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Category Archives: Obituaries

Stephanie Lee Whited, 62, Belle Plaine: Oct. 6, 1961 – June 10, 2024

Stephanie Whited

Stephanie Lee Whited, of Belle Plaine, at her home on Monday, June 10, 2024, at the age of 62.

Stephanie was born on October 6, 1961, in Kansas City, Kansas, the daughter of David Sands and Sherry Edwards.

Stephanie was a beacon of light and love in the lives of those fortunate enough to know her. She lived in Belle Plaine, Kansas, and led a full and spirited life, brimming with compassion and dedication in her personal and professional spheres.

Stephanie was an assembly worker in the aircraft industry, where her dedication shone through. Away from the workbench, she led a life brimming with passion. Her love for baseball and golf was only surpassed by her love for off-roading and fishing. However, the true center of Stephanie’s universe was her family. She was a loving mother, a dedicated wife, and an adoring grandmother. Stephanie never missed an event involving her beloved grandchildren, a testament to her unwavering love and commitment.

Harold Spencer Cole, 82, Eucha, Okla.: Dec. 16, 1941 – June 2, 2024

Harold Spencer Cole

Harold Spencer Cole, aged 82, of Eucha, Oklahoma, was called to eternal rest on June 2, 2024. Born on December 16, 1941, in Riverside, California, Harold’s life was marked by unwavering patriotism and dedication to his nation.

A native of Wellington, Harold was raised in a nurturing family environment by his parents and alongside his brothers and sister.

His collegiate years at Kansas State University fostered a lifelong affinity for the institution, symbolized by his enduring display of purple pride. He was also a devoted member of the Phi Delta Theta fraternity.

Upon graduation, Harold honorably served his country in the U.S. Air Force, which included two distinguished tours of duty in Vietnam, two Bronze Stars for meritorious commitment, and a Purple Heart for wounds received while deployed.

Tracy (Brock) Stamp, Wellington: March 27, 1953 – June 5, 2024

Tracy Stamp

Tracy Lynn Brock was born on March 27, 1953 in Arkansas City. She is the fourth and youngest child of Harry Brock and Frankie Hughes. On Dec. 27, 1971, She married Harry Stamps in the Logan Utah temple of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Not long after that, she became a military wife. She moved often in the early years of her marriage, ending up where she started, back in Kansas. Tracy’s membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has always been important to her. She joined the church when she was 12 and began a life of service to her Heavenly Father.

She has served in primary and in the Relief Society. She worked in Cub Scouts too, but the service she loved most was working with primary children. She enjoyed quilting, crocheting, sewing, and ceramics and glass works. As well as going to garage sales and playing dice and card games.

Lois Marie Frank, 88, Wellington: May 15, 1936 – June 1, 2024

Lois Frank

“Lois Marie (Wolffrum) Frank, 88, died June 1, 2024 at St. Francis Hospital, Wichita.

Lois was born May 15, 1936 in Blackwell, Kay Co., Oklahoma to parents George Henry and Katherine Louise (Webster) Wolffrum. She was raised on a farm just north of Ashton with her younger sister, Lexy Leigh (Wolffrum) Spencer.

Lois graduated as valedictorian of her class of 1954 in South Haven. She went on to pursue a nursing career as a registered nurse. She met and married Robert (Bob) Frank on June 06, 1954. They were

married in South Haven. They moved to Wellington In 1961 where Lois worked as an R.N. at the Wellington Hospital until its closing on March 13, 2020. She finished out her career at St. Lukes

hospital in Wellington until her retirement.

Connie (Jenkins) Atkinson, 74, Wellington: Nov. 29, 1949 – June 2, 2024

Connie Atkinson

Connie Sue (Jenkins) Atkinson of Wellington died on June 2, 2024 at Comfort Care Homes of Wichita at the age of 74.

Connie was born the daughter of Alfred and Bertha Jenkins on November 29, 1949 in Blackwell, Oklahoma.

Connie grew up in a family that had just gotten out of World War II, which her Dad and uncles served in. Her dad worked for Santa Fe Railroad, so Connie lived in many places, sleeping in boxcars and learning the hardships of the times of the country. She learned to make the best out of little. She attended and graduated from Wellington High School in 1967 and met the love of her life, Dean Atkinson. They had two children, Sean and David.

Deloris Ruth ‘Bobbi’ Bradford, 78, Wellington: Aug. 14, 1945 – May 30, 2024

Deloris Bradford

Deloris Ruth “Bobbi” Bradford, of Wellington, died on Thursday, May 30, 2024, at Wellington Health and Rehab at the age of 78.

Bobbi was born the daughter of Ray and Loretta (Drake) Gifford on August 14, 1945 in Woodward, Oklahoma.

A creative and talented soul with a resilience that inspired all, Bobbi spent her days enriching the lives of those around her with her love for beauty. For many years, Bobbi worked at Stewart’s flower shop in the ’70’s. Her passion for floral arrangements brought joy to many in Wellington, where she owned and operated her shop, “Sentimental Moments,” from the late ’80s through the early ’90s.

Even as her eyesight waned, her love for books never dimmed, and she found solace in the universes of audio books. Bobbi was a devoted homemaker, always putting her family first. She was always there for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, providing them with unconditional love and endless support.

Bernita Elder, 77, Wellington: Oct. 27, 1956 – May 23, 2024

Bernita Elder

“In the gentle hush of dawn, on May 23, 2024, the world lost a remarkable soul, Bernita Elder, whose life was a testament to love, spirit, and compassion. Born on October 27, 1956, in Perryton, Texas, Bernita was a beacon of warmth and care, cherished by all who knew her. Her presence was a comforting balm, her spirit as resilient as the wildflowers that bloom in the heart of Kansas, where she resided in Wellington.

Bernita was a loving homemaker who found immense joy in the simple pleasures of life. She was a spirited woman, her laughter infectious, her zest for life unparalleled. She loved to knit intricate patterns, cook hearty meals, and bask in the serenity that only a fishing rod, a tranquil lake, and the company of her beloved chihuahua, Tippy, could provide.

Opal June Kehl, 84, Wellington: Aug. 31, 1939 – May 26, 2024

Opal Kehl

Opal June Kehl was born on August 31, 1939, in Pine Bluff, Ark. and died on May 26, 2024, in Wellington at the age of 84. She was a spirited and loving soul, renowned for her infectious laughter and compassionate heart. With her lively sense of humor and a love for life that was as expansive as the Kansas plains she called home, Opal painted the world in shades of joy and kindness. She was a homemaker by trade, but spent her life making cherished memories, loving relationships, and small moments of beauty.

Opal had an undying love for music and movies, her favorites being the action-packed thrillers of Steven Segal and the innocent charm of Shirley Temple, whose memorabilia she collected with a passion. But her greatest love was for her pets – Lucky, Paco, and Bucky. They were more than just animals to her; they were her children, companions, and ever-present witnesses to the ebbs and flows of her life. She was a spiritual woman, guided by an unshakeable faith in God and an unwavering belief in the goodness of people. She was the embodiment of the quote by Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Indeed, Opal’s loving and compassionate nature touched everyone she met.

Eddie Charles Helm, Jr. 44, Wellington: April 14, 1980 – May 22, 2024

Eddie Charles Helm

Edward Charles Helms, Jr., known Eddie, Hank, or Charlie fondly to those who loved him, died unexpectedly on May 22, 2024, at the age of 44.  Born on April 14th, 1980, in Anthony, Eddie was a lifelong resident of Sumner County. In his 44 years, Eddie lived life to the fullest, embodying the qualities of loyalty, dedication, love, and compassion.

Eddie was born to be on the road and knew from a young age exactly how he wanted to make a living. On his 18th birthday, Eddie earned his CDL license and has been a devoted truck driver since. He drove for the Bebermeyer and Son Trucking Company for the last eight years and has driven for numerous other companies and farms. He loved his job, and his dedication was well-known and admired by his colleagues. When he was not on the road, Eddie enjoyed collecting John Deere tractor figurines and playing an online farming simulator game with his brothers and his buddy, Dale Berry.

Eugene ‘Yogi’ Hubbard, 91, Anthony: Sept. 26, 1932 – March 1, 2024

Yogi Hubbard

Eugene James “Yogi” Hubbard, 91, of Anthony, chose to leave this world on March 1, 2024, after a long battle to defeat his diabetic neuropathy and walk again, along with those other health issues 90-year-olds live with.

Yogi was born in Waterbury, Conn., on September 26, 1932. His older brothers, who had a great influence on his life, allowed him to join the Army instead of graduating from High School. He was stationed at Fort Riley, Kans., home of the Big Red One.

Yogi met Le Vona Allen, a K-State student in Manhattan in 1952. After a three-year courtship, they were married in Waterbury on January 5, 1955. Their marriage of 64 years came to an end with Le Vona’s passing in 2019. To this union a daughter, Debra Jean was born in 1956.

Maurice Lee Womack, 91, Winfield: Jan. 15, 1933 – May 14, 2024

Maurice Womack

On May 14, 2024, Maurice Lee Womack died surrounded by family at the age of 91 in Winfield.

Maurice Lee Womack was born on January 15, 1933 in Wellington. In his youth, he was active in Sumner County Jolly Workers 4-H. He graduated from Wellington High School in 1952. He was a farmer and agriculture businessman. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, and, later in life, gardening and spending more time with family. He was a member of Grace Episcopal Church in Winfield.   

He is survived by wife Betty Womack, son Michael Womack, daughter Lynnette Bay, son Wade Womack, daughter-in-law Dana Womack, son-in-law Darrell Bay, granddaughter Kristen Engelbrecht, grandson Matthew Womack, granddaughter Darrian Bay, great-grandson Lee O’Donnal, great-grandson Leo Engelbrecht, and great-granddaughter Cora’Ann O’Donnal.

John Paul Webster Sr., 86, Caldwell: Nov. 25, 1937 – May 15, 2024

John Webster

On May 15, 2024, at age 86, John Paul Webster Sr. rejoined his beloved “Beth,” and died peacefully surrounded by his loving family.

John was born in Wichita, Kansas on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 1937 to his parents, Harry Ernest and Mary Elizabeth Webster. John’s mother Mary Elizabeth, moved the family in 1939 to Caldwell, where he and several of his brothers and sisters grew up. He graduated with the Caldwell High School Class of 1956. He married his high school sweetheart and the love of his life, Mary Elizabeth “Beth” Pierce, daughter of Aubra H. and Frances L. Pierce.

He loved his retail career, spending it in store management, starting in the early days of Walmart, and for the next 25 years devoted his work in developing future leaders for the company and opening many stores across the South and Midwest.

Mark Stephen Bansemer, 67, Tulsa, Okla.: April 8, 1957 – April 27, 2024

Mark Bansemer

Mark Stephen Bansemer, age 67, died in Tulsa, Okla., on April 27, 2024, after a long debilitating illness.

Mark was born on April 8, 1957, to John and Maria Jimenez Bansemer in Afton, Oklahoma. Mark graduated from Miami High School in 1975, he then went on to study business administration at Northeastern Oklahoma College where he completed an associate degree in 1977.

After graduating from college Marked resided in Miami, Oklahoma and worked at Eagle Pitcher Boron plan in Quapaw, Oklahoma for many years. He later relocated to Tulsa where he used his customer service and managerial skills to assist failing businesses. He later had a lengthy career with Kinkos before retiring. Mark moved after retirement to Wellington,  where he lived for over 20 years.

Salena ‘Shell’ Dennis, 53, Wellington: June 7, 1970 – May 8, 2024

Salena ‘Shell’ Dennis

Salena “Shell” Dennis, a woman known for her robust personality and unmatched zest for life, died unexpectedly on her motorcycle on May 8, 2024, at the age of 53. Born on June 7, 1970, in Wichita, Salena lived a life as colorful as the poker runs and motorcycle rides she adored going on.

A longtime resident of Wellington with an 11-year stint in the Virgin Islands (because why not), Salena was the life of the party, as anyone who ever squared off against her in a pool league in Ark City or Wellington could attest. Known for her outgoing nature, she made her mark anywhere she went.

Salena’s accomplishments were many and as diverse as her elephant figurine collection. A record-breaking high school athlete, she held the school records in shot put and javelin for many years, and her big energy made her the first female football player at Wellington High School.

Earnest Redford, 73, WHS graduate: Dec. 1, 1950 – May 8, 2024

Earnest Redford

Earnest Lee Redford departed this life on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, surrounded by family at his home.

Earnest was born on Friday, December 1, 1950, to Harold Redford and Bobbie (Hudson) Redford in Stroud, Okla. Earnest lived his younger life in Kansas, graduating from Wellington High School in 1968. After high school, he attended Kansas University for a bit then decided to join the U.S. Navy. During that time, he met and married Kathy Klotz on March 5, 1971, in Vallejo, CA.

Jim Valentine, 76, Wellington: March 24, 1948 – May 9, 2024

Jim Valentine

James (Jim) Raymond Valentine (1948-2024) was a father, brother, friend, barber, former Mayor of Wellington, current city councilman, neighbor, and grandfather. Jim crossed his final finish line and was welcomed home by our Lord on May 9, 2024.

Jim was born into this world in Herrington, Ks, on March 24, 1948, to his loving parents Darrell E. and Lee Rose (DeBus) Valentine. Later in life, Jim made his home in Wellington, where he laid many roots. Jim proudly served with the United States Army during the Vietnam War in the 101st Airborne “Screaming Eagles” and was awarded the National Defense Service Medal, Vietnam Service Medal and Combat Infantry Badge. Jim was awarded the Air Medal for active participation in 25 aerial missions over hostile territory between January 10, 1969, and May 15th, 1969.

Thomas Keene McAlister, 78, Wellington: Feb. 5, 1946 – April 28, 2024

Thomas McAlister

Thomas Keene McAlister, 78, was born on February 5, 1946, in Wellington and died following a long illness on April 28, 2024 surrounded by his family, at his home in Wichita. Tom is now resting with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tom spent most of his life in Wellington. Tom and his wife, Gala, moved back to Wellington after their wedding, intending to stay only for the summer, but wound up making Wellington their lifelong home. Throughout his life, Tom demonstrated dedication to his family, his businesses, and his community.

Karen Leigh (Wirth) Bell, Wellington: July 27, 1946 – April 29, 2024

Karen Leigh (Wirth) Bell

Karen Leigh (Wirth) Bell died on April 29, 2024.

Karen was born July 27, 1946 in Wellington, KS to Dean and Faeth (Williams) Wirth.

She graduated Wellington High School, attended Emporia State Teachers College and graduated from Friends University. She worked in marketing/promotions for Cessna, Beech, and Lear Jet/ Bombardier.

Darryll Leisinger, 78, formerly of Wellington: Jan. 29, 1946 – April 24, 2024

Darryll Leisinger

Darryll William Leisinger, born on January 29, 1946, in Waterloo, Iowa, died on April 24, 2024. Darryll spent the early part of his life in Iowa, where he was employed for many years by John Deere. He and his family later relocated to Wellington, where he made his mark in the aircraft industry. He began locally at Plessey Welco before transferring to Cessna Aircraft, where he spent the majority of his career before retiring. Darryll’s dedication and dependability were evident while serving his country in the United States Army, where he was stationed in Germany during the Vietnam era.

Darryll was a loyal husband to Lynda (Crowell) Leisinger, whom he married on August 17, 1968. Throughout their many years of matrimony, they built a foundation for growing a family tree that will continue to thrive, grow strong roots, and let their branches stretch far.

Mick Eckermann, 80, Caldwell: Oct. 2, 1943 – April 27, 2024

Mick Eckermann

Mick Eckermann, 80, died on April 27, 2024, at his family home in Caldwell.

Mickey Lee Eckermann was born October 2, 1943, to Fred and Twila (Rohrer) Eckermann. Mick was the oldest of two children, as sister Marilyn joined their family in 1945. Mick spent most of his childhood in Perth, Kansas, where he attended grade school. He then attended Caldwell High School, graduating with the Class of 1961. Shortly after high school, Mick took a job at Western Power.

On October 30, 1964, Mick married the love of his life, Connie Scribner. Mick continued to work for Western Power and moved to Harper together. The couple was blessed with three boys: Rohn Duane (1966), Kent Michael (1968), and Craig John (1972) In 1968, the couple moved back to Caldwell, where Mick then purchased the Phillips 66 Station.

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