Donald Lee Ackors, 68, Topeka, died April 27, 2006, at his home. He was born Sept. 23, 1937, in Phoenix, Ariz., the son of Andrew Jackson and Naomi Evelyn Harold Ackors. Mr. Ackors served in the U.S. Air Force and had worked at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. for 34 years before retiring. He was a member of Golden Rule Lodge 90 AF&AM. He married Janet Louise Hawkins on June 2, 1962, in Miami, Okla. She died May 26, 2005. He also was preceded in death by a brother, Ira Ackors Sr., Topeka. Survivors include five daughters, Donna Pflaum, Osawatomie, Renee Edwards, Carbondale, Sondra Keith, Topeka, Paula Wathen, Mayetta, and Tina Myrick, Holton; a brother, Dan Ackors, Perry; two sisters, Edna Radford, Portland, Ore., and Shirley Holcomb, Rogers, Ark.; 15 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren. Memorial services were held Monday morning at Penwell-Gabel Parker-Price Chapel in north Topeka, followed by military honors conducted by a Fort Riley U.S. Army detail. Memorial contributions may be made to the Donald Ackors Memorial Fund, sent in care of Credit Union One of Kansas, P.O. Box 1128, Topeka, KS 66601. Online condolences may be sent to www.penwellgabel.com
Vera V. Patterson, 89, Muscotah, died April 27, 2006, at a Hiawatha hospital. She was born Dec. 19, 1916, at Glen Elder, the daughter of Bruce and Cora Goodshaw Gaston. She graduated from Beloit High School in 1935. Mrs. Patterson was a member of Whiting United Methodist Church and the Whiting United Methodist Women. She married Harold Patterson on Dec. 6, 1936, at the home of her parents in Glen Elder. He died May 24, 1990. She also was preceded in death by her daughter, Shirley Thomas, on May 6, 1988, and by her parents. Survivors include two granddaughters, Debbie Goodwin and husband Tony and Shelly Brown and husband Harold, all of Whiting; three great-granddaughters, Rachel Goodwin and Alyssa and Ashley Brown, all of Whiting; a son-in-law, William Thomas and wife Rosa, Whiting; a brother, Joe Gaston and wife Ruby, Glen Elder; and many other relatives. Funeral services were held April 29 at Mercer Funeral Home in Holton. Interment was in Spring Hill Cemetery in Whiting. Memorial contributions may be made to Whiting United Methodist Church, sent in care of Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436. Online condolences may be sent to www.mercerfuneralhomes.com
Dr. James Fred Tillery, 69, Meriden, died April 27, 2006, at a Kansas City, Mo. hospital. He was born Dec. 18, 1936, in Kansas City, the son of James P. and Floretta Lile Tillery. He attended Bloomfield Grade School north of Meriden and graduated from Valley Falls High School in 1955. He graduted from Washburn University and later from UMKC Dental School in 1964. Dr. Tillery had lived for 38 years in Valley Falls, where he had practiced dentistry for 30 years. He was a member of Valley Falls United Methodist Church and the American Dental Association. He was a former member of the Valley Falls Rotary Club. He married Cleo Ann Dick on March 11, 1956, at First Presbyterian Church in Oskaloosa. She survives. Other survivors include three sons, Brad Tillery and wife Terry, Meriden, Dr. Bruce Tillery, Ozawkie, and Bryan Tillery and wife Angie, Valley Falls; a daughter, Carla Davis and husband Dr. John Davis, Burlingame; a sister, Reva Epler, Colorado Springs, Colo.; nine grandchildren; and a great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by a sister, Hazel Kincaid. Funeral services were held May 1 at Valley Falls United Methodist Church. Burial was in Valley Falls Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Valley Falls United Methodist Church, sent in care of Mercer Funeral Home, 810 Broadway, Valley Falls, KS 66088. Online condolences may be sent to www.mercerfuneralhomes.com
Raphael "B.J." H.I. Estrada Jr., 50, Topeka, died Aug. 25, 2007. He was born July 30, 1957, in Tempe, Arizona, the son of Nancy Williams and Raphael Estrada. He graduated from Mesa High School in 1975. Mr. Estrada served in the U.S. Army and Army National Guard for nine years. He worked for the Topeka Water Department, had a landscaping business and was the owner and operator of Estrada Trucking Inc. for many years. He was a member of Kansas Motor Carriers Association and Harley Owners Group (HOG). He was married to Mary E. Schirmer, formerly of Holton, for 22 years. She survives. Other survivors include a stepdaughter, Christine Geier and grandson, Brandon Sawyer; a son, Joshua Lee Estrada and grandson, Cody; a stepson, Jesse D. Razak and grandson, Caden Michael and daughter, Elizabeth Luat; his mother, Nancy Williams; four brothers, Jeff Burgos, Fred Barnum, Aaron Barnum and David Barnum; and two sisters, Brenda Amante and Melody Dickey. He was preceded in death by an infant son, Anthony; and his father, Ralph Estrada. Funeral services were held Aug. 30 at Penwell-Gabel Mid Town Chapel in Topeka. Burial was in Penwell-Gabel Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to M.D.A. or Bikers for Babies, sent in care of Harley Davidson Sales, 2047 S.W. Topeka, Topeka, KS 66612. Online condolences may be sent to www.PenwellGabel.com
Rozella Gibson, 95, Holton, died Sept. 4, 2007, at her granddaughter's home, where she had been living. She was born March 13, 1912, in the Pea Ridge community near Circleville, the daughter of Sidney and Rebecca Lamar Hutchinson. She was a member of Circleville United Methodist Church. She married Frank R. Gibson on June 30, 1931 at Hiawatha. He died Jan. 20, 2006. She also was preceded in death by a son, Richard Gibson, in 1942; three brothers, Harvey Hutchinson, Roy Hutchinson and Leo Hutchinson; and three sisters, Inez Hughes, Ruth Sawhill and Margaret Jones. Survivors include a son, Gary Gibson and wife Clara, Holton, two grandchildren, Rick Gibson and Penny Parker; and three great-grandchildren. Cremation is planned. A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 7 at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Holton. Inurnment will be later in Holton Cemetery. A register book will be available to sign until service time at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Circleville United Methodist Church, sent in care of Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1034, Holton, KS 66436. Online condolences may be sent to chapeloaksfuneralhome.com
Leslie Marie Price, 56, Hoyt, died Aug. 31, 2007, after a five-year battle with breast cancer. She was born Nov. 2, 1950, in Horton, the daughter of Buddie Lee and Dolores Irene Stone Salsbury. She graduated from Topeka High School in 1968. Mrs. Price worked for Southwestern Bell for 30 years, retiring in 2000 as a building operations manager. She recently worked for Development IV, Topeka, as a property development specialist. She married Darrel Eugene Price on June 30, 1973, in Topeka. He died Nov. 11, 2005. She also was preceded in death by a brother, Benjie Salsbury, on June 9, 1977. Survivors include a son, Jesse R. Price and wife Katy, Topeka; a granddaughter, McKenzie Price, to be born in November; her parents, Buddie and Dolores Salsbury, Topeka; three sisters, Tammy Houchin, Naples, Fla., Sherry Salsbury, Corpus Christi, Texas, and Amy Serrano, Barrington, R.I.; two brothers, Aaron Salsbury, Los Angeles, Calif., and Eric Salsbury, Naples, Fla.; a nephew, Dusty Price, wife Kim and their children, Karlie and Kacie, all of Hoyt; a nephew, Steve Lovelady, Baldwin City; a sister-in-law, Sheryl Price, Hoyt; and a brother-in-law, Jude Price, Topeka. Funeral services were held Wednesday morning at Penwell-Gabel Parker-Price Chapel, 245 N.W. Independence Ave., Topeka. Interment was in Rochester Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Leslie Marie Price Memorial Fund, sent in care of Commerce Bank & Trust, Attn. Bookkeeping, 3035 S. Topeka Blvd., Topeka, KS 66611. Online condolences may be sent to www.PenwellGabel.com
James Wade Sims-West, 48, Grants, N.M., died Aug. 6, 2007, in Oracoke, N.C. He was born Oct. 16, 1958, in Holton, the son of Ned and Rosalie James West. He graduated from high school in Eureka, Calif. He received his graduate degree from The University of Kansas and his juris prudent law degree from New York University. Mr. Sims-West was an attorney for Boynton Law Firm in Grants, N.M. He was active in First United Methodist Church and the Boy Scouts in Grants, N.M. Survivors include his wife, Nancy Sims-West, and two sons, Cooper Sims-West and Dylan Sims-West, all of the home; a brother, Ray West, Stockton, Calif.; and a sister, Mary Ann Hartman, Topeka. He was preceded in death by his parents. Funeral services were held Aug. 11 at First United Methodist Church in Grants, N.M., with Pastor Reuben Thomas, the Rev. Richard Danek and the Rev. Thomas Sims officiating. Burial was in Grants Memorial Park. Rollie Mortuary, Gallup, N.M., is in charge of arrangements.
Kathleen M. Bell, 69, Topeka, died Aug. 28, 2007, at her home. She was born Sept. 5, 1937, in Onaga, the daughter of Paul and Otha Scofield Bell. She graduated from Tonganoxie High School in 1955. Ms. Bell worked for Kansas Social and Rehabilitation Services in Topeka for 27 1/2 years. She married Richard Spielman on May 22, 1955, in Tonganoxie. He died May 23, 1985. Survivors include a son, Richard Spielman II and wife Donna, Hoyt; two daughters, Candy Wahwassuck, Mayetta, and Otha Robinson and husband Steve, Holton; a sister, Nadine Wolfe, Heber Springs, Ark.; 11 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Graveside services were held Aug. 31 in Washington Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kathleen Bell Memorial Fund, sent in care of Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436. Online condolences may be sent to www.mercerfuneralhomes.com
Francis "Frank" Burks James, 73, Delton, Mich., formerly of Mayetta, died Aug. 7, 2007, at his home. He was born Nov. 6, 1933, at Mayetta, the son of Edward and Jewel Burks James. He was raised near Holton, graduated from Mayetta High School and earned a doctorate degree in veterinary medicine from Kansas State University. Mr. James served in the U.S. Army in Germany. He and his wife moved to Hickory Corners, Mich., and ran the James Animal Clinic for more than 40 years. He married Jean Swengel on June 5, 1960. She preceded him in death, as did his parents; a brother, Jack; and a sister, Ruth. Survivors include a son, Dan James and wife Mary; two daughters, Judy Van Dien and husband Jerry and Amy James and husband Jon Diggleman; a sister, Gene Dickinson, Holton; and four granddaughters, Ellen James, Naomi and Camille Van Dien and Matilda Diggleman. A memorial service was held Aug. 11 at Hickory Corners Bible Church. A second memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. Oct. 6 at First United Methodist Church in Holton. Memorial contributions may be made to The Wildlands Firefighters Foundation, 2049 Airport Way, Boise, ID 83705; or Hospice of Barry County, 450 Meadow Run, Hastings, MI 49058. Girrbach Funeral Home of Hastings, Mich., is in charge of arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to www.girrbachfuneralhome.net
Elmer Abram Peters, 82, Emporia, died Aug. 29, 2007, at an Emporia care center. He was born Aug. 31, 1924, in Goessel, the son of John and Bertha Becker Peters. Mr. Peters was a conductor for Santa Fe Railroad for 40 years. He was a member of Emporia Presbyterian Church. He also was a member of the United Transportation Union, Middle Division of Santa Fe Railroad and a Merchant Marine from 1945 to 1947. He married Beverly Belfield in 1948 at Newton. They divorced. He married Natalie Santalaria. She preceded him in death. He married Emilie Goodell Cutting on Feb. 24, 1978, in Emporia. She survives. Other survivors include two sons, Gordon Peters, Emporia, and Alan Peters, Eminence, Ill.; a daughter, Leigh Ann Miller, Mayetta; a stepdaughter, Cathyanne Hargreaves, Olathe; a sister, Laura Foth, Newton; his first wife, Beverly Petersen, Largo, Fla.; nine grandchildren; three stepgranddaughters; and five great-grandchildren. In addition to his second wife, he was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Melvin and Victor Peters; two sisters, Ruth Fiedler and Luella Dyck; and a stepdaughter, Cynthia Cutting. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Sept. 4 at Emporia Presbyterian Church, Eighth and Commercial, with Pastor Mike Sorsen officiating. Interment will be in Memorial Lawn Cemetery. Family will meet with friends for an hour prior to service time at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to Emporia Presbyterian Church or Emporia Friends of the Zoo, sent in care of Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home, 605 State St., Emporia, KS 66801.
Lawrence E. Schreiber, 85, Soldier, died Aug. 29, 2007, at a Topeka hospital. He was born Feb. 1, 1922 in Ionia, the son of Leo and Grace Schoen Schreiber. He attended Goff High School and lived most of his life in the Soldier community. Mr. Schreiber served in the U.S. Navy during World War II aboard the USS Randolph. He was a farmer/stockman, worked for Michigan Wisconsin Pipeline near Havensville for 25 years and later worked for Davis Fence in sales for several years. He was a member of the Immanuel Lutheran Church in Netawaka and a member of the Soldier Card Club. He married Madella Johnson on April 14, 1948, in Goff. She survives. Other survivors include a daughter, Jan Polter and husband Rob, Topeka; two grandsons, Justin Polter and wife Michelle, Topeka, and Ryan Polter, Topeka; and three great-grandchildren, Garrett, Riley and Brooke Polter. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Wilma Duchesneau-Muckey and Velma Bottom; and a brother, Leon Schreiber. Funeral services were held Sept. 1 at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Netawaka. Burial was in Holton Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Immanuel Lutheran Church, sent in care of Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436.
Ralph W. Steele, 89, Goff, died Aug. 30, 2007, at a Kansas City, Mo., hospice. He was born Aug. 25, 1918, in Corning, the son of Frank and Edna Frager Steele. He graduated from Corning High School in 1936 and lived all his life in the Goff and Corning communities. Mr. Steele was a farmer and stockman and drove the school bus for Goff schools for 30 years. He was a member of Goff United Methodist Church and the Goff Lions Club. He married Mildred L. "Toddy" Beck on Dec. 15, 1938 in Corning. She died Feb. 11, 2005. He also was preceded in death by a sister, Wanda Nightingale; a brother, Leland Steele; and a great-granddaughter, Natalie Klusener. Survivors include two sons, LeRoy G. Steele, Overland Park, and Darrell D. Steele, Topeka; a daughter, Marcia L. Hunt, Overland Park; six grandchildren; 13 great-grandchildren; and a great-great-grandson. Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Sept. 4 at Goff United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Corning Cemetery. Mr. Steele will lie in state at Mercer Funeral Home in Holton, where family will greet friends from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 3. Memorial contributions may be made to Kansas City Hospice House, sent in care of Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, KS 66436.