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Dorothy Frances (Noonan) Kennedy

Dorothy Frances (Noonan) Kennedy, age 82, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 27, 2015 at the St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City, Kan. She was born on Dec. 26, 1932 in Moberly, Mo., the daughter of James Edward Noonan and Mary Catherine (Farris) Noonan.

Dorothy was born and raised in Moberly, and she attended Moberly High School. On Dec. 24, 1954, she married James Freemont Kennedy in Moberly. To this union three children were born, Robin Carol, James Wesley and Charles Scott.  Dorothy and Jim also raised Tomi Rae, and Mary Jane. For a time they lived in Higbee, Mo., Springfield, Mo., Kirksville, Mo., and Garden City. In 1976, they moved to Syracuse, Kan. and resided there until her passing. Dorothy worked a short time at that Ramble N Restaurant, as well as house cleaning to make extra money. She spent the majority of her life raising her kids and taking care of her family.

Dorothy enjoyed watching game shows, working on puzzles and doing word search books, but most of all she enjoyed spending time with her family. 

She was preceded in death by her parents, James and Mary Noonan; her husband, James Kennedy; a daughter, Robin Carol Kennedy; a son, James W. Kennedy; and two brothers in law, Charles Goff and Jerry Terrell. 

She is survived by, one son, Charles Scott Kennedy of Syracuse; two daughters, Tomi Rae Kennedy (& fiancé Brian Mishler) of Fort Scott, Kan., and Mary Jane (& husband Bryan) Lattner of Lenexa, Kan.; two sisters, Patrica Goff of Omaha, Neb., and Anna Terrell of Moberly; seven grandchildren, Katherine Kennedy of Syracuse, Zachariah & R achael Birt of Lenexa, Rabecca, & Jessica Nuzum of Fort Scott, Alexander Kennedy of Fort Scott, and Piper Mishler of Fort Scott; and numerous family and friends 

Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015 at 10 a.m. (MST) at the Fellers Funeral Home LLC, in Syracuse. Burial will follow in the Syracuse Cemetery in Syracuse.

Condolences may be sent to In Lieu of Flowers memorial contributions may be payable to the Dorothy Kennedy Memorial Fund and sent in care of Fellers Funeral Home LLC, P.O. Box 1253, Syracuse, KS 67878. 620-384-5100.

Elaine Mary (Hjorth) Smith

Funeral services for longtime Holly, Colo. resident, Elaine Smith will be held on Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015 at 10 a.m. at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly with Pastor Curtis Klinghammer. Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery. Visitation will be Wednesday, Sept. 30, 2015 from 1 p.m. - 7p.m. also at the funeral home in Holly.

Elaine Mary (Hjorth) Smith passed away peacefully on Sept. 26, 2015 at her home in Holly. Elaine was born Dec. 13, 1942 in Stanton, Neb. to Harald and Catherine (Pojar) Hjorth. 

She married Robert "Bob" Smith on Nov. 27, 1965. They were happily married for 35 years.

Elaine was a homemaker. She loved to work in her yard and had a "green thumb" when it came to her flowers and gardening. She loved Christmas season the most and always had tons of lights and decorations. She was well known for her homemade noodles and chocolate chip cookies which she was happy to make for everyone.

Elaine's proudest moment was when she became a grandmother. She loved to spend quality time with her grandchildren just laughing, playing, and joking around. She loved to attend their activities and was always overjoyed to have them come spend time with her in Holly.

Elaine is survived by her son, Shane Smith and wife, Vicki of Dodge City, Kan., her five grandchildren, Derrick and Tyler Broeckelman, both of Hays, Kan., Shawn Smith of Manhattan, Kan., McKensi and Ally Smith of Dodge City, Kan.; one sister, Donavee Mavis of Brighton, Colo.; and five brothers, Norman Hjorth of San Diego, Calif., Larry Hjorth of Rogers, Texas, Vernon Hjorth of Madison, Neb., Wilbur Hjorth of Tucson, Ariz., and Curt Hjorth of Norfolk, Neb.

Elaine was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Bob; two infant sons, Todd and Jeffery Smith; her brother, Orval Hjorth; and two sisters, Joyce Pekny and Jane Andrews

Memorials contribution may be made to the Lamar Area Hospice as their team took excellent care of Elaine over the last seven months. Donations can either be made directly or in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, CO 81052

For more information or to leave online condolences please visit

Virgil Hugh Rushton

Funeral services for Holly, Colo. resident, Virgil Hugh Rushton, affectionately known as Hugh, were held on Friday, Sept. 11, 2015 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly. Mr. Kevin May, minister of Lamar Church of Christ, officiated. Interment followed in the Holly Cemetery. Visitation was held on Thursday, Sept. 10, 2015 at the funeral home.

Virgil Hugh Rushton was born on April 9, 1918 in Weatherford, Okla. to C.B. and Alice (Perkins) Rushton. He passed away at his home on Sept. 5, 2015 at the age of 97.

Hugh moved to Southeastern Colorado in 1927, at the age of nine. He attended grade school at South Webb School and three years of high school at the Lycan School in Lycan, Colo., where he was on the basketball team.

He began his adult life with his loving wife, Elsie, in 1940 and became a very successful farmer and rancher. To this union was born three daughters.

Hugh was an active member of the Church of Christ, served on the Webb School Board for fifteen years and the Holly School Board for eight years. Being active in agriculture and livestock, Hugh was a member of the Holly Fair Board and Lamar Fair Board for many years. He and Elsie were the Grand Marshals of the Holly Fair Parade in 1993. During these years, Hugh bred, raised and showed quarter horses at various fairs, loved to ride and rope with his friends and was an original member of the Holly Saddle Club and founding member of the first rodeo grounds in Holly. Hugh bred Baby Doll, a nationally famous Steer Wrestling horse for Willard & Benny Combs from 1953-1960. 

Hugh was an all-around active community member. He was very supportive of all sports events in Holly and the surrounding area. He and Elsie were chosen “Wildcat Sports Boosters” of the year in 1990-91 and continued to support the Holly Wildcats watching grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews until his failing eyesight in 2013. At this time, Hugh became a devoted listener to the radio to keep up with local sport action.

This man will be greatly missed, as he was loved by many. He was devoted to living the Christian life, serving God and his fellowman.

Hugh was preceded in death by his parents, C.B. and Alice Rushton; wife, Elsie Rushton in 2011; sister, Louise Harper; brother, Melvin Rushton; grandson, Barry Jones; and son-in-law, David Miller.

He is survived by three daughters, Rose Marie Jones and husband, Jerry of Holly, Betty Headrick and husband, Duane of Turpin, Okla., and Connie Miller of Lakin, Kan.; brothers, Donald Rushton of Holly, and Temple Rushton and wife, Sally of Holly; sister, Irene May of Lamar, Colorado; 11 grandchildren; 27 great grandchildren; 5 great-great grandchildren; numerous nieces, nephews and a host of friends.

Memorial contributions can be made to Mountain States Children’s Home, Lamar Area Hospice, or the charity of the donor’s choice in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, CO, 81052.

For more information or to leave online condolences please visit

Maudell Lemons Nielsen

Maudell Lemons Nielsen, daughter of Charles F. Lemons and Eula Maude Howe, was born Aug. 20, 1927 in Utleyville, Colo.   At the age of five, her mother died and she, two sisters and a brother moved to Texas attending school and graduating from Phillips Texas High School in 1944.  She attended Junior College in Trinidad, Colo.  On Oct. 1, 1947 she married Everett Nielsen in Syracuse, Kan.  To this union a daughter Gail and a son Steven were born.  

Maudell was a homemaker, active in the First Baptist Church where she taught classes and was church pianist.  After its closing, she attended the United Methodist Church.  Much time and much joy came from working in her yard and garden.  After her husband’s death in 1979, she became secretary of the Hamilton County Health Department, working in that position for 17 years, retiring in 1997.  

Survivors include a son Steven of El Dorado, daughter Gail Watson of Chantilly, Va., half-brother Bob Lemons of Topeka, Kan., half-sister Rosemarie Nallep of Jennings, La., seven grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren.  

Maudell died Sept. 10, 2015 in Wichita, Kan.  Kirby-Morris Funeral Home is serving the family.  Graveside services will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19 at 11 a.m. at Sunset Lawns Cemetery in El Dorado.  Memorial contributions in her name may be directed to the Delbert Brooks Youth Program in care of Emprise Bank or Every Child Fed (22590 Relocation Dr. Sterling, VA. 20166).  Please sign her online guestbook and leave a memory of Maudell at 

Donald Lee "Don" French

Donald Lee “Don” French passed away following a long illness at Wichita County Heath Center on Sept. 2, 2015.  Born in Kansas City, Mo. on Aug. 4, 1935.  Don was the son of Harvey Leon and June Cecelia Jones French and the stepson of Carl W. Ferren. He married Jeanene Rae Linder on Aug. 7, 1956 at Scott City, Kan.

Don served the U. S. Postal Service retiring after 33 years as the Leoti Postmaster. He was a member of the National League of Postmasters; Kansas Branch of the National League of Postmasters where he  served two terms as president and several years as vice-president; and a member of National League of Postmasters Retirees and served the Kansas Branch for several years as Treasurer.  He was a member of the Wichita County Historical Society where he served several years as vice-president.  Don was a veteran and served his country as a member of the U. S. Air Force.  He was also past member of the Smoky Hills Brigade, a club devoted to re-enacting early 1800s life in the west.  Don was an artist, gun collector, gardener and a Civil War “buff” with an extensive collection of Civil War books and memorabilia.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Harvey and June French; step-father, Carl W. Ferren; and a son, Cordell W. French

He is survived by his spouse, Jeanene Rae (Linder) French of Leoti, Kan.; three sons Cameron (& wife Karen) French of Thornton, Colo., Mitchell French (& Laura Blackhorse-Christie) of Syracuse, Kan., and Kelly French (widow of Cory) of Hutchinson, Kan.; five grandchildren, Kendra (& husband Jeff) Myer , Kayla (& husband Isac) Poraz, Connor French, Tara French, and Kyle French; one great granddaughter, Alana French; and numerous other family members and friends.

A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. (CST), Oct. 10, 2015,  with Inurnment at Beulah Rest Cemetery in NE Wichita County in Leoti, Kan. 

Condolences may be sent to In Lieu of Flowers memorial contributions may be payable to the Wichita County Historical Society, and sent in care of Fellers Funeral Home & Monuments LLC, P.O. Box 1253, Syracuse, KS 67878. 620-384-5100.

Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen, Jr.


Lt. Gen. Frank E. Petersen Jr., who was the first African-American general and aviator in the U.S. Marine Corps, has died, according to his family. Petersen, who died Tuesday of lung cancer, was 83.


Petersen was the son of the late Frank, Sr. and Edythe Petersen; the nephew of the late John and Willa Dulin, of Syracuse, Kan.; and the nephew of the late Bill and Edna Jones, of Syracuse, Kan.


“Honoring a pioneer and warrior,” the Marine Corps wrote in a Facebook post. “In his 36 years of service, Lt. Gen. Petersen commanded every Marine Corps aviation level of command and stood as a trailblazer for all Marines.


“Semper Fidelis, sir.”


Petersen was “a pioneer and role model in many ways, a stellar leader, Marine officer and aviator,” said Gen. John Paxton, assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, in a statement.


In July 2014, Petersen was presented with a Congressional Record statement at his home in Stevensville, Maryland. The presentation honored Petersen’s significant accomplishments throughout his military career.


“Not only has Petersen’s legacy contributed to the betterment of the Marine Corps but to this country,” said U.S. Rep. Sanford Bishop of Georgia. “By having his actions recorded in the congressional records as a part of the archives of the House of Representatives, they will be preserved forever. He deserves that, but most importantly history deserves that as his contributions should never be forgotten.”


Petersen served more than 38 years in the Marine Corps and was a pioneer in many significant respects.


During his years of service, spanning from 1950 to 1988 he encountered many hardships from racial tension, according to a Marine Corps news release.


Despite the circumstances, he became the first African-American aviator, the first African-American to reach a general grade rank in the Corps and the first African-American to command a Marine Corps fighter squadron, air group, aircraft wing and major Marine base, the statement said.


“Lt. Gen. Petersen has set the bar very high for all service members,” Bishop said. “His legacy is not just inspirational and motivational, but it is instructional for all who are faced with challenges head-on to not be deterred by obstacle or inconveniences but to strive to be the greatest so they could make the most constructive contributions that one can make.”


As Petersen climbed through the ranks, he finally earned the rank of lieutenant general, becoming the first African-American Marine to attain such a title, the statement said.


“This leader exemplifies the finest quality of honor, courage and commitment, especially during the era he entered,” said Lt. Gen. Ronald Bailey, the deputy commandant for plans, policies, and operations with Headquarters Marine Corps. “He was not readily accepted in any corner of this country, yet it did not prevent him from making a difference.”


Petersen’s perseverance and adaptability have influenced and inspired many in the Marine Corps, including Bailey.


“His ability of endless growth is what got me more than anything as he started his career off in corsairs and transitioned to jets and from the jets to the harrier,” Bailey said. “He spanned through technology and that was absolutely unbelievable.”


Not only did Petersen’s career demonstrate greatness, his devotion to his Marines has been demonstrated on numerous occasions. When Petersen’s aircraft was shot down in the Korean Demilitarized Zone during the Korean War, he got back in a plane to continue to fight just days later. His actions set the example and standards for Marines under his charge, according to Bailey.


“So when we start talking about a legend in our Corps, he is, and if we were to start talking about leadership traits and principles underneath those, his name would appear,” Bailey said.


Upon his retirement, Petersen had earned myriad awards and accolades, the statement said. He commanded every Marine Corps aviation level of command and stood as a trailblazer for all Marines.


To this day, Petersen’s example serves as an inspiration to all Marines to triumph over any challenge they face and challenges they may encounter in the future, the statement said.

Betty Jean (Bessey) Salmon


Betty Jean (Bessey) Salmon, 91, of Windsor, Colo. died Aug. 23, 2015 at Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland, Colo. 


She was born Sept. 25, 1923, in Stafford, Kan. When she was six, her family moved to Syracuse, Kan. where she attended grade school and high school, graduating in 1941. She attended Kansas State Teacher’s College in Emporia, Kan., for a year and then taught school for a year in a one-room schoolhouse in the Bear Creek School District near Syracuse.


On May 1, 1943, she married Tech. Sgt. Henry E. Salmon at Fort Riley, Kan. Sgt. Salmon remained in the Army until his retirement in 1960. They lived in a number of states including Michigan, Louisiana, Virginia and New York. After his retirement they lived in Seattle for 16 years before moving to Colorado Springs in 1976. Mr. Salmon died Oct. 2, 1989.


Mrs. Salmon worked for the Federal Civil Service for 28 years, retiring June 30, 1975 from the Corps of Engineers in Seattle as a computer specialist. In 1970-71 she commuted from Seattle to San Francisco weekly helping to develop computer programs for a corps-wide accounting system. While employed by the government, she won several superior and outstanding performance awards, including the District Engineer’s Award in 1972. She was nominated by the Northern Pacific Division of the Corps of Engineers for the Department of the Army National Federal Women’s Award in 1972 and received the Outstanding Performance Award in 1973. Mrs. Salmon graduated with an Associate’s Degree from Seattle Community College in August 1975 and Magna Cum Laude Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Colorado in 1983. 


Mrs. Salmon was a member of Faith Presbyterian Church in Colorado Springs and also a member of Faith United Church of Christ in Windsor. She was a member of the National Association of Retired Federal Employees, the American Association of Retired Persons, American Society of University Women, and a life member of the Pioneer Museum in Colorado Springs.


Survivors include one sister, Imogene Tate of Arvada, Colo.; two brothers; James Donnel of Windsor and Delbert Bessey of Surprise, Ariz.; six nieces and nine nephews.


She is preceded in death by her husband, Henry E. Salmon; her parents; two sisters and one brother.


At her request no services will be held. Memorial contributions may be made to Faith United Church of Christ in Windsor, or the Clearview Library District. 


Online condolences may be made at

Ralph Milton Plummer

Funeral services for longtime, Holly, Colo. resident, Rev. Ralph Plummer, will be held at 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 at the Holly School Old Gymnasium.  Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery.  Visitation will be held from 1 p.m. - 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015.


Ralph Milton Plummer was born on Aug. 25, 1952 in Baraboo, Wis. to Alvin and Bea (Starner) Plummer.  He passed away on Aug. 20, 2015 at Sangre De Cristo Hospice in Pueblo, Colo. at the age of 62.


Ralph graduated from South High in Pueblo, Colo.  He then graduated from Western Bible Institute and Baptist Bible College in Denver, Colo.  When Ralph was in Junior High he began working on pianos which later led him to become a Licensed Piano Tuner/Technician.  On April 12, 1974 Ralph was united in marriage to Candy Tschetter in Carpenter, S.D.  They were blessed with one son, Chris.  Ralph’s musical talents were shared through singing or playing an instrument at many weddings, funerals, and other musical concerts and was often accompanied by his wife Candy. Ralph was a member of the Holly Ministerial Alliance, Child Evangelism Fellowship Board, and Holly Commercial Club where he served as President for many years. Ralph was also the coordinator of the local Operation Christmas Child Organization. 


Ralph is survived by his wife, Candy of Holly; son, Chris Plummer of Holly; and sister, Janet Eidson and husband, Lonnie of Glasgow, Mont.


He was preceded in death by his parents; infant baby brother, David John; infant baby sister, Carol Ann; mother-in-law, Cathern Tschetter; and father-in-law, Ed Tschetter.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Ralph Plummer Memorial Fund in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, Colorado 81052.


For more information or to leave online condolences, please visit

Wallace Junior "Babe" Hartshorn

Funeral services for Holly, Colo. resident, Wallace J. Hartshorn, affectionately known as “Babe”, was held Monday, Aug. 17, 2015 at Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel in Holly with Curtis Hartshorn officiating. Interment will follow in the Holly Cemetery. Per Babe’s request, there will be no public visitation.


Wallace Junior Hartshorn was born on July 19, 1932 in Holly to Wallace E. and Edna Grace (Stwalley) Hartshorn. He passed away on August 13, 2015 at the Holly Nursing Care Center at the age of 83.


Babe graduated from Holly High School in 1950 and was then drafted into the United States Army in 1952. On Feb. 10, 1957 he was united in marriage to Joyce Mangan at the Baptist Church in Holly. To this union, five children were born. Babe was a member of the VFW and a Lions Club member in Towner and Holly.


Babe is survived by his wife, Joyce of Granada, Colo.; children, Christina (Ronald) Seybert, Kerry (Shawna) Hartshorn, Vincent Hartshorn of Granada, Monte Hartshorn of Lamar, Colo.; Lonna (Del) Westeman of Milford, Texas; 13 grandchildren; 17 great grandchildren; many sisters-in-law, brothers-in-law, and other relatives and a host of friends.


He was preceded in death by his parents; granddaughter, Kaitlin Hartshorn; grandson, Dustin Hartshorn; brothers, Lloyd (Bud) Hartshorn and Max Hartshorn; sister, Linda Rose; and many sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Holly Nursing Care Center Community Fund in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, CO 81052.


For more information or to leave online condolences please visit

Richard Leon Burkhart


Richard Leon Burkhart, beloved husband, father, and grandfather passed away at his home on Aug. 5, 2015. Ever the optimist, he refused to let his diagnosis of stage four pancreatic cancer eleven months ago dampen his spirit. He never complained or asked “why me”. Richard had a positive attitude toward life and a great sense of humor which kept him young.

He was born on July 1, 1940, in Topeka, Kan., to Leon and Pearl (King) Burkhart. The most significant lesson he learned while growing up that carried him through life was persistence. His “never give up” attitude was evident through his battle with polio as a young teen.

After graduating from Syracuse High School in Syracuse, Kan., he attended St. Mary of the Plains in Dodge City, Kan. for two years and then Emporia State University earning a BS in Education with an emphasis in Math in 1963. Richard taught in Topeka, for 3 ½ years before beginning a thirty-year career at IBM; starting out in Kansas City, Mo., moving to St Louis, Mo., then Wichita, Kan., and finally retiring in Seattle, Wash., in 1995. Once he officially retired, Richard and his wife, Connie, wintered in La Quinta, Calif., followed by Marana, Ariz., and enjoyed lots of sunshine and golf. He made many friends with each move and enjoyed keeping in touch with them all.

Richard never met a stranger and because of his gregarious spirit, he made everyone around him feel at ease. His eternal optimism, wit, generosity, and zest for life were an inspiration to everyone who had the privilege of being part of his life. Richard’s twinkling blue eyes and infectious laugh were something to behold. He was an extraordinary man who will be greatly missed by all who knew him. 

One of his greatest enjoyments later in life was attending his grandchildren’s school events, activities, and significant milestones. Richard was a fiercely competitive golfer and managed to “shoot his age” at 72, 73, and 74. He was always eager to play his best game of golf and encouraged others to do the same. In addition to his love of golf, he was an avid Kansas City Royals baseball fan. Watching every Royals game through the 2014 playoffs and World Series made going through chemotherapy more bearable. Richard will leave behind many friends, especially those from Shadow Glen Golf Club in Olathe and The Gallery Golf Club in Marana, Ariz. 

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Richard’s memory to RISE School of Houston, The First Tee of Greater Kansas City, or St. Paul Catholic Church, Olathe.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Leon and Pearl Burkhart. He is survived by his wife, Connie Burkhart; two sons, Kelly (Katy), Tucker (Danielle), and daughter, Stacie (Gary) Unruh; sister, LaVerna (David) Hill, eleven grandchildren, numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Visitation with the family was held on Sunday, Aug. 9 at Johnson County Funeral Chapel & Memorial Garden,11200 Metcalf Ave. Overland Park, KS 66210. A Rosary followed. Funeral Mass was held on Monday, Aug. 10, at St. Paul Catholic Church, 900 S Honeysuckle Dr., Olathe KS 66061.  Fond memories and condolences may be left at