Obituaries Published May 27, 2004
Dennis Lorren Biltoft, 60, died, May 14 in Birmingham, Ala., after a short battle with cancer.
Following graduation from Ruskin High School in `1962, he graduated from aircraft mechanical school. He then joined the Air Force, served two tours of duty in Vietnam and was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Homer and Helen biltoft, and a step son, Billy.
Survivors include his wife, Clara, Birmingham; daughter, Mrs. Buster James (Cynthia), Pinson, Ala.; and step daughters, Patricia Shepherd and Karen Howton, Birmingham; sister Mrs. Gary Lindstrom (Donna), brothers, Ray Biltoft, Hardy; Darrell Biltoft, Nora; three grandchildren and five step-grandchildren.
Services were held May 18 in Birmingham. Burial, with military honors, was at the Baptist Church Cemetery, Double Springs.
Vernis Virgil (Vernie) Davis, 77, died May 20 at Smith County Memorial Hospital, Smith Center.
He was born April 3, 1927, in Benkelman, Neb., the son of Joseph Oscar Davis and Eva Magnetta (Kenney) Davis, better known as Sam and Maggie Davis.
At the age of 17 he enlisted in the United States Army. He served during World War II and was stationed in Japan during the bombing of Pearl Harbor. He received the Asiatic Pacific Champion Medal, the World War II Victory Medal and an Army Occupation Medal. He left the military with an honorable discharge on Oct. 17, 1946.
Vernis married Joelene Mae Hayward at Phillipsburg July 2, 1954. They resided in Lebanon most of their married life. He was employed by Abbots Dairy, Kenney Bock Construction, Bell Telephone and retired after 20 years at Mini-Max Provisions of Smith Center.
His hobbies included camping and fishing and coyote hunting.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, Hollis, Arden, Delmer and Dean and a sister, Irma Burgess.
Survivors besides his wife include two daughters, Mrs. Barry Hunt (Debbie), Lebanon; Pam Davis and friend, Erika Tedder, Smith Center; son, Vernie Davis, Oklahoma City, Okla.; and two grandsons.
Vernis requested cremation with no public viewing or service. A private family service will be held at a later date and inurnment will be in the Home Sweet Home Cemetery, Lebanon. Monday Vernis was honored with the presentation of the flag to his wife, Joelene Davis, at her home. Melby Mortuary, Mankato, was in charge of arrangements.
Lillian H. Fogo, 93, died May 21 at her home in Esbon.
She was born Aug. 10, 1910, in Esbon, the daughter of John and Mary H. (Votova) Hajny.
She graduated from Esbon High school and married Frank Fogo, Burr Oak. They moved to Tillamook, Ore., where Frank was killed in a logging accident. Lillian returned to Esbon with three small children: Doris, Rosemary and Donald. One son, Dale, is buried in Tillamook Ore.
She worked for the Esbon School District for many years. Lillian's hobbies were quilting and hand sewing.
Survivors include Mrs. Jack Rush (Doris); Rosemary Fiero, Springfield, Mo., and Don Fogo, Esbon, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Memorial Mass was Monday at the Sacred Heart Church, Esbon, with Father Daryl Olmstead as celebrant. Inurnment service will be held at a later date at the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Tillamook, Ore. Melby Mortuary, Mankato, was in charge of arrangements.
E.M. (Merle) Griffitts, 99, died May 18 at Hilltop Lodge Nursing Home, Beloit.
Mr. Griffitts was born May 8, 1905, in Erie, the son of Wesley Virgil Griffitts and Anna Carolina-Willomina (Samp).
He attended school at Lovewell and graduated from Sinclair Rural High School in 1924 with 12 years of perfect attendance. He graduated from Concordia Business College and worked with his father for many years in the grocery business. He was the custodian for the Randall Schools until his retirement in 1975.
He married Fern Solomon on Nov. 23, 1937, in Concordia. He was a member of Randall Community Church, Randall.
Survivors include two daughters, E. June Kaspar, Independence, and Mona Wengler, Wichita; five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
Merle was preceded in death by his wife and a daughter, Joanne Monk, and his parents.
Funeral services were held at Randall Community Church, Randall, May 21 with Pastor Dan Daniels officiating. Burial was in Randall Cemetery. Blachly & Buoy Funeral Home, Jamestown, was in charge of arrangements.
Patsy Lee Jennings, 68, the daughter of Donald Dwight and Freida Abilgail (Davidson), Abernathy, was born June 24, 1934, at Casper, Wyo. She died May 22 at her home in Guide Rock.
She graduated from the Glenrock, Wyo., high school with the class of 1952. She was employed for a time as a secretary with the Tri-Good & True Oil Company in Wyoming. She later managed a bar in Jefferson City, Mo.; she owned and operated a restaurant in Warsaw, Mo., and also was a union cement finisher in Phoenix, Ariz.
On May 20, 1967, she married John Allen Jennings, at Las Vegas; In 1984 they moved to Guide Rock to make their home where she was vice-president of Albernathy, Inc., raising greyhounds. She was a member of the Royal Neighbors.
Preceding her in death were her parents; her husband, John on March 17, 1998, a son, Brian K. Jennings; and a sister, Elsie M. Cantrell.
Survivors include her daughter, Lori Fry, Wichita; sons, David Abernathy, Buckeye, Ariz.; and Danny Jennings, Louisburg, Kan.; three grandchildren; two brothers, Donald T. Abernathy, Lander, Wyo..; and James C. Abernathy, Sarasota, Fla.
Graveside services were held Saturday from the Guide Rock Cemetery with the Rev. Richard Fairbanks of the Guide Rock United Methodist Church officiating. The Simonson-Williams Funeral Home of Red Cloud was in charge of arrangements.
Waldine (Dean) LeRoy Jones, 82, the son of Archie and Myrtle (Nichols0 Jones was born April 9, 1922, at his parents home northeast of Nora. He died May 16 at the Good Samaritan Center, Nelson.
He graduated from Nora High School. He married Doris Leslie Aug. 18, 1946. This union was blessed with three sons. He married June Dewsinberry in 1975. On Feb. 19, 1984, he married Patricia Macdonald.
Dean lived and farmed his entire life near Nora. He was a member of the Nora United Methodist Church.
Preceding him in death were his parents, one brother, Boyd Jones, and one sister, Winifred Shipherd.
Survivors include his wife, Patricia; sons, Phillip (Bud) Jones and Frank Jones, all of Nora; and Craig Jones, Beatrice; step-children, Mrs. Roger Oberle (Holly) and Todd Steller, Lincoln, Neb.; Mrs. John Failla (Whitney), Chatham, N. J.; Mrs. Mike Nordeen (Lauren), Wheatland, Wyo.; and Mrs. Gary Lindan (Kathy), Cimarron; four grandchildren, nine step-grandchildren and one great-granddaughter.
Memorial services were held on Friday from the Nora United Methodist Church with Pastor Dorthea Fairbanks officiating.
Inurnment was in the Nora Cemetery.
Megrue-Price Funeral Home, Superior, was in charge of arrangements.
Archie Ray Neighbors, 72, the son of Archie and Myrtle (Gilbraith) Neighbors, was born March 8, 1931, in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He died May 20 at the Rose Brook Care Center, Edgar.
Raised in the Oakland, Iowa, area. He worked for Pete's Grain in Council Bluffs and served in the United States Marines.
In October, 1955, he married Loraine Thomas. They moved to Fairfield in 1982 and settled in Edgar in 1983. He had been at Rose Brook Skilled Services since May 18, 2003. He and Loraine managed "Neighbors Kitchen" in Edgar for two years.
Ray wrote songs and poems, never knew a stranger and remembered each of his new friends by name. He attended the Edgar Christian Church.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
Survivors include his wife, Loraine, Edgar; daughter, Mrs. Duane McCauley (Susan), and Mrs. Clark Stertz (Debra) both of Edgar; Tiena Neighbors, Lincoln, Neb.; brother, Charles Fred Neighbors, Council Bluffs, Iowa; seven granddaughters and two grandsons.
Services were held Tuesday at the Williams Funeral Home Chapel, Edgar. pastor David King officiated.
Arlyn Deen Ray
Arlyn Deen Ray, 48, died May 6 in Wichita.
He was born July 28, 1956, in Wichita to Marvaline J. Bannon, Haysville, and the late Robert Gibson. He graduated from Campus High School in 1973 and Butler County Community College in 1976 with an associate of arts degree in journalism.
He was a plumber, working for the family business, the Haysville School District and was a member of Haysville Plumbing Board. He was an active member in the Teacher's Union IAM Local No. 639.
At the time of his death he was attending Wichita State University, working for a master's degree in social services.
Arlyn married Stacy (Means) Leazer on June 29, 1996.
He was a member of the British Car Club, Paul McCartney Fan Club and the Star Trek Federation Club.
Besides his wife, he is survived by stepchildren, Auzia and Geoff Leazer; his mother, Marvaline Ray, Haysville; brothers, Robin, Wichita; Terrill, Alexandria, Va.; and a sister, Marcy Ray, Wichita.
Kenneth Arthur Simms, 85, youngest child of Clarence B. and Edith (Leeding) Simms, was born Sept. 1, 1917, at Republic. He died Wednesday, May 21, at the Republic County Hospital, Belleville. He graduated from Republic High School and attended Kansas State University for one year.
On Dec. 26, 1940, he married Josephine Hofts at Washington, Kan. To this union four children, Douglas, Roger, Bryan and Jennifer were born. He farmed the family homestead for 65 years.
He was a member of the Republic Methodist Church, served on the Republic School Board was active in the high school alumni association, and was a livestock leader for the 4-H clubs.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a son, Roger in 1997; his sister, Arlene Shannon; and his brothers Earl and Gerald.
Survivors include his wife, Josephine; two sons, Douglas, Belleville and Bryan, Republic; his daughter, Jennifer Isaacson, Salina; nine grandchildren; six great-grandchildren.
Services were Friday at the United Methodist Church, Republic, with Pastor Joyce Beam officiating. Burial was in the Lake Cemetery, rural Republic.
Arrangements were by Tibbetts-Fischer Funeral Home.
Gene Dempsey White, 79, the son of George and Mildred (Brown) White, was born on April 19, 1930, at Axtell, Neb. He died May 14 at Beverly Healthcare Lakeview, Grand Island, Neb.
He graduated from Hastings Senior High. He married Sadie Fry and served in the United States Army from 1951 to 1954.
He owned and operated K & K Market in Hastings. Gene was a member of the Hastings American Legion and Ducks Unlimited Chapter.
Preceding him in death were his parents, and one sister, Evonne Richter.
Survivors include his children, George White, Hastings, Les White, Los Angeles, Mrs. Rich Linguna (Sharon), Mesa, Ariz; Mike Long, Hawthorne, Calif.; Patrick Long, Lincoln, Neb.; and Rob Long, Mesa, Ariz.; one brother, Jack White, Clinton, Tenn.; and 10 grandchildren.
Memorial services with military rites were held Thursday at the Good Samaritan Village Chapel, Hastings, with the Rev. Neil Vik officiating.
Inurnment was in Ft. McPherson National Cemetery, Maxwell, Neb.
Megrue-Price Funeral Home, Superior, was in charge of arrangements.