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Obituaries

June Cramer
Sept. 10, 1933 – May 5, 2021

June Cramer was born at the family home in rural Garden City Sept. 10, 1933, the daughter of Ivan and Lucy Sisk. June was the eldest of three children, Iva Jean and Vern Edgar.

June attended Pumpkin Green country school and then graduated as salutatorian from Garden City High School in 1951. She stayed close with many of her classmates, especially the “Big Five” that included June, Nita Leslie, Charlene Ward, Carolyn Cavanaugh and Jody Chisler. They remained lifelong friends and often gathered together at school reunions.

June married Edward Cramer June 2, 1951.

They had three children, Charmen Deanne, Scott Sisk and a daughter lost at birth.

June worked at the Garment Factory in Garden City during high school and after her marriage while Ed was serving in the Korean War.

While raising her children, she did childcare in her home for many teachers and friends. June went to work for the city of Garden City as city clerk in 1972 and worked there until her retirement in 2004.

As city clerk, June prepared and secured several grants that enabled the construction and completion of the present day community building, the Community Development Block grants that funded the improvement of various citizens’ homes in Garden City and the park grant that funded the park pavilion.

June and Ed were very involved in the community. They were lifelong members of the First Christian Church of Garden City and were Sunday school teachers.

June was a founding member of the Garden City Optimist Club.

She was a member of the Merry Modern Mother’s Extension Club. June was active in the writing of the Garden City history book, the first Garden City Fall Festival and the bicentennial celebration.

She served on the pastor appreciation committee, was a 4-H leader, served on the community board and as a room mother.

June enjoyed sewing, cooking, playing all types of card games and spending time with family.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her sister; brother; and her infant daughter.

June is survived by her husband of 69 years, Ed Cramer; her children, Charmen and Scott; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; four step-great-grandchildren; other relatives and many friends. She was a woman with many best friends.

Funeral services were May 8 at the First Christian Church, Garden City, with burial in the Garden City Cemetery, Garden City.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the First Christian Church Memorial Fund.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home, Garden City.

Lillian M. Hopkins
Sept. 12, 1925 – May 2, 2021

Lillian Marie Hopkins died May 2 at 95 years of age. She will be fondly remembered as a loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.

Lillian was born in Drexel, Sept. 12, 1925, the daughter of Don Land and Lela (May) Land.

Lillian was an only child, however she was fortunate to have two cousins who were like sisters to her, Helen Endecott and Lila Jones. The three remained extremely close throughout their lives.

Lillian graduated from Harrisonville High School in 1942. She stayed close with many of her classmates, forming lifelong friendships and enjoyed attending class reunions.

She graduated during the height of World War II and secured a job with the Internal Revenue Service in downtown Kansas City.

She married Bernard Hopkins July 3, 1947, and they had two children, David and Ann. Lillian devoted her time to being a mother and later a grandmother.

Together, the family went on several camping trips and spent many afternoons fishing. She enjoyed teaching her grandchildren to play cards and appreciate classic western movies.

Lillian was preceded in death by her husband, Bernard, after 56 years of marriage.

She is survived by her children and their spouses, David and Margaret Hopkins, Blue Eye, and Ann and Steve Hopkins, Columbia; seven grandchildren and numerous great-grandchildren.

The family wishes to extend their heartfelt gratitude to the caring and compassionate staff of Wedgewood Gardens in Branson where Lillian spent the last two years of her life.

A graveside service was May 6 at Sharon Cemetery, Drexel.

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

Benny R. Janssen
April 3, 1947 – May 5, 2021

Benny Ray Janssen, 74, Peculiar, died May 5 at his home in Peculiar. Benny was born April 3, 1947, in Omaha, Nebraska, the son of Robert and Benna Bea (Schmidt) Janssen.

He was a graduate with the class of 1966 of Raymore-Peculiar High School.

Benny married Cheryl (Sherry) Oldham June 14, 1969, in Peculiar. He spent his career working as a field mechanic for the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) and after 33 years, he retired in 2000.

Benny had a life-long love of fishing, was a member of The Church at Pleasant Ridge and will be missed by all that knew
him.

Benny was preceded in death by his parents and brother, Robbie Janssen.

He is survived by his wife, Cheryl Janssen, Peculiar; his sons, Dan and Jennifer Janssen, Lone Jack and Matt and Tammy Janssen, Archie; his daughter, Trish and Eddie Bray, Archie; his 12 grandchildren, Jarrett Janssen, Ben Janssen, Bre Janssen, Kaleb and Shayla Bray, Kody Bray, Madison Janssen, Tom Janssen, Hope and Jacob Hester, Destiny Janssen, Hunter Wilson, Hope Wilson and Hanna and Nathan Davis; and his six great-grandchildren: Dawsyn, Deegyn, Henry, Jacob, Jr., Ashlynn and Eli.

A celebration of life will be at 2 p.m. May 16 at The Church at Pleasant Ridge in Harrisonville, with the family receiving friends from 1 to 2 p.m. A live stream will be hosted on the church’s Facebook page, at https://www.facebook.com/pleasantridgebc/.

An inurnment will take place at a later date at Wills Cemetery, Peculiar. Memorial contributions are suggested to The Church at Pleasant Ridge in Benny’s name.

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

Marie A. Manitta
June 4, 1925 – April 27, 2021

Marie Anna Kuhne Manitta, 95, Drexel, died April 27. Marie was born in New York City, June 4, 1925, the daughter of Harry Ferdinand Kuhne and Anna Agnes Baumann Kuhne.

She and her husband lived on Long Island, New York, for years where she was a homemaker and school bus driver. Upon retiring, she and her husband maintained homes in New York and Florida.

In 2013, Marie moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia, to be with her granddaughter and great-grandchildren for five years.

In 2018, Marie moved to Drexel where she was again surrounded by many great-grandchildren on a small farm south of Drexel.

Marie enjoyed many hours of sitting on the front porch watching the cattle and chickens and crocheting hats and hot pads for her friends.

She was a member of the Drexel VFW Ladies Auxiliary and attended the Drexel First Baptist Church. Marie loved to hide candy for the great-grandchildren and watch their antics.

She was preceded in death by her parents; husband Peter Manitta; brother George Kuhne; and son Tim Craig.

She is survived by son, Tom, and Sue Craig, Drexel; daughter, Tammy, and Zane Zinkosky, Tampa, Florida; sister, Georgette Hanlon, Tarpon Springs, Florida; grandchildren, Tim Craig, Anna Carpenter and Samuel, Devin and Shelby Zinkosky, Florida, Tiffini and Nate Fyffe, Kansas City, Megan and Sean Tithes, Olathe, Kansas, and Justin and Antonia Craig, Drexel; and 16 great-grandchildren, Riley Craig, Savanna, Syndi, Spencer, Shyanne, Sadie, Silas and Simeon Tithes, Noah, Bailey, Caleb and Silas Craig, Oliver Gretchyn, Jasper and Archer Fyffe.

She will be greatly missed by all, but we glory in the hope of seeing her in eternity with our heavenly Father.

Cremation, with no services scheduled at this time. Private inurnment will take place in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Coram, New York.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Mullinax Funeral Home, Drexel Chapel.

Virginia C. Phillips
Jan. 17, 1937 – May 6, 2021

Virginia “Ginger” Claudette Phillips, 84, Harrisonville, died May 6 at Medicalodge of Butler. Ginger was born Jan. 17, 1937, in Parsons, Kansas. She was raised by her grandmother, Gertrude Shears, whom she considered to be her mother.

Ginger married Johnathan Benjamin Phillips Jan. 24, 1953, in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. They lived in Parsons, Kansas, and Kansas City, before moving to Harrisonville in 1963, where they remained until his death in 2007.

She spent her life taking care of her family and was a member of the Coleman Baptist Church, Peculiar. She will be greatly missed by all those she leaves behind.

Ginger was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, John; two sons, Johnny Dean Phillips and Mark J. Phillips; and a daughter, Tori Phillips.

She is survived by her daughter, Sheena Humphrey, Harrisonville; eight grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; nine great-great-grandchildren; her brother, Jack Shears, Harrisonville; and her sister, Lola Baer, Parsons, Kansas.

A funeral service was May 11 at the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville. Interment followed in Orient Cemetery.

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

Carol A. Setzer
July 20, 1948 – April 30, 2021

Carol Setzer, 72, Harrisonville, died April 30 at Crown Care Center, Harrisonville. Carol Ann Setzer was born July 20, 1948, the daughter of Jasper Dale and Betty Ruth Gilmore Hicks.

She married Kenneth Setzer and together they raised two boys, Tim and Travis.

Carol worked several jobs in her lifetime, but being a homemaker was her priority. She loved her family and her pets.

Carol was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Kenny Setzer; son, Travis Scott Setzer; and brother, Steven Cox.

She is survived by her son, Tim Setzer and wife, Julie, Archie; four grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; her sister, Linda Highfill; and daughter-in-law; Lori Brummit.

Graveside services were May 5 at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery near Harrisonville. Memorial contributions may be made to the charity of one’s choice.

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

Kathleen M. Smith
July 15, 1954 – May 4, 2021

Kathleen M. Smith, 66, Harrisonville, died May 4 at her home in Harrisonville. Kathleen was born July 15, 1954, in Manhattan, Kansas, the daughter of Marvin and Marjorie (Bluthardt) Umscheid.

Kathleen married William F. “Bill” Smith, Jr., April 22, 1977, at the St. Joseph Catholic Church in Flush, Kansas. Kathleen had lived in Manhattan, Kansas, Belton and Archie before moving to Harrisonville 1996.

Kathleen worked as a postal carrier for the United States Post Office in Kansas City.

She received her paramedic certification from Penn Valley Community College in Kansas City and had worked for the city of Harrisonville as a paramedic from 1996 to 2001. She also worked at Harrisonville Walmart Distribution Center until her retirement.

She was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, Flush, Kansas.

Kathleen was preceded in death by her parents; and a sister, Dorie Smith.

She is survived by her husband, Bill Smith, of the home; two sons, Eric Smith and wife, DeeAnn, Raymore, and their four children, Briana, Ashlyn, Kennady and Paityn Smith; and Shane Smith and wife, Tori, Kansas City, and their three children, Sofia, Tyce and Sadie Smith; a daughter, Bobbie Bruno and husband, Dustin, Pleasant Hill, and their children, Hadelynn, Rusty and Silvia Bruno; and a sister, Theresa Peterson, Westmoreland, Kansas.

A celebration of life was May 10 at the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

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

Dorothy M. Durbin
Nov. 14, 1943 – Nov. 20, 2020

Dorothy Mae Smith Durbin was born Nov. 14, 1943, the daughter of George Nelson and Gertrude Ellington Smith. She died Nov. 20 at the age of 77.

The fourth of four children, her family were indentured farmers at the time of her birth in Pettis County to the Howard Farms, later Howard Quarries.

In 1957, her father’s employment with the Missouri Public Service Company brought them to Adrian, where she finished high school as a member of the high school band playing percussion and met the love of her life, Donald Lee Durbin.

She married Donnie in 1963 and three children were born to them, Mark Leslie, Michael George and Allen Lee.

Dorothy studied nursing at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She helped manage her brother-in-law, Robert Durbin’s Western Auto store on Main Street for many years and then went to work as a nurses aide at the new Adrian Manor Nursing Home, caring for our community’s most precious treasure.

Later, she went to work at Bates County Memorial Hospital, retiring in 2005 after 25 years of service.

She worked many years in the maternity ward, scrubbing in and being the first human touch, besides the mother, for hundreds of now adults, Bates County babies and providing comfort and reassurance to countless new parents.

She loved her position and when she could no longer do it well due to age and infirmity, she was placed as the emergency room ward clerk where her compassion, professionalism and infectious laughter provided solace to emergency room patients and their families.

Many people have told me they would go to another hospital if “Happy Dorothy” wasn’t on duty at the emergency room.
During her years of service, she became famous for her ability to put nervous young mothers and angry impatient fathers at ease while they waited anxiously for the doctor to come back from treating their child. She truly embodied “angel of mercy” to hundreds of Bates County residents.

During her children’s school-age years, Dorothy was very active and involved with the Adrian United Methodist Church, teaching Sunday school and facilitating Vacation Bible School.

She was well known for enabling and chaperoning youth activities that touched the entire community and led the charge that resulted in the Adrian UMC beloved “Kiva,” a youth retreat born out of an abandoned church basement with music, snacks, activities and supervision for many fun-filled late nights after ball games.

She very much loved providing logistical support for out-of-town trips and concert tours of the incredibly talented youth of the Adrian community and Adrian UMC when they took their musicals on the road and she purchased the first drum set owned by the church.

She was also very active as a den mother, committee member and district executive for the Boy Scouts of America Troop 238 and the Lone Bear District.

For several years, she was the lead coordinator for district Cub Scout day camp, moving it to Adrian for those years and putting Adrian’s troop and pack back on the map at the district level, serving Cub Scouts from Warrensburg to Butler.

At the county council level, she enabled her sons service on the youth 4-H County Council, youth fair board and was selected by the County Fair Board with Rosie Brooks, a dear family friend, to invent and create the long running fan and participant favorite “Purt Near Anything Goes,” a county fair tradition that continues to this day in Bates County and several other counties that adopted the idea.

“Purt Near” was an example of speech idioms that distinguished Dorothy’s speech to anyone who knew her well.

Calling it her “Sedalia twang,” it provided another endearing facet of her bubbling effusive personality that was loved by all, unless they were the subject of her sometimes piercing, candid criticism for which she was also well known.

Her mastery of English and typing was the only mechanism her sons had for success with semester papers, district science fair entries and 4-H and FFA speeches. She worked many late nights saving her sons from themselves due to procrastination, pounding away on a manual typewriter.

This work ethic and attention to detail is the foundation of her sons success to this day.

She was president of the Adrian Chapter of the Parent Teacher Association and then later the Parent Teacher Organization. Her able-bodied sons worked many late nights at her direction, setting up for and tearing down the annual PTA fun night.

These memories would become some of the best years of her sons’ lives and prodded them toward a lifetime of public service.

The classmates and friends of all her sons will tell you the Durbin Farm was a place where they could walk in without knocking, rifle through the refrigerator without asking, find a helping hand, good advice, a kind ear and also a merciless, but humorous hard time as well. Many of the seasonal parties she put on for her sons’ classes for Halloween, birthdays and end of the school year are legendary to this day.

She loved to bowl and was a state-ranked Fred Broski tour bowler, travel- ling out of state on numerous occasions, gathering dozens of trophies and maintaining her strength through the late 70s. She also coached youth bowling teams and was famous for her solicitation of sponsorships from hapless Main Street businesses she set her sights on.

She never met a stranger and her extended by marriage step-grandchildren cherished her as much as she cherished them, accepting them as her own and lavishing love and attention on them from the first day.

After retirement, with her dear friend Patsy Withrow, she delighted in taking her grandchildren on shopping sprees and trips to as far away as Disney World and as close as a twice a year or more trip to Silver Dollar City.

Dorothy and Patsy went to Albuquerque, New Mexico, for the balloon fiesta several times, visiting her mother’s family while there. She volunteered at Adrian Manor as activity director and at the Adrian Community Library as a librarian and storytime volunteer. Dorothy taught adult Bible study at the Adrian UMC in honor of her mother.

She was a fixture at the Raging Lion and Adrian Mercantile for decades at Frontier Village. Everything she touched had her special mark on it which is why she is so dearly missed and fondly remembered.

Her mastery of college-level English enabled her to succeed, while the ever present “Sedalia twang” made her approachable and beloved by Adrian Manor residents, hospital patients, library patrons and her fellow students of the word of God.

She would often receive an almost embarrassing ribbing from almost everyone in town and always gave as good as she got. She loved passing barbs with anyone who started it and many who never saw it coming.

She was a serial giver. Her favorite pastime was shopping for other people. We are still trying to figure out what she had planned when she passed from this world.

She went to bed that night happy, planning the next day, the next week and the next year.

She was the same age as her older sister when she went to her reward and as her father when he died, with her at his bedside. I will never forget the absolute adoration and love on her face as she watched her father decline and finally take his last breath.

She was preceded in death by a son, Michael George; a granddaughter, Candace Dawn; both brothers, Nelson and Theodore “Ted”; her parents, George and Gertrude; and her sister, Viola Ruth Devore.

She is survived by her husband, Donnie; her sons, Mark and Allen; and her dear friend, Patsy Withrow, who followed her into paradise only 10 days later; dozens of beloved grandchildren and great-grandchildren that she never wanted to leave and were her greatest joy in life.

The family asks contributions in her honor be made to the United Methodist Church for the benefit of VBS and the Adrian Community Library, two of her enduring life works.

Her celebration of life was at graveside May 7 at Crescent Hill Cemetery, Adrian.

Dr. Corry R. Lanyon
Dec. 7, 1956 – May 2, 2021

Corry Robert Lanyon, 64, Butler, died May 2 at the University of Kansas Hospital, Kansas City, Kansas. He was born Dec. 7, 1956, the son of Phillip Delose and Robbie Lee Cantwell Lanyon in Kansas City.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Nina Lanyon in 2009; two brothers, Scott and Michael; and a sister, Jill Lanyon.

Corry is survived by two sons, Sean Lanyon and wife, Mallory, Overland Park, Kansas, and Colin Lanyon, Butler; a brother, Phil Lanyon, Jr., and wife, Sue, Kansas City; and two grandchildren, Madelyn and Ryker.

Graveside memorial services will be at 2 p.m. May 15 at Ridge Park Cemetery, Marshall. Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. May 14 at the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler. Contributions may be made to a charity of choice.

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

Alan D. Zellmer
Jan. 15, 1953 – May 6, 2021

Alan Duane Zellmer, 68, Butler, died May 6 at Kansas City Hospice House, Kansas City. He was born Jan. 15, 1953, the son of John Joseph and Shirley Jean Bays Zellmer in Butler.

He was preceded in death by his parents. Alan is survived by his wife of 46 years, Ginger Zellmer, Butler; a daughter, Shanyn Peterson and husband, Clayton, El Dorado Springs; two brothers, Jim Zellmer and wife, Annie, and Danny Zellmer and wife, Doris, all of Butler; a sister, Phyllis Nitsche and husband, Linn, Butler; and two grandchildren, Maverick and Ladigo.

Graveside services with military honors were May 10 at Scott Cemetery, Amsterdam.

Contributions are suggested to the Kansas City Hospice House or Ronald McDonald House.

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

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