Obituary: Willard Dale “Bill” Good

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Willard Dale “Bill” Good, age 86, a resident of Fort Scott, Kan., passed away Tuesday, August 15, 2017, at his home.

He was born December 2, 1930, in Elkhart, Ind., the son of Jacob Good and Ada Grace Christophel Good. Bill graduated from Elkhart High School and later attended Arlington State University in Arlington, Texas. He served with the United States Air Force from 1950 to 1954 and continued to serve as a reserve officer. Following his military service, he worked as a pilot for Eastern Airlines from 1965 to 1988. He became a Captain in 1981. Bill married Rosalyn Arnold Avery on August 31, 1984, in Las Vegas, Nev. They made their home in Houston, Texas, prior to moving to Fort Scott in 1999. While in Fort Scott, Bill drove Dolly the Trolley for eight and a half years. He enjoyed sharing the history of Fort Scott with the many tourists. He also enjoyed photography and antique cars as well as NASCAR. He was a member of the St. John’s United Methodist Church. For the last three and a half years, he has battled pulmonary fibrosis.
Survivors include his wife, Rosalyn, of the home; his children, Darrell Good of Marietta, Ga., and his two children, Devon and Andrea Good, and two great-grandchildren of Atlanta, Ga.; Eric Avery, of
Point Harbor, N.C., and his daughters, Amy Chewning and husband Scott Chewning, of Chesapeake Bay, Va., and their children Landon and Chloe; Ashley Bravo and husband, Gregg Bravo, of Grandy, N.C., and their children Ava and Adrian; Benjamin Avery, of Bandera, Texas, and his children, Cheri Wright and husband, Anthony and their daughter Lily of Joplin, Mo., Samantha Adams and husband, Kyle Adams, and their daughter, Rosalyn, of Fort Scott, and Joel Avery, of Shawnee, Kan.; and Brent Avery and wife, Angela, of Bastrop, Texas, and their children, Justin Avery of Blue Springs, Mo., Amanda Avery of Durango, Colo., and Lindsey and Blake Avery of Bastrop, Texas. Also surviving are two sisters, Doris Good, of Bloomington, Ill., and Melba Good, of Denver, Colo.; and a brother, Truman Good, of Spencer, Tenn., as well as many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Maynard Good.
Pastor Tom Mullins will conduct funeral services at 10 a.m. Monday, August 21, at the St. John’s United Methodist Church. Burial will follow in the U. S. National Cemetery where military honors will be provided by the Olson Frary Burkhart Post #1165 Veterans of Foreign Wars. Memorials are suggested to Feeding Families, Mercy Hospice or the St. John’s United Methodist Church and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guest book at

Patty LaRoche: Making Assumptions

“I have never learned anything with my mouth open.” So reads the sign on the office wall of our friend, Howard, who shared that ditty with us this past week. Although clever, I disagree. I have learned great lessons with my mouth open: mainly, that I can be a fool.

Like a few days ago. I was in Wichita, Kan., for a baseball tournament with my husband and three sons. For a week our lives were scheduled for us, thanks to organizers Brent and Jenny Hall and their adult daughter, Haleigh, who kept us informed of schedule changes, etc.

On Friday evening the family members were to meet in the lobby at 5:45 p.m. for a scheduled 6 p.m. bus departure to the ballgame. I was there. Alone. I texted my daughter-in-law, Jenn, who said the group text showed a time change to 6:30. She suggested that I ask Haleigh to put me on her group text so that I would get the announcements. That’s what I did.

Immediately my phone lit up with rapid-fire texts from the other wives. “Do you have an extra hat I can have?” “I will meet you at the game. Don’t look for me on the bus.” “Can I get extra tickets for friends coming into town?” You get the picture. Jenn suggested I ask to be removed from the group text. Good idea. I texted Haleigh to make that request.

On Sunday morning, I found out that friends from Fort Scott were coming to the game, and since Haleigh’s number was still in my contact list, I texted her to ask for tickets. Her response? “Sorry, but you were removed from this group. Maybe you should ask someone in the group to add you again!”

I read it again.

EXCUUUUUSE me? And what’s with the exclamation point?

I re-read the response.

Well, EXCUUUUUSE me again! After trying to get Dave as upset as I was (never happen), I responded. “I asked to be removed because I realized most of it wasn’t any of my business. I didn’t know I needed to be in the group to ask for tickets. No worries.”

Still, I stewed, waiting for Haleigh’s apology. I would have to tell Jenn so she never again suggested someone be removed from Haleigh’s elite little group. Before making that call, our son Jeff dropped by our hotel room. I sought his empathy, a waste of time since that male apple didn’t fall too far from that uncompassionate tree. “Mom, that doesn’t sound like Haleigh. What number do you have?”

Not the right one, as it turned out. The one I used was for the group text which sent out an automated reply to people outside the group. When Jeff gave me Haleigh’s private number and I made the call to the right number, she couldn’t have been more helpful. Jeff wasn’t finished. “Wow, Mom, why did you assume the worst?”

Because I’m good at it would have been the honest answer. Of course, I didn’t say that. I attempted to defend my actions, in which case both the tree and the apple would have none of it.

Relationships have been ruined when assumptions are made. Someone doesn’t answer my email or is short-answered with a text reply or doesn’t invite me to their dinner party or…

Proverbs 25:8 (MSG) simplifies the way I am to think when my feelings are hurt: “Don’t jump to conclusions – there may be a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.”

Otherwise, my assumption becomes my truth which leads to an ugly response which results in broken relationships…or, in one case, war.

Next week we will look at a Biblical example of how close that came to happening.

Obituary: Patricia Marylyn Layton

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Patricia Marylyn Layton, age 84, former resident of Fort Scott, Kan., died Wednesday, August 16, 2017, at Medicalodges of Girard, Kan.

She was born January 12, 1933, in Twin Oaks, Mo., the daughter of George Schwanz and Aline Wilkinson-Killion. She married Orville Layton, on July 1, 1963, in Fort Scott. He preceded her in death on September 9, 1980. She worked for Western Insurance Company for over 25 years and then Wal-Mart until her retirement. Pat enjoyed being outside working in the yard. She liked attending the Opry at Memorial Hall, bus trips with Citizens Bank, collecting doves, and reading Guidepost. She had a special place in her heart for her two dogs. In earlier years, she enjoyed traveling to threshing bees with her family. She was a member of the Grace Baptist Tabernacle.

Survivors include her children, Susan Thurman and husband Dan, Girard, Kan., and Kent Layton and wife Tiffany, Kansas City, Kan.; step-son Deryl Layton, Fort Scott; a brother, Clyde Killion, Fort Scott; three sisters, Cecilia Kramer, Barbara Freer, and Frances Bowles, all of Fort Scott; six grandchildren, Trinity Watkins, Hailey Watkins, Cody Layton, Ella Layton, Caleb Thurman and Ty Thurman; and numerous nieces and nephews. Besides her husband, she was preceded in death by a brother, David Schwanz, and her parents.

Rev. Paul Rooks will conduct funeral services at 2:30 p.m. Monday, August 21, at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Burial will follow in the Clarksburg Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 3 until 5 Sunday afternoon at the Chapel. Memorials are suggested to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, 201 S. Main, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

New Pickleball Courts Provide Recreation for Fort Scott

A new sport is gaining traction in Fort Scott, as participants take advantage of new pickleball courts as well as an upcoming tournament to be hosted by the city.

During a meeting in November of 2016, the Fort Scott City Commission gave City Manager Dave Martin permission to move forward in repairing the tennis courts near the water treatment plant on Burke Street in order to build courts designed for pickleball, a sport similar to tennis but with slightly different rules while using a smaller paddle instead of a racket and a ball similar to a heavy waffle ball.

At the time of the decision last fall, Martin said he thought the request and the name of the sport was a joke, but upon research of the sport and requests from local players for an outdoor court to be built, the city and the Recreation Department worked together with help from private donors to fund the project, which was completed earlier this summer.

“It was in bad shape,” Fort Scott Parks Supervisor Todd Farrell said of the old tennis courts during a June city commission meeting. “And we’ve turned it into something great.”

Despite the odd name, pickleball is indeed a sport that is gaining players of all ages in Fort Scott and around the nation. Participants include young families as well as retired couples, playing outdoors at the new courts or indoors at Buck Run.

“I think it’s a nice family event,” Buck Run and Recreation Department Director Tom Robertson said of the sport, adding his own family uses the new courts frequently. “I think we’re fortunate that we were able to get that project…Those are really nice courts up there.”

The city will use those courts for a tournament Sept. 16-17, hosting events such as doubles, mixed doubles and men’s and women’s singles. Registry is required by Sept. 12, at $10 for the first event and $5 for any additional events. T-shirts will be given to participants and medals to the top three of each event.

“It’s an exciting thing to have something new in Fort Scott,” Robertson said.

Some of the local players have participated in, and even won, such tournaments in other towns such as Nevada. But with the new courts, Fort Scott is able to bring that event and other players into Fort Scott instead.

The tournament will host doubles events the Saturday of the tournament, beginning at 9 a.m. Singles events will be held starting at 1 p.m. on Sunday. Further information can be found in Buck Run’s fall brochure, to be released Friday.

Currently, groups most commonly play weekly at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Thursday evenings at about 7 p.m. and about 8 a.m. on Saturdays. Smaller groups often organize to play at other times during the week at their own convenience and according to their own skill level.

Residents interested in learning about the sport are encouraged to visit the new courts during one of those playing times.

Library to Host Book-Signing by Local Author

Submitted by the Fort Scott Public Library

Local author Carol Russell will have a book-signing along with readings from her new book, Brianna Meets Miss Addie, in the Fort Scott Public Library Events Room on Monday, August 21, from 2 to 4 p.m.

She will have copies of the book available for purchase for $9. While the book is written for kids ages 8-12, all are welcome to attend.

Mrs. Russell is a freelance writer and speaker. She and her husband, Bob, have been married for more than 55 years and reside in Kansas. They have three daughters, seven grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren. She has had many articles, devotions and children’s stories published.

FSCC Volleyball Team Receives AVCA Team Academic Award

For the sixth year in a row, the Fort Scott Community College Volleyball Team has received the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Team Academic Award. The team was also recognized as one of the top five teams in the two-year college division. The Lady Greyhounds finished the 2016-17 school year with a 3.62 grade point average (GPA).

“Every year, we set a goal focused on academics. I am extremely proud of the team for accomplishing their goal,” said Lindsay Hill, FSCC Head Volleyball Coach. “I appreciate the AVCA for rewarding programs whose philosophies emphasize academics.”

Twenty-one two-year colleges received the award for the 2016-17 school year. The AVCA recognized a total of 834 teams in the following divisions: NCAA DI, NCAA DII, NCAA DIII, NAIA, two-year college, NCCAA, collegiate men, high school girls, high school boys and college beach.

Since the 1992-93 academic year, the AVCA has honored collegiate and high school volleyball teams who displayed excellence in the classroom during the school year by maintaining at least a 3.30 cumulative team GPA on a 4.0 scale or a 4.10 cumulative team GPA on a 5.0 scale.

Obituary: Kenneth Dale Wright

Submitted by Cheney Witt Funeral Home

Kenneth Dale Wright, age 80, a resident of Overland Park, Kansas, died peacefully at his home Saturday, August 12, 2017.

He was born June 15, 1937, in Dade County, Mo., the son of Noble Sylvester Wright and Goldie Maywood “Maye” (Feezell) Wright. At an early age, Kenneth and his family moved to Fort Scott, Kan., where he graduated from Fort Scott Christian Heights. He married Evelyn Darlene Zeigler on January 22, 1972, in Mexico, Mo.

His printing career began at Witt Printing in El Dorado Springs, Mo., and included management positions at Mid-America Business Forms in Fort Scott and Vallis Wngroff Printing in Cherryvale, Kan. He later accepted a position as production manager for Herald and Banner Press in Overland Park and worked there over 40 years.

He loved quail and ‘coon hunting which provided many stories for his children and grandchildren. He was actively involved with Overland Christian Schools and Kansas Christian College where he enjoyed attending his children’s school and sporting events.  He faithfully attended the Overland Park Church of God (Holiness) and was willing to use his mechanical abilities to help the church, Herald and Banner, the school and other people in need.  He will be remembered for his quick wit, humor and common sense.

Survivors include his wife, Darlene, of the home; his son, Gregory Kenneth Wright and wife, Sharon; his daughter, Ashlee Suzanne Englund and husband, Eric; and his five grandchildren, Zachary Kenneth, Garrett Kole, and Tanner Kayden Wright; and Elina Anne and Elise Christine Englund, all of Overland Park. Also surviving are two brothers, Gary Wayne Wright and wife, Alma Jean, of Gardner, Kan., and Lawrence Nathan Wright and wife, Renee, of Overland Park; and three sisters, Melba Lorraine Hull of Grandview, Wash.; Betty Joyce Kelso and husband, Steve, of Fort Scott, Kan.; and Dorothy Ann Reynolds and husband, David, of Cincinnati, Ohio. He was preceded in death by his parents, Noble Sylvester and Goldie Maywood “Maye” Wright; three sisters, Kathryn Irene “Kathy” Harms, Charlotte Ruth Eichelberger, and Freda Maye Russell; and three brothers, James Kenton, Jerry Keith, and Noble Leon.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, August 19, at the Overland Park Church of God (Holiness), 6801 W. 74th Street, Overland Park, Kan. Burial will follow at 2:30 p.m. at Memory Gardens in Fort Scott, Kansas. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m., Friday evening at the church. Memorials are suggested to Herald and Banner Press and may be left in care of Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, Ft. Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at