Kenneth Alan ‘Kenny’ Owens Jr.

No public services are planned for Kenneth Alan ‘Kenny’ Owens Jr., 35, Lawrence, who passed away Friday, July 19, 2019, at his home.

He was born March 5, 1984, in Camp Lejeune, N.C., the son of Kenneth A. and Cathy Ilene Randel Owens.

Survivors include a sister, Casey Owens Bowman and husband Andy, Lawrence; his parents, Ken and Cathy Owens, Lawrence; and his maternal grandfather, Leon Randel, Lawrence.

He was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Melba Hadl and Norvell Owens, and his maternal grandmother, Barbara Randel.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Vinland Cemetery Association, in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044.

Robert J. ‘Bob’ Mowery

A memorial visitation for Robert J. ‘Bob’ Mowery, 79, rural Lawrence, will be held Thursday July 25, 2019, from 4 to 6 pm at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home. Bob died Tuesday, July 16, 2019, at LMH Health.

Bob was born on April 12, 1940 in Tremont City, Ohio, the son of Charles and Mary Mowery. Mr. Mowery was a retired mechanic for FMC.

He is survived by wife Barbara of the home, sister Sandra, brother Bill, sons Scott, Bryan, Jim, Mike and Mark and a daughter Deborah. Bob was preceded in death by his wife of 33 years, Catherine, brother Orvis, sister Mary, son Larry and daughters Catherine and Joan. Other survivors include several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Bob very much loved the company of family and friends along with local live music.

The family suggests memorials to the Lawrence Humane Society sent in care of the funeral home.

Benjamin J. ‘BJ’ Manspeaker

A Celebration of Life for Benjamin J. ‘BJ’ Manspeaker, 44, Lawrence, will be at 2:00 pm Friday at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home & Crematory, with Chad Manspeaker officiating. Inurnment will be at a later date in Hope, Kan. Ben passed away Monday, July 15, 2019, at his home.

He was born November 5, 1974, in Topeka, the son of Robert J. and Mary Karla Penney Manspeaker. He graduated from Hope High School and later attended Kansas State University. Ben was a chef and had worked at KSU – Salina Campus and Hayes House in Council Grove. He also co-owned Sully & Hanks in Lawrence. In his spare time he enjoyed cooking, grilling, and music.

Survivors include his daughter, Sloane Manspeaker, of the home; his fiancé, Staci Church and her three children, Greyson Phillips, Jayden Phillips, and Rylan Phillips, all of the home; his parents, Bob & Karla Manspeaker, Hope; his maternal grandmother, Lola Ginther, Salina; and many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

The family will receive friends after the service. Memorial contributions are suggested to the American Diabetes Association, in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044.

Phyllis Jean Williams

Phyllis Jean Williams died July 15, 2019 in her home. She was born June 24, 1941 the daughter of Ray and Ora Allen. Phyllis was a registered nurse for forty years in various hospitals in Wichita, Topeka and Lawrence. She retired from St. Francis Hospital in Topeka, Kansas in 2002 to care for and spoil her grandchildren who were one of her biggest joys in life. As her grandchildren grew up she enjoyed doing puzzles with her great grandchildren and loved to read.

Survivors include her husband, Jerry, four children Allen Williams (Karla), Aaron Williams (Julie), Shane Williams and Noreena Williams, five grandchildren Shane Billig (Kyla), Cameron Williams (Christine), Brittany Morgan, Katie Morgan, and Banner Williams and two great grandchildren Braxton Williams and Abbie Chester. She is also survived by her sister Janet Habluetzel and two brothers Richard and Don Allen and many nieces and nephews.

Private family services will be held at a later date.

Suzette Ann Kugler

Private family services for Suzette Ann Kugler, 72, Lawrence, will take place at a later date.

She died unexpectedly at her home on July 10, 2019.

Suzette was born July 14, 1946, in Halstead, KS, the daughter of Frank and Ethel Peal Huffman Zurbuchen. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Wichita University in Elementary Education and Music. Later she went on the get her Master’s degree from Baker University in Music History.

She taught at several elementary schools in the Baldwin City and Lawrence, KS, areas and also in Virginia and Oregon.

Suzette would like those that wish to honor her name please send all memorial contributions to the Lawrence Humane Society, 1805 E 19th St, Lawrence, KS 66046.

Miss Me- But Let Me Go
When I come to the end of the road
And the sun has set for me
I want no rites in a gloom filled room
Why cry for a soul set free?

Miss me a little, but not for long
And not with your head bowed low
Remember the love that once we shared
Miss me, but let me go.

For this is a journey we all must take
And each must go alone.
It’s all part of the master plan
A step on the road to home.

When you are lonely and sick at heart
Go to the friends we know.
Laugh at all the things we used to do
Miss me, but let me go.

Conrad (Connie) J. Braun, Jr.

Conrad (Connie) J. Braun, Jr. passed away unexpectedly at the KU Medical Center on July 12, 2019.

He was born on January 8, 1932, in Kansas City, Kansas, as the son of Conrad and Josephine Braun. He graduated from Wyandotte High School in 1950 and went on to earn his degree from Baker University in 1956.

At Baker University, he was a member and President of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and played both varsity basketball and football. He served in the United States Army for 2 years following college.

He married Phyllis Flickinger on August 12, 1956. They were married for 63 years. She survives at the home. Other survivors include a son, Stanley, of Baldwin City, and a son, Martin and his wife Terry, and three grandchildren, Matthew, Andrew, and Katherine, all of Baldwin City.

Mr. Braun was a science teacher at Baldwin High School where he also coached varsity basketball. He produced several state championship teams during his coaching years. After retiring, he drove the school bus where he loved the children and kept up with many of his former students.

He was a member of the First United Methodist Church.

The family suggests memorials to the Dr. Stanley and Marguerite Flickinger Scholarship Fund, in care of: Baker University, Baldwin City, Kansas, 66006.

Private graveside services will be held at a future date.

Anna (Turko) Slemmer

Anna (Turko) Slemmer of Lawrence, Kansas passed away on Monday, June 17, 2019 in her home with family by her side. Anna was born on April 16, 1937 in Poland to Peter and Julia (Baysa) Turko. Her early childhood was spent in Poland and in German and Soviet occupied areas during World War II. Due to the war and its aftermath, she was unable to begin her education until her family immigrated to the United States in 1947. Anna graduated from the University of Michigan with a Master’s degree in education, specializing in library sciences. Anna served as a librarian in Michigan where she met her husband, Bill, also a librarian. They eventually moved to Roseburg, Oregon where they raised son Jonathan until Bill’s death in 1980. Anna continued to work mostly as a librarian until her retirement from the VA in 1999. During much of this time, Anna was the head of a household that included her son, her mother, and her brother. Anna had a feisty spirit that people were drawn to and she enjoyed spending time with family and friends, but she also valued her independence and solitude.

She is survived by her brother, Peter Turko; son, Jonathan Slemmer; daughter-in-law, Kristi Neufeld; granddaughter, Olivia Slemmer; grandson, Nathaniel Slemmer, all of Lawrence; many nieces and nephews and relatives by marriage; and a special friend, Dan Gayman, of Eugene, Oregon. She was preceded in death by her husband, William Slemmer; mother, Julia Turko; father, Peter Turko; and sister, Irene Williams.

Anna loved nature and took continuing education classes to study birds, plants, flowers, rocks, and mushrooms. Her biggest passion was birding and she regularly participated in bird counts, built countless bird houses, wrote birding articles for The News-Review, and held officer positions in the Umpqua Valley Audubon Society. Anna considered her backyard to be a sanctuary and she would attract numerous birds there with feed, water, and shelter.

Anna was an ardent supporter of the Democratic Party and encouraged everyone she met to impact the system by voting. You might remember Anna’s passionate and provocative Letters to the Editor of local papers.

Some of her other favorite activities were to read books, listen to the news and National Public Radio, go to movies, and attend her grandchildren’s performances, concerts, and athletic events. She was also a supporter of the Umpqua Unitarian Universalist Church.

With the many challenges Anna endured, especially during her childhood years and after losing her husband, Anna was resolute and faced these setbacks with strength and courage. Anna was fearlessly devoted to her family and a wonderful mother and friend to her son. Peace and social activist, philanthropist, educator, collector and sharer of words, author, listener, inspirer, believer, and egalitarian appreciator. We congratulate Anna on a life well lived.

A celebration of Anna’s life will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, August 24 at 4001 West 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66049.

Memorial contributions may be made in her name to the Roseburg Public Library (make checks to: City of Roseburg), 1409 NE Diamond Lake Blvd., Suite 100, Roseburg, OR 97470 or the Umpqua Valley Audubon Society, PO Box 381, Roseburg, OR 97470, or made in her name to Douglas County Visiting Nurses Association, 200 Maine Street, Suite C, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Willard Lynn Watney

Willard Lynn Watney, 71, passed away on Tuesday, July 9, 2019, at home in the loving arms of his wife. For almost three years, Lynn retained his “zest for life” in spite of the challenge of brain cancer.

Lynn was born in Mason City, Iowa on March 6, 1948, to Willard “Bill” and Lucille Watney. He grew up in Northwood, Iowa and graduated from Northwood-Kensett High School in 1966. He married his high school sweetheart, Karen, in 1969. He continued his education at North Iowa Area Community College and then at Iowa State University receiving a Bachelor of Science in 1970 and a Master of Science in 1972, both in Geology. In 1985, he received his Doctor of Philosophy in Geology from the University of Kansas. For the last 43 years, he fulfilled his passion for geology at the Kansas Geological Survey as a researcher and mentor to University of Kansas geology students and young scientists.

He began his career as an exploration geologist with Chevron Oil Company working out of New Orleans. In 1976, he accepted a position with the Kansas Geological Survey as an Assistant Scientist where he started his work on Kansas subsurface geology and earned his PhD. He rose quickly through the ranks to Senior Scientist, taking on the role of Section Chief as well as Director of the Energy Research Center. In so doing, he developed warm friendships and close collaborations with colleagues at the Survey, the University, and Industry in Wichita, where he served as President of the Kansas Geological Society and was named and Honorary Member. Ever the adventurous spirit, Lynn’s first visit abroad was to Bangladesh where he worked as a consulting geologist funded by U.S.A.I.D. when the country was under martial law. This was followed by work on geological projects in China, Europe, and elsewhere, as well as hosting scientists from across the globe to work on cooperative research in the Kansas subsurface. Lynn was equally at home running operations on a Kansas drilling rig, leading a geology field trip, or making significant research presentations to scientific audiences. He did it all with such joy and passion and was that rare individual who was truly a “Renaissance geologist.” The list of his publications, service, and honors is lengthy and worthy for someone who worked so tirelessly for his profession. Although seriously ill, he continued to visit his office and contribute to the current carbon storage program almost to the end. But it is his generosity of spirit and sheer humanity that will be remembered by all those who know him. His passing will be mourned by so many, both here and across the globe.

Lynn was a cherished husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, friend and colleague. Lynn’s life was committed to science and nature through continued study, exploration, research, and teaching. He truly was, as his favorite t-shirt stated, a “force for science” and loved the natural world—rocks, trees, wildflowers, animals, birds and the sky. Any time there was a weather event around the world, his family could rely on a detailed minute by minute account. He enjoyed restoring and cultivating prairie grasses on his 40 acre farm, built and maintained a freshwater pond, and mowed his field astride his antique Allis-Chalmers tractors.

He is survived by his wife, daughter Chris Watney (Rob Gary) and granddaughter Rose Gary of Evergreen Colorado, and another granddaughter to be born later in July. He is also survived by his mother of Northwood, Iowa; brothers Gary (Kathy) of Albert Lea, MN and Roger (Elizabeth) of Anchor Point, AK; a sister Jill Watney of Albert Lea, MN; and sister-in-law Mary (Brent) Brunsting of Mason City, IA. He also leaves nieces Amber Johnson and Sarah Peterson and nephews Nicholas Olson and Chase Johnson and their families. He was recently preceded in death by his father on April 25, 2019, and his mother-in-law, Avis Amundson, on May 10, 2019. His father-in-law, Lester Amundson, preceded him in 2008. He lost his beloved cat, BC, in 2018.

A celebration of Lynn’s life is tentatively planned for September 7, 2019, in Lawrence. Details about the celebration and memorial designations will be announced at a later date.

Jamie Leigh Bennett

Jamie Leigh Bennett, 29, of Lawrence passed away on July 7, 2019. She is survived by her parents Mike and Salena (Patterson) Gillam and Marl Lynn Bennett, sisters Kayla Bennett and Danielle Gillam, maternal grandmother Sharon Patterson, paternal grandmother Bonita Bennett, and her loving companion dog, Cooper. She was preceded in death by her maternal grandfather James M. Patterson and paternal grandfather David A. Bennett.

Jamie was a friend to everyone she met. She is loved and will be greatly missed.

The family suggests donations to the Pulmonary Hypertension Association or the Lawrence Humane Society.

A gathering to celebrate Jamie’s life will be held at the Carnegie Building on Friday, July 12, 2019 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.