohe of Gaylord;   daughter Ava and son-in-law Paul Woods of Melbourne, Florida;   stepson Delvin (Iva Jean) Duntz of Higginsville, Missouri;   stepson Dennis (Jacqueline) Duntz of Smith Center;   three grandchildren, five great grandchildren and one great-great granddaughter.

Visitation will be from 9:00 AM until service time at the Church.

Funeral services will be at 11:00 AM Monday November 28, 2011 at the Grace Baptist Church with Pastor Jennings Hall officiating.

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

In lieu of flowers the family requests memorial contributions be given to the Church and can be sent in care of the mortuary.

Sharleen Kay Allen

SMITH CENTER-   Sharleen K. Allen passed away on Saturday, November 12, 2011.  She was born August 27, 1937 to Fred H. and Laura M. (Caspers) Holthus in Smith Center, Kansas.  She was baptized into the Christian faith on September 12, 1937 and confirmed on June 3, 1951 at Zion Lutheran Church, north of Athol.  She graduated from Smith Center High School and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Fort Hays State.

She married Claude L. Allen on August 7, 1960.  She was a teacher, homemaker, Lebanon City Clerk and did other odd jobs in the community.  She was an active member at First St. John Lutheran Church, Kensington and the Hub Club in Lebanon.  She was active in the U.S. Postal Auxiliary, receiving an Outstanding Auxiliary Member award in 2005.  She also sat on several election boards and even served as Committeewoman of the Republican Party.  She was a member of the American Legion Auxiliary.  She was a trustee for the Ellen Rust Living Trust (Home on the Range Cabin).  She enjoyed cooking for the family and community.

She is preceded in death by her parents, son James C. Allen, two infant grandsons, and brother in law Don Allen and sister-in-law Janice Allen.  Survivors include husband, Claude of the home;   son John and wife Arlyce and grandchildren Joshua and Hannah of Topeka;   daughter-in-law Patricia Campbell and husband Steve and grandchildren Marcus and Austin Allen, and Skyler, Tanner and Linsey Campbell of Portis;   brother El Dean and wife Kathy of Smith Center;   brother Allen and wife Barbara of Lake View, MN;   11 nieces and nephews, many great nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

Visitation will be from 5 PM until 8 PM Tuesday November 15, 2011 with the family present from 6:30 PM until 7:30 PM at the mortuary.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 AM Wednesday November 16, 2011 at the First St John Lutheran Church in Kensington, KS with Pastor Dave Hutson officiating.

Burial will be at 1:30 PM at Price Cemetery, Rural Lebanon, KS with a reception following in Lebanon, KS.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions can be made to The American Cancer Society or The First St John Lutheran Church of Kensington and can be sent in care of the mortuary.