This Week


Veteran’s Building Renovation Receives $10K Donation

The Veterans Building in Syracuse received a sizeable donation this week from Skyland Grain and CoBank. Using matching funds by CoBank, Skyland Grain was able to double their $5,000 donation to the building renovation project, bringing the total to $10,000.

According to Rusty Wharton, vice president of the Hamilton County Veterans Memorial Organization and Commander of the American Legion, the building received a new roof earlier in the summer months and now the building is in the process of the new window installation, as well as getting the building ready for the installation of the HVAC system. Once the windows are installed, the building is scheduled for the preparation work on the walls for painting.

According to Wharton, the donation will be used in the general fund, which is to be used on projects such as new interior and exterior painting, plumbing, electrical, ceiling and lighting. The project has had specific donations for the roof and window portion of the renovation. Wharton said it has been an inspiration to see the community take such an active interest in the project.

“It has been encouraging to see the amount of support from the community coming together to help with the project,” Wharton said. “It’s inspiring.”

Betty Jean (Bessey) Salmon


Betty Jean (Bessey) Salmon, 91, of Windsor, Colo. died Aug. 23, 2015 at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colo. 


She was born Sept. 25, 1923, in Stafford, Kan. When she was six, her family moved to Syracuse, Kan. where she attended grade school and high school, graduating in 1941. She attended Kansas State Teacher’s College in Emporia, Kan., for a year and then taught school for a year in a one-room schoolhouse in the Bear Creek School District near Syracuse.


On May 1, 1943, she married Tech. Sgt. Henry E. Salmon at Fort Riley, Kan. Sgt. Salmon remained in the Army until his retirement in 1960. They lived in a number of states including Michigan, Louisiana, Virginia and New York. After his retirement they lived in Seattle for 16 years before moving to Colorado Springs in 1976. Mr. Salmon died Oct. 2, 1989.


Mrs. Salmon worked for the Federal Civil Service for 28 years, retiring June 30, 1975 from the Corps of Engineers in Seattle as a computer specialist. In 1970-71 she commuted from Seattle to San Francisco weekly helping to develop computer programs for a corps-wide accounting system. While employed by the government, she won several superior and outstanding performance awards, including the District Engineer’s Award in 1972. She was nominated by the Northern Pacific Division of the Corps of Engineers for the Department of the Army National Federal Women’s Award in 1972 and received the Outstanding Performance Award in 1973. Mrs. Salmon graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Seattle Community College in August 1975 and Magna Cum Laude Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Colorado in 1983. 


Mrs. Salmon was a member of Faith Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs and also a member of Faith United Church of Christ in Windsor. She was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, the American Association of Retired Persons, American Society of University Women, and a life member of the Pioneer Museum in Colorado Springs.


Survivors include one sister, Imogene Tate of Arvada, Colo.; two brothers; James Donnel of Windsor and Delbert Bessey of Surprise, Ariz.; six nieces and nine nephews.


She is preceded in death by her husband, Henry E. Salmon; her parents; two sisters and one brother.


At her request no services will be held. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith United Church of Christ in Windsor, or the Clearview Library District. 


Online condolences may be made at

Ralph Milton Plummer

Funeral services for longtime, Holly, Colo. resident, Rev. Ralph Plummer, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 at the Holly School Old Gymnasium.  Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery.  Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015.


Ralph Milton Plummer was born on Aug. 25, 1952 in Baraboo, Wis. to Alvin and Bea (Starner) Plummer.  He passed away on Aug. 20, 2015 at Sangre De Cristo Hospice in Pueblo, Colo. at the age of 62.


Ralph graduated from South High in Pueblo, Colo.  He then graduated from Western Bible Institute and Baptist Bible College in Denver, Colo.  When Ralph was in Junior High he began working on pianos which later led him to become a Licensed Piano Tuner/Technician.  On April 12, 1974 Ralph was united in marriage to Candy Tschetter in Carpenter, S.D.  They were blessed with one son, Chris.  Ralph’s musical talents were shared through singing or playing an instrument at many weddings, funerals, and other musical concerts and was often accompanied by his wife Candy. Ralph was a member of the Holly Ministerial Alliance, Child Evangelism Fellowship Board, and Holly Commercial Club where he served as President for many years. Ralph was also the coordinator of the local Operation Christmas Child Organization. 


Ralph is survived by his wife, Candy of Holly; son, Chris Plummer of Holly; and sister, Janet Eidson and husband, Lonnie of Glasgow, Mont.


He was preceded in death by his parents; infant baby brother, David John; infant baby sister, Carol Ann; mother-in-law, Cathern Tschetter; and father-in-law, Ed Tschetter.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ralph Plummer Memorial Fund in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, Colorado 81052.


For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit

Wallace Junior "Babe" Hartshorn

Funeral services for Holly, Colo. resident, Wallace J. Hartshorn, affectionately known as “Babe”, was held Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly with Curtis Hartshorn officiating. Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery. Per Babe’s request, there will be no public visitation.


Wallace Junior Hartshorn was born on July 19, 1932 in Holly to Wallace E. and Edna Grace (Stwalley) Hartshorn. He passed away on August 13, 2015 at the Holly Nursing Care Center at the age of 83.


Babe graduated from Holly High School in 1950 and was then drafted into the United States Army in 1952. On Feb. 10, 1957 he was united in marriage to Joyce Mangan at the Baptist Church in Holly. To this union, five children were born. Babe was a member of the VFW and a Lions Club member in Towner and Holly.


Babe is survived by his wife, Joyce of Granada, Colo.; children, Christina (Ronald) Seybert, Kerry (Shawna) Hartshorn, Vincent Hartshorn of Granada, Monte Hartshorn of Lamar, Colo.; Lonna (Del) Westeman of Milford, Texas; 13 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and other relatives and a host of friends.


He was preceded in death by his parents; granddaughter, Kaitlin Hartshorn; grandson, Dustin Hartshorn; brothers, Lloyd (Bud) Hartshorn and Max Hartshorn; sister, Linda Rose; and many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Holly Nursing Care Center Community Fund in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, CO 81052.


For more information or to leave online condolences please visit

Richard Leon Burkhart


Richard Leon Burkhart, beloved husband, father, and grandfather passed away at his home on Aug. 5, 2015. Ever the optimist, he refused to let his diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer eleven months ago dampen his spirit. He never complained or asked “why me”. Richard had a positive attitude toward life and a great sense of humor which kept him young.

He was born on July 1, 1940, in Topeka, Kan., to Leon and Pearl (King) Burkhart. The most significant lesson he learned while growing up that carried him through life was persistence. His “never give up” attitude was evident through his battle with polio as a young teen.

After graduating from Syracuse High School in Syracuse, Kan., he attended St. Mary of the Plains in Dodge City, Kan. for two years and then Emporia State University earning a BS in Education with an emphasis in Math in 1963. Richard taught in Topeka, for 3 ½ years before beginning a thirty-year career at IBM; starting out in Kansas City, Mo., moving to St Louis, Mo., then Wichita, Kan., and finally retiring in Seattle, Wash., in 1995. Once he officially retired, Richard and his wife, Connie, wintered in La Quinta, Calif., followed by Marana, Ariz., and enjoyed lots of sunshine and golf. He made many friends with each move and enjoyed keeping in touch with them all.

Richard never met a stranger and because of his gregarious spirit, he made everyone around him feel at ease. His eternal optimism, wit, generosity, and zest for life were an inspiration to everyone who had the privilege of being part of his life. Richard’s twinkling blue eyes and infectious laugh were something to behold. He was an extraordinary man who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. 

One of his greatest enjoyments later in life was attending his grandchildren’s school events, activities, and significant milestones. Richard was a fiercely competitive golfer and managed to “shoot his age” at 72, 73, and 74. He was always eager to play his best game of golf and encouraged others to do the same. In addition to his love of golf, he was an avid Kansas City Royals baseball fan. Watching every Royals game through the 2014 playoffs and World Series made going through chemotherapy more bearable. Richard will leave behind many friends, especially those from Shadow Glen Golf Club in Olathe and The Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Ariz. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Richard’s memory to RISE School of Houston, The First Tee of Greater Kansas City, or St. Paul Catholic Church, Olathe.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Leon and Pearl Burkhart. He is survived by his wife, Connie Burkhart; two sons, Kelly (Katy), Tucker (Danielle), and daughter, Stacie (Gary) Unruh; sister, LaVerna (David) Hill, eleven grandchildren, numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Visitation with the family was held on Sunday, Aug. 9 at Johnson County Funeral Chapel & Memorial Garden,11200 Metcalf Ave. Overland Park, KS 66210. A Rosary followed. Funeral Mass was held on Monday, Aug. 10, at St. Paul Catholic Church, 900 S Honeysuckle Dr., Olathe KS 66061.  Fond memories and condolences may be left at

Arnold Lee Lennington


Arnold Lee Lennington, age 71, died Sunday, July 26, 2015 at his home in Lakin, Kan. He was born on August 12, 1943 in Shattuck, Okla., the son of Arthur and Ophelia (Quickel) Lennington.

He was married to Joan Brown on August 9, 1978 in Colorado Springs, Colo. She preceded him in death on Oct. 16, 1996.

Arnold was a lifetime Hamilton and Kearny County resident.  He graduated from Kendall High School in 1961.  His entire working career was with the Kansas Department Of Transportation and retired as an Engineer.  Arnold enjoyed watching NASCAR, fishing and especially attending his Grandchildren’s sporting events.  

He was preceded in death by his parents, Arthur and Ophelia Lennington; his wife, Joan; one Son, John Jury; and a step-father, Lawrence Kitten.

He is survived by, two sons, Richard Lennington, of Syracuse, and Chad Jury of  Hays, Kan.; three daughters, Stephanie Bradshaw of Aurora, Colo., Krissie Christiansen of Lakin, and Kimmie Delgado of Lakin; three sisters, Lois Kitten of Yoder, Colo., Shirley Perkins of Castle Rock, Colo., and Rita Ihrig of Goodland, Kan.; and nine grandchildren.

Funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, July 31, 2015 at the United Methodist Church in Lakin with Rev. Tod Anthony officiating. Burial will follow at the Lakin Cemetery in Lakin. Friends and family may call on Thursday, July 30, 2015 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Garnand Funeral Home in Lakin. Memorial contributions may be sent to the United Methodist Church in care of Garnand Funeral Home. Condolences may be posted at Services under the direction of Garnand Funeral Home, at 508 North Main, Box 91   Lakin, KS  67860.


Francis Wainwright

Francis Wainwright, 70, a long time resident of Yakima, Wash. passed away on July 24, 2015. He was the son of Carroll and Catherine Wainwright.


Francis graduated from Syracuse High School in 1963. He also graduated from the University of Kansas School of Pharmacy. He was a retired hospital pharmacist at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital.


Francis has one surviving sister Barbara Ginther of Garden City, Kan.


He is preceded in death by his parent’s, Carroll and Catherine Wainwright; and one brother, Kenneth Wainwright of Bakersfield, Calif.

Greg Howell

Greg Howell, age 54, of Manter, Kan. died Friday, July 24, 2015 at his home in rural Stanton County, Kansas.  He was born June 18, 1961 in Kansas City, Mo., the son of Charles and Virginia (Donahu) Howell.

Greg grew up in Syracuse and graduated from Syracuse High School in 1979.  He then moved to Topeka where he was an operator at a wastewater plant.  Greg moved back to Syracuse and for 20 years farmed and worked as an independent contractor for dairies. For the last year he was a foreman at Syracuse Dairy.  Greg married Candi Figgins on Feb. 21, 2015 in Dumas, Texas at the Middlewell United Methodist Church.  He enjoyed Harley Davidson motorcycles, traveling and history.  

He is survived by his wife, Candi of their home; children, Nicole Howell of Eugene, Ore.,  Kacy Howell and fiancé Luke Rogge of Lindsborg, Kan., Wesley Howell of Topeka, Kan., Christopher Howell, Twila Smedley of Manter, David Smedley of Manter, Kansas; and brother, Bill Howell of Syracuse. 

Greg is preceded in death by his parents; and grandson, Allan Rogge. 

Funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. CST on Saturday, Aug. 1, 2015 at the Fields Memorial Wesleyan Church in Johnson, with Reverend Keith Hight officiating.  Friends are encouraged to ride their motorcycles to the service.  Interment will follow at the Syracuse Cemetery in Syracuse.  Friends may call from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Friday, July 31, 2015 at Garnand Funeral Home in Johnson.  Memorial contributions may be given to the Middlewell United Methodist Church in care of Garnand Funeral Home, PO Box 715, Johnson, Kansas 67855.

Troy Dean Jantz

Troy Dean Jantz, age 50, passed away on July 18, 2015 at his home in Garden City, Kan. He was the son of Walter Jantz and Dorothy (Williams) Jantz.


Troy was born in Syracuse, Kan. on Nov. 24, 1964 and attended Syracuse High School, graduating in 1983. While he was in high school he helped his father with the farming operation and worked at Roy's Jack & Jill grocery store. 


Troy enjoyed his 4-wheeler and his dirt bike. He would sometimes enjoy doing wood working projects, but his greatest enjoyment was listening to all of his favorite kinds of music.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Dorothy Jantz; and one sister, Janet L. Jantz.


He is survived by, two sisters, Diana Holdren of Syracuse, and Connie (& husband Kenneth) Boese of Grand Junction, Colo.; four nieces, one nephew, two great nieces, 11 great nephews; as well as numerous family members and friends.



Private Family Services were held on Tuesday, July 21, 2015. 


Condolences may be sent to In Lieu of Flowers memorial contributions may be payable to the First Presbyterian Church,  and sent in care of Fellers Funeral Home & Monuments LLC, P.O. Box 1253, Syracuse, KS 67878. 620-384-5100. 


Wayne Thomas Nielsen

Graveside memorial services for Wayne Nielsen will be held at 10 a.m. Friday July 24, 2015 at the Coolidge Cemetery in Coolidge, Kan. 

Wayne Thomas Nielsen was born to Thomas and Minnie (Horton) Nielsen on Oct. 5, 1927 in the Limestone House located six miles West of Syracuse, Kan. He had Miss McCoy for a teacher and Mr. George Starkey for a shop teacher. He attended school through the twelfth grade in Syracuse and then moved to California with his brother and his Uncle Joe, where he graduated in 1945.

In April of 1946, Wayne was drafted into the United States Army. He was stationed in Korea where he ran a bulldozer to build airstrips in preparation for the impending war.  Wayne served his country until October of 1947. 

A couple years after returning to the United States, Wayne traveled with some friends to Lamar, Colo. where he met Mary “Tootie” Bowen. He began to make the trip from Syracuse to Lamar frequently. One night on his journey to see Tootie, Wayne was pulled over by a Highway Patrolman who informed him that if he was going to continue to make this journey on such a regular basis, that he would have to change his pretty blue taillights. He and Tootie were married on Oct. 14, 1950, and were blessed with three sons; Gary, Douglas, and Thomas Nielsen. 

Over the course of their marriage, they called several different states home. They lived in Syracuse until the spring of 1951, when they moved to Las Animas, Colo. where Wayne was employed by Les Baldwin until after harvest when they moved to Lamar where he worked for Tootie’s uncle in the construction field. In December of the following year, they made the move to California where Wayne became a machinist in a plastic plant which produced airplane canopies and windows, including the windows for Dwight D. Eisenhower’s presidential plane. They eventually returned to Kansas, calling Coolidge home for the next 30 years. While there, Wayne was in the construction business, farmed, managed a restaurant, and a convenience store. In 1990, Wayne and Tootie left Coolidge to manage a retirement complex and the Best Western Motel for the next twenty years, returning to their beginnings in Syracuse once again when Tootie retired in 2005. 

Wayne is survived by his wife, Mary “Tootie” Nielsen; sons, Gary (Judy) Nielsen of Syracuse, Douglas (Denise) Nielsen of Syracuse, and Thomas (Grethal) Nielsen of Liberal, Kan.; sisters, Rosalie Vesper and Norma Simpson; grandchildren, Ashley Nielsen, Deric Nielsen, Jessica (Tim) Blais, Morgan Nielsen-Freihoefer, Brock Nielsen, Marcus Nielsen, Hazel Arafol, Joshua Arafol, Erica Nielsen; and great-grandchildren, Alexis, Kaylee, Addison, and Madeline.

He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Earl and Everett Nielsen; grandson, Bryan Cole Nielsen; and nephew, Michael Simpson.

Memorial Contributions may be made to the Syracuse Educational Fund in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, CO 81052.

For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit


Geraldine (Hatcher) George

Geraldine H. George, 96, of Syracuse, Kan., passed away July 15, 2015 at Via Christi Hospital, Manhattan, KS. She had been residing in Wamego for a short time. She had lived in Bullhead City, Ariz. following retirement.


Geraldine was born July 11, 1919 in Minneola, Kan., the daughter of Frank D. and Laura L. (Monson) Hatcher. She attended schools in Minneola and graduated from Minneola High School. She married Raymond Fristoe in 1943; he preceded her in death. She later married Neill Roy George in 1961 in Minneola; he also preceded her in death.


She spent many years as a homemaker and was a 50-year member of the Order of Eastern Star- St. Bernard Chapter 97 of Dodge City, Kan. She enjoyed sewing, especially quilting, and collecting sunflower and frog memorabilia. She was an avid storyteller and appreciated time spent with family and friends.


Her survivors include, 3 step-daughters: Ann Whipple (Richard), Rathdrum, Idaho, Gayle Barns, Mullberry, Ark., Sandy Hank (Lonie), Liberty, Mo.; a niece, Sandra Ellis (Wilbur), Granada, Colo.; 10 grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.


She is also preceded in death by 4 brothers: Fay, F.D., E.L. Shug, and Fontelle.


Cremation has taken place. Graveside services with Order of Eastern Star burial services for Geraldine will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, August 1, 2015, at the Minneola Cemetery. The family has suggested memorials to the Order of Eastern Star-St. Bernard Chapter 97, Dodge City, KS, and may be left in care of Stewart Funeral Home, PO Box 48, Wamego, KS 66547. Online condolences may also be left at