Deaths (Feb. 11, 2009)


Keith Austin


Keith Austin, 64, farmer and stockman, died Thursday, Feb. 5, at his residence in Bucklin.

The service was at 2 p.m. Monday, Feb. 9, at Church of Christ in Mullinville with pastor Russell Scott officiating. Burial was at Pleasant Valley Cemetery, about 11 miles north of Bucklin.

He was born on April 23, 1944, to George L. and Lida Elva (Smith) Austin, near Bucklin. On April 25, 1963, he was married to Patsy Jean Besson, who survives.

He is also survived by a son, Brian and Jackie of St. Leo; daughters Donna and Jay Lewallen of Bucklin and Kelly and Clint Bettles of Hillsboro; brothers George and Roy, both of Bucklin, Wayne of Fowler and Kenneth of Dodge City; sisters Joanne Austin of Bucklin and Marion McCarty of Kingsdown and six grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Ford County Station No. 4 in care of Minnis Mortuary, P.O. Box 516, Bucklin, KS 67834.


Ronald Break



Ronald L. Break, 79, retired state employee, died Wednesday, Feb. 4, at the Robert Dole Veterans Administration Hospital in Wichita.

A graveside service was at 11 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 7, at the Florence Hillcrest Cemetery in Florence with pastor Phil Smith officiating.

He was born Aug. 18, 1929, to Ernest and Pearl (Caley) Break in Florence. On Oct. 30, 1955, he was married to Marian Atkins, who survives.

He is also survived by a daughter, Cheryl and Dennis Stewart of Towanda; a brother-in-law, Eugene Considine of Hutchinson; and four grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to the Valley United Methodist Church of the Florence Alumni Association in care of Zeiner Funeral Home, 205 Elm, Florence, KS 66861.


Betty Farmer


Betty Jean Farmer, 81, who worked in the retail market, died Saturday, Feb. 7, at Parkside Home in Hillsboro.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, at Cheney Witt Funeral Chapel with pastor Dale Cummins officiating. Burial will be in Large Cemetery. Visitation is from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the funeral home.

She was born July 28, 1927, to Raymond Wesley and Annabelle (Workman) Farmer in Fort Scott. She was married to Kenneth M. Monroe Sr. for a time and later to Ewel Johnson for a time.

Survivors include a son, Kenneth and Loretta Monroe II of Kingsland, Texas; a daughter Jo Annell and David Myers of Bronson; a sister Bonnie Jo Neal of New Haven, Ind.; six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren; one niece; two nephews and many cousins.

Memorials may be made to the Harry Hines Hospice or the Cherry Grove Baptist Church and sent in care of Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS 66701.


Peter GoeringOBIT-?-Goering,-Pete--.jpg


Peter W. Goering, Jr., 60, a journalist, died Saturday, Feb. 7, at his home in Topeka.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 11, at Christ the King Catholic Church, 5973 SW 25th St. in Topeka. Burial will be at Mount Calvary Cemetery in Topeka.

He was born on Sept. 23, 1948, to Peter and Mary (Henderson) Goering in Goessel.

Survivors include his wife, Diane; daughters Debbie and Ryan Redd and Elizabeth Goering, all of Topeka; son Brett Goering of Dana Point, Calif.; sisters Deanne Duerksen of Hillsboro and twin sister Peggy Goering-Kuck of Pacific Grove, Calif., and two grandsons.

Memorials may be made to Washburn Athletic Department or Christ the King Catholic Church in care of Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home, 2801 SW Urish Rd., Topeka, KS 66614. Online condolences may be sent to


Reuben Kerbs


Reuben Kerbs, 85, retired railroad signal maintainer with Southern Pacific, died Wednes?day, Feb. 4, at Salina Regional Health Center.

The service was at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Feb. 9, at St. John?s Lutheran Church, 425 Main St., Tampa. Burial followed in the Tampa Lutheran Cemetery.

He is survived by a daughter Connie Thompson of Abilene; three sons, Glenn of Dodge City, Tim of Salina and Russ of Tampa; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to St. John?s Lutheran Church or to the Tammy Walker Cancer Center of Salina in care of Zeiner Funeral Home, 104 W. Fifth St., Florence, KS 66851.


Dorothy Pankratz


Dorothy Pankratz, 77, a homemaker, died Wednesday, Feb. 4, in Hillsboro.

The graveside service was at 10 a.m. Monday, Feb. 9, with a memorial service following at 11 a.m. at Hillsboro Menno?nite Brethren Church with pastor David Plett officiating.

She was born June 13, 1931, to Herman J. and Sara B. (Eitzen) Funk in Hillsboro. On May 27, 1952, she was married to Allen W. Pankratz, who survives.

She also is survived by three children, daughter Barbara and husband Lonnie Thiessen of Wichita, son Jerel of Hillsboro, daughter Krista and husband Max Heinrichs of Hillsboro; two sisters, Ruby Graumann of Hillsboro and Luella Gunther of Reedley, Calif.; seven grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Memorials can be made to Kids Connection in care of Hillsboro MB Church.


Elmer Zehr



Elmer P. Zehr, 88, teacher and business owner, died Wednesday, Feb. 4, at Hospice House in Hutchinson.

The service was at 11 a.m. Monday, Feb. 9, at Hesston Mennonite Church with pastors John Murray, Cheryl Hershberger and Fred Obold officiating. Burial preceded the service in Eastlawn Cemetery, Hesston.

He was born Jan. 19, 1921, to Emanuel and Emma (Brenne?man) Zehr at Bright, Ont. On Oct. 27, 1942, he was married to Violet Bender, who predeceased him. In January 2005, he was married to Emily Hughes, who survives.

He is also survived by seven children, Farrel and Jan Zehr of Highlands, N.C., Paul and Nancy Zehr of Modesto, Calif., Carol Anne and Ronald Brown of Shawnee, Wanda and John Doig of Plain City, Ohio, John and JoAnn Zehr of Harrison Valley, Pa., Dennis Zehr of Kansas City and Timothy and Kim Zehr of Inman; a brother, Edward Zehr of Woodstock, Ontario; two sisters, Elizabeth Zehr of Tavistock, Ont. and Dorthy Bechtel of Kitchener, Ont.; 18 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Habitat for Humanity in care of Miller Funeral Home, 107 S. Lancaster Ave., Hesston, KS 67062.

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