This Week


Hamilton County Celebrates Veteran’s Day

Members of the Women’s Auxiliary prepared and served the annual Veterans Dinner on Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, at the Veterans Memorial Building on north Main Street, with approximately 50 people in attendance including veterans, families and guests in attendance. 
The program began following the meal with District Commander Larry Ochs welcoming everyone.  He drew attention to their POW/MIA table, paying tribute to those who served their country but never returned home. 
“We will never forget those who never returned home,” Ochs said.   
The Syracuse Christian Academy then performed a medley of songs from the different branches of service, inviting veterans to stand and sing as their official song was sang.   
Ochs began the program by reading a “thank you to a veteran letter,” much like the ones the local veterans received earlier in the day at the school. The letter was found by a county sheriff while doing some organizing of his keepsakes, which he received in 2003 while serving in the military. After reading the letter, he realized it was written by the same deputy he had hired several years earlier. The deputy did not recall writing the letter, but they both were taken aback by the coincidence. 
Ochs went on to explain it is events like this to honor not only recent generations of veterans, but every man and woman who has honorably served since the American Revolution. 
He reminded everyone that Veterans Day 2018 is especially significant because it was on that day, 100 years ago at 11 a.m., 11-11 (Nov. 11) in 1918 when the armistice or truce began, which ended WWI. It was a conflict so bloody and horrific that many optimists referred to it as the war to end all wars. Sadly, it wasn’t.  Ochs explained it was that war that led to the founding of our organization, the American Legion, and a commitment by this country for veterans who came home blinded by mustard gas and shell shocked by trench warfare.
It is a commitment that continues today whether the wounds are inflicted by an improvised explosive device, (IED) in Afghanistan, or injuries from a training accident in California. It is a commitment that covers veterans of all races, religions, genders and economic classes.
America is fortunate to have millions of great men and women standing for freedom since our country’s founding. We owe it to them all to ensure their service and sacrifice is always remembered. 
He closed with reading the last line from the “thank you letter to a veteran”, written by the young fourth-grader, which read, “thank you for all you do for your county, God bless you and God bless our nation’s veterans.”

Shirley J. Schmidt

Glasgow. Mo. resident, Shirley J. Schmidt, 80, passed away at her home Nov. 7, 2018.
Shirley J. Schmidt was born Aug. 16, 1938 in Saline County, Mo. and was the daughter of Frank and Elsie (Janneck) Leimkuehler. Shirley graduated from Slater High School in 1957. She continued her education attending Central College in Fayette and National College in Kansas City. On March 19, 1960, Shirley married William “Bill” Schmidt at the United Methodist Church in Slater, Mo. Together they enjoyed over 49 years of marriage. Bill preceded Shirley in death Nov. 16, 2009. Shirley was active in the Glasgow community donating her time at the senior center and serving as 4-H leader. She was a devout member of the First United Methodist Church of Glasgow where she served within the church in various capacities. She was a member of the United Methodist Women, the Lamplighters, a youth leader, a choir member, and she taught Sunday school for 25 years. Shirley truly treasured her family especially her grand and great-grandchildren. She will be deeply missed by family and friends.
Survivors include two sons, William (Cheryl) Schmidt, Jr. of Glasgow and Robert (Nancy) Schmidt of Carrollton, Mo.; daughter, Lora (John) Horton of Kendall, Kan.; nine grandchildren, Tiffany Swanson, Kim Westhues, David Schmidt, Sally and Ruby Schmidt, Caitlyn, Rachel, Mallory and Ethan Horton; nine great-grandchildren, Tristan and Aiden Swanson, Alan, AJ and George Westhues, and August, Evelyn, Elijah and Jeremiah Schmidt. In addition to her husband and parents, Shirley was preceded in death by an infant twin sister, and a brother, Wendell Leimkuehler.
Funeral service for Mrs. Schmidt will be 10 a.m., Monday, Nov. 12, 2018 at Friemonth-Freese Funeral Home in Glasgow with Rev. Karen Alden officiating. Visitation is 4 - 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 10, 2018 at the funeral home. Interment will follow the funeral at Ridge Park Cemetery in Marshall, Mo.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to FUMC of Glasgow or Glasgow Senior Center in care of the funeral home.

Eloise (Hughes) Weckerly

Eloise (Hughes) Weckerly of Syracuse, Kan., passed away at Homestead Of Manhattan Assisted Living in Manhattan, Kan., on Nov. 6, 2018, at the age of 93. She was born March 20, 1925, in Byers, Kan., the daughter of Cecil Guy Hughes and Mabel A. (Wasson) Hughes.

Eloise began her life in Byers, and attended Byers High School and graduated in 1944. On Feb. 10, 1946 she married Gene Weckerly in Scott City, Kan..  She was a Secretary on the Port Hueneme, Calif. Naval Base while Gene was in the Navy prior to their return in 1947 to make  their home in the Bear Creek Community south of Syracuse. To this union three children were born, Paul, Donna, and Kathy. Eloise was a farm wife and took care of all the needs to raising her family working on the farm. In 1981, she and her family moved to Syracuse and retired from the farm life. In 2016 she moved to Manhattan to be closer to her daughters and because of her failing health. She enjoyed living in Syracuse, the biggest part of her life, but resided in Manhattan the last three years until her passing.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Syracuse. She loved gardening, quilting and her greatest love was spending time with her grandchildren and family.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Cecil and Mabel Hughes; her stepmother, Ruth (Hensley) Hughes; her spouse, Gene Weckerly; one son and wife, Paul Lee and Gloria Weckerly; four brothers, James Frisbie, Bill Hughes, Larry Hughes, and Don Hughes; two sisters, Delores Chance and Avola McMannis Zimmerman.

She is survived by two daughters, Kathy Weckerly of Manhattan, and Donna (& husband Geary) Mosburg of Manhattan; one sister:     JoAnn (& husband Bob) Simmons of Goodland, Kan.; a sister-in-law, Marie Frisbie; two grandchildren, Paula Housholder of Syracuse, and Angela (& husband Trent) Felzien of Manhattan; five great grandchildren, Tate Housholder of Syracuse, Jaycee (& husband Jordan) Rider of Syracuse, Caitlyn Housholder of Syracuse, Ellie Felzien of Manhattan, and Seth Felzien of Manhattan; two great great grandchildren, Creo Rider and Quinlynn Rider of Syracuse; a nephew, Roger (& wife Gwen) Chance of Olathe, Kan., and many family members and friends.

Funeral Services will be held Monday, Nov. 12, 2018, at 10 a.m. (MST) at the First United Methodist Church, in Syracuse. Burial will follow in the Syracuse Cemetery in Syracuse.

Visitation will be held Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, from 4 to 6 p.m. (MST) at Fellers Funeral Home LLC of Syracuse, KS.

Condolences may be sent to In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be payable to First United Methodist Church, Leukemia Foundation, or Special Olympics sent in care of Fellers Funeral Home & Monuments LLC, P.O. Box 1253, 401 N. Sumner, Syracuse, KS 67878. 620-384-5100.

Charles Leroy Maxfield

Charles Leroy Maxfield, of Garden City, Kan., passed away at the Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kan., on Oct. 8, 2018, at the age of 88. He was born July 12, 1930, in Syracuse, Kan., the son of John William Maxfield and Anna Lovena (Kliffmiller) Maxfield.

Charles was born in Syracuse at the Donahue Hospital and at the age of two, both of his parents passed away. He moved in with his grandma in Coolidge, and later in 1937 he began living with Leonard and Edith Maxfield, his aunt and uncle. He attended Coolidge and Syracuse Schools. At the age of fourteen he was on his own and began working on farms. He worked for the Eddy’s and Glenn Wilson farming where it was his means of living. On June 10, 1950, he married Neva Ann Shamburg in Raton, N.M. and they made their home in Syracuse. To this union five children were born, Stephen, Sandra, Daniel, Tamera, and Scott. He began working for the City of Syracuse in 1979, where he was the foreman for city maintenance. He retired in 1993, and in 2000 he moved to Garden City, and resided there until his passing.

Charles was a member of the Southern Baptist Church, a 4-H Leader, Saddle Club, all of Syracuse. He enjoyed playing cards, fishing, horses, having a good dog around, and in his later years he enjoyed dancing.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Anna Maxfield; two sisters, Viola Daniel and Emma Maxfield.

He is survived by his spouse, Neva Ann (Shamburg) Maxfield of Lakin, Kan.; three sons, Stephen (& wife Laurie) Maxfield of Monte Vista, Colo., Daniel (& wife Sheila) Maxfield of Lakin, and Scott (& wife Julie) Maxfield of Minford, Ohio; two daughters, Sandra (& husband David) Wright of Lakin, and Tamera (& husband Joe) Helton of Holcomb, Kan.; 13 grandchildren; 27 great grandchildren; and many family members and friends.

Memorial Services will be held Friday, Oct. 19, 2018, at 10 a.m. (MDT) at the Southern Baptist Church in Syracuse. Burial will follow in the Syracuse Cemetery in Syracuse.

Condolences may be sent to

In-lieu-of-flowers memorial contributions may be payable to High Plains Retirement Village, sent in care of Fellers Funeral Home & Monuments LLC, P.O. Box 1253, 401 N. Sumner, Syracuse, KS 67878. 620-384-5100.

Brenda Sue (Morris) Beck

Brenda Sue (Morris) Beck, of Ulysses, Kan., passed away at her home in Ulysses, on Aug. 26, 2018, at the age of 54. She was born April 8, 1964, in Johnson, Kan., the daughter of James Beryl Morris and Velma Jean (Wise) Morris.

Brenda began her life in Johnson and attended Stanton County High School. In 1979, she married Doug Atkinson in Johnson, and they later divorced. To this union two children were born, Daryl and Shawn. Soon after getting married, they moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, where she worked in healthcare. In 1988, she married Brad Beck in Salt Lake City, and they later divorced. To this union three children were born, Cory, April and Sarah. In 2009, she was forced to retire due to her health. In June of 2014, she moved to Ulysses and resided there until her untimely passing.

Brenda was a past member of the Big Bow 4-H Club in Johnson, and also was a Barrel Racer in Little Britches Rodeos. She enjoyed crocheting and doing ceramics, but her greatest enjoyment was spending time with family and friends.

She is survived by her father, James Beryl Morris of Norfolk, Neb.; her mother, Velma Jean (Wise) Morris of Grove, Okla.; three sons, Daryl (& wife Shannon) Atkinson of Centerville, Utah, Shawn Atkinson of Ogden, Utah, and Cory Morris of Grove, Okla.; two daughters, April Cherry and Sarah Cherry of South Jordan, Utah; three sisters, Cindy Winters of Grove, Candace Morris of Ellsworth, Kan., and Jennifer (& husband Clinton) Bowers of Grove; two grandchildren, Aiden Atkinson of Centerville, Utah, and Arianna Atkinson of Ogden; and many family members and friends.

Memorial Graveside Services will be held Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, at 3 p.m. (CDT) at the Hickory Grove Cemetery in Grove, Okla.

Condolences may be sent to In-lieu-of-flowers memorial contributions may be payable to Brenda Beck Memorial Fund, sent in care of Fellers Funeral Home & Monuments LLC, P.O. Box 1253, 401 N. Sumner, Syracuse, KS 67878. 620-384-5100.

John Earl Coghill, Jr.

John Earl Coghill, Jr., of Syracuse, Kan., passed away at the Hamilton County Hospital in Syracuse, on Sept. 7, 2018, at the age of 88. He was born Feb. 22, 1930, near Lakin, Kan., the son of John Earl Henry Coghill and Mary Louise Rhodenbaugh Coghill Brehm.

At the age of four he moved with his father and two brothers, James and Donald, to Soledad, Calif. He attended the Salinas School until entering the United States Air Force in 1948. In 1952, he completed his military service, and he returned to Sacramento, Calif. where he began working as an auto mechanic. While in Sacramento, he married Orpha Ellen Brown, and to this union two daughters were born, Cynthia and Catherine. Later John and Orpha divorced. In 1958 he moved to Syracuse, Kansas, and then in 1963, he moved to Wichita, Kan. where he continued to work as an auto mechanic for 35 years. He retired in 1991, and he later moved back to Syracuse in 1998. He enjoyed living in Syracuse, and resided there until his passing.

He was a past member of the Disabled Veterans, and the Syracuse American Legion. He enjoyed anything mechanical, playing his guitar, playing cards, collecting vintage car models, traveling in his van with his dogs, driving his razor, loved his dogs and cats, and in his younger days he enjoyed dancing.

He was preceded in death by his parents, John and Mary Coghill; a sister, Selma Louise Brown; and a brother, James Coghill.

He is survived by his two daughters, Cynthia Luann Anderson of Roseville, Calif. and Catherine Jean Mortensen of Salem, Ore.; one brother, Donald Coghill of Phoenix, Ariz., a granddaughter, Mollie Anderson of Elverta, Calif.; and many family members and friends.

Cremation has taken place. Private Graveside Memorial Services will be held at a later date in the Syracuse Cemetery, in Syracuse.

Condolences may be sent to

Memorial Contributions may be payable to, Disabled Veterans, Syracuse American Legion, or SPCA/Rescue, sent in care of Fellers Funeral Home & Monuments LLC, P.O. Box 1253, 401 N. Sumner, Syracuse, KS 67878. 620-384-5100

Ralph Allen Pearce

Ralph Allen Pearce, of Syracuse, Kan., passed away at the  Hamilton County Hospital in Syracuse, on Sept. 14, 2018, at the age of 95. He was born Dec. 20, 1922, in Johnson, Kan., the son of Claude Lewis Pearce and Emma Fannie (Milburn) Pearce.

Ralph began his life in Johnson and attended Stanton County Jr/Sr High School. On June 29, 1942, he married Betty Jean Haynes in Johnson, and they later divorced. To this union six children were born, Dennis, Kae, Faye, Penny, James and Lois. They lived and raised their family in both Stanton and Hamilton Counties, where he farmed, worked for the Co-op, and later the Stanton County Road and Bridge Department. In July 2009, he moved to the Sunflower Square in Syracuse and resided there until his passing.

Ralph was a lifetime member of the National Rifle Club, Charter member of Whittington Center Gun Club, Charter member of Santa Fe Trail Gun Club, Lifetime Master Kansas Hunter Safety Instructor, Lifetime member of North American Hunters. He enjoyed hunting, collecting guns, going on vacation to Cimmaron, N.M., watching baseball and football, but his greatest enjoyment was spending time with his family and friends. 

He was preceded in death by his parents, Claude and Emma Pearce; a daughter, Lois Janette Pearce; a brother, Jerry Pearce; a sister, Caroline Werner; a grandson, David Morava, Jr.; and a great grandson, Joshua Pearce.                 

He is survived by two sons, Dennis (& wife Theda) Pearce of Blackwell, Okla., and James Pearce of Springfield, Ky.; three daughters, Kae Bailey of Oklahoma City, Okla., Faye Hall of Oklahoma City, and Penny Morava of Lubbock, Texas; two brothers, Larry Pearce of Big Bow, Kan., and C.D. “Buck” (& wife Cheryl) Pearce of Ludell, Kan.; five grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; three great great grandchildren; and many family members and friends.

Graveside Services will be held Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018, at 10 a.m. (CDT) at the Stanton County Cemetery, in Johnson. There will be no Visitation.

Condolences may be sent to In-lieu-of-flowers memorial contributions may be payable to Syracuse VIP Senior Center or Hamilton County EMT, sent in care of Fellers Funeral Home & Monuments LLC, P.O. Box 1253, 401 N. Sumner, Syracuse, KS 67878. 620-384-5100

Nicole Lee Garner


Nicole Lee Garner, 41 of Navasota, Texas passed away Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2018. A celebration of her life will be held Saturday, Sept. 8 at her home in Navasota. Please come by at anytime Saturday to share, remember, and honor Nicki.

Nicki was born in Liberty, Texas, on May 8, 1977, the daughter of Ronnie Pechacek & Karen Young. During her time at Navasota High School she excelled in sports before graduating in 1995. She continued her sports and academic career at Hardin Simmons University where she played both volleyball and basketball before earning her Bachelor’s degree. She then began her teaching and coaching career at Montgomery ISD followed by stops at A&M Consolidated and most recently at Wellborn Middle School.

On May 20, 1999, she married the love of her life, Mike Garner, in Navasota. Together they raised 3 sons, Cade, Caleb, and Cason. Nicki is best remembered by her servant’s heart. She loved to help people even if it cost her financial or physical discomfort. Her biggest joy in life was when she holding or tending to a baby or young child. Very much the athlete, she loved golf, tennis, & running marathons, and in her quiet time loved to read and paint.

She was preceded in death by her father, Ronnie, and brother, Roy.

Left to cherish her memories are her husband Mike and their sons Cade, Caleb, and Cason & her mother, Karen Lee, along with numerous friends and extended family members.

Wonna Loy Crum

Graveside Services for Holly, Colo. resident, Wonna Loy Crum will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at the Holly Cemetery in Holly.  Visitation will be held from 3 p.m. until 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly.
Wonna Loy Crum was born on Feb. 21, 1934 in rural Prowers County, Colo. to Roy “Boss” and Anna (Dower) Claybrook.  She passed away on Aug. 31, 2018 at her home at the age of 84.
Wonna Loy was a lifetime resident of Prowers County.  She was united in marriage to Seth W. Crum in Raton, NM on Jan. 28, 1951.  Wonna was a buyer for Neoplan, USA and a bus driver for Plainview Schools.
Wonna Loy is survived by her daughter, Murray (Brad) Barth of Holly; daughter-in-law, Sharilyn Crum of Holly; son-in-law, Alan McGilvray of Centennial, Colo.; six grandchildren, Kirk (Ashley) McGilvray, Kyle (Estela) McGilvray, Terence Thompson, Jacob (Justina) Crum, Rachael (Adam) Mueller, and Wade Crum; two great-grandchildren, Joanna Mueller and Ali McGilvray; siblings, Emily Giles and Alan Claybrook both of Arizona; many other relatives and a host of friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Seth Crum; son, Rod Crum; daughter, Susan McGilvray; infant daughters, Ronda Crum and Janice Crum; and siblings, Orin Claybrook, Roy (June) Claybrook, and Anna Mae Claybrook Martin.
In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made to Holly Fire and Ambulance or Lamar Area Hospice in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, Colorado, 81052.  The family kindly requests that all meal contributions be donated for the funeral dinner following the graveside service.  Food donations may be delivered to Living Hope Fellowship Church before 9 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018.
For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit

Tony Allen O'Brate


Tony Allen O’Brate, long-time former resident of Syracuse, Kan., passed away at age 86 on Aug. 27, 2018 in Topeka, Kan. Tony was born Sept. 27, 1931 in Enid, Okla., son of Merrill and Bessie O’Brate. Tony and Joan Cook were married Dec. 27, 1953 in Garden City, Kan.
Tony graduated from Syracuse High School and then attended Southwestern College in Winfield, Kan. Later he received his BA and MA degrees from Adams State College in Alamosa, Colo. He was a US Army veteran.
Tony retired from teaching elementary school after 27 years in 1992. He owned and operated the Syracuse Floral for many years.
Tony was known for his beautiful yard and flower garden. He loved playing the piano and organ for Syracuse United Methodist Church. He was great at baking bread, pies, and cinnamon rolls which everyone enjoyed. After moving to Topeka in 2001, Tony and Joan were babysitters for their youngest grandson, Hunter.
Tony was preceded in death by his wife, Joan; his parents; and his brother, Bill. He is survived by his sister, Helen Lee Cook; and by his four children, Jennifer (Keith) Roberts of Woodbridge, Va., Greg (Tammy Runnebaum) and Joellyn of Topeka, Kan., and Martin (Tracie) of Auburn, Kan. There are eight grandchildren: Jason (Andrea) and Michael Roberts, Philip (Leslie), Matthew (Nicole), and Alaina O’Brate (Bryce Korf), and Brandon, Brian, and Hunter O’Brate. There are ten great-grandchildren.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Syracuse First United Methodist Church Scholarship Fund (Box 1409, Syracuse, KS 67878). A memorial service for both Tony and Joan will be at the Syracuse United Methodist Church on Saturday, Sept. 8 at 11 a.m. (MT). Arrangements are made by Dove Cremation of Topeka.  and Fellers Funeral Home, Syracuse, Kansas. tel:620-384-5100.

Naomi J. Rice

A graveside celebration of life for lifetime Holly, Colo. resident, Naomi J. Rice, was held on Monday, Aug. 27, 2018 at the Garber Cemetery south of Holly with Pastor Eugene Birt officiating.
Per Naomi’s request there will be no visitation.
Naomi was born on June 20, 1929 at Holly to William Hosea Drew and Stella Helen Palmer and passed away on Aug. 22, 2018 at her home in Holly with her family by her side at the age of 89.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Paul T. and Stella Crist and her brothers, Robert Drew and Gary Crist.
Naomi is survived by her husband, James “J.D.” Rice of the family home in Holly; children, Robert “Bob” (Jeannette) Rice of Longview, Texas, Sharon (David) Wagner of Coolidge, Kan., Michael “Mike” (Janice) Rice of Cochise, Ariz., William “Bill” Rice of Maywood, Neb., Jeanie (Leonard) Valdez of Ulysses, Kan. and Debra “Debbie” (Michael) Miller of Holly. She is also survived by eleven grandchildren and thirteen great-grandchildren with one on the way; siblings, Harvey Crist of Syracuse, Kan., Dale (Dona) Crist of Citrus Heights, Calif., Tom (Carol) Crist of Longmont, Colo. and Margaret Ayers of Kansas City, Mo. and her sister-in-law, Evelyn Drew of Syracuse, Kan. as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other family and a host of friends. 
Memorial contributions may be made to the Lamar Area Hospice either direct or in care of the funeral home office.
Services are under the direction of the Peacock Family.
For current information and online condolences please visit our website at

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