Kearny County Kansas



Death Notices

Obituaries and death notices, especially those written years ago, are not just a valuable source of names, dates and places for a genealogist. Grouped together as they are here they become an intimate social history of a community, written by journalists who usually knew the deceased and their families.
Some are tributes to pioneers, patriarchs, pastors and parents whose life stories are the history of Kearny County. Others are tender remembrances of children, women who died in childbirth or those struck down by disease, unfortuante accidents or natural disasters. There are stories honoring the supreme acts of sacrifice of local young men and women who died overseas in distant wars as well as reports of sensational crimes that live on in story for generations.
As a Kearny County researcher this is your chance to contribute to the history of Kearny County online. Please consider contributing your own family stories from obituaries and death notices you have of Kearny County residents. They don't have to be from an obituary. You can write a tribute to your Kearny County relation and submit it as well.

If you'd like to contribute an obituary or death notice to this page check out the GUIDELINES at the bottom of this page.


Leoti Standard: Sept 1958 (Leoti, KS newspaper)
Last Rites Held For Prominent Citizen Ira Downs, Age 85

The last rites for Ira DOWNS, respected citizen and farmer her for over a half century, were held Monday in Leoti. The aged pioneer, post the 85-year mark died on Saturday, Sept 6th, in Leoti following months of illness. Funeral services were conducted from the Presbyterian Church in Leoti at 2:30 o'clock Monday afternoon. Clergymen were Rev. Richard R. Schechter and Rev. Richard Kelderhouse. Casket bearers were Ross McCowan, Howard Clevenger, Carl Logan, Arthur McCowan, Roy Wilson, and Kermit Snell. Honorary casket bearers were: D.O. Parish, H. L. Washington, Lee Oldham, Ross Hollister, A. E. Anderson, E. L. Brandner, Ed Dierks, L. G. Henry, and G. J. Anderson. Interment was in the Fairview Immanuel Cemetery.

Ira DOWNS, son of William DOWNS, and Margaret ASHLOCK, was born January 7, 1873, in Wyandotte county, Kansas, near Kansas City, and died September 6, 1985, at the Wichita County hospital, Leoti, Kansas after a long illness, at the age of 85 years and 8 months. He had four sisters: Etta, Favor, Loie and Mabel; and four brothers: William George who died in infancy, Milton, Jim, and Charlie. Five members of that family preceded him in death.

Mr. Downs grew to manhood near Clay Center, and was married there on February 22, 1898, to Millie BATES, also of Clay Center. Into their home were born eight children. In 1906 Mr. Downs moved with his family to Western Kansas, settling on a homestead in Kearny county. He returned to Clay county after proving his claim, but moved west again in 1915, settling in Wichita county where he resided until his death. He was preceded in death by a daughter, Loie Irel, in 1921, and his wife, July 13, 1938.

He was a member of the Presbyterian church, helping to build the Immanuel Presbyterian church of north Kearny county, being a charter member of that church, and an elder there from 1921 until his death.

He is survived by five sons: Lloyd and Jack of Wichita; Emil of Plains; Vernon and Horace of Leoti; and two daughters: Mrs. Laura HAHN and Mrs. Vardie BUCK of Leoti.

Submitted by Janice Rewerts (email:

Millie DOWNS
Information from The Times newspaper, Clay Center, KS Thursday, July 21, 1938
Relatives and friends were saddened to hear of the passing of Millie DOWNS at her home near Leoti, Kansas on Wednesday morning, July 13, 1938 at the age of 60 years, 11 months. She has suffered ill health for the past eight years and the angle of death came as a relief from suffering. She was born August 13, 1877 at Washington C. H., Ohio. At the age of five years she moved with her parents, Richard and Catherine BATES, to Clay County, Kansas, settling near Industry.

On February 23, 1898, Millie BATES and Ira DOWNS were united in marriage at Clay Center. To this union were born eight children, five boys and three girls. They are Lloyd Leroy and Ira Jackson DOWNS both of Wichita, Kansas, Glen Vernon DOWNS of Leoti, Kansas, Laura May HAHN of Lakin, Kansas, Leil Emil DOWNS of Plains, Kansas, Vardie Lucile and Horace Roland of the home and Loie Irel, who preceded her mother in death.

In 1906, the Downs family moved to Western Kansas.(Kearny Co., KS) In 1911 they moved back to Clay County where they lived until 1916. They then moved back to Western Kansas near Leoti where they have lived since that time.

Mrs. Downs was converted in 1919 and in 1922 united with the Presbyterian church. She was one of those quiet individuals who lived the consistent Christian life, true to the faith, and one who showed forth the spirit of the Master in her every day life. She won many friends by her unselfishness and thoughtfulness of others.

Mrs. Downs chief interest was in her home. She was a kind, loving mother and wife, ever putting others before self. She will be sadly missed by her husband, children, relatives and many friends.

Submitted by Janice Rewerts (email:

Mary McCOY
[Newspaper unknown]
Funeral Services Friday for Mary McCoy
Mary Euretta McCOY, 93, died Monday, January 21, 2002, at High Plains Retirement Village in Lakin, Kansas.

She was born April 30, 1908, at Cunningham, Kansas, the daughter of Jacob and Lydia (McKINNIS) WALLACE. Her schooling was in Cunningham where she grew up.

On September 26, 1925, she married John Harold SHANKLE at Pratt, Kansas. He died January 3, 1968. On August 1, 1946, she married Verne L. McCOY at Meade, Kansas. He died November 30, 1966.

In 1937 she moved to Lakin where she has been a resident for the past 65 years. She enjoyed gardening, quilting, and most of all spending time with her family.

She had joined the Christian Church at the age of fourteen. In 1985 she joined the Lakin Wesleyan Church. She enjoyed Sunday school and church. She was a member of the Kearny County Historical Society, and a volunteer for the Budget Shop for many years.

She is survived by a son, Russell SHANKLE and his wife, Dorothy of Lakin; a son-in-law, Harold (Pete) WALKER of Elk City, Oklahoma; 14 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and nine great-great-granchildren; two step sons, James McCOY of California and Eugene (Hoot) McCOY of North Carolina; a step daughter, Florine WHITE of West Virginia, and their families.

Her parents, husbands, four brothers, two sisters, a son, Raymond SHANKLE, a daughter, Margaret WALKER, and one great-grandson, Jonathan WALKER, preceded her in death.

Funeral services will be at 2:00 p.m. Friday, January 25, at the Lakin Wesleyan Church with Pastors Janette Post and Jeff Lee officiating. Burial will be in Lakin Cemetery.

contributed by Edwin Elam (email:
Lakin Independent - March 9, 1972
Claud STUTZMAN, 80, Former Resident, Dies
Claud STUTZMAN, 80, died Friday at Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital in Ulysses, following a brief illness. He was born January 27, 1892, in Lakin and moved to Ulysses from Syracuse four years ago. He was a farmer and stockman. He married Lola Belle GREESON, May 3, 1914. She died in 1959.

Survivors include son, Everett, Ulysses, a brother, Percy of Hutchinson, two sisters, Mrs. Lola EVANS, Hutchinson, and Mrs. Eva [BUMGARDNER-MILLER] GOOCH, Burrton; four grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held Tuesday at the First Baptist Church with Rev. Charles MASON officiating. Burial was in Lakin Cemetery.

Submitted by: Dustin Stutzman -- great-grandson -- 4104 Pine Ridge -- Shawnee, OK 74804
Lakin Independent - June 5, 1953
Luella A. STUTZMAN Dies In Halstead Hospital
Mrs. Luella A. STUTZMAN, 86, died in Halstead Hospital Tuesday morning after a nine weeks illness.

She was born in Davis County, Ia., Aug. 26, 1866. She was married Aug. 27, 1884 to William H. STUTZMAN in McPherson County and moved to Kearny county where they lived for 35 years. They moved to Halstead in 1939. [Editor Dustin notes: Grandma and Grandpa (W.H.) Stutzman lived in Kearny County from 1886 to 1939, which should read 53 years.]

In Kearny County Mrs. STUTZMAN served two terms as register of deeds and two terms as probate judge. Mr. STUTZMAN died Oct. 27, 1946. She was a life-long member of the Methodist Church.

Surviving are two daughters, Mrs. A.A. [Lola CORLEY] BENSON, 301 Crescent, Mrs. Eva [BUMGARDNER] MILLER, Melverne, Kas.; and three sons, Claude STUTZMAN, Holly, Col., Frank STUTZMAN, Lamar, Colorado, and Percy STUTZMAN, Syracuse; and two granddaughters both of Hutchinson. Burial will be in the Halstead Cemetery.

Submitted by: Dustin Stutzman -- great-great-grandson -- 4104 Pine Ridge -- Shawnee, OK 74804
Lakin Independent - November 1, 1946
William Henry STUTZMAN, son of Jonathan and Margaret Walter STUTZMAN, was born at Middlebury, Indiana, June 4, 1861, and passed away Sunday morning, October 27, 1946, at his home in Halstead, Kansas, at the age of 85 years, 4 months, and 23 days.

In 1879 he moved with his parents to McPherson County, Kansas. While attending a revival meeting conducted by Rev. MYERS, a United Brethren minister, he was converted and joined the church. August 27, 1884, he was united in marriage to Luella A. WALDEN and to this union seven children were born, three sons and four daughters. In 1935 two daughters, Mrs. Grace WARREN and Mrs. Bessie MCCLURKIN, passed away. He is survived by his wife, Luella A. STUTZMAN, Claud STUTZMAN of Holcomb, Kansas; Mrs. A.A. BENSON of Hutchinson, Kansas; Frank STUTZMAN of Lamar, Colorado; Percy STUTZMAN of Larned, Kansas; Mrs. Eva BUMGARDNER of Dodge City, Kansas; one sister, Dr. F.V. HULPIEU of Wichita, Kansas; ten grandchildren and eleven great-grandchildren and many nephews and nieces and a large number of other relatives and friends.

With his wife and eldest child he moved to Kearny County, in 1886, where they lived for fifty-three years, being engaged in farming and stock raising. In 1939 he and his wife moved to Halstead, which has since been his home.

Funeral services were conducted Tuesday afternoon, October 29, at 2:30 P.M. in the Methodist Church at Halstead, Kansas, with burial in the Halstead Memorial Park cemetery. Rev. A.L. KOENEKE and Rev. VAUGHN were in charge of the services. Six nephews were bearers: Hans VOLLWEIDER, Marion PARKER, Wesley HYDE, Marion STUTZMAN, Dan MCCLURE, and Floyd STUTZMAN. The hymns were "The Old Rugged Cross," "Saved By Grace" and "Good Night Here and Good Morning Up There," sung by Clancy BROWN, Mrs. Frank KREIE, Mrs. BITIKOFER, and Ross CHALLANS.

Mr. and Mrs. B.C. MCCUE and J.C. MCCLURKIN of Lakin were in Halstead Tuesday for the funeral.

Submitted by: Dustin Stutzman -- great-great-grandson -- 4104 Pine Ridge -- Shawnee, OK 74804


Guidelines for submitting a Kearny County, Kansas
obituary or death notice

Do you have an old obituary or short death notice of a Kearny County resident tucked away in a scrapbook, trunk or file. Take it out and share it with the rest of us! Type up your obituary and email it to us and we'll post it here. Just observe the following guidelines...
To enter your Kearny County obituaries:

1- Email them to us at Put KEARNY CO OBITUARY in your subject line.
2- On first line put name of deceased. Use the name in the obit. If you want to rename the individual to clarify who they are add that name in parenthesis after the obit name. Look below for examples of this. Do this to include maiden names or full names for individuals given initials only in the obit.
3-On the second line put the name of the newspaper, newspaper's town, date of issue where obituary is found, page, column, if known. PLEASE.... Kearny County residents only... A resident is defined here as an individual who lived in Kearny County for part of his/her life.
4-Type out the obituary capitalizing all SURNAMES. Don't put given names or locations all in caps, just the surnames. Now here's the hard part. Limit your obituary to less than 350 words. This may be hard. Some obituaries go on and on. Figure out what to keep... what to drop. If we get something too long we'll have to send it back to you for editing.
5-Put "submitted by [your name and email address]" at the end. If you want to, include your postal address as well.

6- It's ok to edit the obits you submit. If you want to add maiden names, correct/add dates or other information do so. Just put any added information in [brackets]. That lets the reader know that this is something not in the original obituary. Just remember to keep the whole thing under 350 words.

It's as simple as that!

Return to the Kearny County KSGenWeb main page

This page was established 11/30/2002 by Bill and Diana Sowers