Carolyn Rae Cruz


Funeral Services for Syracuse, Kan. resident Carolyn Cruz were held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, July 15, 2019 at Southern Baptist Church in Syracuse. Interment followed in Syracuse Cemetery. Visitation for Carolyn was held on Sunday, July 14, 2019 and 9:00 a.m. to service time on Monday at Southern Baptist Church in Syracuse.

Carolyn Rae Cruz was born on Feb. 17, 1957 to Henry E. and Eva Jane (Jantz) Schmidt in Wichita, Kan.. She lived in Derby, Kan. until the family moved to a farm North of Ulysses, Kan. in 1962. She attended Red Rock Country School in Grant County, Kansas until moving to Syracuse in 1970. There she graduated from Syracuse High School in 1975. She then moved to Garden City, Kan. where she worked as a nurse’s aide. She returned to Syracuse to help at the family business, Hank’s Dairy King, until the family sold the business. Carolyn married Tony Cruz, Jr. December 20, 1986. Due to her husband’s illness, she became a stay-at-home caregiver until his death in 2013. She then became a custodian at Syracuse High School until her health declined. She loved her dogs, enjoyed working in her yard, watching YouTube videos and Kansas Jayhawk Basketball. Carolyn passed away on July 10, 2019 at Hamilton County Hospital in Syracuse at the age of 62.

She is survived by her mother, Eva Jane Schmidt of Syracuse; daughter, Mindy Cruz of Syracuse; brother, Steve (Linda) Schmidt of Syracuse; sister, Robyn Schmidt of Lawrence, Kan.; she is also survived by Tony’s children, Kurtis (Irena) Cruz of Syracuse, Albert (Maria) Cruz of Garden City, Monica (Les) Miller of Dodge City, Kan.; and multiple nieces and nephews.
Carolyn was preceded in death by her husband, Tony Cruz, Jr. in 2013; father, Henry E. Schmidt in 1986; brother, Terril Schmidt in 2012; and Tony’s daughter, Michelle Cruz in 1985.

Memorial contributions may be made in Carolyn’s name in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950 Lamar, CO. 81052.
For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit

Roy Gene Stokes

Funeral Services for Holly, Colo. resident, Roy Stokes was held on Monday, July 8, 2019 at the Holly United Methodist Church with Pastor Kathy Leathers officiating.  Interment followed in the Holly Cemetery.  Visitation took place on Sunday, July 7, 2019 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly.
Roy Gene Stokes passed away, surrounded by his family on July 2, 2019 at his home in Holly at the age of 71. He was born on Aug. 10, 1947 in Red Cloud, Neb. to Opal Stokes.  After Roy’s mother passed away when he was only 8 years old, he was adopted by his grandfather, Frank Stokes. 
Roy learned at a very young age that he had to become a hard worker.  He began working as a grocery carry-out boy in high school.  He enjoyed woodworking and put his skills to use as a commercial and residential carpenter.  In 1971, Roy married Barbara Splitter and to this union, they were blessed with a daughter, Stephanie.  Barbara’s work led them to move to several locations including Benkelman, Neb., Fort Morgan, Colo., and Gering, Neb. until retiring back to Holly in 2015.  Roy had a passion for trains and a profound love for his grandchildren.  He attended the Holly United Methodist Church until his failing health kept him from doing so.
Roy is survived by his wife, Barbara Stokes of Holly; daughter, Stephanie Stokes of Cripple Creek, Colo.; five grandchildren; many brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, as well as many other relatives and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his mother, Opal Stokes and his adoptive father, Frank Stokes.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Holly United Methodist Church or Lamar Area Hospice in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, Colorado, 81052.
For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit

Peggy Joanne Brown

Memorial services for Holly, Colo. resident, Joanne Brown was held on Saturday, July 6, 2019 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly with Pastor Kurtis Klinghammer officiating.  Per Joanne’s request, cremation has taken place.
Peggy Joanne Brown, known affectionately to most as Joanne, was born March 25, 1940 in Monahans, Texas to Buck and Anna (Ellison) Horn. Joanne passed away June 30, 2019 at Holly Nursing Care Center at the age of 79.
Joanne is survived by her sister, Benne Sue (Otis) Cline of Holly; daughters, Danna (Jim) Krieg of Holly, Garilea (Chuck) Binegar of New Castle, Colo.; son, Todd (Carol) Brown of New Mexico; sister-in-law, Jeannie Buchanon of Granada, Colo.; close personal friend, George Sanchez of Holly; 13 grandchildren, 23 great-grandchildren, three great-great grandchildren; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and many friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Buck and Anna Horn; brothers, Gary Jones and Randy Horn.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Joanne’s name, to P.O. Box 950 Lamar, CO. 81052.
For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit

Marilyn Gale (Rouse) Taft

Marilyn Gale Taft died Saturday, June 15, 2019 at Morton County Senior Care Center in Elkhart, Kan.

On Aug, 31, 1935, Marilyn Gale Taft was born to Vernon R. Rouse and Valeria Wehrman Rouse in Nelson, Neb. She lived in Leoti, Kan. and went to Wichita County Schools until she married Albert William Taft of Denver, Colo. on Dec. 24, 1951. The couple moved to Denver and Marilyn lived most fo the her life there. Al and Marilyn had two children. Sherrie Lynn Taft and Alan Wesley Taft completed their family.

Marilyn was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Al; daughter, Sherrie; son, Alan; a sister, Dorothy Rouse Wilson; four brothers, Don, Raymond (Bud), Marvin, and Eugene Rouse.

Marilyn is survived by a sister-in-law, Bonnie Rouse, of Olathe, Kan.; nieces, Conda Simon, of Syracuse, Kan., and Phyllis Clark, of Glendale, Ariz.; nephews, Terry Rouse, of Olathe, Doug Rouse, of Eads, Colo., and Mark Rouse, of Texas.

No service will be held.

Memorials may be made to the Morton County Memory Care Center or St. Catherine Hospital Hospice in care of Fellers Funeral Home.

Arrangements made by Fellers Funeral Home, LLC, Po Box 1253, Syracuse, KS 67878.

Raymond G. Kitten

Raymond G. Kitten, 94, died Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at High Plains Retirement Village in Lakin, Kan.  He was born Oct. 10, 1924 in rural Kearny County, Kansas the son of Henry & Katherine M. (Brand) Kitten.

Raymond has been a lifetime resident of Kearny County, Kendall, Kan., and Lakin.  He attended rural country schools.  Raymond Served in the United States Army during the Korean War.  A lifetime farmer, Raymond was a member of the First Christian Church of Lakin where he chaired and served on the board, and served as an Elder.  He later attended the Church of Christ in Lakin, was a longtime member of the Kansas Farm Bureau and served as president of the board from 1973 to 1975, member of the Kearny County Extension Board, and a member of the Kearny County Senior Center.  Raymond enjoyed handyman work, carpentry, mechanics, and fixing up old vehicles and tractors.

On May 26, 1954, he married Eva Jo Cooper in Kendall.  She survives. Other survivors include two children Beth & husband Brent Norris of Glade, Kan., and Marvin & wife Stephanie Kitten of Overbrook, Kan.; and three grandchildren Erika Norris, Aden Kitten, & Xander Kitten.  Raymond is preceded in death by his parents; and five brothers Herb Kitten, Lawrence Kitten, Vernon Kitten, Ab Kitten, and Joe Kitten.

Funeral services were held on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at the Church of Christ in Lakin with Jarrod Spender officiating.  Burial will follow at the Lakin Cemetery with military graveside rites conducted by the Kansas Army National Guard and the American Legion Districk #8 Honor Guards. Friends called on Thursday and Friday at the Garnand Funeral Home in Lakin.  The family suggests memorials given to the Church of Christ or to the Kearny County Senior Center both in care of the funeral home.  Condolences may be given at

Arrangements by:  Garnand Funeral Home, 508 N. Main St., PO Box 91, Lakin, Ks. 67860, 620-355-7575

Betty Jean (Haynes) Pearce


Betty Jean (Haynes) Pearce was welcomed home to heaven on May 22, 2019. She was born Dec. 4, 1925 to Curtis (Mack) and Lois Haynes.
She lived most of her life in Stanton County, Kansas, where she married Ralph Pearce on June 30, 1942. She spent many years cooking at the Johnson High School, and Stanton County Senior Center, where she was famous for her cinnamon rolls. She also worked at Emery’s Drug Store and Jim Smith’s Pump Service, and she spent 10 very happy years employed at the Stanton County Library. 
She was an accomplished seamstress and made most of the family’s clothes when the kids were at home. She was a hard worker and always put her family first. She was a member of the Wesleyan Church for 63 years where she served in many capacities, including teaching, singing, and wherever she was needed. She taught Bible studies at the care home until shortly before her death. She had a strong, unwavering faith in her Savior, Jesus Christ, and was eagerly anticipating her homecoming. She will be greatly missed.
She is preceded in death by her parents; five siblings; one daughter (Jani Pearce); a grandson (JR Morava); a great grandson (Joshua Pearce); and a son-in-law, (Ben Hall). She is survived by five children, Dennis Pearce (Theda), Kae Bailey, Faye Hall, Penny Morava, and James Pearce; five grandchildren; 11 great grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; and nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held in Johnson, Kan. at Fields’ Memorial Weslyan Church on Saturday, July 13, 2019, at 2 p.m.  Memorials may be made to the Stanton County Public Library.

Marvin Willhite

Funeral Services for Holly, Colo. resident, Marvin Willhite was held on Tuesday, June 18, 2019 at the Holly United Methodist Church in Holly. Pastor Kathy Leathers will officiate. Interment followed the service at the Holly Cemetery. Visitation for Marvin was held on Monday, June 17, 2019 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly.
John Marvin Willhite was born south of Holly on Jan. 8, 1931 to John and Louise Willhite. He departed this life on June 12, 2019 at the Holly Nursing Care Center in Holly at the age of 88.

Marvin was born during the beginning of the dust bowl era. He was a student at a one-room schoolhouse until moving into town to attend Holly High School. After high school, Marvin attended college at Colorado A & M, which is presently known as Colorado State University. While there, he belonged to Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity and was a member of the ROTC.

In 1951, Marvin married his sweetheart, Pat (Donohoe). They were blessed with three children, Jeanne, Cathy, and David. Soon after they were married, Marvin joined the U.S. Air Force where he served as an officer for four years. Following their time in the service, Marvin and Pat moved back to Holly to begin their lifelong partnership in farming and ranching.

Marvin was serving as the Mayor of Holly during the 1965 flood. He helped navigate the community through that eventful time.

While farming and ranching was his business, horses were his passion. Marvin and Pat owned and bred show and racehorses for many years. When the children were younger, the family enjoyed time together raising and showing horses. Later, Marvin focused on his love of racehorses. A few years after the flood, Marvin was one of the original founders of Gateway Downs Racetrack in Holly. He contributed in many ways to Gateway Downs from its inception through the 1990’s. He was a longtime member of the American Quarter Horse Association, and also served as a Director and President of the Rocky Mountain Quarter Horse Association. Marvin had the honor of being inducted into the AQHA Hall of Fame in 2012.

Marvin and Pat enjoyed traveling, fishing, and spending time at their mountain cabin. The cabin was a special place they shared with family and friends. It’s where the grandchildren loved learning how to fish and snow ski.

Marvin is survived by his three children, Jeanne Allen and husband, John, Cathy Hammes and husband, John David, and David Willhite and wife, Cheryl all of Holly; brother, Bill Willhite of Holly; eight grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; many other relatives and a host of friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Patricia Willhite; two infant children; and sister-in-law, Roberta Willhite.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Holly Fire and Ambulance 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

Franklin D. Hannebaum & Shirley Hannebaum

The family of Franklin D. Hannebaum (1942-2019) and Shirley Hannebaum (1938-2017) would like to announce there will be a joint graveside service on Saturday, June 15, 2019 at 10 a.m. (MT) at the Syracuse cemetery for Franklin and Shirley.

Franklin passed away in February of 2019 after a long illness in Fort Worth, Texas. He leaves behind three children, Dee Seaton of Mack's Creek, Mo., Jim Hannebaum of Fort Worth, and Franki Mock of Divide, Colo.

Shirley passed away suddenly in December 2017 in Drummond, Okla. Shirley leaves behind one son Ric Newton of Mart, Texas.
They also leave behind many step-children grandchildren, great-grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Eddie Gilmer Palmer

Eddie Gilmer Palmer, age 71, passed away at the Hamilton County Hospital on Sunday, June 2, 2019. He was born on Oct. 21, 1947 in Virginia City, Va., the son of Troy Gilmer Palmer and Ruby Mae (Oaks) Palmer.

He grew up in Akron, Ohio and spent summers in North Carolina with aunts, uncles and cousins. He took care of his younger brother Robert and worked in the tobacco fields to be able to take him to baseball games. After high school he enlisted in the United States Army in 1966 and was honorably discharged in 1972. He came back and worked in Steel Mills in Akron and West Virginia. Later he moved to Kansas in the 70’s with his cousin Jimmy. He worked at Herndon Grocery and Rash Oil. He then met Mary Hazen and they married on August 28, 1980. To this union she brought her son Jayson which later Eddie adopted and together they had their son Troy, and later divorced. He became a minister and traveled to Haiti and later formed his own church for a short period of time called The Tree Of Life, where he met his current spouse/partner Carolyn Sue (Davidson) Bennett and her daughter Daniele (Bennett) Klein, and they’ve lived together the past 19 years.

Eddie was a jack of all trades, he could do anything. He drove grain truck and hauled Propane and also had a part in the business. He drove school bus for USD 494, and also had a Lawn Care business. He was a 3rd Degree Master Mason at Lodge #309 and a member of the American Legion both in Syracuse. He enjoyed fishing, collecting Zippo Lighters and spending time with his horse “Hippie”. He was a very kind and caring person who would help anyone with anything and he will be greatly missed.    

He was preceded in death by his parents, Troy and Ruby Mae Palmer; a brother, James Robert Powers; and a sister, Judy Carol Palmer.

He is survived by two sons, Troy (& wife Jandie) Palmer of Elkhart, Kan., and Jayson Palmer of Cardale, Wash.; one stepdaughter, Daniele (Bennett) Klein of Syracuse; one stepson, Shawn (& wife Darlene) Bennett of Jetmore, Kan.; his spouse/partner, Carolyn Sue (Davidson) Bennett of Syracuse; six grandchildren, Dalyn, Emily & Grady Palmer of Elkhart, Kody Klein of Syracuse, Haley Bennett of Kansas City, Mo., and Corbin Bennett of Okinawa, Japan; and many family members and friends.

Cremation has taken place and there will be no services at this time.

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

Charlet Joan (Herndon) Cartwright

Charlet Joan (Herndon) Cartwright, 85, died Saturday, Jan. 26, 2019 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

She was born July 15, 1933 in Leoti, Kan. to John Jacob and Mary Louise (Charlet) Herndon.

She graduated from Wichita County Community High School, Colorado Women’s College, and Kansas State University. She taught at schools in Denver, Colo., Syracuse, Kan., and Leoti.

She married Ronald Cartwright.

She is survived by two daughters, Elizbeth Cartwright, of Colorado Springs, and Suzanne (Jimmy) Storm of Monument, Colo.; a granddaughter Shanna; a grandson Austin; and a great grandson Evan. She is also survived by a brother Presley (Connie) Herndon; and two sisters, Judy (Rodney) Metz and Mary (Carl) Zink.

She was preceded in death by her husband; parents; a grandson Jason Gordon; two brothers, John Jacob Herndon Jr. and William Robert Herndon; and a sister, Sara Wendler.

Graveside interment service will be held June 8, 2019 at 11 a.m. at the Syracuse Cemetery.

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