John G. VanDiest

It is with heavy hearts that we inform you of the passing of John G. VanDiest, 85, of Lenora, Kansas, on Sunday, November 26, 2023, surrounded by his family. He was born in Lenora, Kansas, on August 23, 1938, son of T.H. and Helen (Bennett) VanDiest. John grew up in Lenora, graduated from Lenora High School in 1956, and graduated with a degree in psychology from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska, where he also played football.
In June of 1964, John married Patricia Hardiek of Norton, Kansas. They built their home in Lenora and together they raised two children, Teresa and Greg. John served in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, and was active in the community as president of the Jaycee, Chief of the Lenora Volunteer Fire Department, Lenora City Council member, and little league baseball coach.
He spent his life in the farming/ranching industry, fertilizer business, and owner/operator of VanDiest Grain. He remained active with his farming and cattle operation until his health declined in recent years. John never met a stranger or foe, as evidenced by his loyal customers and he treated them all with respect and fairness. Never a bad word can be associated with the name, John VanDiest.
Always an avid sports fan, John never missed a game and supported his teams 100%, even if their performance was less than stellar. We remember dad fondly sitting in his chair with his “Go Big Red” cup, and later changing it to a blue cup (for obvious reasons)!
John is survived by his wife Pat; daughter, Teresa (VanDiest) Akin and husband Danny of Thornton, Colorado; son, Greg VanDiest and special friend Denise of Eudora, Kansas; three grandsons, of whom he was tremendously proud — Ben VanDiest, Wichita, Kansas, Zakary VanDiest; Eudora, Kansas, and Chase Akin, Thornton, Colorado. Other survivors include a sister, Marian Nuernberger of Lincoln, Nebraska; two brothers-in-law, Roger Hardiek and wife Bev and Jim Frack, all of Norton, Kansas; three sisters-in-law, Lisa Hardiek, of Las Vegas, Nevada, Connie Dreyer and husband Roger, and Cathy McMillin, all of Hays, Kansas; and many nieces and nephews.John was welcomed to his heavenly home by his parents, T.H. and Helen VanDiest; his parents-in-law, Virg and Irene Hardiek; three brothers-in-law, Bill Nuernberger, Rick Hardiek, and Danny McMillin; two sisters-in-law, Kay Berls and husband Jerry, and Rhonda Frack, and many cousins and lifelong friends. There surely were hugs all around and maybe a drink or two when he arrived!
A private ceremony at the Lenora South Cemetery will be planned at a later date. The family suggests memorials be made to the Arthritis Foundation, in lieu of flowers. In honor of our dad John, and dear friend to many, we ask that you raise a glass to toast the life of this amazing man on Friday, December 15 at 7:00 p.m. We will miss his witty sense of humor and his smile that lit up the room, more than words can say! We look forward to the day we will all be together again.