The KEARNS Family
Robert & Irene Kearns
Ethel Irene Potter Kunkel Kearns, born in Bliss, Idaho, to Edgar Alexander Potter and Mary Frances Sturges. Edgar's folks, Benjamin Franklin Potter and Corthelia Lucretia Hall, lived in Oregon. Brother: Ellsworth, Benton, Luther, Orval, Olfy, Frank, and Rosell. Ella Mae Denick born in Bliss, Idaho, married Forrest Luther, have one child, Sharon Kay Keeney, married Dale, two children Kelly and David. Maxine Pearl Breece born in Glenns Ferry, Idaho, now deceased, married Roy Breece had two children, Ronald Royce, and David Roy, each have two sons. Edgar worked on a sheep ranch, then the railroad. Moved to Moline, Kansas, where Richard Royce Potter was born. Mary ran a rooming house and Edgar worked for the railroad. Moved to Sedan, Kansas where Mary's folks lived in the Grafton community. Warrick Sturges and Pearl Zollman, stepmother. (Mary's own mother died when she was five years old and her sister, Ethel Mae was three years old.) Married Cloyd Wallace, had one son George. Step-siblings were: Esther Selters, Charles, Myron, and Paul Sturges. Edgar worked for the county.
Irene and siblings attended Sedan schools, First Christian Church, until leaving home after high school graduation. Irene was in glee club and drum corps, sang in church choir, taught Sunday school in Sedan. Went to Winfield, in 1938 to Nursing School at St. Mary's Hospital, graduating in 1941. Married Hilbert L. (Pat) Kunkel, lived at 1434 E. 5th. Worked as Registered Nurse thirty-six years. Worked with the Udall tornado survivors. We adopted two children: Teresa Lynn, who married Floyd Earl Clarkson, have two children, Misti Dawn, and Bradley Kirk, have lived most of the time at Murfin Clarkson Polled Hereford Ranch north of Winfield, Kansas; Steve Allen Kunkel, who married Judith Hamm and have one daughter, Jennifer Renae and lives in Winfield, where Steve works for the Fire Dept. Teresa is attending El Dorado College and Supervisor of the Day Care Center at First Christian Church.
Hilbert's parents were Rolla Eldon Kunkel and Verna Starkey of Rock, Kansas, both deceased. Siblings: Frances Eldon, married Elsie King, three children Jerry, Eddie, and Eldon; Dorothy Kunkel; Wilber Mike Glenn, deceased, married Virginia England, one son; Helen, married Earl Valentine, two sons and two daughters; Eleanor, married Garland Johnson, two sons, two daughters; Marjorie, married Glenroy Jim Leayman, two sons, two daughters; Meryl Knapp married Cecil Peke, one son, one daughter; Marion Lee, married Norma Lanier, three sons, three daughters; one brother died in childhood.
Hilbert worked for Armour Creamery, Wakefield Oil Co., and Winfield State Hospital in Maintenance Dept., painting until disabled. Died October 12, 1975.
Irene retired from Nursing and married Robert (Bob) Dean Kearns Jan. 22, 1983. They live in the same house, although it has been remodeled. Bob was born in Tisdale, Kansas, attended schools in Winfield, was on the wrestling team, played tennis, attended JUCO. Has been a carpenter, roofer, in the Navy in Hawaii, manager of Merchandise Mart for twelve years. Then together he and Irene bought the store in 1986, she is bookkeeper.
Bob's parents were Raymond and Osie Brooks, now deceased. Three brothers: Donald Ray, married Mary Ann Shelby, children, Donna and Sylvia Ann; Harvey Thomas, married Dorothy, children, Tom and Beverly; Richard Allen, married Leta, children, Alan and Kimberly. All of Winfield.
Bob likes Racquetball, Tennis, Softball, Bowling. Belongs to C of C, Sunrisers Kiwanis Club, First Christian Church, Elks Club. Irene likes bowling, gardening, keeping house, cooking, belongs to Grace United Methodist Church, Circle, St. Mary's Nurses Alumni, Rock Friendly Club, Lady Elk. Bob's children: Kollene De'an married Craig Hall, one step-son, Eric Hall, one daughter, Grace Raean; Kody Glenn Kearns married Debroah Parker, two children, Kaitlyn and Abigail of Wichita. Kollene is a clerk and does the ordering at Merchandise Mart. We are helping with the recycling program at home and the store.
Irene's parents moved eight times while in Sedan. The last one was to Pleasant Valley Nursing Home. Edgar died April 3, 1984, age ninety. Mary died March 8, 1990.
Submitted by Irene Kearns
Scanned out of the Cowley County Heritage book, pg 213.
Tom & Carolyn Ward, Columbus, KS