John Thomas "J. T." Fowler, 69, Merriam, KS, died Thursday, July 10, 1997, at Nevada Regional Medical Center, Nevada, MO, after a brief illness. Mr. Fowler has been cremated according to his wishes. Memorial services will be 2 p.m. Saturday, July 12, at the Arcadia Christian Church, with Paul Coffman officiating and J. T. Knoll giving the euloygy; burial of the cremains will be in the Sheffield Cemetery, Arcadia. Memorial contributions may be made to the Nevada Regional Medical Center Foundation, Nevada, MO, and may be left at or sent to the Bedene Funeral Home, PO Box 621, Arma, KS 66712. Mr. Fowler was born May 28 1928, in Arcadia, KS, the son of James T. and Ada M. Davenport Fowler. Mr. Fowler was a retired banker. Mr. Fowler graduated from Arcadia High School in 1947. Following high school he served two years in the United States Navy. He attended Ft. Scott Junior College and Ottawa University and received his Bachelor's degree from Kansas State University. Mr. Fowler worked for Conoco Oil Company following graduation and the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City as an examiner. He later worked for Commerce Trust Company and the First National Bank of Kansas City (Boatman's National Bank) as a bank correspondent for Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico and Wyoming banks. He was a member of Arcadia Christian Church, Arcadia Masonic Lodge # 329, Ft. Scott Consistory, Mirza Shrine, the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars. Survivors include five sisters, Ione Guthrie, Nevada, MO, Doris Stelie, Arcadia, KS, Frances "Peachy" Bedene, Arma, KS, Jo Ferraro, Nevada, MO, and Helen Knoll, Frontenac, KS; two brothers, R. W. "Bill" Fowler, Weir, KS, and David Fowler, Burlingame, KS; 15 nieces; 18 nephews; 84 great-nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, four brothers, George Fowler, Paul Fowler, Glenn Fowler, and James V. Fowler, and two sisters, Eller Jeter : and Thelma Renfro. (Arangements: Bedene Funeral Home, Arma, KS) (The Kansas City Star, July 11, 1997, submitted by Robert King)


ARCADIA — Edith M. Bridgewater, 71, of Arcadia died at 6:44 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012, at Landmark Hospital at Joplin, Mo.

Mrs. Bridgewater was born March 9, 1941, at Osage City, Kan., the daughter of Elmer G. and Marie V. Harper Ard. Edith was a homemaker who lived most of her life in Arcadia. She was raised in Osage City and graduated from Osage City High School in 1959. She and her husband owned the Game Room and Bearcat Cafe in Arcadia and she also did babysitting for numerous children. She married Allen Eugene Bridgewater on April 5, 1962, at Arcadia, Kan. Mr. Bridgewater preceded her in death April 22, 2006. She was a member of the Open Door Mission Church in Arcadia. Survivors include a son, Bill Bridgewater and his wife Linda, of Arcadia; three daughters, Vicki Sheehy and her husband Tony, of Arma, Janelle Smith and her husband Dan of Neosho, Mo., and Terri Webb and her husband Jeremiah, of Carthage, Mo.; three sisters, Lois Gurtler, of Osage City, Agnes Payne, of Owasso, Okla., and Verna Morris, of Osage City; two brothers, Jack Ard, of Carbondale, Kan., and Merle Ard, of Topeka, Kan.; 10 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; two sisters, Alice K. Ard and Ethel Payne; and three brothers, Elmer, Edwin and Bob Ard.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 18, 2012, at the Open Door Mission Church in Arcadia with Pastor Roy Widmar and Pastor Don Talent officiating. Burial will be at the Sheffield Cemetery near Arcadia. The family will receive friends from 6-7 p.m. Wednesday at the Bedene Funeral Home at Arma where friends may call after 11 a.m. Wednesday. The family suggests memorials to the Open Door Mission Church at Arcadia. Donations may be sent to or left at the Bedene Funeral Home, 517 E. Washington, Box 621, Arma, KS 66712. (The Morning Sun, October 17, 2012, submitted by Jody Edens Spencer)


Earldeen L. Pryor, 92 of Arma, died at 1:50 a.m. Monday October 15, 2012 at the Arma Care Center in Arma, KS.

She was born August 3, 1920 in Sayer, OK the daughter of James and Laura Mae (Howell) Ferrel. She has been a resident of the SEK area since the early 1970’s moving here from Wichita; prior to that she lived in Massachusetts, Idaho, California, and Arkansas.

Earldeen married Merle E. Pryor on October 6, 1953 in Mississippi; he preceded her in death on December 6, 1983.

In her younger years she worked for Bemaus Bag Company, worked for Boeing Aircraft in Wichita during WWII and assembly for Sutton’s Manufacturing Co. also in Wichita.

She was a member of the Arma Family Christian Center.

Survivors include step-sons Ted and James Pryor, Step-daughters Jeanette Cline; numerous Grandchildren, Great-grandchildren and Great-great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, step-son Merle E. Pryor Jr.; step-daughter Mary Lou Mapes; brothers Kenneth M. and Calvin R. Ferrel and sisters Hazel Boyce and Norma Bourman.

Memorial services will be 1 p.m. Thursday October 18, 2012 at the Bath-Naylor Funeral Home in Pittsburg with Reverend Blair Thompson officiating. Inurnment will follow in the Garden of Memories Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the American Lung Association. Memorials may be brought by or mailed to the Bath-Naylor Funeral Home 522 S. Broadway Pittsburg KS, 66762. (The Morning Sun, October 17, 2012, submitted by Jody Edens Spencer)


PITTSBURG — Dorothy Pauline Little, 84, of Pittsburg, formerly of Arma, died at 2:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at the Arma Care Center at Arma, Kan.

Pauline was born Feb. 3, 1928, at Girard, Kan., the daughter of William G. and Lena Scales Kays. Pauline was a homemaker. She was raised in Girard and graduated from Girard High School in 1945. She taught at Girard Grade School, worked for Vac-O-Hy in Girard, the Dairy Castle in Arma, and also sold Avon products. She married Gene Lofts. They later divorced. She later married James Little on June 22, 1973, at Miami, Okla. Mr. Little preceded her in death in Oct. 2008. She was a member of the Countryside Christian Church in Pittsburg. Survivors include two sons, Ray (Sharon) Lofts of Pittsburg and Gary (Susan) Lofts of Arma; four grandchildren, five great grandchildren, and several step-grandchildren and step-great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and a grandson, Cameron Lofts.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012, at the Bedene Funeral Home at Arma with Rev. Dan Muter officiating. Burial will be at the Pittsburg Garden of Memories Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6-7 p.m. Monday at the Bedene Chapel in Arma where friends may call after 2 p.m. Monday. The family suggests memorials to the Cameron Lofts Scholarship Fund. Donations may be sent to or left at the Bedene Funeral Home, 517 E. Washington, Box 621, Arma, KS 66712. (The Morning Sun, October 15, 2012, submitted by Jody Edens Spencer)


ARMA — Mae D. Sustarsic, 84, of Arma, died at 7:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, at the Arma Care Center at Arma, Kan.

Mrs. Sustarsic was born August 5, 1928, at Bentonville, Ark., the daughter of Robert and Velma Goodwin McCool. She was a homemaker. She was raised in Mulberry and attended Mulberry schools. she lived in Foxtown prior to moving to Arma in 1990. She married Frank Sustarsic on July 14, 1945, at Girard, Kan. He preceded her in death on Dec. 30, 1997. Survivors include a daughter, Joyce Sustarsic, of Arma; two sons, Frankie (Phyllis) Sustarsic of Pitttsburg, and Gary Sustarsic of Arma; nine grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and two great great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband; a son, Larry Sustarsic; a sister, Emma Hoop; and three brothers, Robert, Delbert and Albert McCool.

Funeral services will be at 1 p.m. Monday, Oct. 15, 2012, at the Bedene Funeral Home at Arma with the Rev. Jim Sukraw officiating. Burial will be at the Pittsburg Garden of Memories Cemetery. Friends may call noon to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Bedene Chapel. Arrangements are under the direction of the Bedene Funeral Home, 517 E. Washington, Box 621, Arma, KS 66712. (The Morning Sun, October 15, 2012, submitted by Jody Edens Spencer)


PITTSBURG — Anna Perina (Perina Cubete) Gibbs Jones, 97, of Pittsburg, passed away peacefully at 1:00 a.m. Sunday, December 30, 2012 at her home.

A “coalminer’s daughter”, Perina was born November 4, 1915 near Dunkirk, on the family farm, to Giovanni (John) and Maria Louisa Cubete. She attended Gaskell school and graduated from Pittsburg High School in 1933. Perina was the youngest in the family and the only girl. She had three older brothers: Serafino (Cy), Joseph and Eugene who have preceded her in death. A fourth brother, Freddie, was born in 1918 and lived only two days.

She married her high school sweetheart, Meade Gibbs, in 1938, and they ranched and farmed together prior to his death in 1976. In 1978, she married Walter Jones. He also preceded her in death in 1991.

Perina spent the bulk of her life involved in many worthwhile projects. She lived in Pittsburg all her life and was well known throughout the community. She and her husband, for the benefit of all those living in their area, helped organize a Rural Water District. A lifelong FDR Democrat, she served for years as her local Precinct Committee Woman. She was a member of various clubs and organizations including the camera club, Audubon Society, TT Club, the Italian Heritage Society and the Chicopee Foundation where she served as treasurer and cashier at the dinners for many years. She always had a ready smile and a quick quip as she took your money at the door.

Perina was one of the first to purchase a large family plaque at the Miner’s Memorial and waited, sometimes impatiently, for the completion of the memorial with its displays. She loved to have family and friends visit the memorial and listen as she recalled childhood memories of past mining events.

Her love for animals led to her involvement as one of the founders of the SEK Humane Society. Even when she was no longer able to visit the shelter, she would send her newspapers and a monthly donation to help the animals. Perina was well known for feeding corn to the migratory Canadian geese, and people would stop along the side of the rode to enjoy the hundreds that often flocked on her property.

Survivors include a nephew, Sam Cubete, who along with his wife, Coanne, have tended to her care these past two years and a niece, Marian Jean Howard of Knoxville, Tennessee; two stepsons, Tom Jones (Cecelia) of Florida and Fred Jones (Jo Lynne) of California. Five grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, four great nephews and nieces, eight great-great nephews and nieces and two great-great-great nephews. (Morning Sun, January 2, 2013, submitted by Jody Edens Spencer)


John Randolph, a well known attorney of Pittsburg, Kansas, died Sunday of typhoid fever. Mr. Randolph was one of the brainiest men in Southern Kansas, and has frequently been mentioned in connection with the Third District congressional nomination. As a political orator and a camp fire speaker he had few, if any equals in the state. Many friends all over Kansas will lament his untimely death.
(Iola Daily Register ~ December 10, 1901)



Marguerite Watson, 70, Pittsburg, Kansas, died at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday in that city after a two week illness. Services will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday from the Kemp Methodist Church with Rev. E. E. Lawshe and W. Noble Greene officiating and burial will be in Wabash.

Friends may call at the Leatherman-Morris Funeral Home after 7 p.m. Friday.

Mrs. Watson was born Feb. 7, 1897 in Wabash, daughter of Charles and Grace (Griswald) Bauer. She was married to Wabash Nov. 19, 1922 to Russell Watson and had lived in Tipton since 1936. Her husband preceded her in death Feb. 6, 1958. She had been employed in Compton's Hardware Store where she reitired in 1964.

Survivors include Richard Watson, a son, from Pittsburg, Kansas, and Charles Bauer, Tipton, a nephew. There are four grandchildren.
(Tipton Tribune (Indiana) ~ May 4, 1967)


Melinda Caserio, 75, formerly of Frontenac, Kansas died early Sunday morning at the Monticello Nursing Home in Mt. Carmel.

Surviving are one son, John Costa with whom she had made her home the past six months, one granddaughter, Cathy Costa and three sisters, Mrs. Joseph Johnson and Mrs. Jack Guerrero of Frontenac, Kansas, and Mrs. Gus Toivanen of Detroit, Michigan.

The body is being returned to the Friskel Funeral Home in Frontenac, Kansas where serving at 10 o'clock. Interment will be in St. Mary's Cemetery in Frontenac, Kansas.
(Mount Carmel. Illinois, Daily Republican ~ March 27, 1967)


FRONTENAC, Kan.----Lorin B. Bodelle, 18, Frontenac, died at 6:40 p.m. Saturday at Mount Carmel Medical Center following injuries he received in an automobile accident on Aug. 31.

Mr. Bodelle was born July 23, 1955, at Pittsburg. He was an employee of Pittsburg Pottery Co. and a member of the Christian Church.

Survivors include his father and stepmother, Mr. and Mrs. William L. Bodelle, Frontenac; his mother, Joan Bodelle, Enid, Okla.; two brothers, David Bodelle, Frontenac, and Donnie Bodelle, Enid; two stepbrothers, Martin Seaman and Carl Seaman, both of Frontenac; four stepsisters, Mrs. Martha Stephenson, Baxter Springs. Mrs. Mary McDonald, Pittsburg, Miss Linda Seaman and Miss Donna Seaman, Frontenac; paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. William a. Bodelle, Pittsburg, and the maternal grandmother, Mrs. Martha Bartley, Joplin, Mo.

Services will be announced by Wilson Chapel, Pittsburg.

The family will be at the home of the paternal grandparents, 618 W. Forest Ave., Pittsburg.
(Joplin Globe ~ November 18, 1973)


Clarence D. Huffman, a prominent teacher of Southeastern Kansas, was killed at Pittsburg in a collision between an electric car and a string of coal cars being pushed before an engine. (Free Press ~ Hays ~ June 1, 901)


PITTSBURG, Kan.----Services for John B. Bezinque, 89, Pittsburg route 4, who died at 7:25 a.m. Sunday at Mount Carmel Medical Center, Pittsburg, following several months of ill health, will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Friskel Funeral Home, Frontenac, with burial in Frontenac City Cemetery.

The body will be taken to the family home today and friends may call there this afternoon and tonight.

Mr. Bezinque was born Sept. 13, 1882, in France. He moved to the United States at the age of nine and settled in Colgate, Okla. In 1898 he moved to the Frontenac area where he resided the rest of his life. He worked as a coal miner until 1923 when he took to farming. On March 9, 1904 he married Eva Gouvener in Girard. She survives.

Surviving in addition to his wife is a daughter, Mrs. Lucille Walin, Blue Island, Ill.; three sons, Emery Bezinque, Roger Bezinque and Raymond Bezinque, all of Pittsburg route 4; five grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren; and a half-brother, Claudion Buquillon, France. (Joplin Globe ~ August 1, 1972)


Abstract: Died: March 31, 2013 in Beach Park, Illinois. Age 99. Born: May 16, 1913 in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Parents: Charlie B. and Rachel Mathis.

Preceded in death by his parents; brother Carl C. Mathis; daughter Barbara Anne; son-in-law William H. Butterbaugh.

Survivors include: wife Esther Nell; daughter Rosemary L. Butterbaugh; son Carl B. Mathis and his wife Rosemary; granddaughter Laura Butterbaugh Lindeman and her husband Steve; granddaughter Louise Herberger and her husband Terrance; granddaughter Lucile Butterbaugh; grandson Charles Mathis and his wife Heather; grandson Chris Mathis and his wife Nancy; grandson Eric Mathis; granddaughter Anne Stander; grandchildren Andrew and Rachel Mathis, Elaine, Terra and Margaret Herberger and Denly and Eleanor Butterbaugh Lindeman.

Interment: April 6, 2013 at Mount Olive Cemetery, Pittsburg, Crawford County, Kansas.

Source: Madison County Record (Madison County, AR) 11 April 2013; submitted by Melissa Frye


ARMA - Louise M. Kovacic, 87, of Arma, died at 4:30 a.m. Friday, June 7, 2013, at the Arma Care Center in Arma, Kan.

Mrs. Kovacic was born on Aug. 15, 1925, in Gross, a coal mining camp near Arcadia, Kan., the daughter of Rollie and Rosa Belle (Davenport) Silvers. She attended schools in the Arcadia area, graduating from Arcadia High School in 1943. She went to Kansas State Teachers College of Pittsburg, now Pittsburg State University, and obtained a teaching certificate. She taught Adams School, District No. 95, north of Arma for several years. She later worked for the Crawford County Clerk for many years as an assessor and as a poll worker in the North Arma precinct. From July 24, 1968, until her retirement on March 30, 1990, she worked as a Postal Clerk at the Arma Bost Office. She married William G. Kovacic on June 27, 1947, in Girard, Kan. Mr. Kovacic preceded her in death Nov. 29, 2011. Membership was held in the Lon Helm Post No. 182 American Legion Auxiliary in Arma and the SNPJ Lodge No. 225. For many years, she helped with fundraising and funeral dinners at the Arma United Methodist Church. Survivors include her daughter and son-in-law, Joan L. and Ken Cleland of Arma; her son, William J. Kovacic of Lexington, Ky.; and her daughter and son-in-law, Susan A. and Joe Polhlopek of Franklin; three grandsons and one granddaughter, John (Kelly) Cleland, Scott (Alyssa) Cleland, Lenexa, Joseph Polhlopek, Franklin, and Jaycie Polhlopek, Franklin; three great-grandsons, Cooper Cleland and Brett Cleland of Arma, and Caden Cleland, Lenexa; and many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Bill; her brothers, Bernie Silvers, Fern Silvers, J.R. Silvers, William R. Silvers, Kenneth C. Silvers; and her sisters, Daphine Gobl and Una Burge.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, June 10, 2012, at the Bedene Funeral Home at Arma with the Rev. Glenn Duderstadt officiating. Burial will be at the Pittsburg Garden of Memories Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Sunday at the Bedene Chapel. Friends may call after 11 a.m. Sunday at the chapel. The family will be at the home of Susan and Joe Polhlopek, 728 E. 630th Ave., Franklin, KS. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial donations to the Kovacic Family Scholarship Fund, Pittsburg State University Foundation, to assist graduates of Northeast High School attending Pittsburg State University. Memorials may be sent to or left at the Bedene Funeral Home, 517 E. Washington, Box 621, Arma, KS 66712. (Morning Sun, June 9, 2013, submitted by Jody Edens Spencer)


ARMA - Mary Ellen Otto, 65, of Arma, KS, formerly of Cherokee, KS, died at 6:25am, Monday July 1, 2013 at Via Christi Hospital in Pittsburg of a short illness

She was born September 21, 1947 in Wichita, KS the daughter of Wayne and Theresa Masterson Otto. She had been a resident of Cherokee for most of her life.

Mary Ellen graduated from Southeast High School with the class of 1965.

She had worked as a key punch operator for the Census Bureau in Pittsburg and later was the bookkeeper for the Cherokee Grain Company in Cherokee, KS.

Membership was held in St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Scammon, KS and the St. Bridget's Altar Society. She also attended St. Joseph Catholic Church in Arma, KS.

Survivors include one brother Tom Otto and his wife Mary, one niece Mendi Otto, two nephews Jim Otto and Sean Otto all of Cherokee, KS. She was preceded in death by her parents.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10 am Wednesday at St. Bridget's Catholic Church in Scammon with Father Chrysostom Ah Maung, as celebrant. The organist will be Sharon Barone. Pallbearers will be Bernard Otto, Joe Otto, Don Otto, Kenny Otto, Bill Otto, and Jim Otto. Burial will be in the Cherokee City Cemetery in Cherokee, KS. The parish rosary will be recited at 7 pm Tuesday, July 2, 2013 at the Bath-Naylor Funeral Home, 104 W. Main St., Weir, KS, where the family will receive their friends until 8 pm. A memorial has been established to St. Bridget's Building Fund in care of the funeral home. Friends may call after 4 pm Tuesday at the funeral home. (Morning Sun, July 3, 2013, submitted by Jody Edens Spencer)

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