Obituaries: Jan. 23, 2020

Carolyn J. Barkley

Nov. 21, 1932 – Jan. 11, 2020

Carolyn June Barkley, 87, Raymore, died Jan. 11 at the Belton Regional Medical Center, Belton.

She is survived by a son, Jon Kevin Barkley; two daughters, Rebecca Albanna, McKinney, Texas, and Kim Santora and husband, John, Harrisonville; seven grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; and other relatives and many friends.

Cremation, with no services scheduled at this time.

Funeral arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville.


James S. Bryant

Sept. 15, 1947 – Dec. 29, 2020

James Snyder Bryant, 72, of the Medford Community, died Dec. 29 at his home.

James was born Sept. 15, 1947, at Rose Hill, the son of Glen Curtis Bryant and Grace Elizabeth (Snyder) Bryant.

Later, the family moved to their Century Farm near Medford. He graduated from Holden High School. Jim served in the United States Army during the Vietnam War. He was married to Theresa L. Hammond Jan. 21, 1977 at Miami, Oklahoma. He was employed at Church & Dwight in Harrisonville. Jim also farmed throughout his life, something he truly loved.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a son, Tony Bryant.

Survivors include his wife, Theresa; son, Cody Bryant, Holden; sister, Barbara Bruns (James), Kansas City; brother, Robert Bryant (Sophie), Kansas City; six grandchildren; one great grandchild; and several nieces and nephews.

Funeral services were Jan. 3 at Williams Funeral Chapel, Holden, with Pastor Bobby Kent officiating. Interment was in Medford Cemetery.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Williams Funeral Home, Holden.


Michael L. Caswell

Nov. 1, 1959 – Jan. 10, 2020

Michael Lee Caswell, 60, Louisburg, Kansas, died Jan. 10. He was born Nov.

1, 1959, in Paola, Kansas, the son of Roy and Norma Caswell.

Mike married the love of his life, Debbie, June 30, 1979. Together they had four children, Trisha (Chris) Goodale, Christopher (Beth) Caswell, Katie (Dan) Larsen and Brian (Amelia) Caswell.

Mike enjoyed spending time with his grandchildren, Nicholas and Kylie Goodale, George, Stella and Ethan Larsen, Grace Caswell and soon to arrive, Olivia Caswell.

In Mike’s earlier days, when he wasn’t causing ruckus you could find him racing derby cars, fishing or cutting wood on his land. He was an avid fan of NASCAR, KU basketball and the Kansas City Chiefs. More than anything Mike cherished being a husband, father and grandfather.

Friends and family always knew where they stood with Mike, as he would never miss an opportunity to “tell it like it is.” With his quick wit and keen sense of practical knowledge, he leaves a legacy and road map to the game of life for all that knew him.

Mike endured many health issues, always with grace and a sense of humor. He always had a quick-witted comment to share and kept his family laughing.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Norma Caswell; and his sister, Kathy Johnston.

Mike leaves behind his wife, Debbie, of 40 years; his children; grandchildren; his sisters, Linda (Mike) Towne, Barbara (Bud) Crust, Harrisonville, and Debbie (Jim) Reitinger; and his brother, Roy Caswell.

A Mass of Christian Burial was Jan. 16 at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church, Louisburg. Michael was laid to rest at Queen of the Holy Rosary Wea Cemetery.

Those who wish to make a memorial contribution in Mike’s memory may do so to Catholic Community Hospice or Immaculate Conception Catholic Church.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Dengel and Son Funeral Home, Louisburg.


Linda L. Dinning

Aug. 16, 1941 – Jan. 14, 2020

Linda Lou Dinning, Harrisonville, was born Aug. 16, 1941, in Kansas City, the daughter of Arthur Lee and Lois Louise (Morgan) Taylor.

She died Jan. 14 at the Crown Care Center, Harrisonville, at the age of 78 years, 4 months and 29 days.

On Nov. 25, 1972, Linda was married to Harold Edward Dinning in Kansas City.

Linda was employed as a social worker for the state of Missouri for daycare licensing. Later she owned and operated Linda Loveable’s Gift Shop and then Linda’s Bright Beginnings Daycare in Garden City.

She was a member of the United Methodist Church, Harrisonville, where she was in charge of the nursery for many years. Linda had received her Bachelor of Arts degree from William Jewell College.

She was involved with Friendship Meals of Garden City, the Garden City VFW Auxiliary and was Woman of the Year in Garden City.

Linda was an avid fan of the Kansas City Chiefs and the Missouri Tigers. She loved listening to Andy Williams, Elvis Presley and Conway Twitty. Linda was known as the “Mother Hen” at the nursing home.

Besides her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, Harold Dinning, Nov. 24, 1984; and a sister, Donna Matthews.

Linda is survived by a son, Dennis Dinning, Creighton; a daughter, Margaret Wram, Raymore; four grandchildren, Dianna Parrott, Stephanie Moore, Jennifer Dixon and Jeffery Hart; eight great-grandchildren, Lynnlee and Grace Parrot, Lauren Moore, Rusty Moore, David and Haley Dixon, Kaylee Hart and Miles Eversole; a brother, Art Taylor and wife, Joanne, Cincinnati, Ohio; a sister, Lois McWilliams and husband, Gene, Kansas City; special friends, Joyce Jackson, Randy Jones, Bonnie Hyatt and Sam; several nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews; and other relatives and many friends.

Funeral services were Jan. 20 at the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville, with burial in the Garden City Cemetery.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home, Harrisonville.


Linda J. Lee

Nov. 9, 1934 – Jan. 14, 2020

Linda Joan Lee, 85, Freeman, died Jan. 14 at Brookdale Overland Park in Overland Park, Kansas, surrounded by her family.

Funeral services were Jan. 18 at the Freeman Presbyterian Church in Freeman, with burial in the Freeman Cemetery.

Linda was born Nov. 9, 1934, in Lowry City, the daughter of Linden C. Bartlett and Frances (Babler) Bartlett. She graduated from Rich Hill High School and placed first in shorthand and accuracy typing at the Missouri state meet in 1950. She was recruited from high school into federal civil service and continued her education with courses taken at Rockhurst and Central Missouri State University.

She married the love of her life, Leon Wesley Lee, Aug. 18, 1956, at Hume United Methodist Church and to this union, three children were born, Susan, Larry and Lisa.

Linda and Leon enjoyed 58 years of marriage before Leon’s death Oct. 28, 2014. They lived most of those years on their family farm in Freeman, which is where they raised their three children.

Linda retired after 25 years of service with the federal government, working with the United States Air Force from 1951 to 1969 at both Richards-Gebaur AFB and Whiteman AFB as a clerk, stenographer, statistical clerk, management technician, administrative officer and industrial engineering technician.

She left that work in 1969, shortly after her third child was born, and returned to federal service at the Internal Revenue Service in Kansas City to finish out her 25 years of service only after all three children were enrolled in college.

Linda was a member and treasurer of the Mary Sibley Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and a member of the Freeman Presbyterian Church.

Linda will be remembered for her infectious smile, her welcoming nature and her abiding love for her family.

In lieu of flowers sent to the service, the family requests you send them to someone you love, give of your time, talent or treasure to the Freeman Presbyterian Church, the Alzheimer’s Association or a charity of your choice, and take your grandma out for lunch. It is as she would have wanted.

Linda was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Leon; her brother, Robert “Bob” Bartlett and his, wife, Donna Bartlett; and her nephew, Brian Bartlett.

She is survived by her daughter, Susan Lynn Lee and her husband, Eric Thompson, Lee’s Summit; her son, Larry Wesley Lee and his wife, Beth, Stilwell, Kansas, and their three children, Kirsten, Anna and Jenae; her daughter, Lisa Ann Lee, Denver, Colorado; her brother, James “Jim” Bartlett and his wife, Carol; many nieces and nephews; her amazing caregivers; and countless friends.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.


Wayne Edward McConnell, II

Dec. 30, 1962 – Jan. 11, 2020

Wayne Edward McConnell, II, 57, born Dec. 30, 1962, died Jan. 11. He was preceded in death by his parents, Wayne Edward and Karon Kay (Owens) McConnell.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Cherree McConnell, of the home, Pleasant Hill; three daughters, Ryan Cyphers and husband, Dan, Belton, Jaurie Wells and husband, Adam, Urich, and Julea Abernathy, East Lynne; two sons, Wayne McConnell, III and wife, Cassandra, East Lynne, and Shane McConnell and Karina of Kansas City; three step-children, Shelley Riggertt and husband, Chris, East Lynne, Dwayne Holly, II, Sarcoxie, and Nate Holly and wife, Kaylee, Frontenac, Kansas; two sisters, Katrina JeuDevine and husband, Craig, Garden City, and Lori Jones and husband, Craig, Pleasant Hill; as well as many beloved grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

Wayne had many passions in life, but the first was spending time with his family and especially his grandchildren. Wayne’s favorite pastime outside of family was working with and restoring cars. He put a lot of love into each car he worked on and made many friends throughout his career. Wayne also loved to fish. He often would surprise his wife by stopping along the road and picking her wildflowers because he knew they were her favorite. He knew how to cheer her up when she was going through difficult times and he always knew how to make someone smile. Wayne had a very kind heart and loved everyone. Wayne had a habit of putting everyone else first and himself last which meant he made friends everywhere he went. Wayne also loved collecting trains and cars. Wayne will be greatly missed by everyone that knew him.

His wife and family celebrated his new journey at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25 at VFW Post 3118, 1701 Country Club Dr., Pleasant Hill. His wish, as he told his wife many times, was for everyone to dress comfortably at his celebration of life. He wasn’t one for formal attire.


Charles E. Pendleton

Aug. 24, 1929 – Jan. 10, 2020

Charles Edward Pendleton, Garden City, was born Aug. 24, 1929, the son of Ernest Truman and Agnes Mary (Hull) Pendleton of Spring Garden. He died Jan. 10 at Redwood of Raymore.

July 16, 1954, Charles was married to Evelyn Ann Greenwell at the Baptist Church in Belton.

Charles was hired Jan. 18, 1955, as a plater for Bendix and a farmer at the same time. He later was a fireman for Bendix/Honeywell and retired March 19, 1984.

Charles and Evelyn first moved to this area to a farm in Creighton and then a second farm in Garden City before finding their home in town in Garden City where they have been the last 50 years of their lives.

While in Garden City, Charles was a on the volunteer fire department and civil defense and was a fireman at the Missouri State Fair in Sedalia. Charles was a Shriner in the 1960s and 1970s and a Mason for 56 years.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his sister, Doris Clark; a brother, Richard Pendleton; and a son, Daniel Pendleton, June 22, 2012.

Charles is survived by his wife of 65 years, Evelyn Pendleton; three sons, Jimmy Pendleton and wife, Lorie, Imperial Beach, California, Larry Pendleton and wife, Mary, Chesapeake, Virginia, and Gerald Pendleton and wife, Susan, Los Lunas, New Mexico; a daughter, Karen Potocnik and husband, Jerry, Lee’s Summit; daughter-in-law, Tammy Pendleton, Peculiar; grandchildren, Jim, Lee, Jessica, Melisa, Samantha, Nikia, Amanda, Roxanne, Rebecca, Alan, Hannah, Raechel, Mindy, Shawn, Keith, Kiowa, Kurt, Erik, Austin, Macee and Micala; great-grandchildren, Emily, Patrick, Erik, Thaalia, Alyssa, Lilah, William, Kayden, Noah, Cash, Ahlysa, Abrianna, Ashton, Layiah, Thomas, Nicholas, Chase, Shawn, October, Adelae, Epha, Caroline, Vivienne, Whit, Chloe and Jackson.

Masonic services were Jan. 14 with the funeral service following at the Dickey Funeral Home, Garden City. Interment with military service was in the Garden City Cemetery, Garden City.

The family suggests memorial contributions to Integrity Hospice.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home, Garden City.


Arlene R. Sevy

May 25, 1932 – Jan. 13, 2020

Arlene Reneé Sevy, 87, Harrisonville, died Jan. 13 at her home. Funeral services were Jan. 20 at the Atkinson Funeral Home in Harrisonville. Burial was in Orient Cemetery, Harrisonville.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ( or to Disabled American Veterans ( in Reneé’s name.

Arlene Reneé Belanger was born May 25, 1932, in Hibbing, Minnesota, the daughter of Rene and Florence (Strand) Belanger. The eldest of six, she was like a mother to her siblings, taking on many of the mothering duties because her mother worked many late hours as a nurse.

Arlene married Lyle Eisel July 18, 1951, in Superior, Wisconsin. Mark Eisel was born of that union in October 1952. The young couple divorced and she became a single working mom.

While working at Kitche’s Café in Superior, Arlene met Bill Sevy. Bill was working for Massman Construction, building the Blatnic Bridge that now connects Duluth, Minnesota, and Superior, Wisconsin, over the St. Louis Bay.

He chose to eat at Kitche’s quite regularly after meeting Arlene and so won the heart of Arlene, hereafter referred to as Reneé, and Mark after a short courtship.

She married William “Bill” Sevy Sept. 8, 1959, in Pine County, Minnesota. The three soon became four when William “Casey” Sevy was born in Lincoln, Nebraska, in August 1960.

Moving to Missouri in 1960 and making their home in Harrisonville, the couple had three more children, Lane Rene, Alison Ann and Christopher Derl. Reneé’s most loved occupation was mother of five, grandma of eight and great-grandma of 14. She loved her family.

She was a bookkeeper for Western Auto and more recently Friedrich’s Tax Service. Reneé loved the friends of the Bingo Social Club that met monthly for several years. She was an avid reader, until her eyes failed her.

Reneé was preceded in death by her parents; her son, Christopher; her husband, Bill; and her brother, Tom Belanger.

She leaves behind her sons, Mark Eisel and wife, Kathy, Casey Sevy and wife, Belinda, and Lane Sevy and wife, Dena, and daughter, Alison Parker and husband, Eric, all of Harrisonville; brother, Michael Belanger and wife, Cherlyn; sisters, Karen Benner and husband, Douglas, and Sandra Johnson; brother, Gary Belanger and wife, Gina; eight grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.


John L. Sullivan, III

July 20, 1952 – Jan. 7, 2020

John L. Sullivan, III, was born July 20, 1952, in Cooperstown, New York, and died Jan. 7 at his home in Harrisonville.

He was the son of John L. Sullivan, Jr., and Betty May (Tauss) Sullivan.

John spent his early years in New York where he graduated from high school. After graduation, John joined the United States Air Force and proudly served his country in Vietnam.

Nov. 27, 1982, John was married to Sandra Lee Terry in Cleveland. After their marriage, Sandy and John lived in Clinton where they both found joy in mentoring foster children.

Later they moved to Cleveland and in 2009 moved to Harrisonville to make their home. Sandra (Terry) Sullivan preceded John in death Nov. 2, 2010. After her death, John continued to live in Harrisonville.

John worked in the construction field and as a general handyman. In his spare time, John loved to hunt and fish. He was avid motorcycle enthusiast.

In addition to his wife Sandy, John was preceded in death by his father, John L. Sullivan, Jr., who died in 1971.

He is survived by his mother, Betty May Barrett, West Winfield, New York; four brothers, Rick Sullivan and wife, Robin, Terry Sullivan and wife, Susan, Pat Sullivan and wife, Karen, and Scott Sullivan and wife, Julie, all of West Winfield, New York; brothers and sisters-in-law, Donald and Shannon Terry of Cleveland, Donna and Lyle Schow of Harrisonville, Rose and David High of Cleveland, Charlie Terry and Bill and Etta Terry all of Lockwood; godson, Michael Starr, Louisburg, Kansas; god daughter, Bryanna Terry, Cleveland; several nieces, nephews, great nieces, great nephews, other relatives and many friends.

As John requested, cremation has been accorded. No services are scheduled at this time.

In lieu of flowers, please do a good deed for someone. That’s all John would have wanted.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Wallace Funeral Home, Pleasant Hill.


Marvin Franklin Varner, Jr.

Jan. 20, 1951 – Dec. 27, 2019

Marvin Franklin Varner, Jr. was born Jan. 20, 1951, in Harrisonburg, Virginia, to father Marvin Varner Sr. and mother Eleanor Varner.

After a short, but courageous battle with cancer, Marvin died Dec. 27.

Marvin was best known for his character, integrity, kind words for people, willingness to help anyone with anything, his devotion to his family and above all, his love for Jesus. He was an amazing and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, son and uncle and will be dearly missed.

He was preceded in death by his mother Eleanor, his father Marvin, and stepsister Donna Diehl.

He is survived by his loving wife, Anne Varner; stepmother Violet Varner; sister Darlene Ruth Worley; siblings Carolyn Wetsel, Vicki Painter, Jimmy Jett, Frankie Jett and Sandy Hopkins.; his sons Timothy Varner, Daniel Varner, Joel Varner, Micah Varner, Aaron Boeggeman and Josiah Boeggeman; his daughter, Jessica Boeggeman; his daughters-in-law, Jacquie Varner and Shamila Varner; seven grandchildren, Selah, Eisley, Azariah, Alexis, Abigail, Atticus and Bailey; along with extended family and more dear friends than anyone could hope for.


Joellen Walker

Aug. 15, 1953 – Jan. 8, 2020

Joellen Walker was born Aug. 15, 1953, to Gerald and Beverly Walker. She was the second daughter and was born with cerebral palsy due to a lack of oxygen during the birthing process. Her official diagnosis would not be given for a year.

The family of four, Jane and Joellen with their parents lived in Clearmont, where both of her parents were teachers. The first year of her life was tough, but she was loved and she was strong and survived.

Her parents knew that she would need special services after her diagnosis of CP, so the family of four moved to St. Joseph because that city had a preschool for handicapped children. Two more sisters, Jerri and Jennifer, joined the family while living in St. Joseph.

Jo’s life changed when she was accepted to the Institute of Logopedics in Wichita, Kansas. This was a boarding school for children with disabilities. Jo lived in a cottage with another girl and a caregiver- we all loved Mama May.

This is where Joellen learned to walk and talk and read and write. Most children wear biking helmets now, but Jo learned to walk wearing a football helmet. Jo began attending the institute in 1959 when she was 6 years old.

She would come home for a week at Thanksgiving, two weeks around Christmas, a week at Easter and for the month of August. That’s when we learned how smart she was. She never forgot anything.

Jo continued her education until she was 13. By that time, the Walker family had moved to Creighton and lived in the home that Harold and Esther Brown built. The summer she came to live in Creighton, she had extensive surgery to both legs. The surgery was performed at that time as her physicians felt that her legs had stopped growing in length. Jo was able to walk for a number of years without a walker, let alone a wheelchair.

Jo became an Elvis Presley fan and would watch every Elvis movie that came on television. She listened to his music and read fan magazines. One of her favorite activities was to attend Camp Lake of the Woods at Starlight in the summer.

As time went on, Jo started working at the Casco Area Sheltered Workshop and even for a time lived in a group home in Harrisonville. She would come home for the weekends just like the college girls did.

It was at the sheltered workshop that she met Paul Boyd. They fell in love and were married in December 1982 at the Walker home in Creighton.

By that time, the Walkers were living at 101 Short St. Joellen and Paul moved to Wichita, Kansas, and had an apartment in the Timbers Complex. The Timbers Complex is a series of apartments for people with disabilities. Jo and Paul divorced within a few years, but Jo remained at the Timbers, moving to a different apartment.

She came to Creighton to visit basically on the same schedule she had as a child, except she only stayed a week in August.

By this time, she had transitioned into Aunt Joey and had four nieces and a nephew, Amanda, Liz, Racheal, Jessie and Matt, who she dearly loved.

However, to her friends and caregivers at the Timbers, she became Jo-Jo. She continued with her love of music, but had given up Elvis for the country music stars. Reba was one of her favorites.

Her mobility started declining, so her motorized wheelchair became her legs. She qualified for assistance four hours per day. The schedule seemed to work for her. Jo-Jo had many friends at the Timbers and would attend most of the activities there. She was always on the go. She attended church services at the Timbers when she was able.

As time went on, her health declined. She had a medical crisis in 2014 and as a result, moved to a group home in Mission, Kansas, to be closer to her family. Jo-Jo knew it was for the best, but she missed Wichita and her friends. She had become a Wichita State Shockers Basketball fan.

Her love for music continued, and both of her sisters tried to take her to musical events, “Grease” at Starlight, “Ladies of Country Music” at the Chestnut Theater and the annual “Christmas in Song” at the Quality Hill Playhouse.

When the entire family would gather, Jo-Jo’s home would provide transportation for her to see her family.

Jo loved going to the movies, shopping, jewelry and getting her hair cut and colored. She had the beautiful dark hair from the Walker side of the family.

The last family event was Jan. 5. It was the Walker/Jackson holiday gathering. She was there and had a great time.

Jan. 8, she was found unresponsive when her caregiver went to wake her to help her get dressed for the day.

Joellen was preceded in death by both sets of grandparents; her father, Gerald Walker; her sister, Jane Smith; and two uncles, Les Wainscott and Arlie Jackson.

She is survived by her mother, Beverly Walker and two sisters, Jerri Carter and husband, John, and Jennifer Cramer; her nieces, Amanda Schenk and husband, Trevor, Liz Geist and husband, Greg, Racheal Kendrick and husband, Dan, Jessie Smith and husband, Cody, and her nephew, Matt Cramer and wife, Cindy; plus her great-nieces and nephews, Kaitlyn, Alex, Emma, Jayelyn, Kauffman, Alex G., Hallaway, Ina, Jacob, Cora, Bauer, Mira and one on the way; brother-in-law, Steve Smith; aunts, Rosellen Wainscott and Betty Jackson; cousins and friends.

Cremation. A celebration of life service was Jan. 18 at the Creighton United Methodist Church, Creighton.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Dickey Funeral Home, Garden City.


Robert E. Yazel

July 29, 1958 – Jan. 12, 2020

Robert Eugene Yazel, 61, Harrisonville, died Jan. 12 at ABC Health Care in Harrisonville.

Robert was born July 29, 1958, in Kansas City, the son of Gerald and Betty (Bracken) Yazel.

He grew up in the Freeman area and attended Cass Midway Schools. Robert was an avid Kansas City Chiefs and Royals fan.

Robert was preceded in death by his parents.

He is survived by two brothers, Gary Yazel, Kansas City, and Johnny Yazel, Palm Bay, Florida; a sister, Mary Lou Yazel, Harrisonville, and his aunt, Nadine Bracken, Freeman.

Cremation. No services are scheduled at this time.

Arrangements were under the direction of the Atkinson Funeral Home, Harrisonville.