Wesley Benson ‘Bence’ Williams

Wesley Benson Williams “Bence” of Lawrence died peacefully in his home May 10, 2020. He was born to Paul and Doris Williams on September 26, 1941.

Bence attended and graduated from Burlington, Kansas High School and Emporia State University. He was a proud Kansan who enjoyed his family, music, and the outdoors. He valued education and pursued knowledge throughout life. Bence was a funny man who told wonderful stories and never met a stranger.

Bence was preceded in death by his wife, Sharon Kathleen Butcher, whom he married in 1969.

Survivors include his four children, Dan Bruch, Emporia, Rob Land, Katy, TX, Deb Rogers, Lawrence and Amy Parise, Leawood. Six grandchildren, Jake, Piper, Darian, Jimmy, Olivia and Hayden.

A private graveside service was held May 12, 2020, in Waverly, Kansas.

Dorothy Jean Coffman Ertl

Graveside services for Dorothy Jean Coffman Ertl, 87, Linwood, will be 11 am, Monday, May 18, 2020, at Oak Hill Cemetery.

She died May 9th, 2020, at her daughter’s home in Lawrence KS.

Dorothy was born September 16, 1932, the daughter of Arthur Pine and Velma Faler.

She retired from Hallmark Cards in Lawrence after 39 years of service.

Dorothy Married Gene Coffman in August 1950, he preceded her in death in 1976. She married Al Ertl in 1991 and he died in 1994.

Survivors include three children, Linda Radford, Lawrence, Judi McCartney (Richard), Perry, Randy Coffman (Shirley), Topeka; her sister Donna Turner, Lawrence; brother Arthur Pine (Margie), Olathe; Five grandchildren, Eleven Great Grandchildren, and a Great Great Grandson.

Friends may call from 9am-8pm on Saturday and Sunday.

Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

James Allen “Jim” Schneider

James Allen Schneider, 77, of Lawrence, KS, passed away on May 5, 2020 in the comfort of his family. Jim was born August 10, 1942 in Green Bay, WI, the son of Allen and Harriet (Van Den Eng) Schneider. In the early years of his life, Jim grew up on a farm that his father share cropped, initially having no running water or plumbing. From age 8 through nearly 18, he lived in the small farming community of Forest Junction, WI (population 300). Alongside his father, he worked in his grandfather’s blacksmith shop and hardware store. Jim graduated from Brillion High School in 1960 and shortly after, just before his 18th birthday, joined the Navy serving three years as an electrician’s mate on the USS Fulton (AS-11).

Following the Navy, Jim traveled throughout Europe and later attended mixology school in Milwaukee, WI. Jim treated his friends and family to specialty cocktails utilizing his mixology skills for years to come. Escaping the Wisconsin winter, Jim, just 23, relocated to Santa Barbara, CA in 1965 where he worked for Bell Phone Company and focused on earning a higher education. Jim earned a degree at Santa Barbara City College, as well as a bachelor’s degree from San Francisco State. Jim was awarded a full ride scholarship to Kansas University’s graduate program to study clinical psychology, earned his Ph.D. in 1974, and served as staff psychologist and managed the intern training program at the VA Medical Center in Leavenworth, KS from 1974 until 1986.

Jim had the education and mind of a psychologist, but at his core was an entrepreneur with an eye for possibility. Just after completing his Ph.D., Jim came across the opportunity to own his first property in Lawrence, KS. He followed his newfound passion of the rehabilitation and preservation of older homes with an intention to rent to individuals and families with shared appreciation for the historic structures. Jim had a unique ability to not only see potential, but he had the capacity and drive to execute his vision and bring it to life. He was not afraid of hard work and his passion always left him looking for where he could add character and functionality to each of his projects. In 1977, despite Jim canceling their first date due to a rental emergency, Jim and Lois began dating. They married on June 15, 1980 and have built and managed Schneider Family Rentals for more than 40 years. Together, they purchased and renovated 18 houses containing 43 apartments while raising two daughters, Michelle and Jessica. Jim took great pride in his work and cherished the close relationships formed with local business owners, suppliers, craftsmen, and tenants. It was common to spot Jim in his loaded work truck, at the hardware store, or riding on his lawnmower from property to property.

Not only did Jim have a talent for remodeling, he was also a gifted storyteller. He could use his sharp wit, intellect, and humor to charm loved ones and strangers alike. Jim adored his wife and daughters and lived his life to provide happiness and security for them. He valued their minds and interests. Whether he was passionately researching the family’s next vacation, leaving Aladdin’s Castle Arcade with half the toys in the grab machine, playing contract rummy, or assisting both girls in the process of buying their first homes, his empathy and connection with his daughters and their goals provided him a sense of gratification. He celebrated their successes as if they were his own, instilled a work ethic in them, and assured them they could do anything they set their minds to.

Jim is survived by his wife, Lois, and his daughters, Michelle and Jessica. Jim recently passed the reigns of the family business to Michelle, while Jessica resides in New York City. He is also survived by his brother Don and his sister-in-law Karen of Appleton, WI.

Remember as Jim would say “don’t let the naysayers get you down” (although Jim would have used another choice word that would not be appropriate for print). We will miss you Jim!

Memorial donations in Jim’s name may be sent to the ReStore, 708 Connecticut St, Lawrence, KS, 66044, with checks made payable to ReStore or the Jewish Community Congregation, 917 Highland drive, Lawrence, KS, 66044 memo line reading “In memory of Jim Schneider.”

A service in Lawrence celebrating Jim’s life will be announced and conducted at a future date for family and friends.

Kenneth E. ‘Ken’ Fisher

Memorial services for Kenneth E. (Ken) Fisher, 93, Lawrence, Kansas will be announced at a later date once gathering restrictions are lifted. Burial will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery with military services provided by the American Legion. Ken died peacefully on May 6, 2020, at Bridge Haven in Lawrence.

Ken was born January 6, 1927, the son of Samuel and Lilias Fisher. He was raised in the Alta Vista, Kansas community. He served 2 years in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After the war he used the G.I. Bill and secured his first college degree in education from Kansas Wesleyan University in Salina.

His first year of teaching was in a one room school in Morris County, Kansas. He then moved to Council Grove, Kansas and while there for 10 years he was a teacher, a principal, and the Superintendent of the city school system. While in Council Grove he attended Emporia State Teachers College and secured his Master’s degree in Education.

Ken moved to the Lawrence School system in 1961 and was principal of the Sunset Hill Elementary School for 7.5 years; principal of Central Junior High for 2.5 years and Assistant Superintendent for Business and Facilities of the district for 19 years. During his time in Lawrence he secured his Specialist in Education Degree from Kansas University.

He retired from the Lawrence School System in 1990 and then taught Kansas Public School Finance and School Management classes in the Graduate School at K.U. for 5 years. During his 45 years in education he served on many state committees. He was president of the Kansas Association of School Business Officials (KASBO) during the 1981-82 school years and awarded their Distinguished Service Award in 1992. He was on many of the legislative committees of the United School Administrators of Kansas (USA) during the 1970s and 1980s. He also served on many local civic committees in both Council Grove and Lawrence.

Ken was preceded in death by 3 of his four siblings, and by his son Michael. He is survived by his high school sweetheart Helen, his wife for 73 years; his son Kenneth Joel and wife Denise; Mike’s wife Linda; 6 grandchildren, Laben, Jess, Jared, Makayla, Ashley, and Tyler; 4 great grandchildren, Kaden, Connor, Miles, and Wyatt; one step great grandchild, Kylie; and a loving network of extended family and friends.

Ken liked to play golf with his friends. And on special occasions he would write poems about his family and friends, and then read the poems at their gatherings. During the past few years Ken stated several times that he has been a lucky and fortunate person in that he has lived a reasonably long and healthy life; has worked in a vocation which he enjoyed very much; and has been blessed with a good and wonderful family.

The family suggests memorial contributions to the Lawrence Schools Foundation, in care of the funeral home, 601 Indiana St., Lawrence, KS, 66044.

Bertha Louise Milleret Wise

Bertha Louise Milleret Wise, 98, Lawrence, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, May 5, 2020 at her home. Born in Leavenworth County on Sept. 7, 1921, she was the youngest child of Lucien (Louie) J. and Mary W. Reimer Milleret.

Mrs. Wise grew up on a dairy farm with four siblings, attended Villa Eden grade school and graduated in 1939 from Linwood High School. While attending Lawrence Business College, she met her future husband, Dick A. Wise. They were married on May 3, 1942 at the First Methodist Church in Lawrence. The couple would ultimately share 63 years on their farm in
Grant Township.

Together, they cleared prairie hills of brush and built a family farm that produced tons of wheat, corn, soybeans, alfalfa and thousands of beef cattle before his passing in 2005. As part of America’s “Greatest Generation”, Dick and Bertha were honored at the National Agricultural Hall of Fame for their role in food production during World War II.

In 1967, the couple was recognized by both the Kansas Bankers Association and the Grassland Management Association for superior soil conservation practices. They were recognized again in 2005 by the Douglas County Conservation District for excellence in land stewardship.
Bertha enjoyed living in the country and continued gardening well into her 90s. She was a member of the United Methodist Church and the Oakridge Birthday Club for over 50 years. She volunteered for several years with the Lawrence Memorial Hospital Auxiliary. She was also well known for her delicious pies.

Another highlight for Bertha was in the Fall of 1990 when Michael Landon came to their home requesting permission to film on their farm. The movie, “Where Pigeons Go To Die”, was Landon’s last production for NBC and earned an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Cinematography for a Miniseries.
Bertha was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Dick, son Dick Jr, son-in-law Dr. E. Philip Miller, brothers Henry, George and L.J. (Pete) Milleret and sister Marie Hallenbeck.

Surviving family members include her children, Peggy Miller (Chet Warren) of Eudora, Donna Begshaw (Steven) of Lenexa, and Dale Wise (Donna); grandchildren Kyle (Eva) Miller of East Lansing, MI, Trenton (Christy) Miller of Eudora, Brian (Kristy) Begshaw of Allen, TX, Leslie (Chuck) Hall of Crestwood, KY and Hunter (DeAnna) Wise of Overland Park; and ten great-grandchildren.

Bertha was extremely grateful to all the relatives, neighbors and friends whose company she enjoyed throughout her life. She also appreciated
her Yellow Labrador (Duchess) and her Norwegian Forest Cat (Kitty) for the 15 years of “supervision” they provided while she worked in her garden.
By her request, a private inurnment will be held at Memorial Park Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers or donations, her preference was that people just perform acts of kindness whenever they find a need.

Maxine Guenther

Graveside services for Maxine Guenther, 96, Lawrence, will be 1 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2020, at Memorial Park Cemetery.

She died Saturday, May 2, 2020, at Pioneer Ridge Assisted Living.

Maxine was born July 17, 1923, in Eudora, KS, the daughter of Frank Daugherty and Myrtle Ackerman Daugherty. She grew up in Eudora, and married LaVerne H. Guenther on December 20, 1944. He preceded her in death on July 2, 2003.

She did volunteer work at LMH Health and worked along side her husband for many years at the family Jewelry business Guenther Jewelry.

Survivors include Grandchildren, Russ Guenther, Jodie (Cory) Meyersick, Erika (Jace) Thomas, Ryan (Ashlyn) Guenther; great grandchildren, Brandon, Colin, Dylan, Raimey, Kaylee, Kinsley and Colton.

Maxine was preceded in death by her husband, son Randy in 2002 and son Rex in 2003, her brother Wayne.

Memorial contributions may be made to Pioneer Ridge, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Ronald Eugene McKeeman

Ronald Eugene McKeeman, 70, of Council Bluffs, IA, passed away peacefully on April 20, 2020 in Kansas City, KS.

Ron was born in Iowa to Roy and Gertrude McKeeman on July 5th, 1949. He was raised with his 8 siblings and had a modest life. He graduated from Abraham Lincoln High School in 1967 and then joined the US Air Force during the Vietnam War and was stationed in Turkey.

He worked as an exterminator in Council Bluffs, IA, Omaha, NE and surrounding areas for over 30 years with Presto-X. He spent those years building relationships within the communities, and everyone knew “Ron the Bugman.” Upon retirement he loved to travel in his camper with his wife Donna. They spent much of the later years of both of their lives on the road seeing the country and visiting family and seeing grandkids as much as possible.

Ron is preceded in death by both of his parents, Roy and Gertrude McKeeman; his wife, Donna McKeeman; his brother, Rick McKeeman and his sister, Nancy McKeeman.

Ron is survived by his 3 daughters, Keri Cormier, husband Stephen Cormier, Nicole Albaugh, husband Bob Albaugh, and Sara Peters, husband Sean Peters; his 6 siblings, Sharon (Joe) Zahurones, Kathleen (Earl) Rollins, Patricia Wright, Bob (Vicki) McKeeman, Mike (Mary) McKeeman, and Bill (Holly) McKeeman; his grandchildren Cameron Moore 21, Ryan Cormier 19, Paige Albaugh 18, Kyle Cormier 16, Jacob Peters 7, Harper Peters 2. With a large extended family of 24 Nieces and nephews their spouses and children.

There will be a memorial in Council Bluffs, IA at the Hoy-Kilnoski Funeral Home. Date and time of this service will be announced at a later date once restrictions from the Coronavirus are lifted.

Samuel Fredrick “Fred” Grammer

Private family services for Samuel Fredrick “Fred” Grammer, 82, Lawrence, will take place at a later date.

He died Monday, April 27, 2020, at his home.

Fred was born January 23, 1938, near Overbrook, KS, the son of Samuel H. and Ruth May Muckey Grammer.

He graduated from Vinland High School. After this he worked at Stokley Van Camp then Lawrence Paper Company for Forty years before retiring. He also worked for Reuter Organ Company for a few years.

Samuel married Barbara Jean Hiddleston on June 6, 1959, She preceded him in death in April 2016.

Survivors include daughter Holly Siller, Lawrence; son, Larry Grammer, Ottawa; grandchildren Brandon Siler, Lawrence, Crista and Dreya Grammer, Ottawa; siblings Donald (Joyce) Grammer, Lawrence, Sandra (Don), Golden CO.

He is preceded in death by his parents, wife Barbara and an infant daughter in 1960.

Memorial contributions may be made to Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, 601 Indiana Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Andrew (Andy) M. Torres

Andrew (Andy) M. Torres, 89, of Lawrence, Kansas passed away peacefully on April 27, 2020, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.
He was born January 20, 1931, in Albuquerque, New Mexico to Agatha Vigil Torres and Matias M. Torres.

Andy married Georgiana Kathryn Hale on February 12, 1955, who survives of the home. He is survived by his children, Andrew Jr. (DeeDee) Holland, MI, Brian (Janel) Broken Arrow, OK, Laura T. Porter (Rex) Lawrence, and Michelle T. Campbell (Joseph) Aiken, SC, grandchildren Matthew Torres (Camille), Andrea Torres, Bryce Torres (Ashley), Aaron Torres, Kelsey and Breanna Pence, Maegan T. Harrist (Tyler), Michael Campbell, Zachary Pence, Mark Campbell, Grace Campbell, Nicholas Porter, great-grandchildren, Andrew Ty, Tucker, Elijah, Maxwell, Birdie Mae and sisters Mary T. Rupp and Minerva T. White.

Preceding him in death were his parents, Brothers Joseph, and Matias, sister, Evelyn T. Alarid, grandson Alexander Joseph Torres and three nephews.
Andy graduated from St. Mary’s High School in 1948, College of St. Joseph, B.S. 1952, University of New Mexico, M.S. 1958, and Ph.D. from Indiana University 1961. He served as a U.S. Naval Officer from 1952 to 1956 during the Korean War and was stationed in the Panama Canal Zone, San Diego, Seattle and Astoria, OR.

Andy taught at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh, WI 1960-1961; UW-Milwaukee, WI 1961-1964, and the University of Kansas from 1964 to 1996, retiring as Professor Emeritus. Andy made frequent scientific research trips to Mexico, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Tunisia, U.S. Southwest, California, and Alaska. From1969-72 he was Associated Dean of the KU Graduate School, Associate Chairman, Department of Botany 1971-79. He was summer visiting professor at Texas Tech University in 1975, visiting professor at the University of California-Riverside, Fall 1978, Summer visiting professor at Universidad Nacional del Sur, Bahia Blanca, Argentina, summer 1981, visiting scientist in Adelaide and Merbein, Australia in 1984 and 1985, and summer visiting professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder Research Station in 1986 and 1987. Throughout his career he was invited to present scientific presentations and consultations in Australia, Israel, China, Argentina and several U.S. universities. He held a position as senior advisor to the Universidad De Oriente, Cumanà, Venezuela under the Ford Foundation and the University of Kansas, 1966-67 and Chief of Party and Field Representative of Higher Education in the Dominican Republic-AID program in 1968-69. During his career his chief areas of study were taxonomy, genetics and paleobotany. His research was funded by several national and international grants. In 1987-1993 he was an associate editor of the Journal of Heredity and member of several biological societies. Andy was the author of over 85 peer-reviewed and published scientific publications.

Our husband, father, grandparent was a life-long Learner—always fascinated with the world of science, nature and technology. After retirement Andy and Georgiana made frequent trips to visit family, the USA and embarked on many travels abroad. The love he had for his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren filled his heart, and closely followed the progress of their lives. Andy deeply cherished the friendships he had with many around the globe.

Aside from professional interests, he was an avid tennis player since high school and changed to Pickle Ball a few years ago. Andy learned how to sail by studying a book on the subject in Cumanà, Venezuela, later spending years sailing on Clinton and Perry Lakes. He learned to downhill ski at age 47 and earned a Gold Medal in Nastar slalom races at age 64. Andy thoroughly enjoyed biking, hiking in Lawrence and Colorado, computer challenges and repairing anything that needed fixing! At various times in his life he did oil painting, made rock jewelry, stained glass objects, built furniture, constructed a solar-powered water heater and remodeled parts of the family’s homes. He lived by the mantra, “Leave everything better than you found it.”

The family wishes to thank Dr. Blake Conklin, Nurses, staff and aides at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Visiting Nurses of Lawrence, the staff, health Caretakers and Therapists at Brandon Woods, for their loving and excellent care.

Graveside services for family will be held at Pioneer Cemetery this spring when it is possible. A celebration of Life is pending. Memorials may be made to the Visiting Nurses, Lawrence Memorial Hospital or a charity of choice, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Donald Lee Buchanan

Graveside services for Donald Lee Buchanan, 91, Lawrence, will be private.

Mr. Buchanan died Monday, April 27, 2020, at Restwell Home Plus in Oskaloosa, Kansas.

He was born August 3, 1928, in Leavenworth, KS, the son of Perry W. and Geneva Lillian Kuchera Buchanan. He graduated from Basehor High School in 1946.

Mr. Buchanan was as a dairy farmer for the majority of his working life. He enjoyed hunting, fishing in Alaska, traveling, and spending winters in Arizona.

He married Betty Louise Swope on September 10, 1946, at his parent’s home in Leavenworth County. She died earlier.

Survivors include his children, Ed Buchanan and wife Donna of Grantville, KS, Lois Fulkerson and husband Ed of Branson, MO, Douglas Buchanan and wife Shelly of Eudora, KS, Robert Buchanan and wife Diana of Lawrence, KS; sister, Doris Duley of Denver, CO; brother, Richard Buchanan and wife Joan of Leavenworth, KS; cousin and travel companion, Millie Keim of Kremmlin, CO; grandchildren, Kandee, Michael, David, Tarah, Patrick, Troy; great grandchildren, Samantha, Brandon, Olivia, Jonathan, Kathleen, Hayley, Emily, Carly, and Owen.

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; son, Dennis Buchanan; brother, Perry Buchanan Jr.; and grandson, Owen.

The family suggests memorials to Jefferson County Home Health & Hospice, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home & Crematory, PO Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.