Category Archives: Obituaries

John Calvin Moore, Jr., 89, Wellington: April 1, 1927 – Feb. 27, 2017

John Moore

John Calvin Moore, Jr., age 89, lifelong resident of Wellington, died early Monday morning, February 27, 2017 at Sumner Regional Medical Center.  John was a retired conductor with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad where he enjoyed working for 53 years.

John was born on April 1, 1927 in Wellington, KS to John C. Moore, Sr. and Alice (Shafer) Moore.  He served in the United States Navy during WWII from July 30, 1943 – February 14, 1946.

John and Sandy were married on December 31, 1994 in Las Vegas, Nev.

He was a hard working man who enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, shooting craps, blackjack, fishing and boating, telling jokes and stories, KU basketball, Kansas City Chiefs, and coloring. John was a member of the American Legion, the V.F.W., and the U.T.U. His favorite part of the day was 5:00.

Leila Lou Hemmingsen, 84, formerly of Wellington: Dec. 3, 1932 – Feb. 25, 2017

Leila Lou Hemmingsen

Leila Lou Hemmingsen, of Topeka, died Saturday, February 25, 2017 at Aldersgate Village in Topeka at the age of 84.

Leila was born the daughter of Melvin Camden and Cecilia (Wieland) Gass on Saturday, December 3, 1932 in Hastings, Nebraska and attended the Hastings Public Schools where she graduated in 1950.

A 1954 graduate of Hastings College, she taught public school music in Grand Island, Nebraska; Denver, Colorado; Salina and Wellington. While in Denver, she sang with the Denver Opera Company.

Leila served as choir director for the First Presbyterian Church and St. Johns Lutheran Church as well as a Sunday School teacher and Treasurer of First Presbyterian Church. On August 18, 1956, Leila and Christopher Hemmingsen were united in marriage in Hastings, Nebraska.

Steven Miles Harris, 68, Wellington: Sept. 10, 1972 – Feb. 24, 2017

Steven Miles Harris,of Wellington, died Friday, February 24, 2017 at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, at the age of 68.

Steven was born the son of Dale and Mildred Ethel (Wilson) Harris on Tuesday, February 8, 1949 in Winfield. He attended schools in Winfield and graduated from Winfield High School. 

On September 10, 1972 Steven and Tricia Jones were united in marriage in Winfield. Together they celebrated 44 years of marriage.

Steven enjoyed a 28 year career at TECT Aerospace as grounds keeper. Outside of work, he enjoyed the company of his family, friends and neighbors. 

Clint Whaley, 60, Caldwell: April 26, 1956 – Feb. 23, 2017

Clint Whaley

Clint R. Whaley, age 60, long time resident of Caldwell, died Thursday, February 23, 2017 at his home.

Whaley was born on April 26, 1956 in Wellington, to Ed Lincoln Whaley and Billie June (Ray) Whaley.

Clint married Wanda Sue Ginn on July 3, 1975 in Corbin.

He enjoyed spending time with his family, hunting, trapping, fishing, building furniture with Wanda, and being outdoors.

He was preceded in death by his father, E. L. Whaley and son-in-law, George Berline.

Margaret “Peggy” Shore, 90, Oxford: July 2, 1926 – Feb. 23, 2017

Peggy Shore

Margaret “Peggy” Shore, 90 of Oxford, died Thursday, February 23 in Augusta.

Margaret Lee Trimmer Shore was born July 2, 1926 the daughter of Marshall and Velma (Ford) Trimmer in Blackwell, OK. She was a high school graduate and attended 2 years of college. She was united in marriage with Delos Shore on Feb 28, 1981 in Oxford, KS.

Peggy worked for Wesley Hospital for a number of years as an LPN. She was an active member of the Oxford Christian Church, the Eastern Star since 1947, a life member of the V.F.W. Auxiliary #881 in Wellington, the American Legion #90 in Wellington and a life member of the V.F.W. National Home for Children.

Survivors include her son, Robert Snook and wife Anna of Elmer, OK and daughters; Paula Jackson and husband Norman of Stiegler, OK and Vickie Jackson and husband Rick of Augusta, KS, brothers Fred Trimmer of Flagler, CO and Richard Trimmer of Chico, CA, 3grand daughters Crystal Jackson, Alicia Jackson and Shonda Glenn, 2 grandsons, Mike Black and J.D. Snook as well as several great grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Polly Lattimer, 84, Wellington: June 16, 1932 – Feb. 23, 2017

Polly Lattimer

Polly A. Lattimer, age 84, died Thursday morning, February 23, 2017 at Botkin Care & Rehab Center in Wellington, KS.

Polly Ann (Gammon) Lattimer was born on June 16, 1932 to Chester and Frances Gammon. She graduated from Covington High School in Garber, Okla.

She married Wilbur Raymond Lattimer on June 4, 1956 in Athens, Pa. He passed away in 1990.

She enjoyed with her family, playing bingo and reading.

Evelyn Irene Stratton, 83, Wellington, funeral services are Wednesday

Evelyn Stratton

Evelyn Stratton

Evelyn Irene Stratton, 83, died Sunday, February 19, 2017. Funeral Service will be at 10 a.m., Wednesday, February 22, 2017, at Downing & Lahey East Mortuary.

Burial will follow at 3 p.m., at Sumner County Memorial Gardens, Wellington. Preceded in death by her husband, Jake Stratton; son, Randy Stratton; parents, Joseph and Bertha Rucker. Survived by her daughter, Joy (Allen) Lowry; son, Jim (Teresa) Stratton; 6 grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established with: Interim HealthCare of Wichita, 9920 E. Harry St., Wichita, KS 67207; and Wellington Senior Center, 308 S. Washington Ave., Wellington, KS 67152. Share tributes online at:

Vera Elizabeth Struble, 97, Caldwell: funeral services will be held Monday

Vera Struble

Vera Struble

Vera Elizabeth Ames was born July 27, 1919 to Elmer and Sarah Ames on her family homestead in Grant County Oklahoma.  She attended New Hope Grade School one mile from her home in Grant County.  She graduated from Caldwell High School in 1937.  She was always proud of her roots and enjoyed attending CHS Homecoming.

Her life changed when friends introduced her to a tall, handsome gentleman, Ivan Struble her Freshman year at CHS.  After graduation, Vera attended and completed business College in Wichita.  In 1943, while Ivan was still in the army, Ivan and Vera were married in Boluxi, Mississippi. To this union four children were born, Sharon, Steve, Sue and Shelley.

Vera was the ultimate farm wife and mother and took a lot of pride in both roles.  She made clothing for her children and was a great cook.  For many years, she helped with a variety of 4-H projects including dress reviews at the Grant County Fair.  She was a member of the Red Bud Club in Grant County for over sixty years and so loved the many friendships made in this club and others.

Edna Mae May, 93, Caldwell: Feb. 24, 1923 – Feb. 15, 2017

Edna May

Edna May

Edna Mae May of Caldwell died February 15, 2017 at the age of 93.

Edna was born February 24, 1923, the daughter of Lauren Tatum Wykes and Elizabeth Wykes, the youngest of 18 siblings. She was raised on a small farm in northern Oklahoma.

She met and married Clarence David Harbison of Caldwell at a young age.  Together they had three children, David, Darlene and Dwain.  They followed their dreams to southern California and were together for thirteen years.  In California she met her second husband, George May.  They stayed in California working together until it was time to retire, then they decided to call Caldwell their home.

Edna had quite a few hobbies, she loved trying her luck at the local casinos, and was always first to the car when the opportunity arose.  She enjoyed spending time at the Caldwell Senior Center playing games and visiting with friends.

Les Cook, 77, Checotah, Okla.: Dec. 24, 1939 – Feb. 3, 2017

Les Cook

Les Cook

Les Cook, of Checotah, Okla., died Friday, February 3, 2017 at his home at the age of 77.

Les was born the son of Raymond and Bessie (Tracy) Cook on Sunday, December 24, 1939 in Harper. Les was a graduate of Conway Springs High School. Following high school, he began his career as a machinist in the aircraft industry where he retired at the age of 50. After retirement, Les lived in many places and especially loved Colorado where he lived for over 10 years. He also enjoyed hunting and fishing.

Survivors include his daughter, Jona Edgerton of Winfield; son, Brian Cook (Lorraine) of Wellington; son Brett Cook of Monte Vista, Colorado; sister, Shirley Zerener of Arkansas City, Kans. and grandchildren: Tiffany, Adam, Kyle, Shakirah, Brandi, Chris, Ashley and many great-grandchildren. He will be missed by many.  He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, Betty; brothers, Larry and Dale Cook, daughter, Julie Saville and great granddaughters Abagail and Hannah.

James Loughmiller, 24, Wellington: August 4, 1992 – Feb. 10, 2017

James Loughmiller

James Loughmiller

James Atley Loughmiller slipped into eternal peace on Feb. 10, 2017 in Emporia. He was born August 4, 1992 in Wellington. He was the middle of three sons blessed to Joan and Jerry Loughmiller of Wellington.

As a young child, he began to display a lifelong interest in nature and its creatures. His friendship extended to countless stray animals he brought in as pets. He took on the role early in life as the “entertainer and ham” in the family, and a more kind-hearted kid would be hard to find.

James was a loving son, brother, cousin and friend to many. He was known for his caring and humorous demeanor, and he was naturally quiet and reserved, but was willing to step out of his comfort zone to lend a smile to others.

He attended Washington Elementary, Wellington Middle School and then Wellington High. James spent his summers working as a lifeguard at the Wellington Family Aquatic Center. He was a proud Wellington Crusader who participated in an array of sports.

Rodney Jay Cook, 77, Caldwell: June 24, 1939 – Feb. 7, 2017

Rod Cook

Rod Cook

Rodney Jay Cook died on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at the Clearwater Village Assisted Living Center in Clearwater, Kansas.

Rod was born to Perry Jay Cook and Opal May Cook on June 24, 1939 in Caldwell, Kansas.  Rod had two siblings, Louis Vern Cook and Lois Kathryn Croft.  They learned about life and made lots of friends in the small town of Caldwell, Kansas.  While Lois roller skated up and down the neighborhood road, Rod and LV swam with friends at Bluff Creek. 

Rod graduated high school in 1957.  His first car was a 1949 Oldsmobile.  Shortly after high school Rod joined the Air Force in 1959.  He was stationed in France and worked as a military police dog handler.  While in France, Rod spent some time traveling.  After returning from France, Rod met Elaine Turner in which they had two children, David Russell Cook and Gretta Nike Wise. 

Shirley Stocker, 77, Wellington: Oct. 26, 1939 – Feb. 8, 2017

Shirley Stocker

Shirley Stocker

Shirley Stocker, 77, of Wellington died Wednesday, Feb.  8, 2017 at Brookdale East Senior Living in Wichita.

Funeral Services will be held at 1 p.m., Saturday, February 11, 2017 at the First Christian Church in Wellington. Interment will be Attica Cemetery. Visitation will be held Friday, February 10, from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Shelley Family Funeral home in Wellington. No family night is scheduled.

In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established with the First Christian Church and may be left with the Shelley Family Funeral Home 704 N. Washington Ave., Wellington, Kans. 67152. Arrangements are with Shelley Family Funeral Home of Wellington. For further information please visit

“Skippy” (Downing) Fortmeyer, 95, Caldwell: March 23, 1921 – Feb. 2, 2017

"Skippy" Fortmeyer

“Skippy” Fortmeyer

Elwanda “Skippy” Sylvia (Downing) Fortmeyer, 95, died February 2, 2017 at the Catholic Care Center in Wichita. She was born on March 23, 1921 on her family’s farm near Renfrow, Okla.

Growing up in an extended farming family during the Great Depression, Skippy worked the fields with her parents, Francis B. and Rosa E. (Kottas) Downing, and three siblings, Naomi (“Pat”), Harley (“Bud”), and Georgia.  Legend has she was also fond of skipping around the farm, leading her father to dub her “Skipper,” which changed over time to “Skippy,” a name that would stick for life.

After attending District 17, a rural school near Renfrow, Okla., she spent two years at Gore Consolidated High School before graduating from Medford High School in Medford, Okla., in 1938. Upon turning 18 the next year, she moved to Wichita where she attended Wichita Business College and worked full-time at Beech Aircraft in the materials control department.

Centenarian Ruth Hatton, 101, Wellington: Feb. 7, 1916 – Feb. 7, 2017

Ruth Hatton

Ruth Hatton

Ruth Earnestine Hatton died on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at Sumner Regional Medical Center in Wellington, on her 101st birthday.

Ruth was born the daughter of Cornelius Walter and Alice Emeline (Osborn) Springgate on Monday, February 7, 1916 at the family farm in Portland. She attended a one-room country school through 7th grade. Her family then moved to Wellington where she finished and graduated in 1934. 

On September 11, 1938, Ruth and Jess Hatton were united in marriage in Topeka. Together they celebrated 26 years of marriage before his passing in 1965. They had three children: Jeanne, James and John. Ruth was active in all their projects and events through the years. 

Ruth worked at several places including Wright’s Creamery and Dick’s Drive-In. She spent many years at Davis Paint Store where she continued working for Bob and Martha Anderson and later for John and Cheryl Heimer as it was made into a decorating center. Later in life Ruth moved to the Wheat Capital Manor and spent her last four years at Cherished Friends where she enjoyed the many activities and friends she could make. Of most importance to Ruth was her Christian faith. She and her family were lifelong members of the Church of Christ. 

Mary Elizabeth Mason, 96, Wellington: Aug. 27, 1920 – Feb. 5, 2017

Mary Elizabeth Mason

Mary Elizabeth Mason

On February 5, 2017 Mary Elizabeth Mason went home to be with her Lord and Savior.  She was born on August 27, 1920 and was the first child born to Charles and Hattie Oldenburg.  Mary graduated from South Haven High School in 1938.  Mary married Melvin Warren Mason on April 2, 1943.

The couple made their homestead northwest of South Haven where Mary and Melvin farmed together for 47 years retiring in 1988 and moved to Wellington.  Through those years of their life together on the farm Mary was Melvin’s constant companion, hired hand, and friend.  Through those years together on the farm they raised wheat and other grains and raised livestock as well.

Mary was known to drive the truck during harvest, tractors when needed, help tend to the livestock, and run errands.  She was truly a farm wife, Mother, and handyman (woman) on the farm.  You never saw one that the other wasn’t with them until Melvin’s passing on July 13, 2011.  Mary and Melvin were married 68 years.

Tony Eugene Martin, 62, Wellington: Oct. 19, 1954 – Feb. 1, 2017

Tony Martin

Tony Martin

Tony Eugene Martin died unexpectedly Wednesday, February 1, 2017 at his home in Wellington,  at the age of 62. 

Tony was born the son of Donald R. and Winona (Troutman) Martin on Tuesday, October 19, 1954 in Wellington. On September 5, 1992, Tony and Angela Wolford were united in marriage in Oxford, Kansas. Together they celebrated 24 years of marriage.

Tony was a man of faith and served Jesus Christ. His love for the Lord carried over toward his love for others. Many will remember Tony from his years as a master electrician in the community. He began his career working for his father and with his brother at Martin’s Electric Company before eventually owning his business, Tony’s Electric Company. Outside of work, Tony was a lover of music and in particular the guitar. He loved picking and listening with his family and friends. Tony will be missed by many.

Vina Viola (Wood) Guinn, 92, Wellington: Feb. 2, 1924 – Jan. 29, 2017

Vi Guinn photo

Vi Guinn

Vina Viola (Wood) Guinn, aged 92, was born on February 2, 1924 to Everett Earl Wood and Mary Alta (Billings) Wood of Wellington. Vi was a lifelong resident of Wellington and she attended Second Ward School and Wellington High School. In high school, she met a boy in study hall and they became high school sweethearts. Alfred Washington Guinn proposed to Vi at the Wellington Regent and they were married February 27, 1942.

Vi later graduated from WHS in May of that year. After Alfred was deployed in World War II, Vi manufactured aircraft parts at Clark’s and Starts in Wellington as part of the war effort. They celebrated 69 years of marriage together and were blessed with five children. She was a homemaker who worked part time at Anderson Paints and later worked as a substitute secretary at Kennedy Elementary for many years.

Melvina Smith, 88, Wellington: Dec. 24, 1928 – Jan. 27, 2017

Melvina Smith

Melvina Smith

Melvina Smith, of Wellington, died Friday, January 27, 2017 at Sumner Regional Medical Center in Wellington at the age of 88.

Melvina was born the daughter of Jay B. and Sarah Jane (Raper) Earp on Monday, December 24, 1928 in Ketchum, Oklahoma. She graduated from Jay High School in Jay, Oklahoma in 1946.

On December 23, 1946, Melvina and Jackson McLain were united in marriage in Oswego. Together they had two sons: Franklin and Robert. She later married John F. Smith on August 19, 1955 in Liberal and celebrated 19 years of marriage before his passing in 1974. Together they were blessed with 3 children: David, Cole and Barbara.

Warren Rohrer, 95, Caldwell: June 3, 1921 – Jan. 24, 2017

Warren Rohrer

Warren Rohrer

Warren Rohrer was born June 3, 1921 in Caldwell to Clayton Rohrer and Martha (King) Rohrer. He died January 24, 2017 in Wichita, KS at the age of 95.

Rohrer was raised on a farm in Caldwell with his 3 brothers and 2 sisters and later entered the U.S. Army Air Force serving with the 8th Air Force, 44th Bomb Group, 507th Squadron stationed in Shipdham, England where he was an Assistant Engineer Gunner on a B-24 and flew 30 missions during his service from August 1942 to September 1944.

After his service, he returned to marry the love his life, Minnie Mull, on September 20, 1944. While raising their three children, Warren worked on oil rigs while he and Minnie also farmed and raised cattle until they retired to Wellington in 1990. Warren enjoyed traveling the world and visited Canada, England, France, China, Egypt, and Kenya.

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