Category Archives: Obituaries

Kenneth Rothrock, 76, WHS graduate: Aug. 24, 1939 – July 17, 2016

Kenneth Rothrock

Kenneth Rothrock

Kenneth Martin Rothrock, 76, died peacefully early Sunday July 17, 2016 at The Wood County Hospital after a battle with an aggressive form of lung cancer. His wife, son, and step son were at his bedside.

He was born in Caldwell, August 24, 1939 to Kenneth Marvin Rothrock and Burchie (Hodges) Rothrock. He grew up in Wellington, attended Wellington High School where he excelled academically and served as the student body president.

Kenneth went on to obtain a Bachelors of Science in Education and a PhD in Sociology from the University of Kansas. He was a member of ATO Fraternity and enjoyed their reunions over the years.

After earning his PhD he taught Sociology at Bowling Green State University for 28 years, including time as the assistant dean of Arts and Sciences.

In retirement, he and his wife Joan operated the Silver Spoon Antiques business. He also supported and volunteered for the Toledo Metro Parks and the Toledo Botanical Gardens.

(Updated) Kenneth Hallman, 76, Wellington: March 5, 1940 – July 21, 2016

Hallman, Kenneth plus Dog

Kenneth Hallman

Kenneth R. Hallman died Thursday, July 21, 2016 at his home in Wellington at the age of 76.

Kenneth was born the son of Franklin and Bertha (Rush) Hallman on Thursday, March 04, 1940 in Hunnewell.

Survivors include his children: Stephen Hallman of Hunnewell, Lisa Hallman of Texas, Gary Hallman of Blackwell, Oklahoma, Franklin Hallman of Wichita and Kevin Bowen (Courtney) of Goshen, Indiana, sister, Kay Bigler (Bob) of Wellington; sister, Geri DeBuhr of Green Valley, Arizona; twelve grandchildren; sixteen great-grandchildren, his dear friends, Jim and Donna Newell; sister-in-law, Debbie Hallman of Hunnewell and his faithful companion, Izzy the Pomeranian. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Henry E. Hallman.

Jane Robinson, 74, Oxford: Oct. 11, 1941 – July 16, 2016

Jane Robinson

Jane Robinson

Jane Robinson, 74, of  Oxford died Saturday, July 16, 2016 at her home under the care of her loving family in Oxford.

Graveside Funeral Services will be held at 1 p.m., Wednesday, July 20, at the Oxford Cemetery. No public visitation is scheduled.  A memorial has been established with the local food bank and the Salvation Army and may be left with Oxford Funeral Service. Burial will be at the Oxford Cemetery. Arrangements are with Oxford Funeral Service. For further information please visit

Mary Jane Robinson was born on October 11, 1941 the daughter of Tracy and Leona (Holowell) Gogley. Jane was a 1960 High School graduate in Bolsa Grande, CA. On January 30, 1961 she was united in marriage with  Doy Robinson. Jane was a homemaker who also worked for the City of Gravette, Arkansas as well as the school cafeteria in Conway Springs and Wellington, KS. Jane enjoyed birds, plants and gardening. She dearly loved her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Dianne Gray, 71, Winfield: Oct. 3, 1944 – July 8, 2016

Diane Gray

Diane Gray

Dianne Gray, 71, of Winfield, died Friday, July 8, 2016 at the Serenity Senior Retreat in Wellington.

Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, July 15, at the Oxford Funeral Service Chapel. Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 14, from 12 to 8 p.m., with the family receiving friends from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Oxford Funeral Service Chapel. 

A memorial has been established with Serenity Senior Retreat in Wellington and may be left with Oxford Funeral Service. Burial will be at the Oxford Cemetery. Arrangements are with Oxford Funeral Service. For further information please visit

John Nickel, 90, Wellington: Dec. 4, 1925 – July 1, 2016

John P. Nickel, 90, of Wellington, died early Friday morning, July 1, 2016 at Golden Living Center in Wellington. He was a retired aircraft machinist.

John Peter Nickel was born on December 4, 1925 in Fairview, Okla. to Peter P. Nickel and Mary H. (Loewen) Nickel.  He served in the United States Marines Corps during WWII from 1944-1948.

He is preceded in death by his parents; one brother and four sisters.

Survivors include his son Mark Nickel; and many nieces and nephews.

Robert ‘Bob’ Meridith, 78, Wellington: Dec. 17, 1937 – July 6, 2016

Meridith, Bob

Bob Meridith

Robert “Bob” Meridith, of Wellington, died Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice in Wichita at the age of 78.

Bob was born the son of Lois (Olmstead) and Jasper Meridith on Friday, December 17, 1937 in Hutchinson.

On February 23, 1957, Robert and Sandra Adams were united in marriage in Argonia. Together they celebrated 59 years of marriage.

Bob owned a Mobil service station in Wichita and was later the service station mechanic at Texaco in Wellington. Bob then went on to be the Shipping/Receiving Manager for Precision Machining in Wellington and retired after 23 years. He was a car enthusiast all his life, enjoyed working in the garage and NASCAR on Sunday afternoons. Above all, Bob was a devoted family man that loved his grandchildren and the time he spent getting them to and from events and appointments. He will be missed by many.

Survivors include his wife, Sandra Meridith of Wellington; daughter, Lisa Meridith of Wellington; daughter, Laura Anderson (Nathan) of Halstead; son, Brian Meridith (Marci) of Oxford; brother, Bill Meridith (Judy) of Wellington; sister, Janet Leddy (Andy) of Conway Springs; sister, Judy Casner (Jack) of Milton, grandchildren: Brendan, Jenna, Tia, Kalin, Ashtyn, Adam, Dray, Brittin, Elizabeth, Taylor and Cayden along with many nieces and nephews.

Wanda May (Stanford) Kerr, 82, Anthony: March 4, 1934 – July 4, 2016

Wanda Kerr web picWanda May (Stanford) Kerr, age 82, went to be with the Lord on Monday evening, July 4th, 2016 in Anthony, Kansas.

Wanda was born on March 4, 1934, 6 miles southwest of Cherokee, Oklahoma, the daughter of Alpha and Anna May Stanford.  She graduated from Capron High School, Capron, Oklahoma in 3 years and went off to college at Northwestern in Alva, Oklahoma.  She graduated from college in 1955 with a Bachelors of Science degree in education.  She wanted to be a teacher!  Wanda taught 4th grade in Caldwell, Kansas for 12 years and taught 1st and 2nd grade in Haysville, Kansas for 22 years.

Wanda was married to Willis Kerr on July 26th, 1959 in Caldwell, Kansas.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Caldwell, Kansas and served there as a Sunday School  teacher.  She was also a member of Eastern Star and served in many leadership roles.

Lois Barth, 88, Wichita: March 25, 1928 – June 29, 2016

Loia Barth

Lois Barth

Lois N. Barth, 88, of Wichita died Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at her home surrounded by family in Wichita.

Lois was born on March 25, 1928 in Conway Springs, Kansas the daughter of Homer and Velma (Trollope) Harris. Lois and Laurence “Sonny” Barth were united in marriage on Sept. 14, 1947 in Wellington. Together they celebrated 50 years of marriage before his passing in 1998. Lois retired after 22 years as a Marketing Sales Manager with Great Plains Industries.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, brother, Dr. Jesse L. Harris. Survivors include her loving companion Cecil Berry of Norco, CA, children, Craig (Valerie) Barth of Wichita, Larry (Christine) Barth of El Dorado, grandchildren, Clayton (Katie) Barth of Wichita, Michelle (Kenny) Linson of El Dorado, Jimmy (April) Smith of Augusta and 6 great-grandchildren.

John H. Palmer, 82, Wellington: August 24, 1953 – June 28, 2016

John H. Palmer

John H. Palmer

John H. Palmer, age 82, of Wellington, died early Tuesday morning, June 28, 2016 at William Newton Memorial Hospital in Winfield. He was a retired aircraft machinist.

John H. Palmer was born on December 13, 1933 in Kansas City, Kans. to James Luther Palmer and Hannah Marie (Murrell) Palmer.  He served in the United States Air Force from 1952-1956.

John married Betty Lou Chancellor on August 24, 1953 in Seward, AK. She preceded him in death on August 12, 2003.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Betty; and three brothers.

Forest ‘Gene’ Turney, 84, Udall: January 7, 1932 – June 28, 2016

Forest Gene Turney

Forest Gene Turney

Forest “Gene” Turney, age 84, of Udall, died early Tuesday morning, June 28, 2016 at William Newton Memorial Hospital in Winfield. He was a retired farmer and agronomist.

Forest Gene Turney was born on January 7, 1932 in rural Peck to Forest L. Turney and Mary Belle (Swan) Turney.

Gene married Anita S. Blankenship on August 26, 1956 in Udall, KS. She preceded him in death on April 29, 2013.

He served in the United States Army in Germany during the Korean War from 1952-1954.

He enjoyed spending time with his family, friends and neighbors and was an avid K-State alumni.

He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Anita; infant brother, Russell; and sister Barbara Sears.

Arthur Johnson, 87, Oxford: Feb. 4, 1929 – June 25, 2016

Arthur Johnson

Arthur Johnson

Arthur M. Johnson, 87, of Oxford died Saturday, June 25, 2016 at the Kansas Veterans Home in Winfield.

Funeral Services will be held at 10 a.m., Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at the Oxford Christian Church. Visitation will be held on June 28, 2016 from 12 until 8 p.m., with the family receiving friends from 5 to 7 p.m. at Oxford Funeral Service Chapel. Memorials have been established with the Kansas Veterans Home and Oxford Church of Christ and may be left with Oxford Funeral Service. Burial will be at the Oxford Cemetery. Arrangements are with Oxford Funeral Service. For further information please visit

Arthur Milton Johnson was born on February 4, 1929, the son of John and Ruth (Putnam) Johnson in Spencer, NE. He was known to his family and friends as Art or Johnny. He graduated from Spencer Nebraska High School in 1946 and joined the U.S. Air Force in 1948 and was a training mechanics instructor. Following service he worked briefly for O’Neill Outlaw Grocery and then for H.C. Leach Oil Field Construction. He worked on in-flight refueling and rebuilding helicopters during the Vietnam War.

Ila Mitchell, 95, Wellington: July 21, 1920 – June 16, 2016

Ila Mitchell

Ila Mitchell

Ila M. Mitchell, age 95, of Wellington, died early Thursday morning, June 16, 2016.  She was a homemaker and lifelong Wellington resident.

Ila M. Mitchell was born on July 21, 1920 in Wellington, KS to William A. Bowman and Coral L. (Rowe) Bowman.

Ila married William A. “Bill” Mitchell on April 27, 1942 in Newkirk, OK.  He preceded her in death in 1990.

She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bill; two brothers, Bert Bowman and Bill Bowman and one sister, Shirley Romig.

Tom Countryman, 68, Drury: Jan. 15, 1948 – June 9, 2016

Tom Countryman

Tom Countryman

Thomas Leigh Countryman was born January 15, 1948 in Wellington, to Cliff and Velma Countryman.  He died June 9, 2016 at the Via Christi St. Francis Hospital in Wichita at the age of 68.

He is a 1966 graduate of Caldwell High School, and his class will celebrate their 50th reunion this October.

Tom married Nancy Lea Stewart on May 31, 1968 at the Central Christian Church in Caldwell.  To this union, a daughter Amber Lee, was born.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in Humanities and Religion from Phillips University, Enid, Okla. in 1970, and served as youth minister in Burbank, Calif. in the early 1970’s.

Tom and Nancy lived in Enid, Okla. when they first married, until moving to California in the 1970’s and eventually moved back to Kansas.

In 1984, they fell in love with and moved to Drury

Stephen Allen Drumhiller, 61, Wichita: August 6, 1954 – June 4, 2016

Stephen Allen Drumhiller departed this life on June 4, 2016 in Wichita at the age of 61.

Steve was born in Wellington on August 6, 1954, the son of Dean Signor Drumhiller and Veralita Fay (Wager) Drumhiller. Steve graduated from the Argonia school system, and then attended Kansas State University, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in 1976. He graduated from law school at Kansas University, and worked as a law clerk for a federal judge. Steve returned to school at KU and got an additional bachelor’s degree in accounting. He worked as an accountant for small businesses until the time of his death. He was also owner of Wichita Duplicate Bridge Center.

Steve was a man of many “likes”. He enjoyed a number of outdoor activities including hiking, running, biking, canoeing, mountain climbing, geocaching, and munzeeing. He liked the Patriots and the Shockers. He was an avid bridge player. Steve liked game nights with friends, and enjoyed teaching new games. He was a master of trivia and word games–many family members would no longer play those games with him because you knew Steve would always be the winner. Any visit with Steve’s brothers or sister was incomplete without at least one round of geocaching. Steve always had the stamina to “look for one more”, even when tromping through snow in the cold in Massachusetts.

Steve was a member of the West Douglas Church of Christ, where he served the Lord as treasurer. He had put on Christ in baptism at an early age, and remained faithful to death.

Marcia Abasolo, 72, Wellington: Jan. 31, 1944 – June 6, 2016

Marcia Abasolo

Marcia Abasolo

Marcia L. Abasolo, of Wellington, died Monday, June 6, 2016 at Wellington Health and Rehab at the age of 72.

Marcia was born the daughter of Marion and Inez (Whitten) Krumrey on Monday, January 31, 1944 in Wichita. Her parents preceded her in death. 

Her caring and loving nature served her well as a CNA for many years in the home health industry. She will be missed by many.

Survivors include her son, Kevin Pruitt and his wife Joanna of Wellington; daughter, Rhonda Owens of Wellington; daughter, Andrea McCarty of Wichita; son, Scott Pruitt and his wife Shannon of Wellington, Kansas, grandchildren: Emma Carpenter, Dusttin Norton, Mallory Norton, Sean Owens and his wife Jewell, Stephanie Beauchamp, Evyn Beauchamp, Sierra McCarty, Eric Pruitt and Mariah Pruitt; 5 great-grandchildren and her brother, Ken Krumrey and his wife Nancy of Longmont, Colorado.  

Richard Eugene Shofner, 73, Wellington native: Oct. 12, 1942 – June 5, 2016

Richard Shofner

Richard Shofner

Richard Eugene Shofner, age 73, of Blue Eye, Missouri, died at home Sunday, June 5, 2016, surrounded by his loving family. He was born October 12, 1942, in Wellington, the son of Robert and Bernice Shofner. Richard was joined in marriage to his loving wife Delores on September 4, 1985. Arrangements are under the direction of Cremations of the Ozarks. In following with Richards wishes, he has donated his body to the Genesis Program’s Medical Education and Research Institute.

Richard served our nation in the U.S. Navy. He was a firefighter and EMT with the Wellington, Kansas Fire Department for 31 years. He enjoyed fishing, mini golf and playing games, especially Sequence and Phase-10. Most of all, Richard loved his family, his churches in both Hollister and Wellington, and serving God. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.

Richard is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Delores Shofner of the home; his children, Robert Joe Shofner and wife Kim of Cameron Park, California, Lenora Davis and husband Chuck of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, Clayton Dodds of Hollister, Missouri, Viola Evans and husband Dean of Towanda, Kansas and Kevin Dodds and wife Jami of Wellington, Kansas; 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents and an infant brother.

Florence Ruth Titus, 93, Mulvane: Jan. 20, 1923 – June 5, 2016

Florence Ruth Titus, age 93, of Mulvane, died Sunday, June 5, 2016 at her home.  Florence was a homemaker and had been a resident of Mulvane since 2000.

Florence Ruth Titus was born on January 10, 1923 in Wellington, to Edwin Dailey and Ruth (Ready) Dailey.

She married James Robert Titus on March 8, 1941 in Newkirk, OK.  He preceded her in death in 2004.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, James; and an infant sister.

Lowell Thomas ‘Junior’ Coggins, 80, Oxford: Feb. 6, 1936 – May 31, 2016

Lowell Coggins

Lowell Coggins

Lowell Thomas “Junior” Coggins, 80, died May 31, 2016 at his home in Oxford surrounded by his loving family.

Graveside services will be held at the Oxford Cemetery on Friday, June 3 at 2 p.m. No visitation is scheduled. Memorial contributions for Lowell can be made out to the Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice and may be left in care of Shelley Family Funeral Home of Winfield.

Lowell Thomas “Junior” Coggins was born on February 6, 1936 in Cowley County to proud parents Thomas Lowell and Agnes (Dennett) Coggins. Lowell graduated from Arkansas City High School in 1953, after graduating he joined the National Guard and served from 1953-1956. On December 27, 1970 in Miami, Okla. Lowell was united in marriage to the love of his life, Marrietta (Whaley). Lowell loved staying busy, he was a hard worker and after spending 15 years in South Texas in the seafood industry, he worked in a variety of trades such as: maintenance for schools in the area, the Shangri La, Okla. golf course, the oilfields, and for Skyline Corporation. When he wasn’t working Lowell like to play Texas Hold ‘em, he enjoyed being a member of the Arkansas City American Legion Post #18, and he loved to fish. But most of all he loved to spend time with his family, especially his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Malissa (Hernandez) Smith, 47, Wellington: Dec. 11, 1968 – May 29, 2016

Marissa Smith

Malissa Smith

Malissa Ann (Hernandez) Smith died Sunday, May 29, 2016 at her home in Wellington at the age of 47. She was a Certified Nurses Assistant for several years in the healthcare industry.

Malissa was born on Wednesday, December 11, 1968 in Wellington. Her parents are Deloris “Bobbi” (Gifford) Bradford and Bernardo “Joe” Hernandez. 

On January 7, 1991, Malissa and Corey D. Smith were united in marriage in Newkirk, Oklahoma.

Survivors include her daughter, Megin Bannister and her husband Colby; daughter, Molly Smith; son, Levi Tate; mother, Deloris “Bobbi” Bradford; sister, Cindy Martin and her husband Rick and grandchildren: Trenton, Dustin, Colton and Karstin Bannister all of Wellington.  

She was preceded in death by her father, Bernardo “Joe” Hernandez; step-father, Major Wayne Bradford and husband, Corey Smith.

Iris Darlene Whitley, 92, Sumner County resident: Feb. 23, 1924 – May 30, 2016

Iris Darlene Whitley

Iris Darlene Whitley

Iris Darlene Whitley, age 92, life time resident of Sumner County, died Monday morning, May 30, 2016 at Medical Lodge of Oxford.  Iris was a homemaker.

Iris Darlene (Knox) Whitley was born on February 23, 1924 in South Haven to Clarence Knox and Gretchen (Ramsey) Knox.

She married Ernest E. Whitley on February 28, 1942 in South Haven.  He preceded her in death in 2004.  They had lived in the Wellington area for 70 years.

She enjoyed spending time with her family, attending church and its various functions, and making baby quilts, and caring for her cats.

She is preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Ernest; two brothers, Richard and Kendall Knox; and one sister, Mary Howsden.

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