Jerry DeWitt


Jerry Gordon DeWitt was born on 2-28-47 at Dr. Mary’s Clinic, the eldest of six children born to Dick and Ila Greving DeWitt.  They made their home on the “east place”, later moving to the Greving farm.  He was a Prairie View Pirate.  PV Schools didn’t have buses so he was a designated driver for siblings and neighbors.  He graduated with the PVHS Class of 1965.

Beginning in high school he farmed and worked for DeWitt & Pakkebier Construction, helping to build many houses in the county.  He married Gloria Brands on Friday the 13th of August, 1971.  They were the proud parents of Darrin Jon, Jared Lee, and Kassandra Beth.  Together they raised their kids, built a windbreak, farmed, and remodeled the DeYoung house on the Norton/Phillips county line.  They moved to Prairie View in ’95 and became “city folks”.

Jerry had many jobs, including laying carpet for Olliff-Boeve and welding at New Age Industries before making the jump to conductor/engineer for Kyle Railroad.  He loved his time on the rails, especially when it involved the snow plow.  He worked there over 27 years.  He continued “railroading” by running the barrel train every year at the fair.

But did he really retire?  He got his dose of farming by heading south to “help” his son and family.  Gloria reminded him each time that he wasn’t the boss down there!  Running combine, battling prairie dogs, mowing, and fixing fence until the rattlesnakes came out!  Every year was also his “last year” to do the silage cutting run with the Rogers family.  The last year finally came when Jack sold his cutters.  Jerry’s specialty was putting up shelving, whether you wanted shelving or not!  His newest hobby was running his sister’s tree saw.  He enjoyed coffee times, family trapshoots, bonfires, going to auctions, ice cream, driving, and making improvements at his new “old” farm.

Jerry had a servant’s heart when it came to his church and community.  He was a lifelong member of the Luctor Christian Reformed Church where he served on the Consistory, was a strong tenor in the choir, and a big supporter of Gloria’s work with Operation Christmas Child.  He was currently serving on the Sunshine City library board and the Phillips County fair board.  He had recently joined the Sons of the American Legion.  The high point of his week was Thursday sale day at the Norton sale barn, followed by a Friday recovery day!  He got to help with fireworks, Party in the Prairie, and other community events because he was married to the city clerk!  He was very proud of his kids’ and grandkids’ work ethics, which they learned by his example.  He kept tabs on things via his very own version of “Neighborhood Watch”.  Grandkids’ memories include the raised eyebrow, 20 pair of reading glasses!, and remembering that if Grandpa was around he was always the one in charge!  Good memories included family trips to Orlando, Nashville, Branson, and their 50th anniversary trip to South Dakota.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years--Gloria; children Darrin & Trudi DeWitt of Syracuse, KS; Jared & Melody DeWitt of Prairie View; Kassandra DeWitt of Phillipsburg; grandchildren Darian & Nate of Liberal; Tierney of Syracuse; Kirsten & Colin of Jacksonville, NC; Ian, Dylan and Stanley of Prairie View; Dalton of Syracuse; Faith of Norton; Dylan of St. Francis and Heather of Tucson, Arizona; great-grandchildren Braylee, Brecklynn, AJ, Layla, and Nayeli.  Sisters are Doris and Kenny Van Kooten of Holland, MI; Karen Huiting of PV; Brothers Dennis & Cathy and Roger & Roxie of Prairie View; Brian & Michelle of Hays; brothers and sisters-in-laws Betty Hensinger of Lexington, KY; Steven & Bev Brands of Ottawa, KS; Vanessa & Max Wilson of Las Animas, CO; Glenn & Kristen of Almena; nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, extended family and Bert.  He was preceded in death  by his parents Dick & Ila DeWitt; parents-in-law Stanley & Dorothy Brands, his brother-in-law Jerald Huiting, and great-nephew Derek VanderVelde

Jerry will lie in-state from 12 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday and 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday with a visitation from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday evening at the Olliff-Boeve Memorial Chapel in Phillipsburg.

A Funeral Service officiated by Pastor Shawn Richardson will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, February 10, at the Luctor Christian Reformed Church near Prairie View. The service will be live streamed on the Olliff-Boeve Memorial Chapel Facebook page.

Memorial Contributions may be made to Luctor Christian Reformed Church, Sunshine City Library, or the Phillips County Fair Board


Ed Crum

Graveside services for Ed Crum will be held at the Holly Cemetery in Holly, Colorado at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, April 13, 2024.  Per Ed's request there will be no visitation. Edward Dean Crum was born on July 31, 1949 in Lamar, Colorado to Clifford and Lucille (Frazer) Crum.... [More]


Jimmy Ray Dowell

Jimmy Ray Dowell, 73, passed away peacefully on April 5th, 2024 at Stormont Vail Hospital in Topeka Kansas with his family by his side. Jim was Born on September 2nd 1950 to Charlie and Gaylene (Schockey) Dowell of Syracuse Kansas. He married Loveta (Lindsey) on August 13, 1972... [More]

William “Bob” Crum

Graveside services for Holly, Colorado resident, Bob Crum will be held at 1:00 p.m., Thursday, March 28, 2024 at the Holly Cemetery with Military Committal Rites provided by Holly VFW Post #4281.  Per Bob’s request, cremation has taken place and there will be no visitation.... [More]


Erma Westblade

Erma Baker Westblade, 95, of Salina, KS, passed away Friday, March 22, 2024, at Pinnacle Park Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center. She was born January 26, 1929, in McClure, Pennsylvania, daughter of the late Charles K. Baker and Lillie (Lepley) Baker. On August 14, 1965, she... [More]


Diane Bever

Funeral Services for Holly, Colorado resident, Diane Bever will be held at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, March 23, 2024 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly, Colorado with Pastor Ian Blacker officiating.  Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery.  Visitation for Diane... [More]


Richard S. Everett

Richard S. Everett, age 80, died Sunday, March 17, 2024, at his home in Johnson, Kansas. He was born on February 15, 1944, in Dalhart, Texas, the son of Gerald Thomas and Elizabeth (Rawlins) Everett. Richard grew up in Clayton, New Mexico, where he graduated from high school.... [More]


Shaun Frieary

Shaun Patrick Frieary passed away on March 15, 2024 surrounded by his family.  He is survived by his mother Betty Pryschlak, his step-father Stephen, his brother George Frieary, and his daughter Hailey. A family memorial service will be held in New York state. Shaun was... [More]


Harold Richard Grinstead

Harold was born to Hazel and Harold Grinstead in Ordway, Colorado in the local hotel. He grew up in the southwest Kansas area, graduating from Coolidge High School before attending Lamar Junior College. He helped start the rodeo team and host the first college rodeo while at... [More]

More Obituaries

View All Obituaries




State golf on Monday had the Varsity Bulldogs miss playing in the finals as a team by one stroke. They finished seventh out of twelve teams.  On Day 1, Brody Keller shot a 92 missing day two by two strokes. Ian Brummett shot a 95, Mason Scott  and Johnny TeVelde shot... [More]



Junior High Boys Basketball A, B, and C teams travelled to Elkhart on Monday, November 21. The A team won 41-34, B team won 26-21, and  C team lost to Elkhart 13-20. Head Coach Vance Keller said, “Elkhart was a tough win for both the A and B teams but both grinded... [More]



The Lady Bulldogs were undefeated during the Border Wars, defeating Eads on Friday, 42-7 and Walsh on Saturday 62-5, bringing their record to 3-1. But the winner wasn’t announced until Tuesday evening. Syracuse Athletic Director Josh Johnson explained, “It came down... [More]


JH Basketball Season Underway with JH Boys sweeping Lakin

Monday night at home at the Herndon Gym, the Junior High boys swept Lakin! Head coach Vance Keller said, “We’re a young team with only six eighth graders and 12 seventh graders. We’ve had six total that started the season with injuries so we haven’t had... [More]


Senior Night Volleyball

Three Syracuse High School volleyball seniors were honored on Tuesday, October 5, during the volleyball tournament at Syracuse.  Kaetlin Thomeczek, daughter of Joe and Dami Thomeczek has played volleyball since the third grade, playing with Syracuse Youth Activities Association... [More]


HS Track

Head coach Steve Navarro said, “The coaching staff has really enjoyed working with this group of kids this year. They have been putting in hard work despite some less than stellar conditions for practice and meets. We are excited to see what they can do now that we are... [More]



Baseball: The Bulldogs faced the Goodland Cowboys at home on Thursday, April 8, losing game one, 2-22 and game two, 1-17. Head Coach Dustin Doze said the Bulldogs really struggled throwing strikes again and they had too many errors. We need to clean things up if we want to... [More]


Spring Sports Start

One year ago, athletes and coaches were beginning practice for their spring sport, some practicing during spring break, others enjoying the break from school. Soon they found out their break was extended a week, some with great joy, others with apprehension. Then came the unfortunate... [More]

More Sports




In the last year with food prices and inflation rising, food pantries are being strained more and more.  According to Lora Horton, the need outweighs the product.  "Right now we are okay but we could always use more. With COVID money, we received monthly boxes of commodities.... [More]



The annual two day Syracuse Youth Athletics Association basketball tournament was held last weekend, and it was great for the community businesses. Black Bison Pub owner Janet Thomeczek said, "It did so much for our business. We haven't had a weekend like that since Christmas!"... [More]



Retired Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder was honored at a luncheon on March 14 at the Kansas Wheat Alliance (KWA) headquarters, Manhattan. While one would think the talk might have been about football, Coach Snyder was responding to the honor of the naming of a hard... [More]



The Future Farmers of America (FFA) Creed begins, "I believe in the future of agriculture, with a faith born not of words but of deeds." Our local FFA chapter is putting that into practice with building, giving, learning, and partnering with the community.  The Local FFA... [More]


King Completes 2,000 EagleMed Flights

McVey added, “Western Kansas is fortunate to have a nurse as intelligent, dedicated, and kind as Patty King, I sincerely hope Patty makes 2000 more flights, she is truly one-of-a-kind.”  As adults, we ask young children what they want to be when they grow up,... [More]



The call came across the radios of a fire in northwest Hamilton County, near County Road L and 7. Fire trucks raced through town, sirens blaring. Farmers loaded up water trailers, tractors, disks, and a community banded together to help save Daryle Lewis home as well as keep... [More]



“Being back in a small town is the single most enjoyable thing so far.  The city it not as much fun as what it’s made out to be, at least once you have kids!"   Thomas Eddy DPM, son of Kent and Melanie Eddy, has returned to western Kansas, living in... [More]


Schwieterman Wins YFR Award

Scot Schwieterman, a local hay and forage producer was named the Young Farmer and Rancher of the Year at the Kansas Farm Bureau YF&R Leadership Conference in Manhattan February 2-4.  The conference is designed to provide educational and networking opportunities for young... [More]

More News


Gratitude and Change

I am writing this as the western Kansas winds blow and gust. The trees shake. I hear the howling which makes it sound colder than it is. I am about to leave for a couple days to a publishing conference in Colorado Springs. I am leaving my family midweek to figure it all out... [More]

Zen and the Art of Life

Happy Thursday! Looks like temperatures will be in the upper eighties and sunny this weekend.  Exciting for many who want to get out and enjoy the weekend, less exciting when you are looking for rain in the forecast. Interesting isn't it how we view our circumstances? Something... [More]

Everything's Gonna Be Alright

It's April.  April showers bring May flowers. Showers are forecasted later this week. Nice gentle rains are always welcome here.  I had a phone call with a woman who ended the conversation saying, "I appreciate your candor." I had to laugh. I am not the best at many... [More]


I was struggling this past week as I remembered my parents anniversary, however short was March 31. And I remembered how they couldn't communicate or get through the hard times.  As I was growing up I often heard my father say, "Everyone you meet turns to %$^#." I will let... [More]

A Dynamic Shift

It's spring! Our lambs are in the barn, there is more daylight, and we are in the last nine weeks of the school year.  I am my usual self - exhausted, excited, and overwhelmed with things that need done.  At one of the community meetings I attend, someone mentioned... [More]

Opportunity disguised as discomfort

On Tuesday morning I packed up my daughter and we headed east for Kansas City. The trip with stops took about seven hours.  I managed to find and get behind every semi on two lane roads.  The interstate got busier as we moved east. I was nervous because I haven’t... [More]


She was unstoppable not because she did not have failures but because she continued on despite them   - Beau Taplin My daughter asked me about the word criticism. We discussed it. I mentioned how growing up I quit at the first sign of discomfort. I quit at the first piece... [More]

Never Not Be Afraid

Here we are at the end of February. What are you going with your bonus day?  The weather in western Kansas has been wild. 78, 17, 65, and blowing, then snow.  When I spent a couple of years traveling the country, I enjoyed the different climates. Eventually I tired... [More]

More Opinions