Category Archives: Obituaries

Anita Heckerman, 73, Wellington: Feb. 3, 1950 – Sept. 18, 2023

Anita Heckerman

Anita Claudine (Johnson) Heckerman, died on September 18, 2023, after years of struggling with multiple illnesses. Her daughters were with her during her quick departure. She was born on February 3, 1950 in Winfield, KS to Charner and Mildred Dawson Johnson.

Anita was raised in Mayfield, KS and later the family moved to Wellington, KS where she graduated high school. She returned to Wellington years later to raise her daughters, Amber and Autumn. Anita was a jack of many trades and a master at them all; cooking, sewing, quilting, embroidery, carpentry, flower arranging and event planning.

Bob Weir, 84, co-owner of The Hardware Store, died on Sept. 16, 2023

Bob Weir

Robert L. Weir died on September 16, 2023, in Wellington. Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Elsie, and their daughter, Sandie. He is survived by his son, Steven (Kris) of Wellington, and daughter, Susie (Grant) of Shorewood, Minn., as well as six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Bob was born in Oklahoma and moved to Wellington when he was in elementary school. He had a strong work ethic and had held a job since he was 11 years old. He delivered papers, milk bottles, and furniture. He was also a lifeguard and worked at a dry cleaner. After high school graduation, Bob signed up for the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers’ Forestry Unit, where he ventured to the West Coast. He had fond memories of mapping the topography of Washington State.

The job was perfect for his sense of adventure and detailed, meticulous nature. But when it was time to re-enroll, something was drawing him back to Kansas. Soon after, he met Elsie, a young nursing student at Southwestern College. They fell in love with dancing and were married for 62 years. They continued to enjoy dancing throughout their marriage and took dance lessons together and with their couple of friends.

Jean Davidson Nichols, 90, formerly from Wellington: Dec. 25, 1932 – Sept. 8, 2023

Jean Nichols

Jean Davidson Nichols, a cherished wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend, died peacefully on September 8, 2023, in Conroe, Texas, at the age of 90.

Born on Christmas day in 1932 in Wellington, Jean was the daughter of Herb and Helen Davidson, and she was the youngest of three siblings. She attended Wellington Junior and Senior High School and graduated with the Class of 1950.

During her high school years, Jean’s life took a beautiful turn when she met the love of her life, Ron Nichols. Their love story spanned an incredible 71 years, beginning with their wedding on June 21, 1952.  After Ron’s graduation from college, he enlisted in the Air Force, leading them to various locations, including Georgia and Kansas. Through these early years, they forged lifelong friendships, and Jean cared for their daughters while supporting Ron’s Air Force career.

Clayton Hime, 90, formerly from Wellington: Nov. 21, 1932 – Aug. 14, 2023

Clayton Hime

Clayton M. Hime, 90, of Tampa, Fla., died at his home on Monday, August 14, 2023. He was born the son of Clyde and Edna (Feist) Hime on November 21, 1932 in Manchester, Oklahoma. Like many young men his age, Clayton joined the military and proudly served his country in the United States Navy.

Following his discharge, he continued a career in public service. Clayton first briefly was a Carrier for the United States Postal Service and then became a Federal Agent in the U.S. Customs Department. His specific focus was on border security, and following a long and decorated career, Clayton eventually retired. In his retirement, he became an avid golfer and was able to travel around the world, where he often took in a round at far away places.

Eileen Kay Williams, 78, Wellington: July 12, 1945 – Aug. 30, 2023

Eileen Williams

Eileen Kay Williams, a devoted wife, compassionate caregiver, and master quilter, passed away on August 30, 2023 in Wellington. She was born in Hillsboro on July 12, 1945, to parents Lawrence and Esther (Janzen) Fisher. Eileen and Derryl Gene Williams were joined together in marriage in Wellington on April 13, 1990. They shared 33 years of love and memories. Together, they enjoyed attending craft fairs, where they appreciated the creativity and craftsmanship of others.

Eileen’s life was a testament to her selfless nature. She cared more for others than for herself, a trait that was reflected in her professional life as a home health care worker. Her kindness and compassion could be felt by all who were lucky enough to know her. When she wasn’t working, Eileen found joy in the intricate art of quilting, a skill she learned from her mother. She was also an avid reader and had a love for crossword puzzles.

Eileen leaves behind her loving husband Derryl Williams of Wellington; son, Jeff Reimer and Crista of Fresno, California; son, Jason Reimer and Karmyn of Tecumseh, Oklahoma; step-son, Steven T. Williams and Cheryl of Wellington; step-son, Timothy G. Williams and Jamie of Wichita; brother, Douglas Fisher of Newton; brother, Loren Fisher of Salina.

George L. Erker, 95, Conway Springs: April 6, 1928 – Sept. 10, 2023

George Erker

George L. Erker, 95, of Conway Springs, retired farmer, died Sunday, September 10, 2023 at Ascension Via Christi – St. Francis, Wichita, KS.

George was born April 6, 1928, at Ost, Kansas to George Joseph Erker and Mary (Helten) Erker. He moved with his family to a farm west of Conway Springs at the age of 8 years.  He attended the nearby Holly Hill rural school and began working on the farm at a young age.

George entered the U.S. Army on November 16, 1950, serving as a member of the 47th Army Camouflage Engineers during the Korean conflict.  He was honorably discharged on November 15, 1952.

Following his discharge, George worked at Boeing Aircraft for a short time before working for the Missouri Pacific Railroad out of Conway Springs.  He later worked for the Sutton Company manufacturing Vornado Fans before starting to farm in 1954.

Arylss Dykeman, 89, Wellington: Dec. 1, 1933 – Sept. 5, 2023

Arlyss Dykeman

Arlyss K. Dykeman, 89-year-old Cleora area and former Wellington resident died on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, at the St. Francis Vinita Hospital. He was born on December 1, 1933, in Belle Plaine, Kansas to William Clarence and Clelah Naomi (Ferguson) Dykeman. Arlyss graduated from Wellington, Kansas, high school. He married Imogene (McKenzie) Dykeman, who preceded him in death on August 12, 2015. Arlyss and Imogene had moved to the Red Arrow area of Grand Lake in 1999 from Wellington. He worked in the aircraft parts industry for many years before retiring to Grand Lake.

He was preceded in death by his parents, and his wife, Imogene and a daughter, Carla Berkich.

The family includes his son, Daryl Dykeman and wife, Anne of Lutz, Florida, and grandchildren Jack and Emily Dykeman.

Donald ‘Judge’ Riggs, 90, Conway Springs: June 18, 1933 – Sept. 8, 2023

Don Riggs

Donald D. “Judge” Riggs, 90, of Conway Springs, passed away Friday, September 8, 2023 at Spring View Manor, Conway Springs, KS.

Don was born June 18, 1933, west of Conway Springs, Kansas to Charley Ruben Riggs and Ethel Viola (Gibson) Riggs.  He attended the McKibben rural school northwest of Conway Springs and Conway Springs High School, where he graduated with the class of 1951. Don continued his education at Friends University while working at Industrial Uniform Company in Wichita.  He soon became employed as a timekeeper for Cessna Aircraft in March of 1953.

Don was drafted into the U.S. Army on July 15, 1953, where he served his country stationed in Germany during the Korean Conflict.  He was honorably discharged on May 19, 1955, and returned to college and to Cessna Aircraft in Wichita.

Cleo Robert ‘Bob’ Green, 90, Wellington: June 2, 1933 – Sept. 2, 2023

Cleo ‘Bob’ Green

Cleo Robert “Bob” Green died peacefully on Saturday,  September 2, 2023, at Wellington Health and Rehab in Wellington at the age of 90.

Bob was born the son of Cleo and Pearl (Lynch) Green on June 2, 1933, in Scott City.

 Robert was known for his quick wit, intelligent mind, and distinctive charm that brightened every room he entered. A man of many talents, he was a skilled handyman, an accomplished guitar player, and a private pilot who found great joy in the freedom of the open skies.

‘Bert’ Miller, 96, Wellington: June 17, 1927 – Sept. 1, 2023

Bert Miller.

Albert Henry Miller, lovingly known as “Bert,” died at his home surrounded by family on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023. He was born the son of Maxwell and Martha (Schulte) Miller in Yankton, South Dakota on June 17, 1927. On September 16, 1967, Bert and Mary (Johnson) were united in marriage in Newkirk, Okla. Together they shared 43 years of marriage before her passing in 2011.

Bert made his home in Wellington, where he was known by many as the “Candyman”, a fond nickname earned from his career in the wholesale tobacco and candy business. He proudly carried the title, embodying the dedication and hard work that his business demanded. Bert found joy in working, whether on a bush hog or on a tractor and continued well into his 80’s. He was a man of many talents and interests; aside from his work, in his younger years, he was a skilled water skier, often delighting his children with his ability to slalom ski on the lake and prided himself on being able to barefoot ski.

Valorie Reedy, 68, Caldwell: April 19, 1955 – April 21, 2023

Valorie Reedy

Valorie Jean (Rohrbaugh) Reedy was born on April 19, 1955, the first of four children to Charles Ross and Mary Louise (Batman) Rohrbaugh in Dodge City, Kansas. Valorie passed from this Earth on August 21, 2023, at the age of 68.

Valorie married her best friend and the love of her life, Gaylen John Reedy, on December 31, 1979. Val and Gaylen have four children. Val enjoyed every minute of time with her family. She was very proud of her role as Grammy. Whether it was birthdays, holidays, sports, movies, shopping trips, going out to eat, especially at Los Cocos, or simply spending time together, she cherished every moment.

Overall, Val was a homemaker. However, she was a woman of all trades. Val was an avid gardener, flowers and plants were always a passion of hers. She would do all of the floral arrangements for family and friends buried at the cemetery. She also did many flowers for weddings. Silk flowers, real flowers, plants, trees, bushes, flower beds, veggie gardens, you name it, Val could do all of it. She would make it all look so beautiful. All of it was her pride and joy. Arts and crafts were also a bit part of Val’s life. Her bows were amazing, along with all of her wreaths.

Dixie Metzinger, 80, Caldwell: June 3, 1942 – June 1, 2023

Dixie Metzinger

Dixie Lee Metzinger, age 80, of Omaha, Neb., died peacefully at home with hospice on June 1, 2023, with her son and daughter-in-law at her side. She was a loving mother of five, Christopher Metzinger, Michael Metzinger (Tammy Metzinger), Peter Metzinger (Katrina Metzinger), and Luke Metzinger. Dixie was also a grandmother of five, Cassandra Stephenson, Jessica Robeck, Ashley Netzloff, Acacia Marek, and Damek Marek, and a great-grandmother of three, Alyssa Green, Ezra Robeck, and Neva Robeck.

Dixie was born on June 3, 1942, in Caldwell to LaVerna Maxine Allen and Dwight Walker Young. She attended Caldwell High School and later a Wichita Trade School for secretaries. Dixie worked for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for many years before retiring.

In her free time, Dixie enjoyed quilting and playing Scrabble. She was also a faithful member of St. Mary’s Church in Bellevue, Neb., and St. Martin of Tours in Caldwell.

Dixie was preceded in death by her parents, her brother Ron Ferguson, her husband of 59 years Roger Earnest Metzinger, and her daughter (51) Gretchen Marie Bell.

Kenneth Eugene Gandy, 86, Wellington: Dec. 4, 1936 – August 20, 2023

Kenneth Gandy

Kenneth Eugene Gandy died on Sunday, August 20, 2023, at William Newton Hospital in Winfield at 86.

Kenneth was born the son of Elza A. Gandy and Lillie Mae Hawk on December 4, 1936 in Caldwell.

On July 16, 1971, Kenneth and Betty Evans were united in marriage in Wellington. Together, they recently celebrated 52 years of marriage.

Kenneth proudly served his country in the United States Air Force from 1956 to 1960.

Vedia Jeanette Roads, 85, Wellington: May 30, 1938 – August 20, 2023

Vedia Roads

Vedia Jeanette Roads died on August 20, 2023, at the age of 85.

She was born the daughter of Roy and Myrtle (Logsdon) Ashcraft on May 30, 1938, in Cambridge.

Vedia and Leroy E. Roads celebrated 54 years of marriage together before his passing in December 2013.

A loving and compassionate soul, Vedia filled the lives of those around her with warmth and joy. Our hearts are heavy as we bid farewell, but we are comforted by the countless wonderful memories she has left behind. As a passionate Bingo player, she brought a unique blend of competitiveness and camaraderie to every game, often becoming the highlight of the evening.

Marie Kogle, 84, Wellington and Oxford: Aug. 6, 1939 – Aug. 21 – 2023

Marie Kogle

Marie Kogle, 84, died on Monday, August 21, 2023. She was residing at Villa Maria in Mulvane at the time of her passing but was a former resident of both Wellington and Oxford.

Marie was born the daughter of Sterling and Captolia (Webb) Brown on August 6, 1939, in Wewoka, Okla. Marie went on to marry her high school sweetheart, David Kogle, and the two spent 66 wonderful years together before his passing in 2021.

A humble and loving woman, Marie was a beacon of support in her family and community. She was a talented homemaker, investing her time and energy into creating a warm and welcoming environment for her loved ones. Marie was an avid reader and was skilled at sewing, crocheting, and creating beautiful homemade gifts. Her love for nature was evident in her fondness for visiting the mountains and fishing. Marie also served her community in many ways. She taught Sunday school, led a Cub Scout troop, and was active on the PTA at school and the CWF at her church. Her devotion to her faith and family was recognized and admired by all who knew her.

Jan Drouhard, 73, Harper: Sept. 21, 1949 – August 14, 2023

Jan Drouhard

Jan Drouhard was born in Wichita, Kansas, on September 21, 1949.  She was raised by her mother and stepfather, Helen and Gene Weaver, in Wichita, where she attended school, graduating from North High School with the class of 1967.

After graduation, Jan lived and worked in Wichita until she met and married Dean Drouhard in 1976.  They made their home just outside of Argonia, Kansas, where they raised their children: Chris, Reid, Breanna, and grandson Shane.  Along with raising children, Jan enjoyed her years of work and volunteering.  She enjoyed owning a couple of small businesses, including a dress shop, with her mom.  She took pride in her work at the Harper and Anthony Hospitals as well as her time volunteering with CASA in Sumner County.  Over the years, Jan enjoyed camping and boating in the summer, raising a garden, and canning with her mom.  Later in life, Jan moved back to the Wichita area where she worked and spent time with her kids and grandchildren.

Roger Glenn Lawrence, 79, Wellington: May 26, 1944 – Aug. 10, 2023

Roger Lawrence

Roger Glenn Lawrence died on Thursday, August 10, 2023 at the age of 79. He was born on May 26, 1944 to Harold Glenn and Della Mae (Nutt) Lawrence in Cedar Vale. Roger spent his childhood climbing grain elevators in North Wichita, telling ghost stories to his brother Larry, and dipping girls pony tails in ink pots.

The summer before his junior year of high school he moved in with his grandma in Cedar Vale following the passing of his grandpa. He wasn’t afraid of hard work. He worked on the farms baling hay, hauling milk, and scooping out pig pens during high school.

After high school, Roger served in the Air Force as a film technician developing reconnaissance photos and was a Vietnam Veteran during the Tet offensive. He was honored to be a veteran and loved his country and valued freedom for all.

Wellington Police Notes: Wednesday, August 6, 2023

Wellington Police notes: Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Janet (Mayo) Misak, 89, Bluff City: July 24, 1934 – Aug. 6, 2023

Janet Misak

Janet Carol (Mayo) Misak was born on July 24, 1934, on a farm near Bluff City, KS, to Claude and Wilma (Baker) Mayo. She attended Bluff City Schools, graduating in 1952. She then attended the Wesley Hospital School of Nursing, graduating in 1955.

On September 4, 1955, she married Carl Misak in the Bluff City United Methodist Church. They were blessed with three children: Ronald Eugene, Robert Eugene and Carol Jean (Misak) Quinn. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Janet was a long-time Tulsa Vo-Tech instructor, passing on her baking skills and love of cooking to students before retiring in 1996. She had a life-long passion for birds, especially hummingbirds and cardinals.

Jason ‘Miles’ Hart, 28, Steamboat Springs, Colo.: March 5, 1995 – Aug. 2, 2023

Jason Hart

Jason “Miles” Hart of Steamboat Springs, Colo. died on Wednesday, August 2 in Caldwell at the age of 28.

Miles was born on March 5, 1995 to Jason and Rita (Subera) Hart in Wichita.  Growing up, Miles’ family relocated several times, and he was raised in Oklahoma, Kansas, Alaska, and Colorado.  Miles was raised an only child until the birth of his younger brother Vaughn in 2004, followed by Christian in 2007, and Kailey in 2012.  He cherished the role of “big brother” and loved teaching his siblings to share his passions as well as pranks.

Miles developed his sense of adventure early in life, and the mountains have always felt like home to him.  He loved fishing with his family, hunting with his brother, Vaughn, and tearing up the trails on his dirt bike.  Night fishing and frog gigging with Ashton and Vaughn were especially favorite pastimes.

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