Delores Ann Kramer, 58, Cummings, died March 23, 2001 at a Topeka hospital. She was born March 23, 1943 in Topeka, the daughter of Albert and Helen Hafner Dechand. She graduated from Hayden High School in Topeka. She was a secretary at the Bert Nash School in Atchison since 1976. Mrs. Kramer was a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Nortonville and the altar society at the church. She married Raymond L. Kramer on April 28, 1962 in Topeka. He survives. Other survivors include three sons, Dwayne Kramer, Topeka, Daryl Kramer, Winchester, and Raymond Kramer Jr., Effingham; two daughters, Cheryl Contreras, Atchison, and Carol Leach, Fenton, Mo.; her mother, Helen Dechand, Topeka; four brothers, Dan Dechand, Don Dechand, Edward Dechand and Albert Dechand Jr., all of Topeka; two sisters, Mary Jo Donahy, Odessa, Texas, and Diane Dechand, Denver, Colo.; and 12 grandchildren. Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. March 28 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Nortonville. Burial will be in Cummings Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be given to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Nortonville or to the Cummings Cemetery Fund.
Mary Wylli Matheny, 69, Emporia, died March 23, 2001, at Newman Memorial County Hospital in Emporia. She was born Jan. 23, 1932 in Holton, the daughter of Herman J. and Sylvia Mather Wylli. Mrs. Matheny earned her BSE and MS degrees in theatre from Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia. She had leading roles in “The Skin of Our Teeth,” “the Merchant of Yonkers,” “The Foxes,” “Born Yesterday,” The Little Foxes,” “The Girls in 509” and several of the Curli-Q Scholarship shows. Since returning to Emporia in 1967, she played Abby in “Arsenic and Old Lace,” Madame Arcati in “Blithe Spirit,” and most recently, Gaye Wellington in “You Can’t Take It With You.” She taught communications classes for the U.S. Army in the Panama Canal Zone in 1954-55, theatre at Texas Christian University from 1964 to 1967, and English at Emporia State University from 1967 to 1982. She was a member of the Lyon County Bicentennial Committee and served as director of the Lyon County Historical Museum until her retirement in 1997. At the time of her death, she was a member of the board and secretary of the Kansas Museum Association, a member and past president of the Emporia Chapter of Altrusa International, a member of the board of the Flint Hills Children’s Museum, and a member of the Emporia Friends of the Zoo, the Auxiliary of Ball-McColm Post 5, American Legion, the Jackson County Historical Society and the Lyon County Historical Society. She received a lifetime membership and 45 year service pin from the Flint Hills Girl Scout Council. She had served on various committees and on the Board of Directors for the council. She married David L. Matheny on Jan. 3, 1954 at First United Methodist Church in Emporia. He survives. Other survivors include two daughters, Melissa Jo Matheny, Houston, Texas, and Ann Ralston, Topeka; and two grandchildren. A daughter, Norah Maree, preceded in her in death in December 1957. Cremation has taken place. A graveside inurnment service was held in Holton Cemetery March 281. A memorial service will be held in the Bruder Theatre on the Emporia State University campus at 2 p.m. March 30. Both services will be conducted by the Rev. Neil Weatherhogg, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Topeka. Memorial contributions may be made to the David L. and Mary Wylli Matheny Scholarship Fund at Emporia State University. Contributions may be sent to the University Foundation or to the Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home, in Emporia which is in charge of arrangements there. Mercer Funeral Home in Holton is in charge of arrangements here.
Howard M. Ricketts, 91, Nortonville, died March 22, 2001 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Topeka. He was born May 18, 1909 in Nortonville, the son of James Bruce and Sarah Elizabeth (Seevers) Ricketts. He was a U.S. Army veteran, serving as a special investigator for the military police. He was a farmer, a butcher, had worked on the Santa Fe Railroad, a police officer for the Atchison police department and for Nortonville. He also served as a fish and game warden for Jefferson County. Mr. Ricketts was a member of the Nortonville Methodist Church, a life member of the VFW 56 in Leavenworth and the Disabled American Veterans. He married Bessie Margaret Ingels on July 26, 1948 in Hiawatha. She preceded him in death on March 16, 1997. His parents, three brothers, and a sister also preceded him in death. Survivors include two sons, James Ricketts, Holton, and George Ricketts, Meriden; two daughters, Sarah Toy, Valley Falls, and Joan Lemke, Atchison; 17 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. Funeral services were held March 25, 2001 at the United Methodist Church in Nortonville. Burial was in Nortonville Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Methodist Church in Nortonville, or the Jefferson County Hospice.
Caroline Elizabeth Howell Hancks, 89, died March 21, 2001 at Salina Regional Health Center. She was born Aug. 11, 1911 in Lincoln County. She received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Marymount College in 1933, after which she began a long teaching career. She received a master’s degree in history from Fort Hays State College in 1965. Mrs. Hancks taught school in many Kansas towns including Shady Bend, Carneiro, Sylvan Grove, Ellis, Holton, Langdon, Oakley, Natoma, Garfield, Larned, Bazine, and St. Paul. Her subjects included English, Spanish, history, and mathematics. She also sponsored many extracurricular activities, including the yearbook, senior class, senior trips, and class plays. Mrs. Hancks retired from teaching in 1976 and settled back on the Howell homestead with her husband Frank. She continued to lead a very active life, including volunteer work at Little House in Salina and participation in bowling leagues and other community activities. Frank and Elizabeth also supported the Lincoln County Council on Aging, the Lincoln Center for the Arts, the Salina Public Library, the Nature Conservancy, the Ellsworth Hospital, the St. John’s Missionary Baptist Church in Salina, and many other organizations. She was also interested in environmental preservation and Kansas History. She had an extensive knowledge of local events from the early 1900s, which she passed along to other historians. She is survived by her husband, Frank; her daughters, Merry Susan and Margaret; and a son, Gregory Bruce. In accordance to Mrs. Hancks’ wishes, services are private. Memorial contributions may be made to the Kansas Chapter of the Nature Conservancy, 700 SW Jackson, Ste. 804, Topeka, Kan., 66603, or the Lincoln County Council on Aging, P.O. Box 55, Lincoln, Kan. 67455.
Orvene E. (Alexander) Jones, 87, Chilhowee, Mo., died March 19, 2001. She was born Dec. 15, 1913 in Bates County, Mo. She graduated from Johnstown High School in 1932. She married Charley Jones in 1935 and they raised three children in the Johnstown area until moving to Kansas City, Mo. in 1951. Mrs. Jones was a member of the Irish Setter Club of Greater Kansas City of which her husband was a past president. She was a member of the Ridge Runners Camping Club. She had lived on a farm near Chilhowee since 1994 to be near family members. Survivors include her husband, Charley Jones; a son, Gerald K. (J.J.) Jones, Kansas City, Mo.; a daughter, Linda S. Wilson, Chilhowee, Mo.; seven grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; two stepgrandchildren; three step-great-grandchildren; one step-great-great-grandchild; a brother, Max Alexander, Kansas City, Mo.; and other family members. She was preceded in death by a daughter, Barbara Robinett; her parents; four sisters; a brother; and a great-grandson. Services were held March 22 at D.W. Newcomers & Sons, Floral Hills Chapel, with burial in Floral Hills Cemetery.
Keith Bennett Wagoner, 83, Holton, died March 20, 2001 at Stormont-Vail Regional HealthCare Center in Topeka. Services will be announced by Mercer Funeral Home in Holton.
Jennifer Dawn Mayhew, 16, Onaga, died March 19, 2001 from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle accident south of Duluth in Pottawatomie County. She was born Oct. 23, 1984 in Onaga, the daughter of Wade and Diane Mayhew. Miss Mayhew was a sophomore at Onaga High School, where she was a member of the yearbook staff, played on the volleyball team and participated in choir. Survivors include her mother, Diane Mayhew, of the home; her father, Wade Mayhew, Emmett; a brother, James Mayhew, Onaga; a sister, Janell Diane Griggs, Holton; maternal grandparents, Wayne and Florence Florence, Onaga; and paternal grandmother, Elroy McDowell, Havensville. Services were held March 23 at the Onaga Area Community Center. Burial will be in Onaga Cemetery. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Jennifer Dawn Mayhew Memorial Fund, sent in care of the funeral home.
Greta Louise Karten, 77, Holton, died April 3, 2001 at a Holton nursing home. She was born April 9, 1923 in Dahlhausen, Germany, the daughter of Friedrich Wilhelm and Maria Strecker Lenz. While in Germany, Greta apprenticed in a porcelain store. She and her husband emigrated from Essen-Steele, Germany, in May of 1957. The Evangelical United Brethren Church in Holton sponsored them here along with their son. They became U.S. citizens in 1963. Greta worked for Slimaker Dress Factory, Deeter's Grocery Store, Knouft's Variety Store and the IGA Bakery, all in Holton. She also worked for Whitley's Builders' Supply Store in Topeka. She worked for many years as a seamstress contracting a lot of work from her home. She took part in the Every Woman's Resource Center Designer Show House. She was a member of the Evangel United Methodist Church in Holton, the King's Daughter's Sunday school, the Aletha Faust Circle, and the church choir. She married Hans H. Karten on Feb. 21, 1948 in Essen-Steele. He survives. Other survivors include a son, Harold Karten, Perry; two daughters, Coleen Karten, Topeka, and Moreen Morgan, Manhattan; three grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. She was preceded in death by four brothers, Ernst Lenz, Erich Lenz, Hans Lenz, and Rudi Lenz; and a sister, Elly Langenkamp. Services will be held at 10 a.m. April 6 at Mercer Funeral Home in Holton. Burial will be in Holton Cemetery. Family visitation will be from 7 to 8 p.m. April 5 at the funeral home. Memorials may be given to the Evangel United Methodist Church, sent in care of Mercer Funeral Home, P.O. Box 270, Holton, Kan. 66436.
Richard Carlton Beems, 66, Topeka, died April 2, 2001 of chronic lung disease at a local hospice house. He was born on Aug. 25, 1934 in Holton, the son of Harold Ross and Gladys Violet Hull Beems. He graduated from Holton High School in 1952. Mr. Beems was a civil engineer for the Kansas Department of Transportation for 40 years before retiring in 1994. He lived in Grantville from 1956 until 1989 when he moved to Topeka. He was a member of the Grantville United Methodist Church, the Kansas Association of Public Employees, where he was a board member from 1985-2000, a member and a volunteer for the Combat Air Museum, and a member of the Beagle Club and the El Camino Club. He enjoyed woodworking, reading books, fishing, nature, and car racing. He married Alice Zinn on May 27, 1955. They were divorced. He married Mary Stallbaumer Rethman on Oct. 28, 1989 in Elko, Nev. She survives. Mr. Beems was preceded in death by an infant brother, Burwell Kenneth Beems, and a sister, Berla Armstrong. Other survivors include a brother, Harold Milton Beems, Topeka; three daughters, Kendra Munroe, Mission, Kelly Westbrook, Palm Harbor, Fla., and Kristen Lawrence, Grantville; three stepsons, Dave Rethman, Dan Rethman, and Cotton Rethman, all of Topeka; two stepdaughters, Lynda Rethman, and Renae Steuart, both of Topeka; four grandchildren; and eight stepgrandchildren. Mr. Beems will lie in state at Brennan-Mathena Funeral Home after 2 p.m. April 4. Family will receive friends from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. that evening. A parish rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. Funeral services for Mr. Beems will be at 11 a.m. April 5 at Westlawn Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Topeka. Memorial contributions may be made to Grantville United Methodist Church Youth Group, Hayden High School Athletic Department, or Christ the King Project Growth, and sent in care of the funeral home.
LaVern Bartels, 79, Barnston, Neb., died April 1, 2001 at his home. He was born May 19, 1921, in Marshall County, the son of H.C. and Elsie Remmers Bartels. They preceded him in death. He owned and operated his own repair shop in Barnston. He was a member of State Line Lutheran Church of Wymore, Neb. Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Bartels, of the home; four sisters; and three brothers, including Arthur Bartels of rural Holton. Funeral services will be held April 5 at State Line Lutheran Church in Wymore. Burial will be in the church cemetery.
Thomasine A. Cope, 80, Denver, formerly of Frankfort, died March 30, 2001 at a Denver hospital. She was born in Beattie, the daughter of John and Marcella Cook Koch. She spent many years in Frankfort before she moved to Thornton, Colo., in 1974. She was a cook at Humana Hospital in Thornton for more than 20 years. She married Dee Cope in 1937. He died March 29, 1970. Two sons, Larry Cope and Allen Cope, also preceded her in death. Survivors include three sons, Gary Cope, Denison, Donald Cope, Thornton, and Galen Cope, Meriden; a daughter, Karen Schultz, Thornton; two sisters, Leona Houtz Kieffer, Marysville, and Kathryn Thompson, Wichita; 12 grandchildren; and 13 great-grandchildren. Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. April 5 at St. Malachy's Catholic Church in Beattie. Burial will be in Union Cemetery in Beattie. Mrs. Cope will lie in state until 8 p.m. April 4 at Kinsley Mortuary in Marysville and after 9 a.m. April 5 at the church.