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Obituaries

Lyle L. Flanary
March 13, 1943 – April 4, 2021

Lyle “Bud” Lee Flanary, 78, Harrisonville, died April 4 at the Kansas City Hospice House, Kansas City. Bud was born March 13, 1943, in rural Harrisonville, the son of Elbert Carr and Amanda Marie (Jones) Flanary.

He attended 36 Rural School No. 58 and was a 1962 Harrisonville High School graduate. Bud was a lifelong Harrisonville resident. A good portion of his childhood was spent outdoors and helping his parents and many brothers and sisters work on the Flanary farm.

During high school, Bud worked at Scavuzzo’s grocery store and helped his brother-in-law bale hay, moving into town after the sale of the Flanary family farm in 1957.

Bud enlisted in the United States Army Reserves in 1964, attending infantry training at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. He later transferred to the Missouri National Guard, Military Police Unit in Lone Jack where he served until 1970.

In his free time, Bud was with his brothers, nephews and friends working on and racing his muscle cars.

Bud met and married M. Kathleen “Kathy’’ (Crafton) Flanary in Archie in August 1966. They settled in town in Harrisonville and had two children, Trenton “Trent” Lane and Tonya Leigh.

Bud worked at the Leed’s GMC plant in Kansas City in the 1960s, before going to school in the new field of data systems processing. He started his long career as a data programmer and manager on the Kansas City Country Club Plaza at the United Farm Agency.

He then spent the next decades at several data processing firms in Kansas City and Overland Park, Kansas. Bud finished his career working in Sidney, Nebraska, as a programmer and analyst for Cabela’s, retiring in July 2008.

Family and friends were everything to Bud. His wife, kids, grandkids, large extended family and close-knit group of friends will always remember his sense of humor, story-telling and down-to-earth, methodical sensibilities and integrity.

Bud loved watching his kids and grandkids grow up and attending their sports, games and activities. He loved family get-togethers, dinners and being outdoors.

He also enjoyed nature, animals, old muscle cars, fishing, gardening, music, card games, sweet iced tea and trivia.

Bud and Kathy spent their retired years on adventures, long, meandering car trips. They enjoyed going down the road, stopping here and there to take in the sights, going antiquing and visiting friends and family. In his later years, he loved going on fishing trips with his friends.

Bud was preceded in death by his parents; three brothers, Earl Wayne “Pete” Flanary, Melvin “Jack” Flanary and Elmer Flanary; and three sisters, Dollie Pulliam, Hazel Middaugh and Elberta “Bert” Gardner.

Bud was a truly loved and respected husband, brother, dad, papa, uncle, great-uncle, cousin and friend.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Kathy Flanary, Harrisonville; his son, Trent Flanary, Charlotte, North Carolina; his daughter, Tonya Kral and Jim, Chesapeake, Virginia; three grandchildren, Landon Gragg and Caitlin, Pensacola, Florida, Zoey and Hadley Flanary, Overland Park, Kansas; two sisters, Lois Knibb and Dean, and Shirley Henry and Larry, all of Harrisonville; and many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, cousins and extended family members and friends.

Memorial services were April 8 at the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Inurnment directly followed the service in the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, Harrisonville.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (pancan.org) or the Polycystic Kidney Foundation (pkdcure.org).

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home.

Robert A. Ford
June 11, 1951 – April 5, 2021

Robert “Bob” A. Ford, 69, Harrisonville, died April 5 at Research Medical Center, Kansas City. Bob was born June 11, 1951, in Harrisonville, the son of Robert Crawford and Jewel Doris (Good) Ford.

Bob lived in South Kansas City and was a 1969 graduate of Ruskin High School in Kansas City. He married Virginia “Ginny” Louise Knight March 19, 1970, in Kansas City. They lived in Kansas City before moving to Harrisonville in 1984.

Bob was a graduate of the Kansas City Fire Academy and worked for the Grandview Fire Department for 29 years, serving as captain for 15 years before his retirement in 2006. He was a member of Local No. 42, International Association of Fire Fighters.

Bob loved stock car racing and in 1985 was the Late Model Rookie of The Year, at both the Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, Kansas, and the I-70 Speedway in Odessa.

He was a member of The Worship Center in Harrisonville.

Bob is survived by his wife, Ginny, of the home; a son, Jason Ford and Christi, Archie; a daughter, Emily Thieverge and Richie, Lee’s Summit; three grandchildren, Robbie, Allie and Brody; and many other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were April 9 at The Worship Center, Harrisonville. Burial was in the Freeman Cemetery, Freeman.

Memorial contributions may be made to The Worship Center.

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

Dorothy M. Grah
Sept. 23, 1930 – April 3, 2021

Dorothy Mae Grah, Garden City, was born Sept. 23, 1930, in Hoxie, Kansas, the daughter of Elva and Pauline (Brusch) Taylor. She died April 3 at Cass Regional Medical Center, Harrisonville, at the age of 90 years, 6 months and 11 days.

Feb. 17, 1951, Dorothy married Francis Xavier Grah in Harrisonville.

Dorothy was a homemaker. She enjoyed sewing, gardening and babysat many children throughout her life. Dorothy drove the first bus for Peach Grove School near Garden City.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Francis, on Dec. 15, 2001; a brother, Dale Taylor; three sisters, Margie Moody, Lois Stuart and Darlene Taylor.

Dorothy is survived by two sons, Tommy Grah and wife, Patricia, and Larry Wayne Grah, all of Garden City; two daughters, Linda Pauline McLanahan and husband, Charles, Archie, and Angie Grubb and husband, Wayne, Garden City; eight grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; five great-great-grandchildren; four brothers, Darrel Taylor, Kingsville, Dwayne Taylor, Ray Taylor and Dan Taylor, all of Colorado Springs, Colorado; two sisters, Hazel Doxey and Sharon Gilcrist, both of Colorado Springs; other relatives and friends.

Funeral services were April 9 at the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville, with burial in the Dayton Cemetery near Garden City.

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

Sue Ann (Walkup) Hughes
Feb. 23, 1935 – April 3, 2021

Sue Ann (Walkup) Hughes, 86, passed away at her home in Keytesville, April 3. A Celebration of Life service was April 10 at the United Methodist Church in Keytesville, with Pastor Jim Robinson and Rev. Naftal officiating. Interment was in the Keytesville City Cemetery.

Sue Ann was born Feb. 23, 1935, in Clinton, the daughter of Wilbur and Veneta (Worman) Walkup. She graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1953.

Sue Ann flew as a stewardess for Trans World Airlines (TWA) and later worked ground crew. After 10 years with TWA, Sue Ann worked for the Selective Service Administration in Harrisonville, where she met George Bondurant Hughes. They were married July 3, 1968, in Harrisonville. Soon after marriage, the couple moved to George’s hometown of Keytesville. Sue Ann worked for the prosecuting attorney’s office and the associate circuit court. In 1993, she began working as a clerk for the Division of Family Services until her retirement in 2003.

Sue Ann was a force of nature who was inspired to serve others. After seeing the destruction of hurricane Katrina in 2005, she was compelled to volunteer for the American Red Cross (ARC). Within weeks of the historic hurricane making landfall and devastating the coast, she was onsite helping residents get back on their feet by day and sleeping on a cot by night. For 15 years since, she would travel and assist families needing disaster relief from Newtonia and Novinger to West Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, New Jersey and New York. Sue Ann also served on the board of the Central and Northern Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross and volunteered for the ARC until 2020.

Sue Ann was a member of the Keytesville United Methodist Church, the Chariton County Democratic Club, the Almeria Miller Club, Friends of Keytesville, Sigma Upsilon Sorority and was on the Keytesville City Cemetery Board. Favorite past times included volunteering at the food pantry in Brunswick and Salisbury. She was also a regular at the Chariton County Sheltered Workshop. For years, she’d collect donations of children’s clothing, launder and deliver them to the Chariton County Health Department that would distribute the clothes among families with needs. She loved spending time with her family and friends, especially being with her beloved grandchildren. She enjoyed gardening, feeding birds, Broadway musicals, international travel and delivering flowers from her garden to shut-ins and friends around the county.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Wilbur and Veneta Walkup; her husband, George Hughes; and her son, Jon Ashley Hughes.

Sue Ann is survived by her children, Charles Edwards, New York, Melanie Edwards, San Francisco and Chris Hughes and his wife, Rhonda, Keytesville; four grandchildren, Dalton Hughes, Michael Hughes, Kayla Hewett and her husband Clay and Lindy Breshears and her husband Tyler; four great grandchildren, Mavric, Ryatt, Rex, and Westen; one sister, Linda Cali and her husband, Salvatore, California.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations to the Sue Ann Hughes Scholarship Fund or to the Keytesville City Cemetery. Donations may be mailed to Breshears Memorial Chapel, 207 W. Broadway, Brunswick, MO, 65236.

Chuck Lliteras
Feb. 28, 1955 – April 5, 2021

Coach Chuck Lliteras died April 5 at the age of 66 at Research Hospital, Kansas City. He was born in Alliance, Nebraska, the son of Robert and Mary Lliteras.

After graduating from high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of First Lieutenant.

He served in the 82nd Airborne Division and was a presidential honor guard early in his military career.

He met his wife, Kris, while serving and they were married in 1975. After his service, he went on to college where he graduated from Chadron State. Chuck earned his Bachelor’s Degree and finished with a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology.

Chuck had a passion for coaching, which he did for more than 40 years at both the high school and college levels.

He was honored in 2013 by being inducted into the Missouri Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame.

He enjoyed playing golf, working out and staying busy with multiple ongoing projects.

Chuck and Kris were married for 45 years. He is survived by wife, Kris; two sons, Mathew and Maria and Jeremy and Grace; and seven grandchildren, Beth, Zac, Lily, Dade, Corbin, Lexie and Asher; four surviving siblings, Roberta and John Weisgerber, Daniel and Jill, Joseph and Pam and David and Dawn; multiple nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Michael.

Per his wishes there will not be a service (he wouldn’t of liked this obituary either).

A celebration of life visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. April 15 at the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville, with military honors at 7 p.m.

The family suggests that memorial contributions to a charity of one’s choice.

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

Paul M. Martin
Jan. 13, 1955 – April 3, 2021

Paul Michael Martin, 66, Centerview, died April 3. He was born Jan. 13, 1955, in Kansas City, the son of Angelo and Betty (Visentin) Martin.

Paul was a cherished uncle.

He enjoyed hunting and fishing.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Paul is survived by his brother and sister-in-law, Tim and Dee Martin, East Lynne; a niece Madison and Keanan Buie; a nephew, Timmy and Brittany Martin; and a great-nephew Tucker Martin.

Memorial services were April 6 at Heart and Soul Church, Raymore.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Sweeney-Phillips & Holdren Funeral Home, Warrensburg.

Clifford L. Pieratt
Sept. 5, 1956 – April 6, 2021

Clifford Lee Pieratt, 64, Belton, died April 6 at Good Samaritan Society in Olathe, Kansas. He was born Sept. 5, 1956, the son of Phillip Dean and Donna Lea Wyatt Pieratt in Kansas City.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Clifford is survived by his wife of 43 years, Regine Pieratt, Belton; two sons, Kevin Pieratt and wife, Jacky, of Evans, Georgia, and Jason Pieratt and wife, Dana, Harrisonville; three daughters, Jessica Johnson, Belton, Crystal Ryan, Nevada, and Melissa Gaines and husband, Matt, Belton; and 10 grandchildren.

Graveside services with military honors were April 9 at Oak Hill Cemetery, Butler. Contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.

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

James R. Riffle, Sr.
July 10, 1937 – April 2, 2021

James “Jim” Robert Riffle, Sr., Latour, was born July 10, 1937, the son of Frederick Thomas and Glada Elizabeth (Plank) Riffle. He died April 2 at KU Medical Center surrounded by his loving family at the age of 83 years, 8 months and 23 days.

Nov. 29, 1957, he married Shirley May Snell of East Lynne. They raised two children, James Robert “Bob” Riffle, Jr., and Diana Lynn (Riffle) Cotton, Harrisonville. They were happily married for 63 years.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his son, Bob, in 1996; two brothers, Raymond Riffle and John Riffle and his wife, Barbara; and his brother-in-law, Bill Davis.

He is survived by his wife, Shirley, of the home, his daughter, Diana Cotton and Jody, Harrisonville; and Lisa Riffle and Jordan, Harrisonville; Jodie Cotton-Perretti, Harrisonville; Linda Grice and Jonathan, Nixa; and Shawn Cotton, Harrisonville; four great-grandchildren, Lydia Perretti, Kendry, Reese and Dexter Grice; two brothers and two sisters, Richard Riffle and Carolyne, Garden City, Don Riffle and Gail, Harrisonville, Barbara Davis Independence, and Beverly Andes and Berle, Garden City; and many more family and friends.

He grew up on a farm near Quick City with his six brothers and sisters. Jim graduated from Latour High School in 1955 then went to work for Stahls Specialty in Kingsville, where he worked for several years.

He would work all day at Stahls and would farm before and after work, but always came home with something in his lunch box for the kids to share.

He always called the family on their birthday and sang “Happy Birthday” to each of them. He spanned the generations with his generosity and love. He always had a joke to tell you and a friendly ear to hear your happy stories or your problems and tried to give you good advice.

Even in his last hours, he was telling jokes to the doctors and nurses and offering something to drink to his visitors and telling them how much he appreciated them and for the good care he was getting and that he loved them all.

When Jim was made they broke the mold. He was a pillar of strength and love to all of us and always made time for anyone who needed him.

Funeral services were April 7 at the Heart of Life Church, Garden City. Burial was in the Garden City Cemetery, Garden City.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Jim Riffle Memorial Fund and may be sent in care of the Dickey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 432, Harrisonville, MO 64701.

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

Kenneth E. Stevens
Oct. 22, 1950 – April 2, 2021

Kenneth “Ken” Earl Stevens, 70, Archie, died April 2 at the Kansas City Hospice House, Kansas City. Ken was born Oct. 22, 1950, in Butler the son of Robert L. and Alice Eileen (Hill) Stevens.

Ken was baptized on Easter Sunday, April 1960, along with his dad, Robert L. Stevens, at the First Baptist Church in Archie.

He was a 1968 graduate of Archie High School.

Ken attended Pitt State University from 1969 to 1971 and graduated from Kansas State University in December 1973 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Wildlife Conservation.

Ken worked as a potato peeler as a boy and worked his way up to fry cook at his parents’ drive-in, the Dari-Dine, in Archie. As an adult, Ken worked as an engineer technician on highways and bridges in Colorado and northern California.

He worked on one railroad project in Wyoming in the early 1980s and was lead inspector at Denver International Airport in the early 1990s. He also worked a second stint in the early 2000s before moving back to his mom’s house in Archie. In 2002, Ken established Quail Ridge Subdivision in Archie.

Ken enjoyed family vacations as a child and youth at the Lake of the Ozarks with his parents and brother. As a young boy, Ken’s Granddad Bert, Aunt Mae and Uncle Jake would join them on occasion to enjoy fishing and family fellowship. A lot of crappie were caught, dressed and fried up. On special occasions, the family dined out at Grady’s Bar-B-Que in Gravois Mills.

Ken also enjoyed playing baseball, hard ball, on the Archie summer youth league, coached by Clell Frazier and Charles Cooper, where he tried to learn the finer techniques of the game. His teammates were Gary Cantrell, first base; Gary Hall, shortstop; and Kevin Walter, catcher. Ken played mostly second base, but occasionally played right field and very rarely, pitcher.

He also enjoyed hunting quail with his dad, brother and Uncle Harold on some of the farmland in Cass and Bates counties.

He was preceded in death by his father, Robert L. Stevens; paternal grandparents, Bert and Anna Stevens; and maternal grandparents, Earl and Ruby Hill, along with many great cousins and friends.

Ken is survived by his mother, Eileen Stevens, Archie; a brother, Robert “Bob” D. Stevens and his wife, Viktoria; and a nephew, Sean Adam Stevens.

A celebration of life service was April 8 at the First Baptist Church in Archie. Memorial contributions may be made to the University of Kansas, Willed Body Program.

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

Douglas M. Tripp
March 7, 1962 – April 6, 2021

Douglas Matthew Tripp, 59, Peculiar, died April 6 at his home. A celebration of life will be held at a later date. Doug was born March 7, 1962, in Springdale, Arkansas, the son of Howard and Susan (Bair) Tripp.

He was a 1980 graduate of Olathe High School, Olathe, Kansas. He had lived in Olathe and Raymore before moving to Peculiar.

Doug married Jody Hill Nov. 21, 2015, in Belton.

Doug was a carpenter and builder and owned and operated Doug Tripp Construction.

He loved the outdoors, including hunting and fishing. Doug loved to cook and grill was a master extraordinaire on the barbecue grill and the smoker.

He was a member of Journey Church International in Lee’s Summit.

Doug is survived by his wife, Jody, of the home; a son, Aaron Tripp, Grandview; two daughters, Taylor Reyes, North Kansas City, and Abigail Tripp, Overland Park, Kansas; three brothers, Howard Tripp, Jr., Plymouth, Minnesota, Scott Tripp, Crowley, Texas, and Phil Tripp, Maple Grove, Minnesota; and three grandchildren, Sephina Tripp, Novalee Tripp and Maverick Reyes.

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

Betty J. Cooley
Jan. 29, 1928 – April 1, 2021

Betty Jo Cooley was born Jan. 29, 1928, in Ballard, the daughter of Ethel J. Andrews and Melvin Ray (Jake) Harbert. She died April 1 at St. Luke’s Hospital, Kansas City, in the presence of her family.

Betty graduated from Butler High School, Butler, in 1945. She was employed at Commerce Trust Bank Central Surety Insurance in Kansas City before marrying and having five children. Betty later worked for Kansas City Credit Bureau, Internal Revenue Service, Tension Envelope and J.C.Penney’s.

Betty was preceded in death by her parents; her two sisters, Rhuama Reynolds and Faye Fisher; her husband, Lawrence David Cooley, Sr.; two sons, Randall Ray “Randy” Cooley and Lawrence David Cooley, Jr.; her grandson, Gary Lee Cooley; and great-grandson, Levi James Cooley.

Betty is survived by her son, John Jerome Cooley, Sr., and wife, Carol, Lee’s Summit; her daughters, Cynthia Jo Simmons, North Carolina, and Rebecca “Gaye” Morgan and husband, Kevin, Independence; 11 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren.

Betty was a Christian lady and was a member of the Souls Harbour Assembly of God Church in Independence for more than 45 years. She loved the Lord and served in the women’s ministries group at the church for most of that time.

Her family was always a top priority and she made gatherings at her home a place where very special memories were made.

There will be special stories for many years to come when the family reminisces about their mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. She is loved by many and will be truly missed.

Graveside memorial services were April 8 at Oak Hill Cemetery, Butler.

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

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