Audrey McCain Collins, District 6, Hutchinson, died April 14, 2013, at age 94. She joined KAC in 2002 and was a continuing and published member until her death. Collins, who loved to write since childhood, always put her life experiences into her poetry and prose. In 2012 she won three KAC awards, including a first place for the whimsy category. Audrey's writing interests also included memoirs and religion, and she wrote a poem, "The Way I Was" for the American Stroke Connection in 2002, after Audrey had suffered a stroke. In 2004, KAC's Our Way With Words republished it. She also published a book of poetry entitled Pages of Prayer and Praise (2005)—a fine collection of religious poems she wrote over a period of more than 60 years. Her poems draw out the readers' convictions because they reveal examples of the ways her parables in verse can benefit their lives. She was given KAC's Octogenarian Award at the Convention in 2010. Audrey's obituary is available online. 10/14/2013
Sue B. Kimbrel, District 3, Coffeyville, 87, died Tuesday evening, July 12, , 2011, at her home. Mrs. Kimbrel was born October 31, 1923 at Belleville, Kansas to Samuel H. Blair and Mary Katherine "Katie" (Miller) Blair. Sue graduated Belleville High School at the age of 16.. Shortly after graduation, she left for Pasadena, California, where she studied to be an actress at the Pasadena Playhouse. She was later a radio actress and hand model. She moved to Coffeyville in 1986, where she participated in the Searchlight Club and Garden Club-- in which she was active with her husband, Colonel Claude R. Kimbrel (USAF, retired). Sue later joined Kansas Authors Club between 2009 and 2011. She enjoyed sewing, raising African violets, playing piano, and was Past President of the Montgomery Genealogical Society. 8/14/2013
Barbara Ann Curry
, District 2
, passed away at age 91 on
July 16, 2013, from complications of pneumonia.
She is survived by her three children and two sons-in-law.
Barbara was a 1943 graduate of Park College in Parkville, Missouri. She began her professional life working for the War Relocation Department at the Poston Arizona Relocation Camp and taught English and journalism to high school students for two years. When the camp closed in 1945, she served as a relocation aide, and then transferred to Washington D.C., where she worked for the Department of the Interior, Personnel Management.
Barbara married George Curry, from Prescott, Kansas, raised their children in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, and was divorced in 1970.
She became a counselor for the North Kansas City School District. She was able to make use of her love of travel by joining the People To People Ambassador Program, offering educational travel programs to students. From 1970 to 1981, she recruited and led groups of students to serve as goodwill ambassadors on summer trips around the world. She began writing poetry about the people she met and her travels.
Barbara moved to Lawrence in 1995 and was an active member of the Kansas Authors Club from 1993-2008. She continued her life-long love of writing both fiction and non-fiction as a member, and was proud to have won a Free Verse award for her poem, "Accessible of Joy," in 2004. She volunteered in Lawrence’s Small World program, teaching English as a second language.
A memorial service was held at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, Lawrence, Kansas, on August 17,
2013, and Barbara Ann was buried at the Holmes Cemetery in Prescott, Kansas. Her obituary is available online
Helen Louise (Robinson) Long, District 4, Manhattan, passed away at age 90 on June 22, 2013, at Via Christi Village in Manhattan. She was born July 26, 1922, in Tescott, Kansas, took normal school training in Miltonvale, KS, and earned a BS degree in Education and Library Science. She had a career in a variety of library services.
Helen joined KAC in 1985, and held several positions in District 4, including Contest Manager from 1989-1992. She was awarded the 20-year membership and 80+ years of age Awards in 2011. She won various awards for non-fiction stories, articles about drama, and historical research.
Helen was cremated and private family inurnment will be held at a later date in the Riverview Cemetery in Williamsport, MD. Her obituary is available online. 7/12/2013
Robert N. Lawson, Ph.D., District 1, Topeka, passed away at home May 8, 2013, at the age of 84. He had been a continuous KAC member since 1978, serving as District 1 President, 1981/82, and 1987/88. "Bob" progressed to State Vice President in 1988, and State President in 1989. He was given a service award in 1996, and in 2004, a lifetime award. He shared his love of literature and theater through his poems, sonnets and plays, as well as the Washburn University Woodley Press, Inscape, and Kansas Authors Club. Dr. Lawson started teaching at Washburn in 1963 and over 31 years, taught Shakespeare, English Literature, freshman comp, and several years of Japanese literature before retiring Professor Emeritus in 1984. His periodical writings were prodigious in number and scope. Two of his more recent books were The Bridge of Dreams(2009) and The Collected Sonnets of Robert N. Lawson(2004). Lawson's poem "Somewhere Near Abilene" was published online on January 18, 2011, as part of Begin Again: 150 Kansas Poems, a celebration of the Kansas Sesquecentennial. He maintained a Kansas Authors collection on his Washburn University web site that included work by several KAC members. Bob was co-founder, with Eleanor Bell and Keith Denniston, of Washburn University's Woodley Press. He edited and funded the posthumous publication of his good friend the late Bob Woodley's novel Cry to Dream Again, in 2010. His obituary is available online. 5-13-2013
Donald Eugene Mock, Ph.D., District 4, Manhattan, age 74, passed away Monday, April 15, 2013. Doug joined KAC in 2008. His writing subject interests were: academic, memoirs, poetry, fiction, journalism, non-fiction, and technical publications. He published a book of poetry in 2003 entitled People and Places. His writing included many news articles, extension publications, and entomological research papers. His obituary is available online. 4-31-2013
Christie Michelle Breault, District 5, Benton, age 45, passed on Sunday, February 17, 2013. She taught elementary school, and later was a substitute teacher. Christie became a KAC member from 2000 to 2008, and enjoyed writing in the genres of fiction, non-fiction and poetry. Shortly after joining KAC, her knowledge and appreciation of children's literature influenced her appointment to chair the "Writers in the Schools" contest and to manage the "Youth Contest" competition. Christie wrote two books, one of which won the KAC prize for the "First Chapter of Book" in 2003. She was Co-Secretary of District 5, 2002-2003. She also penned first-place prizes for children's stories, rhymed verse and whimsy. Christie won a Service Award in KAC's "Awards of Merit" in 2006. Christie's obituary is available online. Christies "Speaker Bio" is posted online for the 2008 KAC Convention. Also, she was featured on NBC's Today Show on Sept. 2, 2010 and a video clip of the honor is available online. 2-21-2013
Gail Martin, District 5, El Dorado, passed January 17, 2013. She joined KAC in 1991 and was a continuous and contributing member, author, speaker, and bibliographer. The literary genresof non-fiction and poetry were her early writing specialties, but she shifted to bio-bibliography in later years when she became KAC's State Archivist from 1996 to 2005. During these ten years she collected, organized, described and advertised the extant records which she brought together from all KAC Districts. Gail explained her role as Archivist when she presented papers and research-related book talks to state and district meetings. When she took on the persona of Kansas Authors Club charter member, Margaret Hill McCarter, school children were said to believe that Gail portrayed Margaret exactly as she would have lived, acted and wrote.
Her books and articles reflected her fond appreciation of both long-departed and present-day friends and relatives. She grew up in the gas-fields of central Kansas when life during the 30s and 40s was hard and unforgiving. She had little time and energy to write while raising five children, and whatever she put down on paper, she probably threw her notes and jottings away when doing deep cleaning. But when she and her daughter, Cynthia Jo Ross, District 5, Towanda, joined KAC in 1991, Gail's writing began to flourish. She published many of her articles, poems and short stories in such periodicals as Kanhistique, Reminisce, Good Old Days, Golden Years, and KAC's Yearbook. Several years before her death, she published her memoir, My Flint Hills Childhood; Growing Up in 1930s Kansas, (2009), which won the 2010 Ferguson History Book Award of Kansas Authors Club. With her daughters, Cynthia Jo Ross and Virginia Allain, she published Clyde Owen Martin; Family Memories of His Life and Times (2010).
Gail's obituary and guest book link are available online. 1/23/2013 update
Grant Williams, District 3, Arkansas City, died on January 3, 2013. He was a member of KAC since December 13, 2003, and held many district and state offices: KAC State Vice President, 2007-2009; State Newsletter editor, 2008-2009; Poetry Contest Manager, 2007. District 3 Treasurer, 2011-2012. In 2004 he was honored with an "Award of Merit" for achievements in writing both fiction and non-fiction. Among his prolific writings were the following books: Another Day (2011); Another Piece of My Mind (2003); Big Willie (2007); The Boys From Hog Heaven (2006); From My Hand to Your Heart(2006); From My Pencil Box: Children's Moral Poetry (2005); Hog Heaven and Home (2008); Marbles (2010); My Favorite Poems (2005); Pigs and Packinghouses: a Collection of Short Stories and Poems(2008); Playing in the Sandbox: Child's Verses—Children's Moral Poetry(2004); Poems by "a Connecticut Yankee" in Kansas (2009); Summer of '59 (2009); Ten Degrees (2012); Under the Shade Tree: Children's Moral Poetry (2004). Two links to more information online about Grant and his outreach work can be found on the KAC Writers in the Community page and on the Map of Kansas Literature. His obituary and guestbook are also available online. A nice article, "Local author, poet remembered by many," by Foss Farrer, was published on ArkCity.net. A memorial service was Jan. 9, 2013, and Ursula Turner, District 3 president, Coffeyville, spoke in behalf of the club in Grant's honor. She shares a photo from his service (left). A memorial has been established with the American Legion Post #18 in Arkansas City. Contributions may be made through the funeral home. 1/16/2013, update
Dorothy Mae Jenks, District 7, Lakin, died June 20, 2012, in Lakin, KS. Mrs. Jenks was a tax-preparer and published poet. She was a past member of the Lakin City Council and past president of the Kansas Authors Club. She joined KAC in 1983 and retained membership into 2009. KAC honored Dorothy with both the Octogenarian and 20+ years membership awards at the 2012 State Convention, not then known she had previously passed. Word of her death was shared by a daughter. Dorothy's poems are found in many publications, including Midwest Poetry Review, Methodist Life, Capper's Weekly, Baby Life, and the Kansas Authors Club Yearbook. Her obituary was published in the Garden City Telegram and is available online. 12/7/2012
Dorothy A. Turner, District 5, El Dorado, died November 14, 2012, at the age of 97. Dorothy was born July 19, 1915, joined KAC in 1992, and was a member until December, 2003. Dorothy was a member of KAC, joining in 1992 and was a member until December, 2003. She was also a member of Prairie Prose and took correspondence writing class.
She lived near club member and ex-archivist, Gail Martin. The two were great writing friends. Dorothy's obituary is available on the web. 11/21/2012
Naomi Patterson, District 1, Topeka,
passed away on October 17, 2012 in Topeka, KS, at the age of 78. She was a member of KAC between 1999 and 2008, published three books of poetry and won numerous prizes and awards in both national and state competitions. In 2002 she won a KAC Award for her poetry and journalistic writing based on her book of poetry, Thinking Out Loud (Privately printed, 2001). She also won the coveted Nelson Poetry Book Award in 2005 for her poetry book, For Crying Out Loud!!(Privately printed, 2004). Naomi always encouraged the reader to "eavesdrop" while she thinks out loud. Her books and journalistic writings deal with life's hardships and how humans react to them. Contrasting verses illuminate life's ironies and mark her wide-ranging observations on how we recognize the brilliance, yet shortness, of our mortal experiences.
Naomi began writing columns for The Topeka Capital Journal in 1997; her last column, "Dying to know the answers," appeared in late September, 2012. Her obituary is available online. 10/22/2012
Marjorie Doreen Harrington, District 6, Great Bend, passed August 20, 2012, in Great Bend. She was a former member of KAC who joined June, 1999 to 2008. Her chief writing interests were in fiction, history and journalism, and she published two volumes of Autographs of Barton County, and a history of Barton County. Marge, as she was nicknamed, became a stringer for the Great Bend Tribune which led to full-time employment as Women's Editor. She was born in London, England, on January 10, 1921, and attended Harrow Art School and Kilburn Polytechnical College where she actively sought to be a women's clothing designer. After World War II she immigrated to the United States. Later she took wedding photographs which led to the opening of her studio, Marge's Photography. While working full-time for the Tribune, she wrote a weekly column, "It Seems to Me." Marge was also a lay preacher, and she preached in a number of area churches.
Colleen Kelly Johnston, District 5, Wichita, was born Oct. 21, 1932, in Wichita, and died on Aug. 18, 2012. She was 79. She married Phillip Johnston on Sept. 3, 1953, and is survived by her husband, six children, 15 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Johnston was co-founder of the Wichita Chapter of the National Organization for Women and often an advocate for gay rights, historic preservation and other issues.
She had many interests in civic and political life," her son Kelly Johnston said. "Many of those blossomed during the women’s rights movement. I think it was simply that she began to spread her wings to the issues of the world. She had the individualism and character to do that. Her marriage enabled her to take flight."
Colleen had been a regular KAC member since Oct. 10, 1996. Her literary interests lay in poetry, fiction and non-fiction, and her works appeared in numerous <EM>KAC Yearbooks</EM> either as a contributing member or notices of place-winnings among annual contests of poetry and prose. She published a book containing both poetry and prose in Stepping Stones; Moments in a Women's Life (2001), which related to precious moments in her life.
Her obituary is available online. 8/27/2012
Elizabeth L. Nichols, District 1, Colorado Springs, CO, passed July 21, 2012 in Colorado Springs. She was a member of KAC from 1986 to 2010. Her literary interests included children's books, poetry and nonfiction, and she specialized in haiku for which she won KAC's first prize in 1989. Elizabeth also wrote three music education books, two instrumental source books, and numerous articles in professional journals. She was active in District 1 meetings where she often recited her limericks during round-the-room readings. During the October 2009 KAC Convention, Elizabeth earned the "over 80" award and the 20-year continuous-membership award. Read Liz's online obituaries 1 & 2. 7/26/2012
Billy Quincy McCray
, District 5
, passed on June 2, 2012 at the age of 84. He belonged to KAC from 1998 to 2009, and was chiefly interested in the genres of journalism, song lyrics and poetry. He spoke to a District 5 meeting in 2000. Billy was also a retired Kansas State Senator from District 29 in Wichita. Billy's obituary
is available at the Wichita Eagle
Gary Lloyd Hemmingway
, District 1
, succombed to cancer on May 14, 2012, after a brief illness. He joined KAC in 2009, and published two short stories in KAC Yearbooks: "The Roundhouse Men" in 2011, and "Kathy's Pancakes" in 2012. Gary was a teacher, a preacher, and spent 21 years as a computer program analyst for Boeing in Wichita (1980-1994), Cornbelt in McCook, NE (1994-1997), and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas in Topeka (1997-2001). He had a full time teaching position with New Directions Learning Academy in Topeka, retiring in 2011 to return to substitute teaching and had been teaching as recently as February, 2012. Gary's wife of 50 years, Glory Hemmingway, and children Reaona and Denise all joined KAC and regularly attended District 1 meetings, where Gary's presence will be greatly missed. Gary's obituary
is available at the Topeka Capital-Journal
web site. 5/21/2012
Margaret A. Shauers, District 6, Great Bend, died March 17, 2012, at her home. Freelance author and novelist, Margaret published novels, short stories, poetry, and also non-fiction.
She worked as staff writer at Barton County Junior College in Communication Department, taught Creative Writing @ Barton County Community College. She also published in periodicals, particularly Sunday School children's material. Her funeral was held in Great Bend on March 20, 2012, at First Presbyterian Church. Margaret was active in KAC, joining as a regular member in 1972 and receiving the Octogenarian Award in 2010. In 2009 she received the over 20 years membership award. She was the State Contest Manager in 1975-76,
and the State non-member contest manager in 1986. She was also active in various KAC District and State positions. She will be greatly missed. Margaret's memory page is available online.
Dr. William "Joe" McFarland
, District 1
, joined KAC in 2009, but passed January 27, 2012 at age 82. A 1951 graduate of Sterling (Kansas) College, he lettered in five sports. Joe was drafted into the Army from 1951 to 1953 and served 16 months in Korea. He later earned an M.A. degree at the University of Northern Colorado, and a doctoral degree at Indiana U
niversity. He also received honorary doctorates from Sterling College and Geneva College (Beaver Falls, PA) where he was President Emeritus. Many of his activities have been chronicled in his autobiography, My Time on the Clock; The Shaping of a College President
(2008). The faith, fortune and foibles of the author are humorously presented in this informative and entertaining book. Joe officiated college and high school football games for over 50 years. He won Tri-State Senior Olympic honors in the javelin throw. Physically fit even in later years, he made his first parachute jump at age 70 and his second at age 80. He held a private pilot's license for 25 years, and he also claimed a hole-in-one in golf! Joe's obituary is available online
Irma Wassall, District 5, Wichita, passed away at on Juanary 26, 2012, the age of 103. She had been a member of KAC since 1936,and served as President of District 5 in 1955. Wassall was born September 23, 1908. More than 1,000 of her poems have appeared in newspapers, magazines, anthologies and her six collections of published poetry. Her first collection, Loonshadow, was published in 1949; her latest, The Ruby-Emerald Jungles, in 1999. She received the Kansas Governor's Art Award in 2001 at the age of 92. Her husband, Fred Wassall, was a painter. He died in 1970. Irma's obituary is available online. Her memorial service was held at Picadilly Market & Grille on Feb. 5, 2012. The Wichita Eagle published an article about Irma's life. A memorial has been established with the Kansas Authors Club in care of 400 S. Pershing, Wichita, KS 67218. 1/30/2012
Nell Nadine McLain, District 7, Satanta, passed Wednesday, November 23, 2011, at St. Catherine Hospital in Garden City. Burial was in the Haskell County Cemetery in Sublette. Nell was a KAC member from 1990 to 2009, and served as secretary of District 7 from 1997 to 2000, and contest manager in 2003. Her literary interests ranged between fiction, poetry and various articles for county newspapers. One poem, entitled "While Picking the Last of the Cherries," originally published by Capper's Weekly in 1987, is reprinted in the KAC Yearbook, 2001.
Ervin E. Grant, District 5, El Dorado, 86, died Sunday, August 21, 2011 at his home. Ervin was born and raised in El Dorado and attended school and community college there. He served in the U.S. Navy and attended St. Thomas University, University of Kansas, and University of Kansas Law School. He joined his father in the practice of law in 1951 and retired after 60 years just two weeks prior to his death. He joined KAC in 2007 and registered his literary interest in fiction novels, religion, short stories and biographical memoirs. Two years ago he began writing a weekly column in the El Dorado Times on the history of Butler County, and is also the author of two books -- Reawakening and Trials of a Small Town Lawyer.
He was given the octogenarian award in 2010. His wife, Mary Jo Grant, also a KAC member, is a poet and non-fiction writer. Ervin's obituary is available in the El Dorado Times.
Margaret Oreta (Holder) Close, District 5, Wichita, died August 12, 2011, at Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, St. Francis Hospital. She was 71. She was a talented dancer in her youth, played church organ, and with Darrell enjoyed vacationing with other friends. Maggie had been a legal secretary, working for several law offices before retiring in 2001. Maggie had been a member of KAC since 2009. Her husband of 50 years, Darrell Dan Close, 69, died just three years earlier than Maggie. Maggie's obituary is available online on the Wichita Eagle website. 8/31/2011
Bertha Caroline Barfknecht Rayburn, District 1, Topeka, died July 12, 2011, at Brewster Place in Topeka. Born on April 25, 1916, in Pipestone, Minnesota, she lived to be ninty-five. A regular member of KAC from 1956 to 1995, she was reinstated from 2005 to 2008. Fiction was her favorite genre, and she served as President of District 1 in 1959. She received a masters degree in education as a reading specialist from Washburn University and worked as a substitute teacher in the Topeka area. She also served on the Topeka Literary Council. Bertha's obituary is available in the Topeka Capital-Journal. 7/15/2011
Laura R. Hannemann Wilbeck
, District 5
, 88, passed away January 27, 2011. She was born in Lincoln, KS, on October 3, 1922. She married Robert A. Wilbeck in 1942. She joined KAC in 1976 and was a Life Member since 1984. Her writing genres included both non-fiction and poetry, as stated on her membership registration card, although no extant examples exist in KAC records.
Laura's granddaughter, Lauren
, has a nice tribute, with photos and a sample of Laura's writing, on her personal blog
Eleanor H. Bell
, 82, of Topeka, passed away on Friday, May 6, 2011, at a Topeka care facility. She was born January 18, 1929, in Wichita. Eleanor was a KAC member from 1980 to 1990, and was D1 President in 1983. In addition to her publications in poetry and non-fiction prose, she was a well-known editor and lecturer. She spoke to KAC districts about writing techniques and how to become a published author. In addition to her many newspaper articles and poems, she authored Secondhand Rainbows
, a collection of poetry and related essays. Her Flights Through Inner Space
, originally published by Washburn University's Woodley Press in 1980, was reissued in an expanded and revised edition in 2000. Her obituary
is posted on-line by the Topeka Capital-Journal
Dorothy Merta Janke
, District 7
, was orn February 10, 1917; died November 20, 2010. Dorothy formerly lived in Russell Springs when she joined KAC in 1956. She specialized in non-fiction and poetry, and won numerous KAC awards for humorous poetry and prose from as early as 1960. She had contributed the following poem, entitled "SEND" to the 2011 KAC Yearbook, before she passed at the age of 93: White envelope / On the pile of mail / Cracks the no-news news. / A clean cut opens it -- / Out come your thoughts / And love rubs off / On my fingers.
, District 3
, Yates Center
, died July 25, 2009. Phyllis was a KAC member since 1994. In that year she won 1st place in the KAC Literary Theme Contest Award with "Excerpts from a Birthday Notebook." She also won 4th Honorable Mention in 2001 for the first chapter in her book, The Place Between
, District 4
, passed away on Tuesday, April 6, 2010. She was 95 and still writing up to a few months ago when she was hospitalized. Her obituary
is available to read on-line. Wanda Molsberry was born in Clarksville, Iowa, and was a graduate of Iowa State University in Ames. She married Herbert Bates, later professor of chemical engineering at K-State. She was a KAC member from 1967 - 2010. She was twice D4 President, 1975 and 1976. Helena Dean Olson was the inspiration for her entering a KAC contest and later joining the Club. She wrote poetry, fiction and non-fiction. She hit her stride in light verse and feature articles and sometimes fiction. She published in Kansas Quarterly
(Iowa State University's English Dept.), and Kansas Review
, District 1
, 84, died on January 22, 2009. A native Topekan, Trudy was a good friend of Kansas Authors Club, attwnding the 2009 KAC Convention in Topeka in October, 2009, where she provided Ad Astra
centerpieces for the banquet and shared them as door prizes at the end of the evening. Trudy majored in journalism in college and was an avid writer. Her story of her mother, Diary of a German War Bride
, received the 2006 J. Donald Coffin Memorial Book Award
of KAC and was recognized in Pen Woman
, the national publication of NLAPW. Trudy was also active in the Write Stuff, a Topeka writers group. Her obituary
appears in the Topeka Capital-Journal
, District 5
, passed away on Sunday, January 10, 2010. Lily was a long-time member of KAC and won our "Lifetime Achievement Award" in 2003. Memorial contributions honoring Lily may be sent to Kansas Authors Club, P.O. Box 296, Kechi, KS, 67067.
Her funeral was held on January 13, 2010, at University United Methodist Church, Wichita. Burial is at Maple Grove Cemetery, Wichita. Lily's obituary
can be read at the Wichita Eagle web site. 1/12/2010
, District 3
, died on Dec. 11, 2009. He was 78. He began his teaching career at an Illinois high school before serving as a basketball coach at several universities and colleges. After retirement, he worked as a sportswriter for the Parsons Sun
. George was a more recent member of KAC, coming to Coffeyville meetings whenever he could. His obituary is on-line
at the NJCAA site.
, Lincoln, NB
—Naomi Cook Richwine, age 98, died on July 24, 2009, in Lincoln, NB. She was born in Linn, Kansas, where she graduated from high school. She graduated from Kansas State University in 1931 with a degree in Journalism. Naomi also recieved a diploma in French from the Sorbonne, University of Paris, in 1956. She taught several terms in missionary schools in South Africa. Naomi married Hugh Kenneth Richwine
in 1931 in Salina, KS. The couple lived in Kansas and, after Hugh joined the U.S. State Dept., they were sent to Paris France, Athens Greece, Ankara Turkey, Lagos Nigeria and Freetown Sierra Leone. After Hugh's retirement the couple resided in Linn, Kansas, for 25 years. In 1993 Naomi moved to Lincoln, NB, after Hugh's death in 1991.
Naomi was a member of St. Matthews Episcopal Church in Lincoln, a life member of the Washington Co., KS, Historical Society, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution in Marysville, KS, and a member of Kansas Authors Club.
Claire Willis Sorensen
, District 5
, died Saturday, July 11,2009, in Wichita, KS. Born near Port Huron, Michigan, February 16, 1918, to Amos and Bertha Willis, she married Howard K. Sorensen in 1941. Claire served American Baptist missions in Haiti and Arizona, wrote five books, painted, and sang in church choirs. She is survived by her husband, Howard, their sons, Conner of Eschbach, Germany, Nathan, of Hamburg, Germany, and Garth of Miacatlan, Mexico; granddaughters, Cloudia Pawluk and Claire Meyler; grandsons Daniel and Philipp Sorensen, and three great grandchildren, Keith Andrew, Angela Faith, and Sarah Bethany Pawluk. services will be held at Prairie Homestead, 1637 May Avenue, Wichita, KS, at 2PM, Wednesday, July 15, 2009. Donations to Prairie Homestead
or the American Cancer Society
Edith C. Coe
, District 5
, died January 31, 2009. She was 91. Coe was a graduate of Clay County High School in 1934 and from Ottawa University in 1938, from which she received the Distinguished Service Award in 1977. She taught English in Ingalls, Kingman and Hutchinson between 1938 and 1946. Edith was a frequent public speaker and was active until recent years in a number of organizations including the Kansas Authors Club since 1970. Non-fiction and poetry were genres of most interest to her, and Edith won recognition for her literary works. She wrote a number of books including Hertzler Heritage
(1975); Edith Rosine and Albert Lincoln Koeneke Their Lives in Poetry and Prose
(1977); and The Way It Was
(2001). Edith loved to write magazine articles, and she taught a memoir/biography class at the East Wichita Shepherd's Center. Her obituary appears in The Wichita Eagle
Elizabeth E. "Liz" House
, District 2
, died in Lawrence, Monday, January 5, 2009 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. She was born May 11, 1912 in Jefferson County, Kansas. She attended Lawrence schools and was an operator for Southwestern Bell for 45 years, retiring in 1974. She was Kansas Authors Club's State Vice President in 1986, and State President in 1987/1988. Liz wore many hats during membership in KAC from 1975 to 2004. She consistently contributed her poetry to the Club's yearbooks. She was District 2's Treasurer from 1979 through 1986, then D2's President from 1987 through 1992. In 1985 Mrs. House chaired the State Writing contest. In her report she credited the many new members in the state to the non-member writing contests. She won an Achievement Award in 1992 and a Service Award in 1986. Her obituary appears in the Lawrence Journal-World
Alberta Combs Pinkstaff
, District 5
, died September 28, 2008. She was born in Anderson, Missouri, on Oct. 17, 1919, one of twelve children born to Charles and Leota Combs, and two years later moved with the family to Great Bend, Kansas. Four years later the family moved to Ness City, Kansas, where she attended twelve years of school. In high school she was active in music, both vocal and violin, and played on the girls' basketball team for two years. She belonged to the National Honor Society and was a winning competitor in the Western Kansas Educational Association. On graduation in 1937 she was awarded a scholarship to attend the Dague Business University in Wichita, Kansas. In 1940 she married Kenneth LeRoy Pinkstaff at First Methodist Church in Wichita. She served on the Board of Directors of Friends of Senior Services, and of the East Wichita Shepherd's Center. She was a member of East Heights United Methodist Church and Kansas Authors Club
. She enjoyed her family, volunteering, gardening, oil painting, writing, both poetry and prose, and performing with the Threadbare Theatre troupe of the East Wichita Shepherd's Center. She was a retired cashier for Dulaney, Johnston, & Priest Insurance Company. Besides her husband she is survived by her daughter: Penny O'Neil
and husband, Leo
, of Aurora, Colorado; daughter-in-law, Sandra Pinkstaff
of St. Louis, MO; grandchildren: Becky Buehrle, Brian Pinkstaff, Timothy O'Neil, Jennifer O'Neil
, and Susan Flewelling
; great grandchildren: Joseph Gwalla, James Nuako, Douglas
and Cecelia Flewelling; Amanda, Caleb, and Casey Buehrle;
and Nickolas, Trevor
, and Melissa Pinkstaff
. Memorial services will be held at East Heights United Methodist Church on Friday, Oct. 3, at 1:30 pm. Memorials have been established with East Heights United Methodist Church and East Wichita Shepherd's Center.
—Read Alberta's obituary in the Wichita Eagle
It is with great sadness that we must report the death of
, District 5
. David died Tuesday, September 9, 2008. His obituary
was published in The Wichita Eagle
on Thursday, September 11, 2008. David had recently been Secretary for District 5, but had to resign from his duties after he was diagnosed, in Aprl, with inoperable cancer. Annette Wood
, District 5
, wrote a nice feature on David, recently published in the D5 Newsletter and published on the D5 News web page: "Bragging on...David Cloud
Beulah Lou Weber
, District 7
, Garden City
, died May 8, 2008 in Garden City. She joined KAC in 2005 and she circled only the genre of poetry on her application for membership. Beulah earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1958 and a Master of Arts from the University of South Dakota at Vermillion in 1971. Beulah held several jobs throughout her career; she worked at KORN-TV in Mitchell, SD and later for KXAB-TV in Aberdeen, SD. In 1969 she became Media Coordinator for the Vermillion, SD public school system. She held numerous other supervising, art design and teaching positions throughout her career. Beulah eventually located in Garden City, KS in 1992 where she was the Library Media Specialist at Abe Hubert Middle School before retiring in 1999. 10/29/2008
, District 2
, better known to most of us as “Buster Jenkins,”
passed away Sunday, June 29, 2008. Members will recall that Buster (his stage name) and his wife, Betty
, professional musicians, entertained us at Sunday awards luncheons during the 2004 convention in Topeka
and the 2006 convention in Junction City
. Buster, who always displayed a keen sense of humor, was also the author of two books, an autobiography entitled Tougher ‘n a Boot
and Tales from Woodson County
. He requested private family services and was to be cremated. His obituary
and a tribute
were published in the Kansas City Star
Leona Mae Dillard
, District 6, Hutchinson
, age 87, died March 25, 2008, at her home in Hutchinson. She was born April 28, 1920, on a farm near Haviland, the daughter of Vernon and Mae Bryant Sneed. She graduated from Haviland High School and held a bachelor's degree in commerce a degree from Kansas State Teachers College, Emporia, and a master's degree fmm Columbia University, New York City.
She married in Colorado Springs on Sept. 12,1942, to Emil Dillard of Langdon. They lived in several different places including, Eugene, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; Durham, England. The longest time was in New Yorlt City and suburban Hempstead on Long Island, where they resided for more than 38 years before retiring to Tryon, N.C. in 1988. He died in 1992, she moved to Hutchinson in 1996.
Early on, she taught high school in Hill City and Eureka, Kansas. She was a retiree of Aramco (Arabian Amencan Oil Co.), where she worked as an investment and foreign exchange analyst. She also was a freelance writer and belonged to the Hutchinson Writers Club and the Kansas Authors Club. Her short stories and history articles have been published in college literary journals.
Survivors include a sister, Verna House of Ponca City, Okla; a sister-in-law, Agnes Moore of Arlington; four nieces; and two nephews. She was preceded in death by two sisters, Geneva
Tilton and Charlene Meisel; and a sister-in-law, Helen Hobbs.
Cremation has taken place. A memorial graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. Friday March
28, 2008, in Langdon Cemetery, Langdon. Memorials may be sent to the Arthritis Foundation,
in care of Elliott Mortualy, Hutchinson. Personal condolences may be sent to www.elliottmortuary.com 4/8/2008
, District 2
, died on Friday, July 13, 2007, after a long struggle with cancer. Carol was born in Newton and raised in McPherson. Her photography expertise, travels to Japan, and her interaction with the Kansas landscape inspired her to write Treasures From the Heartland
, a book combining haiku poetry and her excellent photographs, taken in Kansas and Japan.
After retirement, Carol wrote her memories of Kansas in Images From a Small Town
. Her book concentrated on stories of individuals, often humorous, from the past to the present. “I wrote this book because I wanted to give the younger generation the opportunity to really get to know these wonderful people of Kansas.” 7/16/2007
Julia Ann (Casad) Dagenais
, District 5
, died at the age of 81 on March 31, 2007. Julia was a homemaker, teacher and social worker, a caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She enjoyed a life of love, laughter and literature. Services will be held Tuesday, April 3 at 10:00 AM at Woodland United Methodist Church. Graveside services will be held at 1:30 that afternoon at Fairview Cemetery in Cheney, KS. Survivors include her husband of 60 years Ralph
), son John (Gail) of Culver City, CA, daughter Janet Brown (Mike) of Wichita and daughter Jane of Syracuse, NY., and five grandchildren. Julia Ann was born on September 4, 1925 at Wilsey, KS to Clair L. and Eula Imogene (Compton) Casad. She attended the University of Kansas, graduating Phi Beta Kappa on June 17, 1946, and marrying Ralph on that same day. She earned an M.A. in English from Wichita State University, 1969 and taught English in Andale and Wichita high schools. Julia was an Adjunct Professor of English at Friends University in Wichita. She was a published poet and author of a history of the Kansas West Conference of the United Methodist Church, past President of the Kansas Authors' Club
, and was serving on the Board of Directors of the Kansas State Historical Society. She was a member of the National League of American Pen Women and the Scandinavian Society of Wichita. Memorials have been established with Woodland United Methodist Church and with Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice.
Search Wichita Eagle obituaries: http://www.legacy.com/Kansas/DeathNotices.asp 4/2/2007
, District 5
, died March 29, 2007, at the age of 76. Dorothy was a homemaker, secretary, teacher, and author. Dorothy was a former employee of USD 259, Friends University, and The Wichita Art Museum. Dorothy was preceded in death by parents, Timothy and Anne Marie (Bales) Jordan. Survivors include her husband, Phillip; son, Stephen (Melissa) Ternes of Wichita; daughters, Jeanne Trainer of Broken Arrow, OK, Carole (Douglas) Van Amburg of Goddard, Barb (Dennis) Newell of Emporia, Margie (Rick) Cartwright of Wichita; brothers, Jim (LaVonne) Jordan of Wichita, Gary (Kathy) Jordan of Ottawa; sisters, Cecile (Chuck) Carlson of Omaha, NE, Celeste Jordan of Grand Haven, MI; 20 grandchildren; 3 great-grandchildren. Memorials established with Bishop Carroll Catholic High School Building Fund, 8101 W. Central, Wichita, KS 67212 and Scleroderma Foundation, 300 Rosewood Dr., S-105, Danvers, MA 01923.
Search Wichita Eagle obituaries: http://www.legacy.com/Kansas/DeathNotices.asp 4/2/2007
Leland R. "Bob" Johnson Sr., District 5
, died March 22, 2007 at the age of 88. Johnson was a retired architect, engineer, writer, inventor and WWII veteran. Born Dec. 24, 1918 in Washington, Pa., to Rev. Luther R. and Martha (Warford) Johnson, Bob was preceded in death by his wife, Gwynne. Survivors include his children, Leland R. Johnson Jr. (Rose) of Goddard, Douglas R. Johnson (Christi) of Denver, Colo., Susan G. Elmore (Eldon) of Camp Verde, Ariz., Margaret E. Johnson of Wichita; four grandchildren;and four great-grandchildren; Bob graduated with a bachelor's degree in Architecture and a degree in Architectural Engineering from the University of Kansas in 1942, where he was a Summerfield scholar. He served in the US Navy aboard an LST in the Pacific during WWII. He was active in numerous civic organizations, including Toastmaster's International, Caldwell Elementary PTA, Kansas Author's Club
, a retired engineers group, and the Wichita Astronomical Society. He published two books and was a frequent contributor of letters to the editor of the Wichita Eagle
. Memorial service was held on March 31, 2007, Prairie Homestead Chapel, Wichita.
Search Wichita Eagle obituaries: http://www.legacy.com/Kansas/DeathNotices.asp 4/2/2007
Beverly Ann Lyons, District 2
, died on December 15, 2006. Following cremation, services will be held at the Lyons Farm in Fulton because, as was stated in her obituary, that is when "prairie meadow starts turning green and the prairie flowers begin to blossom." Memorial contributions in Beverly's name may be made to the American Cancer Society or to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation and sent to the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home, 15 West Wall Street, PO Box 309, Fort Scott, Kansas 66701. Online expressions of sympathy may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org 12/27/2006
Laurence H. Harshbarger, District 4
, Junction City
, passed away Saturday, August 12, 2006, at Geary Community Hospital. Funeral services and burial will be at a later date in Glidden, IA.
Laurence was born April 3, 1921 in rural Glidden, IA, the son of Harry and May (Bennett) Harshbarger. He received bachelor's and mater's degrees from the University of Iowa and a doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania. He taught Educational Psychology in Ball State University, Munice, Indiana, and served in the Air Force during World War II.
He married Mary Sigafood in 1950. He was a bird watcher and served on the board of East Central Indiana Audubon Society. He also was an accomplished poet and Member of Kansas Authors Club. His 60 Yyears of Poems
was published in 2000 and won the Nelson Poetry Award
Survivors include his children, Warren Harshbarger, Jean and husband James Wohler, and grandchildren Evan and Marie Wohler. Is wife, Mary, preceded him in death in June of 1995, as did his parents and a sister. 8/20/2006
, District 1
, passed away on June 19. Edna was a member of both Kansas Authors Club and the Write Stuff writers' group. She had been working on memoirs of her childhood, growing up on a farm, which were filled with warm humor and fascinating accounts of hardships and adventures. Her wit and grace will be missed. Her obituary was in the 6/22/2006 Topeka Capital-Journal
. No services are planned. 6/20/2006
Edna May Ewert, District 4, Peabody, passed away on May 7, 2006. Edna was a Life Member of District 4. She was a poet, winning 1st prize in 1946 for “Just Before Eternity.” She had also written “Treasury” which was published in Sonnet Sequences, February, 1932, and reprinted in Poems of America, 1932. 5/27/2006
Virginia L. Reichart, a longtime former member of District 1, Topeka, formerly of Valley Falls, died April 27, 2006. Virginia served as State President of Kansas Authors Club in 1965-66. She was an author of poetry, short stories, radio drama, several centennial celebration pageants, and had been published in regional and national journals, including the Topeka Capital-Journal. In 1992 she was named a National Golden Poet of the Year. 4/28/2006
Fern Pankratz Ruth
, District 5
, North Newton
, died on March 11, 2006. She had been a member of Kansas Authors Club since May 1974. She served as President of District 5 in 1979. Fern wrote poetry and was a frequent winner in the Kansas Authors Club Literary Contest. Her husband Emry survives. 4/28/2006
, a long-time former member of District 7
, died on March 30, 2006, at a nursing home in Bucklin, at age 91. She wrote poetry and was a member of Kansas Authors Club from 1971 until 2005. She is survived by her daughter Marla Matkin, Hill City, who was a member of District 7 from 2002-2004. 3/16 /2006
L. Wanda Barnett
, District 1
, passed away December 22, 2005, after a short illness. Wanda was the wife of author James S. Barnett
and marketed his historical novel Ghost Woman
, which is based on a legend about an Indian woman on the Santa Fe Trail. The Barnetts joined Kansas Authors Club in 2003, attended District 1 meetings in Topeka, and helped with the 2004 Centennial Convention. 1/10/206
Dr. Eugene C. Bovee
, District 2
, passed away in October 2005. Gene was Professor Emeritus of Cellular and Molecular Biology at Kansas University and had published a book and many papers in his field. He published several books of humorous poetry and also wrote fiction. His column about unusual antiques appeared on the back page of Kanhistique
magazine for many years. Gene joined Kansas Authors Club in 1987 and participated very actively into his nineties. He served several years as Treasurer of District 2, as Editor of the District 2 newsletter, and as Publicity Chairman until 2005. He designed attractive flyers for contests and signs for workshop rooms at the state conventions hosted by District 2. He had been unable to attend meetings recently but continued to write and publish. He also enjoyed composing band music, painting, pen and ink drawing, and woodcarving. Gene’s gentlemanly manner, keen sense of humor, and contributions to Kansas Authors Club will certainly be missed. 1/10/2006
Margaret “Louise” Yuille, District 2
, died Monday, October 3, 2005, in Olathe. She was 81. Louise had been a member of Kansas Authors Club since 1994 and participated in the Writers Club in Fort Scott. She wrote poetry and fiction. Her obituary
is online. 1/10/2006
, District 4
, Junction City
, died Thursday, December 22, 2005. Alice has been a very active member of Kansas Authors Club since 1996.
||Her writing includes poetry, drama, fiction, and non-fiction; and people in her community have read her letters to the editor in the Junction City Daily Union. She served as President of District 4 in 2000. She was State Chair of the Centennial Book Committee in 2003 and 2004, and edited Our Way With Words, a book of members’ writing published in honor of the Kansas Authors Club Centennial in 2004. She will be missed by her many friends in Kansas Authors Club.
Harley J. Stucky
, District 5
, North Newton
, died Friday, Nov. 11, 2005. Stucky joined Kansas Authors Club in 1966 and was a life member. He served as District 5 President in 1971, State Vice-President 1973-74, and State President 1975-76.
His interest in the history of the Swiss Volhynian Mennonite emigration to the United States is found in a number of his books, articles, and edited works. He had taught history and political science at Bethel College, Bethany College, and Central State University. From 1964 to 1974, he was Vice-President of Academic Affairs at Friends University in Wichita. His obituary
and photo appeared in the Wichita Eagle
C. Robert (Bob) Haywood
died Saturday, August 6, 2005 in Topeka. Haywood was distinguished Professor of History, Dean and Vice President of Washburn from 1969 to 1988. He joined District 1
in 1987 & was a winner in the J. Donald Coffin Contest that year, with The Preacher's Kid
. We have his book Victorian West
, published in 1991 by University Press of Kansas, in the Spencer Library. [Thanks to Gale Martin, D5, El Dorado, archivist, and to Bob Lawson, D1, Topeka, for help with content for this entry.]
) died Thursday, July 28, 2005, at the Cherryvale Nursing Home. He was 86. His funeral was Monday, August 1, at Cherryvale United Methodist Church. Leonard was a member of Kansas Authors Club District 3
from 1961 to 2002 when he became too ill. He did a research paper about southeast Kansas brick factories and wrote short stories and numerous articles.
to be included in News for All Members on the KAC website or in the next State
Newsletter may be submitted to your district president or
to Carol Yoho at by e-mail or at
3013 SW Quail Creek Dr., Topeka, KS 66614.