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Obituaries

Willa R. Franklin
Oct. 15, 1947 – Feb. 4, 2022

Willa “Ruth” (McKinzie) Franklin was born Oct. 15, 1947, in Warrensburg and died Feb. 4 at Lee’s Summit Medical Center, Lee’s Summit, at the age of 74 years, 3 months and 20 days.

She was the daughter of Archie David and Willa Belle (Houts) McKinzie.

Ruth spent her younger years in Kingsville, graduating from Kingsville High School in 1965.

After graduation, Ruth obtained her beautician’s license and she, along with her twin sister, Rae, owned and operated a beauty shop in Pleasant Hill. After selling the beauty shop, Ruth worked for more than 20 years in multiple care centers and nursing homes as a dietitian, retiring in 2010. For several years, Ruth served as manager and cook for Pleasant Hill Meals On Wheels.

In 1995, after raising her two sons, Dustin and Kristin, in Kingsville, Ruth relocated to Pleasant Hill, for a short while, before moving to Lee’s Summit.

In 2005, Ruth returned to Pleasant Hill to make her home.

In her spare time, Ruth enjoyed word search puzzles, attending country music shows, visiting antique shops and just sitting on her porch visiting with friends.

Ruth loved her family. One of her greatest joys in life was attending her grandchildren’s sporting events. She also loved traveling to North Carolina and Oklahoma to visit her siblings and having them travel here to visit her.

Ruth was preceded in death by her parents, Archie and Willa McKinzie; three sisters, her twin sister, Wilma “Rae” Duffey, Marilyn Swift and Arlene Gay.

She is survived by two sons, Dustin Franklin, Greenwood, and Kristin Franklin, Kingsville; a brother, David McKinzie and wife, Ruth, Pittsboro, North Carolina; two grandchildren, Bailey Fraccascia and husband, Dakota, Harrisonville, and Willa Franklin; as well as many nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 21 at the Wallace Funeral Home, Pleasant Hill. A memorial service will immediately follow at 7 p.m. with the Rev. Kent Deubner officiating.

In memory of Ruth Franklin, contributions are suggested to Project Nic, a nonprofit organization that provides the opportunity for people to live out the love and justice of Jesus to orphans around the world. Contributions may be made online at http://www.project-nic.org or may be left at the funeral home.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Wallace Funeral Home, Pleasant Hill.

Sandra L. Gilkeson
April 28, 1942 – Feb. 2, 2022

Sandra Lee Gilkeson died Feb. 2 at the age of 79. Sandra, or Sandy, as she was known to her many friends, was the daughter of Earlest and Mabel Sullins. She was the baby sister of Norma Jean, Richard and Robert. Sandra was a graduate of Adrian High School.

Sept. 10, 1966, she married the love of her life, Renner Gilkeson.

She was a devoted homemaker and loving mother to three children, Roxanne, Phillip and Cindy.

Besides her family, Sandra found her calling in ministering to others.

She began Puppets for Christ and entertained as Sandy the Clown at her church, The New Covenant, where she served for 35 years, using her artistic talents to decorate the classrooms. Sandra loved to share her love of Christ and bring joy to others by singing at nursing homes and participating in the Jolly 60s.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a son; siblings; and many dear relatives and friends.

Sandra is survived by her husband, Renner; daughters, Roxanne and Don Wayne Richards and Cindy and Kent Cogan; beloved grandchildren, Megan and Joe Adkins, Phillip Shane Luttrell, Haylee and Travis Lawson, Dalton Richards and Hayden Cogan; great-grandchildren, Joseph and Lydia Adkins and Wesley and Rhett Lawson.

Funeral services were Feb. 9 at the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Burial was in the Garden City Cemetery, Garden City.

Memorial contributions are suggested to St. Jude’s and may be sent in care of Dickey Funeral Home, P.O. Box 432, Harrisonville, MO 64701.

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

Rickey M. Green
June 30, 1978 – Feb. 3, 2022

Rickey Michael Green, 43, Archie, died unexpectedly Feb. 3 at Research Medical Center, Kansas City. Rickey was born June 30, 1978, in Harrisonville, the son of Rick and Sharon (Hannah) Houston and later adopted by Tim Green and wife, Sharon (Hannah) Green.

Rickey had lived most of his life in Harrisonville and was a 1996 graduate of Harrisonville High School. Rickey was a truck driver for R.L. Hannah Trucking Company in Harrisonville. He married Vicki Due on Dec. 29, 2001, and they made their home in Archie.

They soon had their son, Riley Chase, on Aug. 25, 2005. Riley was Rickey’s pride and joy, the Robin to his Batman, his greatest accomplishment. Rick couldn’t wait to take Riley’s eeper out and get it dirty.

Rickey and Vicki loved to travel the world. They enjoyed their time together at the lake, boating and wake surfing. His favorite color was lime green. All his play toys are lime green.

Rickey also enjoyed his late-night poker games with the guys, razor riding and golfing. Rickey never met a stranger. He loved his family and treated everyone as such. Just remember the laugh and free spirit.

Rickey was preceded in death by his grandpa, R.L. Hannah; and his brother, David Green.

He is survived by his wife, Vicki, and their son, Riley, of the home; his parents, Tim and Sharon Green, Harrisonville; his maternal grandmother, Francis Hannah, Harrisonville; and his father-in-law, Robert Due, Peculiar.

He will forever be in everyone’s hearts.

Funeral services were Feb. 12 at the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.

Burial was in Orient Cemetery, Harrisonville.

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

Dale A. Hajek
Dec. 28, 1940 – Feb. 2, 2022

Dale Anthony Hajek, 81, Harrisonville, died Feb. 2 at CenterPoint Medical Center, Independence. Dale was born on Dec. 28, 1940, in Loup City, Nebraska, the son of George Washington and Alice Eugenia (Moomey) Hajek.

Dale received a bachelor’s degree and spent his career working as a copy editor for the Kansas City Star newspaper.

He became a member of the Archie United Methodist Church on Nov. 12, 1995, where he was an active participant, often helping in the church office. He will be most remembered for having a very good sense of humor and was loved by all who knew him.

Dale was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by his sister and two brothers; as well as many extended friends and family.

Memorial services will be held at a later time. Memorial contributions are suggested to either the Archie United Methodist Church or the Harrisonville branch of the Cass County Public Library.

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

Grace E. Kinney
April 15, 1933 – Feb. 8, 2022

Grace Kinney, 88, Drexel, died Feb. 8 at Garden Terrace, Overland Park, Kansas. Grace Elizabeth Jackson Kinney was born April 15, 1933, in Kansas City, Kansas, the daughter of Forrest and Eleanor Jackson. She was the third of eight children.

She grew up in Kansas City, Kansas, and graduated from Turner High School.

Grace married C. Raymond Matney in 1950.He preceded her in death in 1969.

She then married Frank Sands in 1970, but they divorced in 1980.

It was in 1985 that Grace met the love of her life and married LeRoy Kinney. In 1987, Grace and LeRoy left Kansas City and settled on a farm near Louisburg, Kansas, where they raised cattle.

Grace and LeRoy were active in Berean Baptist Church, Kansas City, Kansas, Argentine Assembly of God Church and Pleasanton Assembly of God. Grace also volunteered at Harvesters at the First Baptist Church in Stillwell, Kansas.

Grace was preceded in death by her parents; her only child, Bettie Rae DeBoard; an infant sister; two brothers, Forrest Jackson and Sam Jackson; a sister, JoAnn Sears; and a step-granddaughter, Marissa.

She is survived by her husband, LeRoy Kinney, of the home; granddaughter, Hannah DeBoard, Merriam, Kansas; a brother, Clarence Jackson, Drexel; sisters Barbara Herge Mueller and Sue Schlessinger, both of Missouri; five stepchildren; 12 step-grandchildren; and 18 step-great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were Feb. 11 at Mullinax Funeral Home, Drexel Chapel. Burial followed in Rockville Cemetery, Louisburg.

Memorial contributions are suggested to Children’s Mercy Hospital.

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

William J. Miller
Sept. 29, 1940 – Feb. 7, 2022

William John “Corky” Miller, Drexel, was born Sept. 29, 1940, in Kansas City, the son of Hugh W. and Leona L. (Swain) Miller.

He died Feb. 7 at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas, surrounded by love and family at the age of 81 years, 4 months and 9 days.

On Jan. 29, 1965, Corky married Evelyn Garnetta Gathagan in Ashtabula, Ohio.

Corky was employed as an insulator with Heat and Frost Insulators Local No. 27, Independence, until his retirement. He formerly was employed as a meat cutter for Safeway and owned and operated A to Z Home Repair.

He was an Army veteran. Corky enjoyed working on motorcycles, riding his trike, remodeling homes, going to the Lake of the Ozarks with family and friends, shooting pool and playing darts.

He enjoyed spending the winters in Yuma, Arizona. Corky was a dedicated husband to the love of his life, Evelyn, and a dedicated father and grandfather.

Besides his parents, Corky was preceded in death by a granddaughter, Ashley Miller; two brothers, Pat and Michael Miller; and two sisters, Joyce Diehl and Mary Callahan.

Corky is survived by his wife, Evelyn Miller, of the home; three sons, Ogden Miller and Cynthia, Kansas City, William P. Miller and Joann, Overland Park, and Chat Miller and Susan, Harrisonville; a daughter, Leona Herman, Lane, Kansas; six grandchildren, Jason and Billie Jo, Sarah and Larry, Derick, Austin and Bianca, Ryan and Chely, and Michael; 10 great-grandchildren, Owen, Cash, Barrett, Melody, Rhoda, Mateo, Issabella, Nasheili, Graceson and Canaan; two brothers, Chuck Miller, Vallejo, California, and Jim Miller, Lake Viking; two sisters, JoAnn Thomason, Sevierville, Tennessee, and Sharon Oliphant, Kansas City, Kansas; a host of extended family and friends.

Cremation. A celebration of life service will be at 7 p.m. Feb. 17 at the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville, with military honors to follow the service. The family will receive friends from 6 until 7 p.m. Feb. 17 at the funeral home.

The family suggests memorial contributions to St. Jude’s Children Hospital or the Juvenile Diabetes Association.

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

Rhonda A. Spillmon
Jan. 5, 1967 – Feb. 9, 2022

Rhonda Arlene Spillmon, 55, Clinton, died Feb. 9 at Research Medical Center, Kansas City. Rhonda was born Jan. 5, 1967, the daughter of Alvin and Orma Jean (Atkinson) Kagarice in Harrisonville.

She graduated from Appleton City High School. Rhonda spent most of her career working as a CNA at various nursing homes
and hospitals but enjoyed her time volunteering at the local Samaritan Center in recent years.

Her true passion was being a mother, her two sons were her pride and joy. In her free time, she enjoyed crocheting, reading and had a love for the original Disney movies, often watching them multiple times or skipping to her favorite parts.

Rhonda was preceded in death by her mother, Orma Jean.

She is survived by her sons, Alvin “A.J.” Spillmon and Ronald “R.J.” Spillmon, of the home, and John Spillmon, New Orleans, Louisiana; her father, Alvin Kagarice, Arcola; her sisters, Robin and Scott Cartwright, Stockton, Rebecca and Tony Ellison,
Bolivar, Rita Faught, Clinton, Rochelle and Philip Llamas, Harrisonville, and Renaye and Matt Still, Adrian; many nieces and nephews whom she loved dearly; and a host of extended friends and family.

A celebration of life will be from 1 to 3 p.m. Feb. 26 at the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville. Memorial contributions are suggested to either the Leukemia Foundation or the Samaritan Center in Clinton.

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

Clodette S. Bowers
Oct. 25, 1963 – Feb. 7, 2022

Clodette Susan “Susie” Bowers, 58, Amoret, died Feb. 7 at Research Medical Center, Kansas City. She was born Oct. 25, 1963, the daughter of William Harry and Edith Isle Beer Bowers in Munich, West Germany.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother.

Susie is survived by an uncle and aunt, Emery and Tammy Bowers, Amoret; a cousin, Liz Johnson and husband, Mark, Pleasanton, Kansas; three brothers, Billy, Richard and Johnny Bowers; and two sisters, Margaret and Carol.

Funeral services were Feb. 11 at the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler. Interment was in Benjamin Cemetery, Amoret.

Contributions are suggested to The Blind Foundation.

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

Juanita M. Dyer
Aug. 16, 1934 – Feb. 8, 2022

Juanita Dyer, 87, Amsterdam, died Feb. 8 at Research Medical Center, Kansas City. Juanita Maxine Dyer was born Aug. 16, 1934, in rural Bates County, the daughter of Dean and Thelma Erickson Champlin.

She grew up in Bates County and attended Drexel Schools, but graduated from Miami High School in 1952, a member of the school’s first graduating class.

Immediately following graduation, Juanita went to work in Kansas City at an insurance agency. Her walk to work took her past the Folgers factory, she dreaded the smell and after that couldn’t drink coffee for many years.

On Jan. 31, 1953, she married Raymond Lloyd Dyer. To this union four children were born. The family moved back to the Amsterdam area and Juanita would work various jobs. She worked for Bass Busters from 1973 until its closing and for Granny’s Cafe in Drexel for several years.

She had a passion and talent for making rugs. She made and sold rugs for more than 60 years. Juanita was a special person with a heart of giving. She will be forever remembered for her kind spirit, uplifting words and love for people.

Juanita was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Raymond; daughter, Susan Brunner; sister, Opal Taylor; brother, Dale Champlin; and sister-in-law, Opal Marie Sorrels and husband, C.O. She is survived by her children, Clifford Dyer and Jane, Janet Lane and Bill, Roger Dyer and Teresa; grandchildren, Melissa, Amy, Tom, Nathan, Jeremy, Jacob, Tyler, Donna, Will and Jim Bob; 32 great-grandchildren; siblings, Vena Purkey, Wilma Walley, Ellen Hartman, Steve Champlin, Martin Champlin and Patricia Highfill; along with a special niece, Carla Sorrels; and many other nieces, nephews, extended family members and friends.

Funeral services were Feb 15 at the Amsterdam Baptist Church, Amsterdam.

Burial was in Scott Cemetery. Memorial contributions may be made to Amsterdam Baptist Church.

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

Philip L. Fox
April 14, 1956 – Feb. 1, 2022

Philip Lee Fox of Rich Hill, was born April 14, 1956, the son of Hubert and Ann Fox in Nevada. Phil died Feb. 1. Phil spent his early years in Nevada and Ballard. At the age of 7, Phil traveled with his parents and sister to Thailand to join the mission field.

After graduating from high school, he attended Southwest Baptist University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History and met Cathy Coleman. Phil and Cathy married in November 1978 and had three children, Lori, Eric and Alicia.

Phil received his Master’s of Divinity from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in 1988. His first pastorate was in Eufaula, Oklahoma. During the course of his calling, he pastored churches in Pryor, Oklahoma, and Adair, Oklahoma, eventually settling in Rich Hill.

While living in Rich Hill, he has served in the Ministerial Alliance, he has been active in the Community Choir and performed multiple services in his community.

Until his death, he led the congregation at Faith Community Church of Prairie City. Sharing God’s love was his passion, and he took great pride in teaching others about Him.

Phil was preceded in death by beloved grandparents; and several aunts and uncles.

Phil is survived by his wife of 43 years, Cathy Fox; his children Lori Fox, Eric Fox and his wife, Jessica Fox, and Alicia Fox; his parents, Hubert and Ann Fox; his sister, Beth Gregory and her husband, Charlie Gregory; grandchildren, Gabriella Boley, Anthony Boley, Grace Garcia Fox, Paul Fox and Liam Fox; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

Funeral services were Feb. 7. Interment will be in the Reformed Cemetery, Rich Hill. Contributions are suggested to Rich Hill Memorial Library or Kern Center and may be sent in care of Heuser Funeral Home, Box 42, Rich Hill, MO 64779.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Heuser Funeral Home, Rich Hill.

Alice M. McGuire
Aug. 19. 1935 – Jan. 31, 2022

Alice Marie (Triplett) McGuire, 86, Butler, died Jan. 31 at Medicalodges in Butler. She was born Aug. 19, 1935, the daughter of Bert Arthur and Grace Holden Triplett in Mountain View.

Alice was the fourth of five children and lived in Mountain View her entire childhood until graduating from high school in 1953.

She soon moved to Kansas City with her lifelong friend, Wanda Houston, and worked as a bookkeeper for several companies.

Wanda married John Taute and moved to Butler, where Alice often visited.

It was during one of these visits she met her future husband, Harold “Duke” McGuire. They were married Nov. 20, 1959, and enjoyed 47 years of loving marriage prior to Duke’s death in 2007.

Their married life started in Amoret where Alice attained her cosmetology license to join her mother-in-law, Gertrude McGuire, as a partner in her beauty shop.

Alice stopped professionally practicing as a beautician in the mid 1960s, but she proudly maintained her license and gave countless haircuts to friends and family until late in her life.

Duke’s career with AT&T led them to move from Amoret and the family lived in several locations throughout Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri during the next 20-plus years. Upon Duke’s retirement in 1988, they moved to Butler permanently.

Alice was deeply devoted to her entire family and enjoyed a wide circle of friends accumulated throughout her life. She always felt safe and watched over by this strong network of friends and family.

She was an excellent cook and homemaker that took pride in preparing a good meal and maintaining her home and yard for the enjoyment of others. Alice loved staying active by playing cards at the Senior Citizens Center, working part-time at the Butler H&R Block and volunteering for local elections, the Butler Library and the Pantry Thrift Store.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Duke; grandson, Dalton McGuire; and friend, Wanda Taute.

Alice is survived by her two sons, Mark McGuire and wife, Nancy, Spicewood, Texas, and Matt McGuire and partner, Sandy Diel, Amoret; three grandchildren, Zeth McGuire and partner, Courtney Leonard, Lee’s Summit, Lauren McGuire and husband, Garrett Walsh, Houston Texas, and Ryan McGuire, Austin, Texas; and sister, Sharon Plank and husband, Lee, Fulton.

A celebration of life memorial is planned for later this spring at the Schowengerdt Funeral Chapel, Butler.

Contributions are suggested to Good Shepherd Hospice.

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

Jesse Rodriguez
Feb. 28, 1955 – Feb. 2, 2022

Jesse Rodriguez, 36, Butler, died Feb. 2 at St. Joseph Medical Center, Kansas City. Jesse Rodriguez was born Oct. 3, 1985, in San Bernardino, California, the son of Jesus and Angela Rodriguez.

As a child, Jesse participated in soccer and football. His football team won the CIF State Championship (that he liked to brag about often).

In 2001 Jesse met the love of his life, Valerie.

He graduated in 2004 from Kaiser High School. Jesse and Valerie welcomed their first born, Issac, in May 2006. While taking care of his family, he graduated from CDL school in 2007.

In 2011, after 10 years of dating, Jesse married his high school sweetheart Valerie. As a family, they moved to Butler in February 2013. In November 2015, they welcomed their second born, Illiana.

He worked for Town & Country Disposal, Barry Wright and UPS where he gained many friends along the way.

Jesse enjoyed going on road trips and sightseeing. This was a favorite family pastime as a child that he spontaneously did with his own children and family.

In recent years, while driving a truck for UPS, he loved to share stories from his time away on the road from the waterfalls in Oregon, the scenery in Utah, the greenery of the Carolinas and the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland. He collected magnets from the states he was able to stop in, totaling 26.

Jesse loved to grill and have the whole family together as many nights as possible. He would often drop in on his family just to spend time with them, mostly his mother’s. He got the most joy out of attending events for his children, nieces and nephews.

He was their toughest and proudest spectator and critic.

In 2017, Jesse purchased his second love, a 2015 Road King. He loved to take her on long rides and attended several bike rallies. Along with his bike, he took pride in maintaining his home, from mowing his lawn weekly to picking out and hanging most of his interior décor.

He wasn’t your average big guy. People often underestimated him because of his size, but he loved to prove them wrong.

Typically, a man of his stature wouldn’t challenge people to a race and win. This competitiveness often carried forward into his work, where he would strive to finish his routes first and be the hardest worker around.

Jesse’s presence was infectious. His smile was contagious and welcoming. He often cracked jokes and picked on his family and friends. His wife, Valerie, and son, Issac, had the pleasure of being his most popular victims, while princess, Illiana, could do no wrong.

He was one of the most loyal and loving people you could meet. When you needed him, no matter the time, he would be there to help. Often even helping strangers along the way. This big strong man had a huge heart that will carry on forever.

Jesse was preceded in death by his father, Jesus Rodriguez; and grandparents, Pascual and Felicitas Cruz.

Jesse is survived by his wife, Valerie, two children, Issac and Illiana; his mother, Angela; siblings, brother, Jason Cruz and partner, Amie Jo, brother, Joseph and his wife, Melanie Rodriguez; sister, Jeana and husband, Nick Alkire, brother, Donnie and wife, Christina Bush, a sister, Tricia and husband, Matt Stuart; three nieces, Mikaylah, Taylor and Alayna; four nephews, Damian, Davey, Vinny (godson), and Kaleb; and many loving aunts, uncles and cousins.

Funeral services were Feb. 9 at the Mullinax Funeral Home, Butler. Memorial contributions may be made, in lieu of flowers, to the Jesse Rodriguez Love Fund c/o Citizens Bank.

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

Glenda S. Thomas
Oct. 10, 1949 – Feb. 7, 2022
and
Jackie L. Thomas
Aug. 4, 1949 – Jan. 27, 2022

Glenda Sue Colton Thomas and husband, Jackie Lee Thomas, both age 72, Rich Hill, died at Nevada Regional Medical Center, Nevada.

Glenda, born Oct. 10, 1949, the daughter of James Edwin and Bonnie Arlene Twillegar Colton, died Feb. 7 and her husband, Jackie, was born Aug. 4, 1949, the son of Davey Lee and Nola June Coureton Thomas, died Jan. 27.

She was preceded in death by her parents; a grandson, Damian Roby; son-in-law, Luke Fields; a brother, Terry Colton; and two sisters, Patricia Hollandsworth and Shirley Gann.

She is survived by two daughters, Melissa Caviness and Tracy Fields, Rich Hill; five grandchildren, Michael, Emily, Cody, Brooke and Skylar; four great-grandchildren, Sophia, Briahnna, Mckenzee and Kaidyn, plus one on the way; three brothers, Kenneth Twillegar and wife, Mary, Raymore, James Colton, Jr., and wife, Yvonne, Hepler, Kansas, and Robert Colton, Rich Hill; and a sister, Donna Rowland and husband, Lonne, Nevada.

Jackie was survived by his wife, Glenda Sue Thomas, who died Feb. 7; two daughters, Melissa Caviness and Tracy Fields, Rich Hill; five grandchildren, Michael, Emily, Cody, Brooke and Skylar; four great-grandchildren, Sophia, Briahnna, Mckenzee and Kaidyn, plus one on the way; a brother, Mike Thomas and wife, Kathy, Adrian; and a sister, Kathy Patch and husband, Danny, Shawnee, Kansas.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a grandson, Damian Roby; and son-in-law, Luke Fields. Funeral services for Glenda Sue Colton Thomas and her husband, Jackie Lee Thomas, were Feb. 10 at Myrtle Tree Fellowship, Rich Hill. Burial was in Greenlawn Cemetery, Rich Hill.

Contributions are suggested to the American Cancer Society or Diabetes Association

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

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