Allen Laverne Sather, age 84, resident of Fort Scott, Kan., died Monday, April 3, 2017, at his home.
He was born September 2, 1932, in Shell Lake, Wis., the son of Ephraim and Inga Solie Sather. He married Donna Hefter on June 27, 1953, in Shell Lake. He purchased his first farm at the age of 18. He farmed until he began selling insurance. Everything he did in work was centered on helping people. Allen enjoyed bowling, golfing, fishing, camping and spending time with his family. He played board games and card games with his children and grandchildren. He also played guitar and enjoyed sing-a-longs with the kids. He had a gift of making people laugh. He was a member of the Trinity Lutheran Church.
Survivors include his wife Donna of the home; children Sherrie Clark, Fort Scott, Ron Sather and wife Donna, Cottage Grove, Minn., Rick Sather and wife Jane, Shell Lake, Wis., Rhonda Ankrum and husband Floyd, Baldwin, Wis., Terri Bradley and husband Mark, Arlington, Texas, and Jim Sather and wife Chris, Fort Scott; a brother, John Sather and wife Mae, Willmar, Minn.; 16 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; two nieces and two nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents.
There was cremation. Vicar Michael Apfel will conduct memorial services at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 6, at the Trinity Lutheran Church, Fort Scott. The family will receive friends from 5 until 7 Wednesday evening at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to the Trinity Lutheran Church and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.
Carol Jean Bradley, age 74, a resident of Ft. Scott, Kans., went to home to her Lord, on Saturday, April 1, 2017.
She was born June 9, 1942, in Pawhuska, Okla., the daughter of James Otto Stephenson and Verbel Viola King Stephenson. She married Charles B. Bradley on June 9, 1960, at the Grace Baptist Tabernacle in Fort Scott. In earlier years, Jean had worked for Campbell’s Laundry and for the Western Insurance Company. She was a long-time member of the Grace Baptist Tabernacle.
Survivors include her husband, Charles, of the home; a son, David Eugene Bradley and wife, Jonna, of Springfield, Mo., and a daughter, Kay Payne, of Fort Scott; five grandchildren, Wesley Payne and wife, Courtney, of Pittsburg, Kans., Geoff Payne, of Ft. Myers, Florida, and Benjamin, Erica and Jessica Bradley, all of Springfield; and five great-grandchildren, Lexi, Aaron, Syvhara, Oliviette and Naomi. She was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Betty Russell and Nadiene Bennett and an infant brother, Lowell Louis Stephenson.
Rev. Paul Rooks will conduct funeral services at 2 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, at the Grace Baptist Tabernacle. Burial will follow in the Prescott Cemetery. The family will receive friends on Tuesday from 1 p.m. until service time at the church. Memorials are suggested to the Grace Baptist Tabernacle and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS.
With the arrival of spring and the growing season, the Kansas State Southwind Extension District Office is providing a number of workshops focusing on gardening and food preservation in order to educate those interested in learning about the subject.
Monday evening, the extension office hosted a workshop at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds on herbs. Hostesses of the event discussed the different types of herbs, how to grow them, the benefits of eating them and how to cook with them.
“You really can get creative with them,” extension district agent Kathy McEwan said of cooking with herbs.
Starting Thursday, the extension office will begin a series of classes called “Grow it, Prepare it.” Those seven workshops will be held in April, May and June and will include topics such as gardening 101, food preservation 101, jams and jellies, pressure canning, growing berries, container gardening and salsa.
Other events will be offered by the K-State Southwind Extension District as well, including a course on controlling weeds on April 26, at the Neosho County Courthouse. The date was printed incorrectly in a recent release. Registrations are required by April 18.
Mercy is committed to supporting charitable organizations and activities consistent with our mission to improve the health and quality of life in the communities we serve. Just one way that Mercy does so is by donating money to sponsor a multitude of annual events or organization’s efforts to promote health and wellness.
In order to better serve the organizations which submit sponsorship/donation requests, Mercy has introduced a new online sponsorship application system.
To be considered for funding from Mercy between July 1, 2017, and June 30, 2018, all organizations seeking charitable support are asked to complete the online application at www.mercy.net/sponsorships.
The deadline to apply is June 1, 2017. Recipients will be notified by email after July 1, 2017.
To create your organization’s online proposal, you will first need to create an account by logging on to www.mercy.net/sponsorships. Note that the application will require a W-9, and Federal Tax ID number or a Social Security number to submit.
“The application review committee looks forward to receiving proposals and learning more about your organization’s plans to use funds to further our mission among the people you serve,” said Tina Rockhold, Community Relations Manager and Philanthropy Director. “We strongly encourage your organization’s members to think ahead for the next 14 months and submit applications for programs they foresee having funding needs through June of 2018.”
Two Sisters of Mercy arrived in Fort Scott in 1886 with the intent to operate a school. Instead, Rev. Francis J. Watron had determined that the community was in desperate need of a hospital. So, Sister Theresa Dolan and Sister Mary Delores Drew began immediate oversight of a 10-bed hospital.
“Today is no different,” said Reta Baker, Mercy Hospital Fort Scott president. “We continue to shape services and programs by our community’s needs. Since opening our doors, Mercy has focused on offering the health care needs that fit the populations we serve.”
Mercy Clinic Fort Scott is pleased to announce that through collaboration with Ortho Four States, Mercy nurse practitioner Greg King will continue to provide clinic for orthopedic evaluations, joint injections, sports medicine treatment, fracture casting and care, as well as Mercy Hospital Emergency Department coverage.
In January, it was determined due to low volumes in orthopedics and outmigration for surgery cases, the orthopedic surgical service line was no longer sustainable under Mercy’s operation.
The arrangement allows Mercy patients access to skilled orthopedic care and the coordination for further care at another site, if necessary. King will also make referrals to specialists for orthopedic surgery at the location of the patient’s choice.
“For years, Mercy Fort Scott has coordinated with Mercy and non-Mercy providers to bring highly-skilled specialty care not often found at smaller, rural communities to the patients in our service area,” Baker explained. “Other specialties falling into this category include allergy, cardiac and thoracic surgery, cardiology, neurology, oncology, and urology.”
For more information or to make an appointment with Greg King, Mercy APRN, call Mercy Clinic Fort Scott at 620-223- 8064.
On March 11, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported 70 confirmed cases of mumps throughout multiple counties in the state. Mumps is a contagious disease caused by a virus and typically starts with a few days of fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness and loss of appetite, followed by swollen salivary glands. Vaccinations significantly reduce the chances of a person acquiring mumps and limit the spread of the disease.
“Vaccines are our number one resource in health promotion and disease prevention,” Kim Burns, Mercy APRN-FNP- c. “Keeping your children up to date with their immunizations keeps your child, and everyone around them, safer from preventable disease.”
It’s important that parents and guardians be well-informed about how and where to get children under the age of 19 years vaccinated to avoid costly, out-of- pocket expenses,” Burns added.
Mercy Clinics in Fort Scott, Arma and Pleasanton, as well as Mercy Convenient Care, are enrolled in the federally funded Vaccines for Children Program, known as VFC. VFC provides vaccines at no cost to children who might not otherwise be vaccinated because of inability to pay.
For example, a child insured through KanCare (T19), underinsured (commercial insurance that does not cover immunizations), Native Americans and children with no insurance coverage (self pay) will qualify to receive their shots free of charge at a clinic that offers VFC benefits. All vaccinations for children, even those younger than school age, are eligible for VFC coverage.
Although all Mercy Clinics in Bourbon, Crawford and Linn Counties are registered with the VFC program, not all clinics are so it is recommended to ask non-Mercy providers if they offer VFC benefits prior to receiving vaccinations. The immunizations, if not covered by insurance or VFC, could cost between $130 and $140 per dose. Children’s immunization that are self-pay will be charged a minimal-cost injection fee, but not the full cost of the dose.
In addition to reducing the spread of mumps, all public schools require that students supply an immunization record and that all vaccinations are up to date.
Vaccinations are recommended for patients based on age and vaccination history. Please talk with your health care provider to learn more about which shots your child may need for the coming school year.
Bereavement and Grief Support Group
If you have experienced the loss of a loved one and need support, you may find comfort among Mercy’s Bereavement and Grief Support Group.
Mercy Hospice will offer an eight week bereavement and grief support group at Mercy Hospital Fort Scott on Wednesdays 2-3 p.m. beginning April 5, through May 24.
The support group is open to anyone who has experienced loss of a loved one, regardless of hospice care or affiliation. Each week, professionals will share topics to assist participants on their journey to dealing with the loss.
Although attendance is not mandatory at all sessions, it is highly recommended. Enrollment will close after April 19.
For more information and meeting location, please contact Melissa George, Mercy Hospice Chaplain, at 620-223-8533.
After being in business in Bourbon County for less than a year, 4 State Sanitation continues to look for more ways to serve the county, this week adding recycling to its list of services.
“Four State is ready to offer a public service that we’ve all been desperately asking for and needing for some time,” Fort Scott Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt said during the recent Fort Scott City Commission meeting Tuesday.
Starting Monday, April 3, 4 State provides a drop-off point for recyclable items, including paper such as books and newspapers, aluminum, plastic items and even clothes and shoes. Other items such as glass or electronics may also be accepted in the future, but currently cannot be processed.
The items, preferably cleaned and sorted, can be dropped off at the 4 State Recycling Center located in the old Topco building at 600 N. Franklin Street each Monday and Wednesday between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., and again from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
“We’re ready to go,” Taysha Meech of 4 State said during the meeting.
Meech said they encourage those interested in volunteering to help with the process to contact them.
“On behalf of the community… thank you very much for doing this,” City Manager Dave Martin said. “This is great.”
Submitted by Chris Petty, K-State Extension Office
Springtime rains bring lush grasses to farm fields and ranch lands. Unfortunately, as the temperatures begin to inch up, so do pasture weeds. Serecia Lespedeza, Blackberries and Broomsedge (commonly known as poverty grass) are three common Southeast Kansas weeds.
To learn how to control these three weeds, join K-State Research and Extension Southwind District on April 18, in the Neosho County Courthouse basement meeting room in Erie, Kan.
K-State Research and Extension Area Agronomist Dr. Doug Shoup will be on hand to explain recommended treatment and control methods.
A $10 registration fee, payable at the door, will cover meal and materials. Pre-registrations are required by April 18, for an accurate meal count. To be included, call the Extension Office in Erie, Kansas at (620)244-3826.
Gardening 101 Program Set for April 6
Submitted by Krista Harding, K-State Extension Office
The first program of the “Grow It – Prepare It” series – Gardening 101 will be held Thursday, April 6 at 6 p.m., at the Bourbon County Fairgrounds in Fort Scott. This is a basic gardening program designed to help first-time gardeners with topics such as soil preparation, garden layout, planting tips and more. By the end of the program, participants will know how to set up their own garden, what to plant and how to care for their garden throughout the growing season. For more information on this program and to register, please contact the Southwind Extension District at 620-223- 3720.
Speakers Bureau Offered
Submitted by: Carla Nemecek, Southwind Extension District, Director & Agent
K-State Research & Extension in the Southwind District is proud to present our 2017 Speakers Bureau as a service to the community. We offer presentations on a wide variety of topics and hope there is at least one that may suit your needs. Our speakers are District Extension Agents who have agreed to give presentations to elementary and secondary schools; parent-teacher, civic and professional organizations; and community groups. We are confident that you will find the presentations insightful and entertaining.
The topics that are offered for 2017 are:
Everything But the Oink will illustrate some of the more than 185 non-food products that come from pigs. Native American used every part of the buffalo and wasted nothing, and today we still use nearly every part of the food animal. Examples of these fine swine products include gelatin, footballs, china, cosmetics and fertilizers.
Growing Veggies in Containers is Easy addresses the basic steps to get a started on a container garden. The desire for homegrown vegetables is increasingly popular as people become more interested in where their food comes from. It is hard to beat vegetables picked from you own garden! But for people with limited space, mobility or time, traditional gardening can be difficult, and that’s where container gardening comes in. Vegetables can be grown in just about anything that will hold soil, and this presentation will show you how to container garden.
Let’s Play Leadership in the Classroom offers various team-building games encouraging adults and students to work together and gain all important leadership skills. After all, what better way to learn about leadership than through play! This program can be adjusted for a specific leadership request as a program on demand.
Information on GMOs and Organic Foods for Consumers provides an introductory overview of some of the benefits of genetically engineered foods (GMOs), organic and conventionally produced foods, as well as address consumer concerns with these products. Additionally you will learn information on some of the nutritional content and food safety differences and similarities between organic and conventional food products.
Gray for a Day explores the age-related sensory and functional challenges some adults might face with age. Participants will gear up, participate in various activities, and have some discussion about how to protect themselves from these physical declines in the future.
Board Leadership will provide an opportunity for board members to learn the basics of being a good board member. We all know informed and committed board members are the key to healthy, effective boards and committees in our Kansas communities. Whether you are a member of a church board, a township board, or belong to any service organization with elected officers, this topic is appropriate for you.
These presentations are flexible with location and presentation time—from a short 30 minute engagement to a longer format if needed. All presentations are offered free and by appointment only. We will do our best to accommodate your request, and presentations will be scheduled based on the availability of the individual presenters.
If your group or organization has an interest in these programs, please contact the Southwind Extension District, 620-365-2242 (Iola); 620-244-3826 (Erie); 620-223-3720 (Fort Scott). Additional information about the Southwind Extension District can be found on our website, www.southwind.ksu.edu.
Last week, the House was busy passing numerous bills. The many pieces of legislation ranged on issues from technology to healthcare to agriculture. Find a few of these bills detailed below.
Sub HB 2331: An act concerning information systems and communications; creating the representative Jim Morrison cybersecurity act; relating to digital information security for Kansas executive branch agencies; establishing the Kansas information security office; establishing the cybersecurity state fund and cybersecurity state grant fund in the state treasury, creating the Kansas information technology enterprise.
H Sub for SB 60: An act concerning agriculture; relating to the Kansas department of agriculture; certain fees, authorizing the Kansas secretary of agriculture to collect a fee for processing paper documents.
SB 20: An act concerning financial institutions; relating to certain acts under the administration of the state bank commissioner.
H Sub for SB 51: An act concerning controlled substances; the state board of pharmacy; relating to scheduling of controlled substance analogs, controlled substances and new drugs; emergency scheduling.
HB 2313: An act concerning the Kansas lottery; dealing with lottery ticket vending machines; repealing the lottery sunset.
HB 2232: An act concerning adult care homes; relating to electronic monitoring.
SB 68: An act concerning health and healthcare; relating to hospitals; enacting the Kansas lay caregiver act.
HB 2353: An act concerning state contracts and purchases; relating to purchases of products and services from not-for-profit entities; employment of persons with disabilities.
As most of you know by now, on Thursday, March 2, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled our current block grant unconstitutional. In addition, without a set dollar amount, the court ruled in favor of Kansas children. The court said that the legislature is not meeting the Kansas constitutional requirement to adequately fund public schools (Article 6 of the Constitution). Here is a link to the Kansas Constitution https://www.kssos.org/other/pubs/KS_Constitution.pdf, page 26, Article 6-Education. Thank God our forefathers had the foresight to protect the investment of educating our citizens in our state’s constitution.
It is our duty to provide equal and adequate education to all our youth. It makes no difference if they are born in Leawood or Arcadia, Goodland or Sublet. All Kansans have the right to a good education.
In the next few weeks we will come up with a new school finance plan. We must by June 30, according to the court’s deadline. The challenge will be a statewide plan that is acceptable by our most prosperous county. Johnson County is key to the new formula. A new proposal was introduced by Johnson County Representative Melissa Rooker and Shawnee County Senator Laura Kelly which is similar in many ways to the old school finance formula, in place prior to the block grants. It appears to meet constitutional muster and SEK would definitely be a beneficiary. While many Johnson County legislators support a plan that benefits the entire state and provides for an educated workforce in the future, not all are on board. There is an effort to keep Johnson County dollars in Johnson County. Regardless of the fact that we have a statewide economy, they remain narrowly focused.
Regardless of the fact that all our citizens statewide benefit from being better educated, they believe the most populous should benefit the most. Regardless of the fact that all corners of the state pay their fair share of income, sales and property tax for the greater good, some in Johnson County believe that the most affluent and populated county has no reason to be part of the greater good.
A better tomorrow is the great American dream. We have become the greatest nation in the world by investing in our future. For Kansas to stop now is to step backward. All good things come with a cost. A sound public educational system is the most important investment a state can make in its citizens. Failure to provide a better path leads down the wrong road. Bad things cost even more. Now is the time to put all of Kansas on the path to success. We know what works and how to get there. We must just do it and do it soon.
Republicans in the Senate have said they will wait to act on an education finance formula until the House addresses it first. Conversations as to how to solve this issue are underway, with many ideas being introduced. A bill has been proposed this week in the Kansas House, and we expect action on that bill to begin this week.
A tax plan to restore the revenue in Kansas has not yet been enacted. Previously in the session, the House put forth and passed a tax bill, which then passed through the Senate. The bill essentially repealed Gov. Brownback’s “march to zero” tax experiment. The Governor vetoed the bill, after which the House overrode his veto. The Senate failed to override by just three votes. A new tax plan should be coming soon from the Senate side.
It is a special honor to serve as your state representative. I both value and need your input on the various issues facing state government. Please feel free to contact me with your comments and questions. My office address is Room 50-S, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612. You can reach me at (785) 296-7698 or call the legislative hotline at 1-800-432-3924 to leave a message for me. Additionally, you can e-mail me at email@example.com. You can also follow the legislative session online at www.kslegislature.org
Gary Eugene Eaton, age 69, a resident of Fort Scott, Kansas, passed away Friday March 24, 2017, at his home. He was born November 27, 1947, in Mattoon, Ill., the son of Raymond Eaton and Loraine Osborn Eaton. Gary graduated from Mattoon High School and enlisted with the United States Navy, where he served onboard the aircraft carrier the U. S. S. Franklin D. Roosevelt. He married LaDonna Young in 1972. Following his discharge from the Navy, Gary moved to Fort Scott where he owned and operated the Silver Spur. He later worked for Auto Zone in Fort Scott as well as Nevada and Pittsburg. Gary was later employed as Parts Manager for Ray Shepherd Motors which later became Briggs Auto. He enjoyed playing pool and competed in many pool tournaments. He also liked to work on small engines and watch western movies and television shows. He also loved to spend time with his grandchildren.
Survivors include his three children, R. D. Eaton and wife, Kasey, of Fort Scott, Tina Schilling and husband, Travis, also of Fort Scott and Becky Gorman and husband, Brian, of Goodyear, Ariz.; eight grandchildren, Kaylee, Morgan, Natalie, Matthew, Taylor, Tabitha, Brooke, and Abagail. Also surviving are his former wife, LaDonna Cox, of Fort Scott; an aunt by whom he was raised, Jenny Lauter and her husband, David, of Mattoon, Ill.; a sister, Tina Bundrant, and a brother, David Harbour, both of Parris, Ill. He was preceded in death by his parents.
Following cremation, Pastor Matthew Hunt will conduct graveside services at 10 a.m.Wednesday, March 28, at the U. S. National Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the Olson Frary Burkhart Post #1165 Veterans of Foreign Wars. Family and friends may meet at the Cheney Witt Chapel prior to leaving for the cemetery at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday. The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to Care to Share and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.
Genevieve A. Ballinger, age 90, resident of Fort Scott, Kan., died Saturday March 25, 2017, at the Medicalodge of Fort Scott. She was born April 1, 1926, in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the daughter of William Webster Close and Bessie Elmira Morris Close. Genevieve graduated from Poughkeepsie High School. She married Russell Ballinger February 3, 1945. She was co-owner of Ballinger T. V. She has served as President, Secretary and Treasurer of the V.F.W Ladies Auxiliary. She helped start the Daughters of the Nile Club and had served as President, and was a Worthy Matron of the Order of the Eastern Star Hiattville chapter. She loved quilting, dancing and creating art.
Survivors include her four children, Russell Ballinger, Jr. and wife Margaret of Champlin, Minn., Larry Ballinger and wife Radonna of Pittsburg, Kan., Doreen Brown and husband Johnnie, of Girard, Kan., and Lisa Goddard and husband Steven of Fort Scott; a brother William Close, Jr., of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.; a sister Beverly DeMott of Red Hook, N.Y.; nine grandchildren and seventeen great-grandchildren as well as several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Russell Ballinger, Sr., a grandson, Joel Daly and a brother, Charles Close.
Rev. Kevin Moyers will conduct graveside services at 10 a.m. Thursday, March 30, 2017, at the U. S. National Cemetery. Family and friends may meet at the Cheney Witt Chapel prior to leaving for the cemetery at 9:45 a.m. on Thursday. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Cheney Witt Chapel. Memorials are suggested to the Mirza Shrine Transportation Fund and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main, P.O. Box 347, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at cheneywitt.com.
Kenneth “Kenny” Charles Garrett, age 69, a resident of Horseshoe Bend, Ark., passed away Wednesday, March 29, 2017, at the Baxter Regional Medical Center in Mountain Home, Ark., following a short battle with cancer.
He was born December 16, 1947, in Pontiac, Mich., the son of Chester Lee Garrett and Thelma Marie (Barber) Garrett. Ken grew up in Garland, Kan., and joined the United States Navy in 1967 as a Navy Seabee. He served two tours in Vietnam and finished his service in Keflavik, Iceland in 1973. He had an exciting career as a heavy equipment mechanic and operator throughout the United States and Canada. Ken loved his family, especially his daughters and grandchildren. He had an infectious smile and a witty sense of humor. With his easy-going, caring spirit he made lifelong friends in every town he worked and visited. He was a member of many clubs and organizations throughout his life. He followed in his father’s footsteps joining the Free Masons. He had a great love of music and cars that he passed on to his children and grandchildren. He played in numerous bands over the years and was nicknamed “Kenny Kansas” when he played guitar and sang in the Freddie Henshaw Band. He could play any instrument he picked up; he was a songwriter and his favorite instruments were guitar, piano and fiddle. He loved watching NASCAR races and he owned several Corvettes throughout his life. Ken had a pilot’s license and owned a plane in Alaska, where he also enjoyed hunting, fishing and boating. He was always dreaming big which led him to many exciting life experiences. He did and saw more than a hundred people see in one lifetime.
He is survived by his life partner, Lisa Avery; three daughters, Pamela Garrett of Sherwood, Ore., Kimberly Schamburg and husband Dennis of Cedar Hill, Mo., Kathleen Cole and husband Robert of Palmer, Alaska; grandchildren, Braydon Robbins and Shayla Jaeger of Portland, Ore., Audrianna Alleva of Anchorage, Alaska, Dalton, Carissa, and Seamus Alleva of Sherwood, Ore., Natalie Paul of St. Louis, Mo., Benjamin, Lydia, Adam, Caleb, Luke, and Asher Schamburg of Cedar Hill, Mo., Ryan and Kaylee Cole of Palmer, Alaska, Kage and Tana Akers of Topeka, Kan.; one great-grandson William Beerkircher; four sisters, Linda Lamer and husband Roger of Jefferson, Ore., Nancy Golladay and husband Gary of Joplin, Mo., Wanda Haak and husband Paul of Corvallis, Ore., Sherry Garrett and Gary Simonton of Salem, Ore., four brothers, William Garrett of Redmond, Ore., Ricky Garrett and wife Paula of Sweet Home, Ore., Darryl Garrett and wife Ali of Sweet Home, Ore., Wayne Garrett of Sweet Home, Ore.; one aunt, Dorothy Mero of Foley, Al., and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his daughter Rene Akers; grandsons Tanyr Alan Akers and Seth Josiah Schamburg; two brothers Clayton Garrett and James Garrett, one sister Marjorie Garrett, his parents, and a dear friend, Debbie Jensen.
Rev. Dr. Jared Witt will conduct a graveside service at 11 a.m. Monday April 3, 2017, at the U. S. National Cemetery. Military honors will be provided by the Olson Frary Burkhart post #1165 V.F.W. The family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at the Cheney Witt Chapel, 201 S. Main Fort Scott, Kan. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guest book at cheneywitt.com.
With the arrival of spring and even warmer months to come, the city of Fort Scott encourages residents and visitors to take advantage of the amenities provided at Gunn Park.
“What an awesome park we have here,” City Manager Dave Martin said during the Chamber Coffee Thursday morning, when codes enforcement manager Rhonda Dunn spoke of the history of the park.
Dunn said she has heard that Gunn Park is the largest, city-owned park in the state of Kansas, with 155 acres that include two lakes, seven shelter houses, a number of playgrounds, a disc golf course, dog park, trails and the Marmatton River.
In the early 1900s, Gunn Park was privately owned land and only Fern Lake existed, with a wooden pavilion building and the remainder of the current park property being used as farmland. According to records, the park was frequently used by the community who came for swimming, diving, boat rentals and five cent trolley rides.
William Gunn, who found success in real estate and invested greatly in Fort Scott in the early 1900s, purchased the land and gave it to the city, with records quoting him as saying he believed the park should belong to the city and should always be free to visitors.
“We are the benefactors of an incredible gift,” Dunn said of Gunn’s gift more than a century ago.
Since accepting that gift, the city has maintained the park as well as made a number of changes. Dunn encourages businesses and residents to consider Gunn Park when planning for events such as parties or family reunions, adding she would like to see the community present at the park more frequently.
Those interested in reserving one of the shelter houses, two of which now have heating and air, can contact city hall.
No matter how squeamish you are, I recommend you see the movie “Hacksaw Ridge.” Even though the war scenes are graphically gruesome—I closed my eyes—the message to rely on God far exceeds any blood-and-guts cinematography.
If ever someone’s Christian convictions dictated his decisions, it was Desmond Doss’s. In the opening scene, Doss is reading aloud from Isaiah 40:31: But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. That verse becomes his life refrain.
After joining the army to work as a medic in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, Doss relentlessly defends his belief not to shoot a gun, kill the enemy or work on the Sabbath. (Hard to do in war, and especially difficult to convince your army buddies you deserve to serve alongside them.) Doss’s bunkmates despise him. As they practice their sharp-shooting skills, he reads his Bible. In their eyes, they are asked to protect a young, skinny medic who refuses to carry his fair load.
Because of that, Doss is beaten, persecuted and charged with “mental instability.” After arguing for his First Amendment rights—the freedom “to be like Christ: saving life instead of taking it”—he wins his court martial case and is allowed to go into battle.
Only when he is in a foxhole with Smitty, the soldier who led the bunkhouse assault against him, does Doss reveal why he abhors violence: as an adolescent, he had pulled a gun on his alcoholic father who was beating his mother. The foxhole partners soon realize they have many things in common. As a friendship is formed, the Japanese attack.
In the ensuing battle, Smitty is killed. The American soldiers are forced to abandon the area, leaving their wounded behind.
Doss desperately pleads with God. “What do you want of me? I don’t understand! I can’t hear you!” At that moment, Doss hears a cry from a wounded soldier. His answer has come. Doss stands, says “Alright,” straps on his helmet, and as his fellow soldiers retreat, walks back into battle. Alone.
That scene plays out multiple times as Doss begs God to allow him to save “just one more.” Each time, as an injured fighter cries out, Doss belly crawls to follow the voice of the wounded. Exposing himself to heavy gun and mortar fire, he drags severely injured men to the edge of the ridge, ties a rope around their bodies and lowers them to the waiting medics below.
Because of Doss’s bravery and faith in God, he is able, over a twelve-hour period, to save 75 wounded comrades. This courageous action and others earn Doss America’s highest military award, the Medal of Honor, the first ever given to a conscientious objector.
Doss had begged for an audible voice from God; instead, he received his answer amidst the cries of the desperate people around him. So what are we to take from this?
If we want to hear God’s voice, maybe it’s as simple as paying attention. To our neighbors. Our friends. Our families. Our enemies. Just like God called Doss to do the impossible, perhaps he wants the same from us.
The question remains: Are we interested enough to listen?