The Superior Express -- Jewell County Record


Obituaries published Oct. 11, 2018, in

The Superior Express and Jewell County Record

This week: Richard Markland, Cindy Perez, Betty Lyons, Larry Langer, Mac Diehl, Richard Zentz, Elsie Ruhga, Ladd Gharring, Carolyn Jensen, Debbie Atwood, Max Stierwalt, Geneise Lautenschlager, Gale Belden, David Pettit, Donald Wright, Darlene Thompson

Richard Markland
Richard K. Markland, 91, of Lincoln died last Tuesday. He was an ordained minister for Christian Church Disciples of Christ and a graduate of Phillips University in Enid Okla.
He was Lincoln Bethany Lions Club president in 1995 and 1996; member of First Christian Church, Edgar Lions Club and Bonne Terre Lions Club; district president of Disciples of Christ in Missouri, Kansas and Nebraska; member of Interim Ministry Network and Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska. He was kind, generous and caring for others as much as himself.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Martha; and his daughter, Loretta.
He is survived by his son, Floyd Markland, Weeping Water.
Funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church in Lincoln, with Pastor Karen Moritz officiating. Burial will be in Wyuka Cemetery. Butherus, Maser and Love Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

Cindy (Willett) Perez
A Superior High School graduate, Cindy (Willett) Perez, 61, died early Monday at Overland Park, Kan. Her funeral is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, at the Megrue-Price Funeral Home, Superior.

Betty Lyons
Funeral services for Betty J. Lyons were held Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, at 11 a.m. at the Alma United Methodist Church in Alma, Neb., with Pastor Jim Bendorf officiating. Interment followed at the Alma Cemetery.
Betty Jean Lyons, 93 years of age, of Hastings, Neb., formerly of Alma, died Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, at the Good Samaritan Society Hastings Village. Betty was born July 13, 1925, to Victor Albion and Amanda Sophia (Hall) Isaacson in Republic County, Kan. She was raised on a farm near Scandia, Kan.
On May 1, 1945, she married Marion Junior Lyons in Mankato, Kan. He died in 1973. To this union were born seven children. The first, Gary Lee, died as an infant from a heart defect. The couple lived in Heartwell, Neb., and Superior, Neb., before moving to Hastings. Then moved to Aurora, Neb., for a few years before Junior died.
Betty moved to Alma from Taylor Manor after Junior's death. She spent many years as a cook at the Flying H and at Bugbee's in Alma. She loved being around people and hearing their stories. Betty also loved reading and doing crafts, especially making seasonal wreaths and crosses.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents; a sister; four brothers; son-in-law, Bill Robison; and two former sons-in-law, O'Neil Sweeney and Ed Sutherland.
Survivors are her children, Lindell "Butch" Lyons (Jarilyn) of Hastings; Linda Waldron (David) of Kearney, Neb.; Gwen Arnett (Layton) of Phillips, Neb.; Vicki Sutherland of Westminster, Colo.; Sandi Hoard (Rodney) of Alma; and Pam Robison of Hastings; 16 grandchildren; 14 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; as well as many nieces and nephews.
Visitation was held on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bauer-Torrey and Mach Funeral Home in Alma, with the family greeting from 6 to 7:30 p.m.
A memorial has been established in Betty's honor and kindly suggested to the family for later designation.
Expressions of caring and kindness can be sent to the family at
The Bauer-Torrey and Mach Funeral Home in Alma was in charge of the arrangements.

Larry Langer
Larry Dale Langer, the son of Frank and Bonnie (McGeary) Langer, was born on March 1, 1966, in Superior, Neb. He died on Oct. 1, 2018, at his home in Webber, Kan., at the age of 52 years and seven months.
A lifelong resident of the Superior community, Larry received his formal education attending Superior grade schools and graduated from the Superior High School. After high school, Larry attended North Central Kansas Technical College at Beloit, Kan., earning degrees in production ag and farm mechanics.
He was united in marriage to Jody Diane Rust on Sept. 19, 1987, in Superior, Neb. To this union, two daughters were born.
Larry was a member of the Webber Wide Awake 4-H club, Superior Jaycees B-B gun team, Webber Wide Awake club leader, Jewell County 4-H Council and Fair Board, Jewell County Saddle Club leader, Kansas Dairy Association, DFA junior leaders, Mid-Am Young Cooperators, Mid-Am DFA delegate, FFA, Superior United Methodist Church, Methodist Youth Fellowship, Superior High School band, Jewell County Burn Group, past exalted ruler of the Superior Elks Lodge.
He earned the 2nd generation FFA State Farmer Degree. Larry was a farmer and dairyman all his life.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Michael; and his father-in-law, Lloyd Rust.
Survivors include his parents, Frank and Bonnie Langer; wife, Jody; and daughters, Jenna and Lacey; sisters, Lisa Boyles and husband, Todd, all of Webber, Kan.; Janelle Sorensen and husband, Jay, of Plattsmouth, Neb.; brother-in-law, John Rust, and wife, Norma; and mother-in-law, Dorothy Rust; nine nieces and nephews; nine great nieces and nephews; other relatives and many friends.
Funeral services were held on Friday, Oct. 5, 2018, at 2 p.m., from the First United Methodist Church in Superior, Neb., with Pastor Natalie Faust officiating.
Recorded selections of "Butterfly Kisses," "Babe," "Far Away" and "So God Made A Farmer" were played.
Pallbearers were Todd Boyles, Jay Sorensen, Cecil Smalley, Scot Montgomery, John Rust, Brian Anderson and Bob Gentry. Honorary pallbearers were all of Larry's nieces and nephews.
Interment was in the Evergreen Cemetery at Superior, Neb.
Memorials will go in care of the family.
Condolences may be sent to Megrue-Price Funeral Home, 750 N. Commercial, Superior, Neb., 68978, or
Megrue-Price Funeral Home of Superior, Neb., was in charge of the arrangements.

Mac B. Diehl
Mac B. Diehl was born the second of three children to Donald Diehl and Lonnie (Lewis) Diehl Buckley in Red Cloud, Neb., July 6, 1952. He died at the age of 66, Oct. 1, 2018, at Otego, Kan. Mac was a lifelong resident of the Northbranch and Burr Oak, Kan., communities. He received his grade school education at the rural school in Northbranch. He graduated from Burr Oak High School with the Class of 1971. After high school, Mac attended North Central Kansas Technical College, Beloit, Kan.
In March 1977, he married Tracie Volker, Burr Oak, Kan. To this union, four girls were born. In 2008, Mac married Cindy Maruniak and resided in Burr Oak. During his lifetime, Mac farmed with his father and managed a fertilizer plant in Northbranch. Last, Mac and Cindy owned and operated a welding and repair shop in Burr Oak. He was a member of the Burr Oak Volunteer Fire Department and belonged to the Northbranch Friends Church.
Mac's friends and family often described him as having the ability to fix anything. Vehicles and machinery with mechanical issues brought challenges and motivation. Any job that required welding, a pair of pliers, a motor or fabricating from scratch were for him. Mac kept very old equipment alive year after year. He often complained that he was born after his time. He was a wonderful storyteller and enjoyed lengthy conversations about almost anything with anyone who took time to listen.
Mac was most proud of obtaining his pilot's license. The hours spent flying while enjoying the company of family and friends were some of his favorite memories. In addition, Mac rode his Harley motorcycles to Sturgis for years and enjoyed road trips or just puttering around Jewell County with Cindy. Being called "MacPa" was an honor and Mac's border collie, Miss Kitty, was much treasured.
While many wonderful memories were made, Mac battled depression since young adulthood. His struggle led to addiction as he attempted to self-treat bouts of despair. While victories were won, ultimately hopelessness affected his life to where overcoming it was not to be.
Preceding Mac in death was his father, Don Diehl. Survivors include: mother, Lonnie Buckley, Mankato, Kan.; wife, Cindy, Burr Oak, Kan.; children, Amanda Diehl, Lincoln, Neb., Emily Diehl, Gardner, Kan., Eden Diehl, Lincoln, Neb., and Ivy Diehl, Lincoln, Neb.; sisters, Regi and husband, David Wieland, Oakley, Kan., and Angie and husband, Ray Holzmeister, Oakley, Kan.; grandchildren, Emmett Russell and Eli James Kowalewski; Tatum and Ethan Weiser; and his beloved dog, Dudley. Celebration of life service for Mac B. Diehl were held Saturday, Oct. 6, at 11 a.m., at Northbranch Friends Church, Northbranch, Kan., with pastors, Jonathan Harkness and Rod Rose, officiating. Music selected for the service included Theme Song from Gunsmoke, "Go Rest High On That Mountain" by Vince Gill, "When You Get Where You're Going" by Brad Paisley, "Once in a Blue Moon" by Thomas Earl Connley and "In The Arms of An Angel" by Sarah McLachlan. Casket bearers were Steve Cosand, Larry McMains, Justice Cummings, Cori Gunn, Glen Nance and Steve Billenwillms. Interment was in the Northbranch Friends Church Cemetery, Northbranch, Kan. Visitation was Friday, Oct. 5, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Melby Mortuary, Mankato, Kan. The family received friends at the mortuary from 4 to 6 .m. Friday. The family suggests memorials be given in care of Melby Mortuary. Online condolences to Melby Mortuary, Mankato, Kan., was in charge of the arrangements.

Richard Dean Zentz
Richard "Dick" Zentz, 70, of Caledonia, Miss., died Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, at Aberdeen Hospital in Aberdeen, Miss., just two days shy of his 71st birthday. Dick was born Sept. 9, 1947, to the late Robert A. and Gayle (Tarvin) Zentz in Beloit, Kan.
Dick attended the public schools in Jewell, Kan., and graduated from high school in 1965. Immediately after high school graduation, Dick enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and made a career of military service. Dick's military service let the small town boy see the world, having traveled to Greenland, Antarctica, Brussels, Paris, Azores, Viet Nam, Guam, Bangkok, Denmark, Bermuda and across the USA, just to mention a few. Dick received numerous medals and awards during his military career.
His specialty was the weather wing and after his retirement from the military service on Sept. 1, 1988, he went to work for the Department of Defense in a civilian capacity but still watching the weather. Dick served 23 years in the Air Force and 23 years in civil service. He was named Air Force Weather Civilian of the Year in 2008. He retired from the civilian service in 2013 and continued to make his home in Caledonia, Miss.
Dick was an avid hunter, a love that was instilled in him as a child growing up on the farm in Jewell County, Kan. He probably began by hunting rabbits with his dad and brothers and as recently as two years ago, made the trip back to Kansas to hunt deer.
Dick is survived by his brother, Robert, of Eatonville, Wash.; brother, Ronald, and wife, Pat, Jewell, Kan.; sister, Peggy Stubbins, and husband, Terry, of Frankston, Texas; and sister, Linda Wade, and husband, Mike, Stephenville, Texas; nieces and nephews, and his close friend and hunting buddy, Stephen Johnston, and family.
A memorial service will be held Oct. 20, 2018, at 11 a.m., at the Jewell Christian Church, 113 Main, Jewell, Kan., with a lunch following at the church. The family requests that friends join them at the lunch for a time of visiting. Inurnment will be at the Jewell Cemetery west of Jewell.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Jewell American Legion.

Elsie Ruhga
Elsie M. Ruhga 93, of Grand Island, died on Friday. She was born on May 19, 1925, in rural Deweese, the daughter of Frank and Mary (Petr) Drudik.
Elsie grew up in rural Deweese and graduated from Lawrence High School. She continued her education and earned her teaching certificate from Kearney College. Elsie taught in country schools in rural Nuckolls County until she was married.
On Dec. 4, 1951, she was united in marriage to Marvin Ruhga. The couple made their home on the family farm.
Elsie was a devoted and loving mother. She was active in many of her children's activities. She continued to teach and for many years was a Sunday school teacher and volunteered for Girl Scouts. She liked to read into the early morning hours and kept her mind sharp with word searches. Elsie will be remembered for her quick wit and baking skills.
She is survived by her daughters, Mrs. Wally Veburg (Patricia) of Hordville and Mrs. Mike Hagmann (Sue) of Grand Island; two grandchildren, numerous extended family and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Marvin; son, Richard Ruhga; sister, Frances Drudik; and two infant brothers.
Visitation was Monday, with a prayer service following. Pastor Mark Oberbeck officiated. Burial was Tuesday in the Nelson Cemetery.

Ladd Gharring
Ladd E. Gharring, the son of Ivan and Verleen (Whiteley) Gharring, was born on Nov. 3, 1944, at the Maternity Home in Nelson, Neb. He died on Oct. 4, 2018, surrounded by his loving Mosaic family in York, Neb., at the age of 73 years, 11 months and one day.
He went to live at Beatrice State Home in 1950. In the fall of 2012 he moved to Mosaic Meadowlark Home in York, Neb., where he received much love and wonderful care until his death.
He is survived by his parents, Ivan and Verleen Gharring of Greenville, Mich., a sister, Dee Ann (Bill) Piper of Sheridan, Mich., two nephews and their families.
Cremation has taken place and a graveside service will be held later in Nelson, Neb.
Memorials are suggested to go to the family.
Condolences may be sent to Klawitter-Price Funeral Home, 446 South Main St., Nelson, Neb., 68961, or
Klawitter-Price Funeral Home of Nelson, Neb., was in charge of the arrangements.

Carolyn Jensen
Carolyn Ruth Jensen, 87, has died. She was born Dec. 1, 1933, at her grandparents' home in Iowa. She attended Hazel Dell No. 6 Country School and Underwood Consolidated High School where she met Robert Messerli. They were married Feb. 8, 1952. She worked at Council Bluffs Savings Bank. Bob had been drafted into the Army and Carolyn followed him to Kansas and finally to Germany.
When Bob returned home, they bought their first house in Council Bluffs, where their first child, Paula, was born. Peggy and Timothy followed,
and the family of five moved to Staplehurst, and then to Edgar in 1962.
Carolyn stayed home raising the children. Soon after, Tad, Ty and Trudy were added to the family. She liked sewing, flowers, birds and butterflies.
Carolyn was preceded in death by her parents.
Survivors include her husband, Bob Messerli of Edgar; her sister, Donna Sherbondy of Colorado Springs, Colo.; her children, Mrs. Craig Johnson (Paula) of Independence, Mo., Mrs. Roger Rumsey (Peggy) of Oak, Tim Messerli of Edgar, Tad Messerli of Edgar, Ty Messerli of Westminster, Colo., and Mrs. Jon Kamler (Trudy) of San Antonio, Texas; 17 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Funeral was held Saturday at Williams Funeral Home Chapel in Edgar, with Pastor Eldon Shetler officiating. Burial was in the Edgar Cemetery. Williams Funeral Home of Edgar was in charge of the arrangements.

Debbie S. Atwood
Debbie S. Atwood, 59, died last Wednesday at Smith County Memorial Hospital. She was born Oct. 4, 1958, in Smith Center, the daughter of Bernard Emery and Stella Margaret (Morgenstern) Crissman. She graduated from Lebanon High School in 1976. Debbie worked in customer service for most of her life, at Midway Co-op, Lebanon Grain, Guide Rock Co-op, Frieling Grain, MPK Land and Livestock and The Peoples Bank.
Debbie kept herself busy with hobbies; she rode horses and motorcycles throughout her life. She enjoyed do it yourself projects and working on her home with her brother, Dan. Debbie liked to plant flowers around her home. Debbie was a great cook. She liked to make sweets, especially during the holidays, and cook holiday dinners. She had a passion for keeping everything neat and tidy. Whether it was inside her house or around the outside, she was constantly cleaning and making her home look great.
Debbie was preceded in death by her parents; and a great-nephew, Brandon Crissman.
Survivors include her son, Justin Atwood, Lebanon; daughter, Mrs. Wes Woerner (Wendy), Burr Oak; brothers, Jerry Crissman, Salina, and Dan Crissman, Smith Center; two grandchildren; four nephews, two nieces, numerous other family members and friends.
Funeral was held Saturday at All Faiths Funeral Chapel, Smith Center, with Pastor Jon Harvey officiating. Private family inurnment was in Price Cemetery, Lebanon.

Max Stierwalt
Max Dale Stierwalt, 81, died Sept. 24 in Hebron. He was born to George W. and Myrtle (Hatten) Stierwalt on April 14, 1937, in Ruskin. Max quit school in order to help his family, working a variety of jobs at a young age. He was married to Phyllis Rae Issacson on Sept. 27, 1954. They raised three daughters together.
Max worked several jobs at once to support his young family. He worked at the Hebron City Cemeteries, the telephone company and as a city cop
at night. During his spare time, he bought houses in Hebron, moving his
family into a house while he remolded another one, then selling it to move on to the next. Max did this in approximately 26 houses. His family learned to move quickly, even if that meant moving a decorated Christmas tree in the back of a pickup truck.
He had many hobbies, but his favorite was buying and selling vehicles. His family would take bets as to how long before he trades it.
Max was preceded in death by his parents, George and Myrtle; his wife of more than 60 years, Phyllis; his brother, Danny; and a nephew, Brad. Survivors include his daughters, Mrs. Rob Sandersfeld (Peggy) of Beatrice, Cindy McGinty of Juanita, and Mrs. Greg Bures (Bonnie) of Geneva; eight grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; siblings, Bill Stierwalt, Beatrice; George Stierwalt, Jr., Superior; Sue Renter, Valley; Mary Wheland, Nelson; and JoAnn Rothchild, Superior; several nieces and nephews; other relatives and friends.
Max's wishes were for direct cremation followed by a private family inurnment in Hebron City Cemetery.

Geneise Lautenschlager
Geneise Ruth Lautenschlager, 99, has died. She was born on a farm near Davenport on July 13, 1919, to John and Bertha (Sanner) Lautenschlager.
Geneise was baptized and confirmed in the Christ Lutheran Church of Davenport by Pastor Dumler. She attended country school near Davenport and graduated from Davenport High School in 1937.
Geneise was married to Vere Tucker McLaughlin Dec. 31, 1936. Six children were born to this union: Jack, Ralph, Lyle, Gary, Linda and Terry. She resided in and around Davenport until her family purchased a farm near Hebron in 1945.
Geneise was preceded in death by her husband Vere; her parents; a son, Terry; a grandson, Kurt; and brothers, Roy and Jarvis.
Geneise married Walter Hendershot in 1965, Walter died in 1985. She was united in marriage to an old high school friend in August 1987, Elmer Braun. They enjoyed many trips together including a visit to Europe and a trip through the Panama Canal.
Geneise was Past Worthy Matron of Eastern Star, Manager of Blue Rivers Area Agency in Hebron for 10 years. She served as past president of
the Women's Achievement Club. She taught Sunday school and was president of the church women. She helped serve election day dinners for many years at church. She also did volunteer work for the hospital guild. She had many hobbies, including quilting, gardening, playing cards and attending Legion Club dances.
Survivors include her sons, Jack McLaughlin, Fort Scott; Ralph McLaughlin; Lyle McLaughlin, Hebron; Gary McLaughlin, Lincoln, Neb., and daughter, Linda Simonsen, Hebron; 20 grandchildren; her brother, Irl Lautenschlager, Cater Lake, Iowa; sisters, Mrs. Don Finke (Sylva), Lincoln, Neb., and Marlene Claycamp, Edgar; numerous great-grandchildren, cousins, nieces, nephews and friends.
Funeral was, Sept. 4 at the First Community Church in Hebron, with Pastor Steven Speichinger officiating. Burial was in Rose Hill Cemetery, Hebron.

Gale Lynn Belden
Gale Belden, 71, died last Tuesday at Jewell County Hospital in Mankato. The son of Harold and Eleanor (McCorkle) Belden, he was born July 20, 1947, in Red Cloud. He had a younger brother, David.
Gale attended grade school and high school in Burr Oak. After high school, he attended Kansas State University with two scholarships. He lived in the Maitland E. Smith Scholarship House at KSU. He dropped out of college to join the Kansas National Guard in Smith Center and returned to Burr Oak and farm with his parents. He served in the National Guard for 12 years.
Gale drove the mail star route from Concordia to Esbon 1972 to 1976. In 1976, he began electrical school at North Central Kansas Technical School. After graduation in 1977, he went to work for the Hutchmaster in Lincoln, Kan. In 1979, Gale married Cheryl Sheridan. To this union, one son was born, James Leroy Belden. Gale and Cheryl divorced in 1982.
Gale graduated from Cloud County Community College in 1983. He then took distance learning classes and graduated from K-State in 2000. He worked for Mankato Livestock from 1981 to 1987, when he went to work for the Jewell County Rural Water District as the manager. He worked there until his retirement.
Funeral was held yesterday (Wednesday) at 5 p.m. at the Burr Oak Cemetery. Melby Mortuary, Mankato, was in charge of the arrangements.

David Pettit
David Carroll Pettit was born Oct. 4, 1942, on the farm in Jewell County, Kan., to Irvin and Ellis (Lentfer) Pettit. David died Oct. 6, 2018, at the age of 76 years and two days.
His first eight years of school were at the Oak Creek School in Harrison Township. Dave graduated from Burr Oak High School in 1960. After graduation, Dave joined his father in the family's farming operation.
He served in the National Guard from 1963 to 1969. After serving he returned to farming. At this time he was blessed with three children, Dawn, Corey and Michelle.  Dave was united in marriage to Virginia (Garman) Oct. 3, 1987. Virginia's children joined the family, Bob, Doug, Janet and Steve. 
Dave spent 25 years operating cafes and an antique store. He was a member of the Cuba American Legion and Harmony United Methodist Church in Mankato, Kan.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Faye Brown and Phyllis Schutte; brothers, Irvin, Ellis, Paul and Alan Pettit. He is survived by his wife Virginia, Kansas City, Mo.; his son, Corey Pettit, Clay Center, Kan.; two daughters, Dawn and husband, Dan Morley, Belleville, Kan., and Michelle Kumbera, Granite, Ark.; step-children, Bob Burns, Doug Burns, Janet Cox and Steve Burns; four grandchildren; two great-grandchildren; five step-grandchildren; brother, Russell Pettit, Lubbock, Texas; sister, Dixie and husband, Ron West, Manhattan, Kan.; brothers-in-law, Bill Brown, Montgomery, Minn., and Ray Schutte, Hastings, Neb.; a sister-in-law, Judy Pettit, Superior, Neb.; and a host of other relatives and friends.
A celebration of life service was held Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2018, at 2 p.m., at Harmony United Methodist Church, Mankato, Kan., with Pastor Rod Rose officiating. Interment was in the Schaffer Cemetery, rural Mankato, Kan., with honors from the Kansas Army National Guard. Visitation was Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Melby Mortuary, Mankato, Kan. Melby Mortuary, Mankato, Kan, was in charge of the arrangements.

Donald J. Wright
Donald J. Wright, 66, Mankato, died last Wednesday at his home in Mankato. He was born May 24, 1952, at Littleton, Colo., to Ralph and Irene Wright.
Don worked for the United States Postal Service before retiring and moving to Mankato. He served his country in the United States Navy from 1971 to 1975.
Don is survived by one son, Nikowa Wright, Denver, Colo.
Cremation service has taken place and Don's remains will be inurned in Colorado at a national cemetery, at a later date.
Melby Mortuary, Mankato, is in charge of the arrangements.

Darlene Thompson
Darlene Thompson, 84, of Jewell, died Monday at Mitchell County Hospital in Beloit.
Funeral will be at 2 p.m. today (Thursday) at the Jewell Christian Church. Visitation was yesterday (Wednesday) at Kleppinger Funeral Home, from 1 to 8 p.m., with the family present from 6 to 8 p.m. Kleppinger Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.

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