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Obituaries

WITH PIX
Mary F. Bryant

June 14, 1939 – Feb. 5, 2021

Mary Francine Bryant, Longton, Kansas, formerly of the Dayton Community near Garden City, was born June 14, 1939, in Dayton, the daughter of Loren Estel and Helen Fay (Yeates) Kimberlin. She died Feb. 5 at Sedan City Hospital, Sedan, Kansas, at the age of 81 years, 7 months and 22 days.

Mary was the fifth generation of the Kimberlins in the Cass County area. Her great-great-grandfather, Joseph Kimberlin, was one of the original founders of Dayton.

Mary owned and operated the Dayton Short Stop for several years. Mary’s many adventures included traveling from the East Coast to West Coast.

She enjoyed camping with her family and fishing and hunting with her grandsons. Mary enjoyed bird watching and had a kind heart for all of God’s creatures. When Mary wasn’t enjoying the wonders of nature, she was an avid reader.

Mary was led to salvation Jan. 18, 2013, by a stranger on the water’s edge of the Atlantic Ocean outside of Port St. Lucie, Florida.

Besides her parents, Mary was preceded in death by her soul mate, John B. Jackson “JB” on June 4, 2011; a sister, Loraine; two brothers, Virgil and Wendell Kimberlin.

She is survived by her five children, Debra Brown and Tina Beougher both of Longton, Dean Fletcher, Dayton, David Fletcher, Rich Hill, Troy Fletcher, Harrisonville; 16 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; eight great-great-grandchildren; two step-granddaughters; seven step-great-grandchildren; three sisters; other relatives and a host of friends.

A celebration of life service will be held at a later date in June 2021.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home.

Mabel J. Maxon
April 22, 1935 – Feb. 5, 2021

Mabel Jean Maxon, 85, Harrisonville, died Feb. 5 at her home with family present. Mabel was born April 22, 1935, the
daughter of William Paul and Violet (Lowe) Tarpey.

She grew up in Stillwater, Oklahoma. Aug. 3, 1958, she married William “Bill” Maxon in Stillwater. They made their home in Kingfisher, Oklahoma; Hazel Green, Kentucky; Dos Palos, California; Kansas City; Independence and Harrisonville, before moving to their farm in Peculiar in 1971.

Following Bill’s death in 2016, Mabel moved to Harrisonville.

Mabel’s early employment included working as a switchboard operator together with her sister, Martha. She taught a variety of subjects and ages throughout decades, including home economics in Kentucky.

As her final teaching job, she joyfully spent many years as “Miss Mabel” to hundreds and hundreds of children who passed through the Kinder Kastle program in Harrisonville. She cherished working with the young children, teaching them songs and other early skills, all infused with Christian concepts. She even got to teach some of her own grandchildren there.

She enjoyed watching birds, especially at the feeders she maintained outside her windows. Her favorite drink was Dr. Pepper and her favorite food was fruitcake, especially if baked by her daughter-in-law, Chellie.

She loved to treat her family to meals out and about and spent many hours at Taco Bell after church on Sundays. She was an active participant of the First Christian Church in Harrisonville.

She covered every inch of her refrigerator in photos and memories.

Mabel was blessed with a servant’s heart that she used to bless everyone in her world. She poured her love into the many students she taught at Kinder Kastle. She was a valued friend to many.

She supported and loved her family fiercely.

She attended each and every school or extracurricular event involving her grandchildren. She was always happy to babysit and would often look for extra chores to do just to help out. She reveled in her great-grandchildren, finding wonder in their antics.

She even indulged the adventurous camping spirit of her husband no matter whether she’d rather have stayed at home
or at least in a hotel. She was one of the most selfless people God ever created.

She found her greatest joy in spreading joy to others anyway she could. She took pride in her family and taught them to love and to serve.

Mabel was preceded in death by her husband, Bill Maxon; her parents, William and Violet Tarpey; and her brother, Paul Tarpey. Her brother Richard Tarpey followed her in death within a few hours.

Mabel is survived by her sister, Martha Waters, Pawnee, Oklahoma; two children, Sophia Smither and her husband, Richard, Harrisonville, and William Maxon and his wife, Chellie, Lee’s Summit; five grandchildren, Kerry Morgan and her husband, Casey, Ryan Smither and his wife, Brandie, Shayne Smither, Curtis Maxon and Ben Maxon; and four great-grandchildren, Colton, Sarah, Liam and Lucy.

Funeral services were Feb. 13 at the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Burial followed in Orient Cemetery, Harrisonville.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to Week of Compassion by writing a check to First Christian Church, Harrisonville, and putting “Mabel Maxon – Week of Compassion” in the memo line.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

James M. Nash
Dec. 12, 1969 – Feb. 6, 2021

James Madison Nash, 51, Harrisonville, was born Dec. 12, 1969, in Kansas City, the son of the late Hannah Kathleen (Goodnight) Nash and Jerry Dean Nash. He died Feb. 6.

James graduated high school in 1988 from Garden City Training Center, Garden City. He attended Central Bible College in Springfield from 1988 to 1989.

James had a passion for collecting rare coins and currencies and was an active member of the Cass County Numismatic Society.

James was preceded in death by his mother, Hannah Kathleen Nash; his nieces, Savannah Deann Nash and Jubilee Gibler; and by his nephew, Jack Charles Nash.

James is survived by his father, Jerry Nash, Harrisonville; three brothers, Greg Nash and wife, Marcia, Harrisonville, Tim Nash and wife, Bonnie, Peculiar, and Paul Nash and wife, Stephanie, Harrisonville; three sisters, Pam Osborn and husband, Steve, Becky Anderson and husband, Jr., all of Harrisonville, and Carla Norman and husband, Bruce, Garden City; many nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were Feb. 11 at the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville, with burial in the Garden City Cemetery, Garden City.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Ascend Hospice.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Gary S. Newell
Oct. 8. 1959 – Feb. 9, 2021

Gary Steven Newell, 61, Belton, formerly of Garden City, was born Oct. 8, 1959, in Chicago, Illinois, the son of Jimmie Lee and Maudrey Ivienne (Motes) Newell. He died Feb. 9 at Belton Regional Hospital.

May 21, 1977, Gary married Judy Ann Johnson in Elmhurst, Illionis.

Gary was a truck driver and last worked for Warren Transport, Waterloo, Iowa.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by a son, Herbert “Herbie” Newell, July 30, 2018.

He is survived by his wife, Judy Newell, of the home; a daughter, Jennifer Smith and husband, Matthew, Garden City; two grandchildren, Nicholas and Emma Smith; two brothers, Jimmie Ray Newell, Ormond Beach, Florida, and Kennie Lee Newell, Brundidge, Alabama; a sister, Cynthia Darlene Newell, Dublin, Georgia; other relatives and friends.

Entombment services were Feb. 15 at the Edgewater-New Smyrna Cemetery Mausoleum, Edgewater, Florida.

Local arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Mattie P. Rork
Dec. 14, 1935 – Feb. 9, 2021

Mattie Pearl (Terrell) Rork, 85, Harrisonville, was born Dec. 14, 1935, in Bula, Texas, the daughter of Lonnie Doyle and Veda Marie (Young) Terrell.

Mattie was raised in Sudan, Texas. She died Feb. 9 at Crown Care Center, Harrisonville.

July 19, 1994, Mattie married Bobbie Don Rork in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Mattie lived a good portion of her life in Oklahoma and Texas. She worked many years as a manager in hospitals and physician offices.

Mattie was a fun and loving woman with an outgoing personality. She enjoyed spending time with numerous friends, dancing a two-step, decorating her home with her many crafts and filling the holidays with her delicious candies.

However, her greatest joy was her children and grandchildren. Among her fondest memories was a romantic trip to England and France with her husband, Bob.

In the late 1990s, Mattie and Bob moved to the Harrisonville area to be closer to her daughter and grandchildren, although she enjoyed visits from her son and grandchildren still in Texas.

Mattie was preceded in death by her devoted husband, Bob Rork; her parents; her two older brothers who died at a very young age; and numerous aunts and uncles to whom she was very close.

She is survived by her son, Dr. Lonny McKinzie and wife, Rhonda, Tyler, Texas; her daughter, Terri Brown, Harrisonville; grandchildren, Krista (Brown) and Steve Hayes, Harrisonville, Carl and Jodi (Yoder) Brown, Garden City, Caitlin Brown, Harrisonville, Phillip and Mandy McKinzie, Tyler, Texas; and Melanie Fryman, Nashville, Tennessee; and eight great-grandchildren.

Mattie was a wonderful mother and grandmother who will be dearly missed.

She was a Christian woman and now rests in Heaven with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the true and most perfect blessing of her life.

Cremation. A private family celebration of life service will be held at a later date.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Ellen G. Wray
Nov. 9, 1924 – Feb. 9, 2021

Ellen G. Wray, 96, Harrisonville, died Feb 9 at Research Medical Center, Kansas City. Ellen was born Nov. 9, 1924, at home near Latham, the daughter of James Aubrey and Frances (Jobe) Griffin.

She was probably delivered by Dr. Robinson, a country doctor living in Latham. She was the last of six children, Maxine, Wayne, Annie Lee, Grover, Glen and Ellen. They lived on a small farm where her dad did diversified farming.

They lived about a half mile from the country school, Hazel Diel. All six children went through the eighth grade in this same school. They had to be careful what they did because you were told on at the evening meal.

She didn’t remember her older sister and brother being at home as they had to go to a bigger town to high school. It was always fun when they got to go visit them. They both had jobs and didn’t come home much.

Horseback riding, wading in the creek catching tadpoles, building a playhouse under a tree or in a vacant shed, were some of her best memories.

Softball was every Sunday afternoon for anyone who wanted to play. There was always a man around to organize the games and coach them while playing. They didn’t have uniforms, just played and had fun and enjoyed the company.

At age 16, Ellen taught at her first school, a country school with all ages.

She taught another year and then married Robert K. Wray. They had a double wedding with his buddy in Baltimore, Maryland, May 28, 1945. They had four children with only one that survived, Patrick Franklyn Wray. He blessed them with three grandsons, Michael, Matthew and Miles, and one great-granddaughter, Zoey.

They moved to Harrisonville in 1949 and she started teaching her first class of 29 boys and five girls in the Harrisonville Public Schools. She continued her teaching career for 30 years before retiring in 1985 and continued teaching as a substitute teacher for several years after she retired.

Ellen found time to be a 4-H leader, a scout leader and a Sunday school teacher. After retirement, Ellen made numerous quilts. She quilted for others, made baby quilts and made lap robes for children that she donated to the Project Linus organization through the Missouri State Highway Patrol in Lee’s Summit, serving the Kansas City metro area. She received numerous awards for her beautiful quilts at several local festivals and community events.

Ellen was a member of the quilters group at the First Christian Church and also at the United Methodist Church in Harrisonville. Ellen was a member of the Cass County Retired Teachers Association and the Missouri Retired Teachers Association.

She was a long-time member of the First Christian Church in Harrisonville. She was also a member of the Cass Medical Center Auxiliary for many years and was a 66-year member and past matron of Harrisonville Bayard Chapter No. 179, Order of Eastern Star. She was an avid bridge player and enjoyed playing for many years.

Ellen was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Robert; two sons; one daughter; two sisters; and three brothers.

She is survived by a son, Patrick Wray, Harrisonville; three grandsons, Michael Wray, Matthew Wray and Miles Wray; and a great-granddaughter, Zoey.

Funeral services were Feb. 15 at the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville, with burial was in Shawnee Cemetery, Warsaw. Memorial contributions may be made to the First Christian Church, Harrisonville.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Deanna L. Barton
Sept. 26, 1969 – Feb. 9, 2021

Deanna Barton, 51, Amoret, died Feb. 9 at Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Overland Park, Kansas. Deanna was born Sept. 26, 1969, in Kansas City, Kansas, the daughter of Dean and Josephine Blossom Hammer.

She attended the Miami R-1 School in Amoret and graduated in 1988. She then attended Brown-Mackie College and graduated in 1990 with a degree in business.

May 22, 1993, Deanna married Gary Barton. To this union a daughter was born, Lynnlee Hammer. Throughout the years, Deanna worked mainly as a homemaker and family caretaker, but she also was a substitute teacher in the Miami R-1 School District.

Deanna loved the beach, it didn’t matter which one or where it was. This was evident in her love for lighthouses as well. When she wasn’t enjoying the beach, Deanna loved music, dancing and attending rodeos to show her support for family and friends.

Deanna was the most supportive, caring, loving and devoted person. She believed in two things, her family and her God. She was a devoted member of the Drexel Nazarene Church and served on the church board until its closing.

She will be greatly missed by her family, her many friends and her community.

Deanna was preceded in death by her mother, Josephine Hammer, and her brother, Ronald Hammer.

She is survived by her husband, Gary Barton; daughter, Lynnlee Hammer; father, Dean Hammer and Pat Hazelbaker; brother, Ronnie Hammer and Mickie; step-siblings, Brenda Ratty and Randy, and Cathy Kump; nieces; nephews; extended family members; adopted family members; and many friends.

Funeral services will be at 3 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler.

A visitation will be from 1 to 3 p.m. prior to the service. Burial will follow in the Benjamin Cemetery, Amoret.

Friends are welcome to attend. Masks are suggested and social distancing should be observed. Memorial contributions may be made to the family in care of Mullinax Funeral Home.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler.

Violet L. Gregory
Feb. 6, 1931 – Feb. 11, 2021

Violet Leona Gregory, 90, Amsterdam, died Feb. 11 at Medicalodge of Butler in Butler. She was born Feb. 6, 1931, the daughter of Merl and Letha Peterson Thomas in Pleasanton, Kansas.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a sister, Glenna Thomas; a son, Stoney Gregory, in 2008; and her husband, Jack Gregory, in 2015.

Violet is survived by three sons, Dennis Gregory and companion, Connie McGinnis, Amsterdam, Randy Gregory and wife, Donna, Butler, and Brian Gregory and wife, Mary, Amsterdam; two grandsons whom she and Jack raised, Jeff and Scott Gregory; a daughter-in-law, Mary Gregory Chulufas and husband, Scott, Amsterdam; 18 grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren; and a great-great-granddaughter.

Funeral services for Violet Gregory will be 10:30 a.m. Feb. 19 at the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler. Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 18 at Schowengerdt Chapel.

Burial will be in Scott Cemetery, Amsterdam. Contributions are suggested to the Amsterdam Methodist Church or Scott Cemetery.

Due to Covid, the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel respectfully asks that everyone wear a mask and practice social distancing.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler.

Bobby Ray Johnson, Sr.
April 29, 1960 – Feb. 5, 2021

Bobby Ray Johnson, Sr., 60, Rich Hill, died Feb. 5 at Bates County Memorial Hospital, Butler. He was born April 29, 1960, in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a daughter, Shirley Barker; a brother, Jesse Johnson; and a sister, Sandra McClure.

Bobby is survived by two sons, Bobby Ray “Boss” Johnson, Jr., and wife Vanessa, Rich Hill, and Wesley Johnson and wife, Rhonda, Nevada; two daughters, Sandy Derr and husband J.R. Foster, and Crystal Baker, Butler; 12 grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.

Viewing and visitation for Bobby Ray Johnson, Sr., was Feb. 10 at the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler. A cremation followed. Inurnment will be at a later date in Greenlawn Cemetery, Rich Hill.

Contributions are suggested to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler.

Lois M. Muiller
Sept. 29, 1932 – Feb. 2, 2021

Lois Mae Askew Muiller, 88, died Feb. 2 at her home. Lois was born Sept. 29, 1932, in Adrian, the daughter of Wilbur and Mildred (Oltmans) Askew.

In June 1950, she married her high school sweetheart, Earl Glenn Muiller, who preceded her in death in 2009.

Lois and Earl had two children, Kevin Lee and Keri Lynn. Following two miscarriages, they decided to adopt a child.

Soon after this decision, Lois had a dream. She dreamed that she and Earl were summoned to a castle that was surrounded by a moat filled with water. After crossing the drawbridge, they were handed a baby. Not long after the dream they received a call to come and meet a baby boy. The hospital was under construction and due to heavy rains, there was a makeshift bridge leading to the entrance.

The nurses asked what the baby would be named and gasped when told Kevin Lee. They did not name the babies, but were already calling him Kevin. Her dream had come true. A year and nine months later, Keri Lynn was born.

Lois’s life was a display of God’s blessings and love. Her jovial spirit and hearty laugh were a testament to this. Lois treasured every family member, young and old. She collected many family heirlooms and cherished the accompanying stories.

This included the pie safe that traveled with the Oltmans to Adrian by covered wagon; Grandma Muiller’s oil lamp and sewing machine; Grandpa Askew’s fiddle, which he played every week for dances; and her mom’s bracelet that Uncle Leonard made during World War II from scrap metal while his crew awaited more supplies to continue making airplane parts for the United States Air Force.

Lois loved people. If you were her friend, you were family. This included friends from her work at Bates County Memorial Hospital, her church family at Adrian United Methodist, the dancers who followed the Cross County Country Band and many others.

She was a community advocate volunteering for the Butler Senior Center, Houston Plaza and co-founding the Community Food Pantry. Lois found the secret to a full and happy life in living for others.

Her quick wit, hard-working hands, loving hugs and giant heart will be forever missed.

Lois was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Earl; a son; and two brothers.

Lois is survived by her daughter and granddaughters: Keri, Zoey and Kianna Lemon, Adrian; granddaughter, Alayna Muiller, Phoenix, Arizona; and many nieces, nephews and cousins.

Funeral services were Feb. 12 at the Adrian United Methodist Church. Burial was in Crescent Hill Cemetery, Adrian. Memorial contributions may be made to the church.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Adrian.

James T. Swift
Dec. 27, 1952 – Feb. 8, 2021

James “Jim” Thomas Swift, 68, Adrian, died Feb. 8 at his home in Adrian. He was born Dec. 27, 1952, the son of John Bernard and Caroline Louise Emhoff Swift in Monett.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and two sisters, Mary Fergason and Patti Marshall.

Jim is survived by five brothers, Mike Swift and wife, Sharon, McKinney, Texas, Bill Swift and wife, Cathy, Stilwell, Oklahoma, Frank Swift and wife, Linda, Garden City, Tim Swift and Troy Simmons, Dallas, Texas, and Rob Swift, Montrose; two sisters, Donna Evans and husband, Ron, of Kansas City, and Rita McKenzie and husband, Bob, Adrian; a brother-in-law, John Marshall, Peculiar; and nephews, nieces, cousins, friends and neighbors.

Mass of Christian Burial for James “Jim” Swift was Feb. 18 at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Butler. Rosary was prior to the service at the church. Burial was in Crescent Hill Cemetery, Adrian.

Contributions are suggested to St. Patrick Catholic Church.

Services were under the direction of the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler.

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