This Week


Joint DUI Checkpoint Disrupts Harvest At Coolidge Elevator

A joint sobriety checkpoint between the Kansas Highway Patrol, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and the Garden City Police Department yielded one DUI arrest, four drug arrests, one open container arrest, four drug possession arrests and three seat belt warnings. A total of 178 vehicles were stopped between 6 and 9 p.m. on Saturday, July 9, at U.S. 50 and mile marker 1 near County Road B.

According to a Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office media release, the goal was to remove the driver who is under the influence of alcohol and drugs. While the initial plan for the checkpoint was to happen after harvest, recent rain had delayed harvest and many grain trucks were waiting in line to reach the elevator in Coolidge, Kan. Hamilton County Sheriff Richard Garza discussed the issue online on the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page regarding the event.

“I was out there observing and it appeared all went smoothly,” Garza posted. “Waiting in line on the highway is no different than waiting in line to get unloaded. The officers were being very prompt.”

While the law enforcement’s perception of the event seemed as if the checkpoint followed protocol or was handled professionally, some drivers were not pleased being held up at the elevator. One driver described the event as “a complete cluster [expletive]” and saying it was “totally unorganized and unprofessional.” The driver experienced being stopped on several trips before allowing him to go through to the elevator.

“Grain trucks were not released,” Jared Craig Wagner posted. “Let’s get the facts straight before we go pat ourselves on the back. And Ham Co SD should know that setting up a checkpoint during harvest at the driveway to the largest grain handling facility in the county was more than an inconvenience.”

While grain trucks were being released from the checkpoint, the trucks were waiting in line behind the passenger vehicles in front of them.

“To have something like this during harvest shows a lack of understanding of the community,” Jon Englert posted. “This is the busiest season and harvest has already been delayed enough regardless of how “smooth” things went.”

Shigeru J. Wakakuwa

Funeral services for Shigeru Wakakuwa were held Friday, July 22, 2016 at the First Baptist Church in Holly, Colo. with Pastor Eugene Birt officiating.  Interment followed in the Holly Cemetery.  Visitation was held on July 22, 2016 at the First Baptist Church in Holly.


Shigeru J. Wakakuwa, affectionately known as Shig, was born on March 28, 1932 in Sacramento, Calif. to Nobutaro and Noi (Hasegawa) Wakakuwa.  He passed away on July 18, 2016 at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colo. at the age of 84.


In 1942, Shig along with his family were placed on a train to Granada, Colo. and then transported to camp Amache where they lived for approximately three years.  In 1945, they were free to leave the camp.  At this time Shig’s family did not have anything to go back to in California as much of their land had been sold.  Shig began attending school in Granada while his brother worked in Bristol raising sugar beets.  During Shig’s freshman year of high school he transferred to Holly.  In 1947, Shig’s father passed away.  Shig, still in high school, knew that he needed to work to make ends meet so he began working for various farmers.  He worked for Clifford Hart until he graduated from high school.  At this time he began working for Everett Willhite and continued working for him for fifteen years.  In 1973, Shig moved south of Holly and began working for Bob Barth where he worked for over 38 years until he retired due to his failing health.  In 2012, Shig made Holly Nursing Care Center his home where he brought joy to many of the residents.  Shig was faithful about reading his Bible daily.  When he was able, Shig would read the Bible to other residents.


Shig is survived by his neice, Merriam Wakakuwa; nephew, Dennis Wakakuwa both of California; as well as all of his Holly family. He was preceded in death by his parents and brother, George Wakakuwa.


Memorial contributions may be made to the Holly Nursing Care Center or the First Baptist Church of Holly in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, CO 81052.


For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit

Garrie Dale Munk

Garrie Dale Munk, 68, of Russell, Kan., died on Wednesday, July 06, 2016, at the Russell Regional Hospital in Russell.

Garrie was born on March 4, 1948, in Quinter, Kan., the son of Joseph and Mary Esther (Schmidt) Munk.  He grew up south of Oakley, Kan. on the family farm.  He graduated from Oakley High School in the class of 1966 and attended Colby Community College for a year.  He met, fell in love and was united in marriage to Marilyn Ann Schwarz on Aug. 16, 1969, at St. Paul's Catholic Church in Angelus, Kan.  From this union Garrie and Marilyn were blessed with four daughters, Terri, Jennifer, Tammi and Melissa.  The family lived in several different areas of Kansas, including Scott City, Oakley and Menlo before settling down in Syracuse, Kan., where Garrie and Marilyn lived for 27 years.  In 2014, they moved to Russell to be closer to two of their daughters.  He was a member of St. Mary's Queen of Angels Catholic Church and was also a 3rd and 4th degree Knights of Columbus member.  Faith and family were his top priorities in life and enjoyed teasing everyone around him with his unique humor.

Surviving family include his wife Marilyn of the home; daughters Terri Walker (Dave) of Russell, Jennifer Bolton (Kit) of  Elk River, Minn., Tammi Buhrle (Todd) of Russell and Melissa McGill (Marc) of Gardner, Kan.; four brothers Richard Munk (Connie) of Newport, Neb., Frank Munk (Lona) and Jodie Munk all of Oakley, and Craig Munk (Tammy) of Lockhart, Texas; three sisters Eloise Reed of Hays, Kan., Marietta Dreiling (Butch) of Holdrege, Neb. and Barb Voth of Oakley; grandkids Kaitlynn, Dylan, Matt, Brendon, Jordayn, Charli and Gavin and numerous nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Keith Munk, and two sisters, Naydene Spresser and Billie Ostmeyer.

The funeral mass celebration of Garrie's life was held on Monday, July 11, 2016, at St. Mary's Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Russell.  Burial will follow the funeral mass at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery in Russell. Vigil and Rosary was held on Sunday, July 10, 2016, at the Catholic Church.  Visitation was held on Sunday July 10th at the mortuary.  Memorials may be given to St. Mary's Queen of Angels Catholic Church and sent in care of the mortuary.  Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell, is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.

L. Jill (Russell) Bloyd

L. Jill (Russell) Bloyd, 79 years, died July 4, 2016 at her home in Loveland, Colo. She was born Aug. 6, 1936 in Bird City, Kan. to Roby Roy Russell and Beryl Fallert Russell. She married Donald L. Bloyd on November 24, 1955 in St. Francis, Kan.


Jill grew up in St. Francis and graduated from St. Francis High School in 1955. She spent most of her working years as a bookkeeper/title clerk at various car dealerships but her greatest joy was working with her dad and husband in their auto businesses. Jill enjoyed traveling, playing cards and working in her yard. Most of all she enjoyed seeing and visiting with her kids, grandkids, great-grandkids and numerous friends.


She is survived by her children Dawn Florian and husband Wayne of Akron, Colo., Mike Bloyd and wife Joan of Loveland, Rusty and wife Jill of Loveland and Doug and wife Kenna of Syracuse, Kan.; sister Rosalie Ross of Atwood, Kan.; brothers-in-law Bill Daniel of Tennessee, Steve Bloyd and wife Judy of Great Bend, Kan. and Larry Bloyd and wife Patsy of Las Animas, Colo.; 24 grandkids; 30 great-grandkids; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.


Jill was preceded in death by her husband, parents, her sister Judy, brother-in-law Keith Ross and a niece and nephew.


Cremation has been completed. Graveside services were held at 10 a.m. on Monday, July 11, 2016 at Resthaven Memory Gardens in Ft. Collins. A reception will be held at Viegut Funeral Home following the graveside. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be sent to the Larimer Humane Society. Go to for on-line condolences.

Manuel Alonso Perea

Manuel Alonso Perea, age 58, passed away on June 25, 2016 in a vehicle accident near Kendall, Kan. He was born on May 5, 1958, the son of Ramon Perea and Catalina (Villanueva) Perea.

Manuel began his life in Nuevo Madera, Chihuahua, Mexico and grew up in in a small town woking in farming and helping on the family farm. He enjoyed playing baseball and swimming as a child with his brothers. When the family needed money he hustled playing pool to bring money to his family and also bought groceries for his mother. He moved to the U.S. in 1981 and resided in Flagstaff, Ariz. for a short time. He later moved to Syracuse, Kan. and began working for George Kohman where he was employed for 8 years. In 1991, he began his journey with the Cactus Feedyard and worked there until 2011. On May 8, 1993, he married Olga Lilia Perez in Syracuse and they made their home in Syracuse. To this union two children were born Daisy and Luis. In 2000, he purchased his favorite pet horse "Pinto" for his son to learn to ride at a young age. In 2013. he began working for Anthony Englert, where he enjoyed working on the farm and working with livestock and was a very hard working man. He enjoyed living in Syracuse and resided there until his untimely passing.

He enjoyed working on his pickup, playing pool, watching Luis play baseball, watching his kids grow and attending both of their graduations. He loved to fish, and spend time with his many pets, but his greatest enjoyment was spending time with his family and friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Ramon and Catalina Perea; two brothers, Pedro Perea and Jose Perea; and one sister, Maria Jesus Perea.

He is survived by his wife, Olga Lilia (Perez) Perea of Syracuse; one son,     Luis David Perea; one daughter, Daisy Adilene Perea of Garden City, Kan., four brothers, Alfredo Perea of Nuevo Madera, Socorro (& wife Loudres) Perea of Lakin, Kan., Ramon Perea of Cuanutemoc, Chihuahua, Mexico, and Miguel Angel Perea of Nuevo Madera; three sisters, Luzelena Perea of Nuevo Madera, Mia Perea of Madera, and Esperanza Perea of Sinalua, Mexico; as well as numerous family members and friends.

Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 10 a.m. (MDT) at the Southern Baptist Church, in Syracuse. Burial will follow in the Syracuse Cemetery in Syracuse.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 28, 2016 from Noon to 7 p.m. (MDT) at the Southern Baptist Church. Syracuse.

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

Vida Marie (Woolery) Maddox

Vida Marie (Woolery) Maddox, age 77, passed away on June 13, 2016 at the St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City, Kan. She was born on May 29, 1939, the daughter of Floyd Edgar Woolery and Lillian Alice (Wright) Woolery.

Vida began her life in Syracuse, Kan. and grew up in northwest rural Stanton County and attended the Lone Star Country School near Manter, Kan. until she was a freshman, then she attended Manter High School and graduated in 1957. In 1958, she married Donald Post, and to this union five children were born; Dyvonne, Lorri, Elaine, Steven, and Darin. They made their home in Syracuse for a short time and later moved to Manter. Vida was a homemaker during this time until Donald’s passing. She later married Stanley Ping in 1965, and they later divorced. To this union one child was born, Dawn. They made their home in Syracuse where she became a CNA and began working at the Donahue Hospital. She also was a waitress at the Uptown Cafe all the while she was taking care of her children's needs. After her divorce she continued as a CNA and a waitress at the Uptown Cafe. She worked at the Hamilton County Hospital as a CNA  and was an EMT for many years.  In 1988, she quit working at the hospital and began Drug Testing. She lived in Syracuse the majority of her life and resided there until her untimely passing.

Vida was a member of the Wesleyan Church of Syracuse, and a past member of the Manter United Methodist Church. She enjoyed music, and took great pride in playing the piano, guitar, and accordion. She loved her dogs, working in her yard, camping, fishing, crocheting, doing crossword puzzles, playing cards with friends, and she loved spending time with her grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her father, Floyd Edgar Woolery; her first spouse, Donald Post; her second spouse, Stanley Ping; a daughter,     Lorri Cullison; and a sister, Wanda Jones.

She is survived by her mother, Lillian Alice Woolery; a sister, Lois (husband Kenneth) Hudgens; two sons,     Steven (wife Sandra) Post of Manter, and     Darin Post of Johnson, Kan.; three daughters, Dyvonne (husband Ron) Sides of Hugoton, Kan., Elaine (husband Michael) Meeks of Haysville, Kan., and Dawn (husband Steve) Higgins of Buckeye, Ariz.; 14 grandchildren, Alicia (husband Jamey) Branson of Haven, Kan., Darii (husband Lane) Thompson of Wellston, Okla.,  Michael (wife Amanda) Randle of Hugoton, Kan.,       Matthew (wife Tashina) Cullison of Turpin, Okla., Josh McInturff of Newton, Kan., Allison Lahey of Moscow, Kan., Erik (wife Courtney) McInturff of Hutchinson, Kan., David (wife Amanda) Post of Hutchinson, Marcus (wife Amy) Post of Manter, Tara Cullison of Moscow, Dylissa (husband Robert) Hill of Hugoton, Dustin (wife Franke) Post of Liberal, Kan., Derian (husband Derek) Brewer of Wichita, Kan., and Hunter Higgins of Buckeye; 28 great grandchildren; as well as numerous family members and friends.

Memorial Services were held on Saturday, June 18, 2016 at the Wesleyan Church, in Syracuse, KS. Inurnment followed in the Syracuse Cemetery.

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

Thelma E. Branine

Thelma E. Branine, age 98, passed away on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at the Scott County Hospital in Scott City, Kan.  She was born on Aug. 13, 1917 in Carman, Ill., the daughter of Cleveland and Nellie Bollander Polson.  She was resident of Scott City since July of 2013, relocating from Pueblo, Colo. She was a farm wife and Avon Representative and a member of the United Methodist Church in Holly, Colo. On Nov. 1, 1933, she married Haysler Allen Branine in Syracuse, Kan.

Survivors include, one son, Allen & Jackie Branine of Manitou Springs, Colo.; three daughters, Linda & Bob Wilson of Pueblo, Sue & Randy Eddy of Thornton, Colo., and Nikki & Bob Cooper of Scott City; one daughter in law, Albina Branine of Pueblo; one sister, Nadine O’Connor of Austin, Texas; 18 grandchildren; 43 great grandchildren; and 12 great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; two sons, Wayne and Terry; one brother; three sisters; and two great grandchildren.

Funeral Services will be held at the First Christian Church of Scott City at 10 a.m. (CST) Friday, May 6, 2016 with pastors Steve Payne and Scott Wagner officiating. Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. (CST) Thursday, May 5 at Price & Sons Funeral Home in Scott City.

Interment will follow at the Syracuse Cemetery in Syracuse, Kan. at 1 p.m. (MST) Friday, May 6, 2016.
Memorials may be made to the Park Lane Nursing Home or Cooper’s Cause in care of Price & Sons Funeral Home in Scott City, Kan. E-Condolences may be given at or

Susan Marie (Curtis) Houck

Pending Services - Susan Marie (Curtis) Houck passed away on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at the age of 78 at her daughters home in, Wichita, Kan.  Funeral Services will be announced by Fellers Funeral Home & Monuments LLC, PO Box 1253 – 401 N. Sumner, Syracuse, KS 67878.

Rosa Lee Raney

Rosa Lee Raney, age 86, of Johnson, Kan. passed on to a new journey to be with our Father in heaven on Friday, April 15, 2016 at Meade District Hospital in Meade, Kan. She was born March 6, 1930 in Bucklin, Kan., the daughter of James Lewis and Ethel Zella (Manis) McQuerrey.

Rosa Lee was a real estate broker owning Raney Realty. While growing up, her dad was an electrician and the family traveled extensively throughout the western states. Her father worked on the Hoover Dam. She graduated from Syracuse High School. Rosa Lee married Carl Edward “Tag” Raney in Syracuse, Kan. She was a Civic Leader, serving as a chairwoman for the Stanton County Centennial Committee. Rosa Lee was also a 4-H Leader for the Go-Getters 4-H Club in Manter, Kan.; chairperson for Stanton County Economic Developmen; past-president and secretary for Johnson Rotary Club; a member of the NRA; and a member of Johnson United Methodist Church since November 8, 1962.

She is survived by two sons, Wayne Lewis Raney and wife Dianne of Hoxie, Kan., and Carl Arthur Raney; one daughter, Virginia Lee Cauthorn and husband Charles of Brighton, Colo.; sister, Judith Kay Porsche and husband Thomas of Bucklin; five grandchildren, Kelly Ann Qualey, Erica Lee Unruh, Cheyenne Raney, Micah Raney, Taylor Raney; three great-grandchildren, Brooklyn, Madison and Ashton Unruh.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Carl Edward “Tag” Raney; sister, Bonnie B. Wakefield; and brother-in-law, Vernon Wakefield.

Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 20, 2016 at the Johnson First United Methodist Church in Johnson, Kan. with Reverend Richard Fitzgerald officiating. Interment will follow at the Stanton County Cemetery in Johnson. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 19, 2016 at Garnand Funeral Home in Johnson. Memorial contributions may be given to the Stanton County Museum in care of Garnand Funeral Home, PO Box 715, Johnson, Kansas 67855.

Oscar Enoch Rector

Oscar Enoch Rector, age 104, passed away on Saturday, March 26, 2016 at the Stanton County Long Term Care in Johnson, Kan. He was born on Sept. 10, 1911 in Overton, Neb., the son of Clifford Earl Rector  and Ada Mae (McAninch) Rector.

Oscar began his life in Overton and moved with his family to Hamilton County, Kansas in 1922. His family homesteaded land that he lived on and farmed. He attended Syracuse High School and graduated in 1928. On Feb. 11, 1934, he married Nellie Pearl Roberts in Cimarron, Kan., and they made their home on the farm southeast of Syracuse. To this union two children were born, Dixie Charlene, and Judith Kay. Oscar and Pearl moved to Syracuse in 1964 and retired, but his farming continued with the help of his daughter Dixie and husband Barney, as well as his grandson Mark. Oscar and Pearl lived in Syracuse until 2014, when they moved to the Assisted Living Memorial Center in Johnson due to their health. He moved to the Stanton County Long Term Care in 2016 after the passing of his wife Pearl. 

Oscar was a member of the First United Methodist Church and the Masonic Lodge, both of Syracuse. He enjoyed woodworking,  yard work, collecting Hesston Belt Buckles, but his greatest enjoyment was watching his grandchildren and great grandchildren's school activities.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Clifford and Ada Mae; his spouse, Nellie Pearl Rector; a daughter, Judith Kay (Rector) Kohlhorst; a brother, Francis Earl Rector; and a sister, Catherine Mary Digby.

He is survived by one daughter, Dixie (& husband Barney) Akers of Kendall, Kan.; four grandsons, Mike (& wife Shanna) Akers of Greenville, Texas, Mark (& wife Cindy) Akers of Kendall, Randall Kohlhorst of Syracuse, and Justin (& wife Jillian) Kohlhorst of Garden City, Kan.; nine great grandchildren; six great great grandchildren; as well as numerous family members and friends

Memorial Services will be held on Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 10 a.m. (MDT) at the First United Methodist 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 the First United Methodist Church,  and sent in care of Fellers Funeral Home & Monuments LLC, P.O. Box 1253, Syracuse, KS 67878. 620-384-5100.

Robby Lynn Berndt

Funeral services for Robby Berndt will be held at 10 a.m. Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at the First Christian Church in Holly, Colo. with Pastor Kurtis Klinghammer officiating. Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery.


Robby Lynn Berndt was born on July 2, 1951 in Lamar, Colo. to Fred and Arlene (States) Berndt. He passed away at his home in St. David, Ariz. on March 21, 2016 at the age of 64.


Robby began working as a farm hand and later worked for a short time with his brother Guy in his scraper business. After many years of truck driving, Robby retired. In 1996 he moved to St. David. He enjoyed being in Arizona, surrounded by family members. Robby found that he was quite a master at selling things and was a natural salesman. He made sure that his nieces and nephews knew how special they were to him.


Robby is survived by his twin children, Dallas Berndt and wife, Amber of Goodland, Kan. and Robin Welchel and husband, Donnie of Colby, Kan.; sister, Linda Schwartz of St. David; brother, Guy Berndt and wife, Janice of St. David; four grandchildren; one great grandchild; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.


He was preceded in death by his parents, Fred and Arlene Berndt; brother, Richard “Dick” Berndt; and brother-in-law, Gus Schwartz.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, CO 81052. For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit