Barber County Kansas

The Gyp Hill Premiere, September 18, 2006.

Mary J. (Bell) Hommertzheim

Mary J. (Bell) Hommertzheim, 92, died Saturday, September 9, 2006 at Via Christi Medical Center-St. Francis Campus, Wichita.

She was born May 11, 1914 at Afton, Oklahoma, the seventh child of Frank and Maude (Angell) Bell.

The family settled in the Gyp Hills outside of Medicine Lodge in 1920. Mary graduated from Eagle School and Medicine Lodge High School in 1933. She married Francis Frederick in 1939, who passed away in 1966. In 1982, she married Bart Hommertzheim, who passed away in 1994. A lifetime resident of Medicine Lodge, Mary worked for 25 years as a nurses’ aide at the Medicine Lodge Hospital.

She was an active member of Union Chapel and, after moving to town, the First Christian Church, Medicine Lodge. She was a charter member of Flying Eagle EHU and remained active until her death. She enjoyed her family and friends in the Congenial Club and Garden Club. Mary was an avid reader of books and magazines and fan of KU basketball and KC Royals. She loved going for rides and participating in the Gyp Hill community throughout her life. She took great pleasure in keeping up with all the news of her large family and enjoyed many lifelong friendships.

Survivors include two daughters Jackie Hays, St. Paul, MN and Carol Davis, Glendale, AZ; a son Rod Frederick, Medicine Lodge; 9 grandchildren, Dana, Mark, Julie, Kim, Greg, Krista, Lance, Michele and Justin; 10 great grandchildren; sisters-in-law Ella, Fern and Wilma Bell, step children; Treva and Rich Schaffer, Derby, and Gary and Janet Hommertzheim, Seattle, WA, many special nieces, nephews, grandnieces and nephews and friends.

In addition to her husbands and parents, she was preceded in death by a son Darrell Frederick, eleven siblings, Dick Bell, Ella Howell, John Franklin, Jr., Florence Moomau, Charles Bell, Ollie Bell, James Bell, Margaret (Margie) Reed, Elmer (Pete) Bell, Pearl DeMore, and Harley (Glenn) Bell, a niece Rita Kimball and nephews Denny Reed and Nelson Bell.

The funeral was held on Tuesday, September 12, at First Christian Church, Medicine Lodge with Pastor Tom Walters officiating. Burial was in Highland Cemetery, Medicine Lodge.

Memorials are suggested to Lincoln Library, Medicine Lodge, in care of the funeral home. Personal condolences may be left for the family at

Also see:

James Loren Bell - brother of Mary Hommertzheim.

Dennis L. Reed, nephew of Mary Hommertzheim.

A List of the Graduates of Medicine Lodge High School   (1890 - 1937)

Medicine Lodge High School in the 1930s

Thanks to Kevin Noland, publisher of The Gyp Hill Premiere, Medicine Lodge, Kansas, for permission to republish the above obituary from his newspaper.

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