Stephen C. Fowler

Stephen C. Fowler was a father, a husband, and a scientist. He died on June 15, 2020 at his home.

Steve was born August 28, 1944 in Peoria, Illinois. He was the son of Larry Fowler and Dorothy Fowler (née Glass). He spent his childhood in Somerville, Tennessee and Huntsville, Alabama.

By nature and profession, Steve was a scientist. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Alabama with degrees in Math and Physics, he obtained a PhD in Experimental Psychology from Princeton and became a professor at the University of Mississippi in 1973. At Mississippi, he served as the chair of his department and was named the Barnard Distinguished Professor—a professorship awarded to faculty who show particular excellence in teaching and research. In 1994, Steve accepted a position at the University of Kansas, where he served as a Professor of Human Development until 2000 and then a Professor in Pharmacology/Toxicology until his retirement in 2016. He was a Senior Scientist with the Life Span Institute and anchored their behavioral neuroscience research program during the 1990s and 2000s. He was an integral member of the Kansas Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. While at KU, Steve also served as the president of Division 28 (Psychopharmacology and Substance Abuse) of the American Psychological Association.

Steve was internationally known for his work in behavioral pharmacology. His inventions in quantitative methods permanently transformed the field. Using his extensive knowledge in mathematics and physics, he developed instrumentation to quantify behavior in preclinical research. The measurement devices he created allowed for detection and quantification of previously undetectable or unquantifiable phenomena, such as low-amplitude tremor and rapid muscle movements. He invented the Force Plate Actimeter that is marketed by Bioanalytical Systems. His laboratory and collaborating laboratories have used this instrument for research on rodent models of Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease, ALS, ADHD, essential tremor, schizophrenia, Krabbe’s disease, autism, and fragile X syndrome. Steve was an authority on the motor side effects of antipsychotic drugs, but collaborators enlisted him to help with a wide range of research topics. Steve’s research resulted in over 160 publications in high impact journals like Science, Cell, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Steve dedicated his life to research and to educating the next generation of scientists. He mentored more than 40 successful doctoral students and a number of junior faculty. He was a firm believer and a strong practitioner of promoting diversity and inclusion. His students came from all over the world, and he treated all of them like members of his own family.

Steve had a brilliant scientific mind and an encyclopedic knowledge of his own field and many others, but what people will likely remember most about Steve is his personality. He was understated in manner, soft-spoken, generous and gracious with his time and energy, honest and open, and immensely kind.

Beyond science, Steve had many interests. In particular, Steve was an avid hiker, kayaker, and outdoorsman. Before his daughter was born, he regularly camped in the Arctic wilderness. He and a close friend used to take a plane that could only hold 3 people to be dropped off in the wilderness above the Arctic Circle where they camped for weeks.

In his personal life, Steve was married to Doreen Fowler. They loved each other deeply and were together for over 40 years. Steve and Doreen have one child, a daughter, named Carina. Doreen and Carina survive Steve. He is also survived by a younger sister, Michelle.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be directed to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Please make donations in loving memory of Dr. Stephen C. Fowler.

Due to COVID-19, the family will have a private memorial service. Community members may pay their respects to Dr. Fowler at 4:30 PM Saturday, June 27, 2020 in the outdoor space at the Cider Gallery, 810 Pennsylvania St, Lawrence, KS. Please wear a mask and keep 6 feet distance.

Nancy Pistorius

A creative, kind, courageous and beautiful woman was called home to her Father in Heaven on Saturday, June 13, 2020. Nancy Pistorius, 67, died Saturday morning, June 13, in her home in Lawrence, KS. She was born August 18, 1952 in Springfield, Illinois to William (Bill Miller) and Stella (Stapleton) Pistorius. She was a loving wife to her husband of 37 years, Brad Buecker, and an adoring mother to her beloved daughter, Alyssa Buecker, who currently resides in Austin, TX. Other survivors include three siblings: Cindy Wieties-Ogren and husband Bob Ogren of The Woodlands, TX, and their children Allison Wieties and Caley Mahar and her husband Matt; Mary Zerfas of Suwanee, GA, and her children, McKenna and Miller Zerfas; and Bill Pistorius and his wife Susan of Chicago, IL, and their children Brian, Jaimie and Lindsay Pistorius. She is also survived by sister-in-law Nancy Buecker of Springfield, IL; an aunt, numerous cousins, as well as hundreds of loving friends from around the world who have been expressing how much they will miss the light of her bright smile, her laughter, and her beautiful soul. Nancy was preceded in death by her parents and one brother, William Edward.

Nancy was a freelance writer from the time she could hold a pen, winning national awards for her poetry, fiction, and essays since grade school. She earned a Master’s Degree in English/Literature from the University of Illinois and also attended schools in Florida and London, England. A 26-year resident of Lawrence, KS and an avid Jayhawks fan, she didn’t agree with fellow Kansan Dorothy that “there’s no place like home,” because she would have rather been out exploring the whole wide world, and writing about it.

Nancy published fiction, poetry, essays and feature articles in more than seventy-five different national and international literary publications including Woman’s Day, Cosmopolitan and the Chicago Tribune. She was also a highly sought-after travel writer with a particular passion for Disneyland and Walt Disney World and received awards from the North America Travel Journalist Association (NATJA). A Disney Lifer, she was well known at many of the Walt Disney World resort hotels and a number of the attractions within the parks. She fully embraced a credo of the late Walt Disney: “All of our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” Nancy was a tremendously outgoing and enthusiastic person, remaining incredibly optimistic and demonstrating a keen sense of humor even during numerous health struggles.

She also passionately loved the little terriers she had through most of her life. One of her favorite quotes was by author Robert B. Parker: “I heard somebody define heaven once,” she said, looking at Pearl, “as a place where, when you get there, all the dogs you ever loved run to greet you.” We are quite certain that Nancy was greeted on Saturday by all of the little fur babies she took such wonderful care of throughout her life.

In lieu of services at this time, her family is planning to hold Celebrations of Life for her in Lawrence and Springfield at a time when the COVID-19 virus has been brought under control. Nancy would have never wanted her family members and friends to be placed in any jeopardy on her account. Donations can be made to the Lawrence Humane Society.

Please share stories and pictures to the Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, at: www.rumsey-yost.com

Christy Lynn Miller Joyce

Christy Miller Joyce, 52, died peacefully at her home in Lawrence, Kansas, on May 27, 2020. She was raised in Kansas City, Kansas, the daughter of Harry Miller and Deanna Miller Drake, nee Williford, and she was a longtime resident of Johnson County, Kansas.

She is survived by her father and her step mother, Pat Miller, of Lawrence, by her two siblings, David Miller and Lydia Miller, and by many, many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

She studied literature at the University of Kansas and received a degree from Johnson County Community College School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts. Christy raised and loved three sweet Yorkies, Rudy, Jack and Nikki, she was a passionate Chiefs, Jayhawks and Royals fan, and above all, she loved to cook and host, surrounded by friends, family, snorts of laughter and fun.

During their marriage, she and ex-husband Gareth Joyce traveled widely and enjoyed life in the company of many friends.

Because of current public health concerns, no services are planned at this time. A joyful celebration of life is planned for a time next year close to her birthday, May 22. An announcement will be posted on her legacy Facebook page.

In lieu of flowers or other memorials, the family recommends donations to DCCC First Step at Lake View, Lawrence, Kansas (https://dccca.org/recovery-today-fund/), or Heartland Community Health Center, Lawrence, Kansas (https://heartlandhealth.org/online-donation/).

Naomi Dixie “Mema” Little

Funeral services for Naomi Dixie Little, 88, Lawrence, will be 11 am, Saturday, June 20, 2020, at Lawrence Heights Christian Church. A visitation will begin at 10 to service time. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery. The family requests all in attendance please use personal protection to prevent the spread of the Corona virus. If unable to attend the service will be broadcast on Facebook Live. https://www.facebook.com/RumseyYostFuneralHomeandCrematory

Naomi Dixie “Mema” Little passed away peacefully on June 14th, 2020 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, surrounded by the love of her five daughters.

She was born to Robert H. Collins and Cordelia Beatrice Smith on February 13th, 1932. The third eldest of five children, Naomi was born and raised in Mt. Olive, Missouri, where she lived happily among her parents and sisters until relocating to the nearby town of Warrensburg in her teenage years. Naomi spent much of her life as a Warrensburg resident, creating her family there while living and working in the community. She provided for her family with 18 and a half years of service as an employee of Central Missouri State University, and an additional 17 years employed at Rivals Manufacturing. In 1998, after many wonderful years in Missouri, Naomi chose to retire and relocate to Kansas to be closer to family. Naomi spent the last 22 years of life living happily among family and friends as a resident of Lawrence, Kansas

Naomi is preceded in death by her parents Robert and Beatrice Collins, her sister Mildred Goodwin, and sister Dorothy Johnson.

She is survived by her two sisters (Irene Goodwin, Marie Rucker) her five daughters (Lois Avery (Felton), Aurelia Thomas-Ray (Robert), Norma Jean Lyles (Charles), Connie Adams (Gary) and Shelia Hogue (Charles)). Naomi also leaves behind seven grandchildren (Stacy Adams, Ryan Adams, Kourtnie Avery-Chung, Torren Thomas, Cedrick Lyles, Garrett Lyles, Cameron Hogue,) two great-grandchildren (Jordan Adams, Mei Avery-Chung) honorary daughter (Deanna Tetuan) honorary grandchildren (Blake Tetuan, Brooklin Tetuan) and a host of beloved cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Naomi was a woman of strong convictions who lived and walked by faith. She was defined by her unwavering devotion to her family and the Lord Jesus Christ. In all trials and tribulations faced, in times of sadness or joy, Naomi always put God first and lived her life in the spirit of Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”
The family suggests memorial contributions made to Lawrence Heights Christian Church, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana Street. Lawrence, KS 66044. Online condolences made at rumsey-yost.com

Evelyn Louise McCleery-Elliott

A graveside memorial service for Evelyn Louise McCleery-Elliott, 94, Cameron, MO, will be 2:00 p.m. Friday, June 19, at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Mrs. McCleery-Elliott died June 5, 2020, at her home.

She was born June 8, 1925, in Grandview, Washington, the daughter of George and Alva Lena Cooper Hamilton.

Mrs. McCleery-Elliott worked as a cook for the Douglas County Sherriff’s Office. She enjoyed quilting, crocheting, and gardening, and was a member of Trinity Lutheran Church.

She is survived by a daughter, Mary Payton of Cameron, MO; sons, Richard McCleery of Lawrence, Robert McCleery of Lawrence, Michael McCleery of Eudora; sisters, Mary Dollison and Irene Hamilton; a brother, Jimmy Dale Hamilton; and 11 grandchildren.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the American Diabetes Association, sent in care of the funeral home.

Anthony Edward ‘Tony’ Church

No public services are planned for Anthony Edward ‘Tony’ Church, 59, Eudora, who passed away Sunday, June 7, 2020, at Legend Healthcare in Tonganoxie.

He was born March 7, 1961, in Topeka, the son of Robert Eugene and Jo Ann (Todd) Church. He attended Lawrence schools. Tony worked for the City of Eudora for many years taking care of the landscaping and flower beds around town. He was a jack-of-all-trades and loved working on cars.

Survivors include the love of his life for 27 years, Kathy Livingston, Eudora; a daughter, Peydon Church, Eudora; a step daughter, Jenna Pash and wife Britany, Indiana; four sisters, Connie Boring (Bill), Athena Devers, and Kelly Church, all of Lawrence, and Kathy Minerd, Ottawa; and a granddaughter, Kahlan Kissinger, Eudora. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Michael Church.

Kathy Sue Davidson

Graveside services for Kathy Sue Davidson, 61, Linwood, will be held on Saturday, June 13th at 11:00 AM at Mount Sidney Cemetery in Linwood, Kansas.

Kathy died Sunday, June 7 at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City.

Kathy was born April 9, 1959 in Alexandria, Virginia, to Jack and Carol Pickerel. She lived in various states growing up and graduated from Linwood High School in 1977. She worked in various careers throughout her life, including being a travel agent in the 1980s, a paraprofessional in the Tonganoxie school district in the 1990s, and a manager at a veterinary supply store in the 2000s.

She married Russell Davidson on July 30, 1977 in Linwood, Kansas, and they remained faithful to each other for 42 years until her passing. They had two children together, Lindsay in 1985 and Spencer in 1988, and lived happily together on the Davidson family farm outside of Linwood.

Kathy is survived by her husband Russell; her mother, Carol; her daughter Lindsay and her husband Nathan, along with their children Landon and Piper; her son Spencer and his wife Katie, along with their son Luke; her older brother Scott and his wife Betty; her younger brother Mark and his wife Linda, along with their sons Matthew and Alex.

Friends may call from 9:00 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday at the funeral home.

The family suggests donations to the Nazih Zuhdi Transplant Institute at Integris Baptist Medical Center in Oklahoma City, sent in care of the funeral home.

Jonathan Andrew Billig

The exciting moments of pregnancy have turned to sorrow and loss with the death of our baby boy, Jonathan Andrew Billig on June 2, 2020. He was a much anticipated member of our family and his sister Abigail was delighted to have a sibling. However he was too bright a star and wasn’t ready for this world. He will forever be in our hearts.

He leaves behind his loving family: Parents Shane and Kyla Billig, Sister Abigail Chester, Maternal Grandparents Karen and Kurt Dieffenbach and Steven and Jodi Adams, Paternal Grandparents Karla and Allen Williams and Doug and Esther Billig, numerous Great-Grandparents, several Aunts and Uncles and other loving family and friends.

We want to thank the doctors and nurses at the KU Medical Center and particularly Dr. Winchester and RN Lauren Galvin for the support and care during this difficult time.

Dean M. Kirkman

Dean Milton Kirkman, 93, passed away on Friday, June 5, 2020, at The Windsor of Lawrence, KS.

Dean was born in Linwood, KS on March 26, 1927, to George and Alma Kirkman. When he turned 18 in 1945, he enlisted in the Navy and served in the Philippines in the Pacific.

He married Johanna Coleman, a long time childhood friend from Linwood in September 1949. They had a daughter, Deana. She survives. Johanna passed away in October 2000 after 51 years of marriage.

Dean worked from 1949 until his retirement as the rural U.S. mail carrier for the Linwood area. He loved driving the mail route and experiencing the changing seasons. Dean traveled every summer with his family to many different states to visit relatives and friends. He enjoyed watching football and basketball games at Linwood High School. He played on the town basketball team for several years, coached girls’ softball and later enjoyed watching friends play slow pitch softball in Bonner Springs. He bowled on several teams in Lawrence from 1963 until the early 2000s. In 1988, Dean and Johanna moved to Lawrence to live closer to their daughter, Deana and her family. They joined First Baptist Church and were active members there for many years.

Dean married Patsy Anderson in January 2004. She survives. Other survivors are a grandson, Scott Bowen (Jarinthorn), Bangkok, Thailand, Kelly Bowen (Torrie Fassnacht), Lawrence, three great grandchildren: Koby Owen, Jonah Owen and Dylan Fassnacht all of Lawrence.

No public service is planned. A private gathering will take place at a later date.

Rev. Donald L. Conrad

Donald Luther Conrad was born July 20, 1929 in Chicago, IL, to Rev. Theodore and Alice Conrad. He was named and claimed in baptism as a beloved child of God August 4, 1929. He was raised in a parsonage family, first living in Rush City and then St. Peter, MN, where he completed high school, and entered Gustavus Adolphus College in 1945, graduating cum laude in 1949. Don attended Augustana Theological Seminary in Rock Island, IL, beginning in the fall of 1949, with an internship in Galesburg IL, and a year in Europe (June 1952-August 1953). He graduated in May 1954 and was ordained into the Augustana Evangelical Lutheran Church, June 20, 1954. His first call was at Bethel Lutheran Church in Bemidji, MN and Zion Lutheran Church (Hart Lake) Cass Lake, MN, where he served July 1954 to January 1959.

While at the seminary, he met Janice Young of Frewsburg, NY, to whom he was joined in marriage July 7, 1956.

His second call was to Messiah Lutheran Church in Lindsborg, KS, where he served from 1959 until 1965. The call was expanded to serve also Freemount Lutheran Church, rural Lindsborg. In August 1965 he began 27 years of ministry as Lutheran Campus Pastor at the University of Kansas. After retiring in 1992, Don was summoned by the MO-KS Synod to serve interim ministries from 1992 at St. Mark’s Lutheran (Kansas City, MO), Lord of Love Lutheran (Belton, MO), All Saints (Blue Springs, MO), Faith Lutheran (Prairie Village, KS), Reformation Lutheran (Wichita, KS), First Lutheran (Topeka, KS), Holy Cross (Overland Park, KS), Gloria Dei Lutheran (Kansas City, MO), Atonement Lutheran (Overland Park, KS), Resurrection Lutheran (Prairie Village, KS), St. Mark’s (Emporia, KS), and concluding in 2012 at St. Paul’s Lutheran (Valley Falls, KS).

Over the years, Don and Jan travelled to many destinations in Europe, Africa, Central and South America. Among these were Lutheran World Relief tours to Peru and Bolivia, Kenya and Tanzania, and to Palestine and Israel. After a stroke in December 2019, Don died at Brandon Woods Retirement community in Lawrence, early on June 4, 2020, at age 90.

Surviving family includes his wife Janice (Lawrence) of nearly 64 years, children David (Pollyann), Olathe, KS, Julie (Harmon) Abrahamson, Grand Forks, ND, Anne (Alan) Hageman, Topeka, KS, and Rev. John (Ellen) Conrad, Floresville, TX; 12 grandchildren Nicole Conrad, Melissa (Matt) Galbraith, Mark Conrad, Joel (Dorea Ruggles) Abrahamson, Kit (Reina) Abrahamson, Peter (Brittney) Atoms, Sarah (Joshua) Lozier, Brian (Bandana) Hageman, Emilie Boutry, Colette (Ben) Tenenboim, Natalie (Jacob) Mikami, and Pierre Boutry; 9 greatgrandchildren, and brothers Paul Conrad (Burnsville, MN), and Tom Conrad (Brookings, OR), and sister in law Donna Mae Conrad (San Jose, CA). He was preceded in death by sister Dorothy Gaard, and brother Norman Conrad.

Memorials are requested to be given to Trinity Lutheran Church in Lawrence, KS, or to Lutheran World Relief.

A memorial service will be held at a later date.