The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on September 29, 1997 · Page 5
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 5

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Monday, September 29, 1997
Page 5
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THE SALINA JOURNAL TOPIC MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29, 1997 AS DEATHS & FUNERALS Wendell L. "Wendy" Amack GOODLAND — Wendell L. "Wendy" Amack, 59, Goodland, died.Friday, Sept. 26, 1997, at Swedish Medical Center, Denver. Mr.,;Amack was born Feb. 15, 1938, at St. Francis. He worked 18 years for Sherman County. . Survivors include his wife, Dorlyne of the home; three sons, Randy of Seattle, Jay of Hutchinson and J.C. of Scott City; a daughter Starla Wright of Garden City; a sister, Doris, address unknown; four brothers Keith, Alvin, Bernard and Larry, addresses unknown; and 12 grandchildren. The funeral will be 2 p.m. Mountain time Tuesday at Koons Chapel; Goodland, the Rev. Brian Eettit officiating. Burial will be in Bird City Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m.; today and from 8 a.m. until the service Tuesday at the funeral home, 211 N. Main, Goodland 67735. Letja 0. Pagan OAKLEY — Letia O. Fagan, 94, Oakley, died Sunday, Sept. 28, 1997, at Logan County Hospital, Oakley. Kennedy-Roster Funeral Home, Oakley, is handling arrangements. Charles "Chuck" Gelino CLAY CENTER — Charles ''Chuck" Gelino, 67, Clay Center, died. Saturday, Sept. 27, 1997, at Clay. County Hospital. Mr. Gelino was born Feb. 4, 1930, at Morganville. He worked for Northern Natural Gas Co. and sje'rved as Morganville postmaster for 25 years retiring in 1993. He was a member of the American Legion, Masonic Lodge, Morganville United Methodist Church and Isis Shrine. He was a past exalted ruler,of B.P.O.E. His wife, Lois, died in 1994. /Survivors include two daughters, Cindy Thomas of Clay Center and Leslie Trumpp of Olathe; a son, Scott of Morganville; two sisters, Charlene Bowmaker of Columbia, Mo., and Delores Wilson of Newport News, Va.; 10 grandchildren; a great-grandchild; and best.friend, Meta Wendellken. ,_.The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at Clay Center United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Greenwood Cemetery, Clay Center. ; Memorials may be made to the Charles Gelino Memorial Fund to be designated later by the family. ..Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at Neill-Schwensen- Rpok Funeral Home, 918 Seventh, Clay Center 67432. Carl W. Humpert ABILENE -- Carl W. Humpert, 83, Abilene, died Friday, Sept. 26, 1997, at Abilene Memorial Hospital. Mr. Humpert was born Jan. 5, 1914, in Niles and was a resident of Abilene since 1990 moving from Alamo, Texas, and Naponee, Neb. He was a retired farmer and a member of the Good Sams Club. ..His.wife, Arolyene, died in 1994. Survivors include a sister, Glada Greenfield of Silvertone, Ore. The funeral will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at Martin-Becker-Carlson Funeral Home, the Rev. Mark Moore officiating. Burial will be in Greenville Cemetery, Niles. .Meriiorials may be made to the hospital or American Heart Association. Visitation will be until the service, at the funeral home, 414 NW Third, Abilene 67410. Ruth Marie Johnson AMARILLO, Texas — Ruth Marie Johnson, 95, Amarillo, died Saturday, Sept. 27,1997, at Amarillo, Mrs.' Johnson was born Jan. 17, 1902, in Hays, Kan., and moved, to Amarillo 22 years ago from Salina, Kaii.; where she taught school. She was a lifetime member of the Eastern Star and a member of Kansas Retired Teachers Association. Her husband, Myron, died in T FARM ACCIDENT Today's obituaries SALINA Fredrlc E. Rothe KANSAS ABILENE: Cart W. Humpert CLAY CENTER: Charles "Chuck" Gelino GOODLAND: Wendell L "Wendy" Amack OAKLEY: Letla 0. Fagan OUTOFSTAtE Ruth Marie Johnson, Amarillo, Texas William "Bill" Layxman, Colorado Springs, Cold. 1975. Survivors include two sons, Bill of Amarillo and Randall of Broomfield, Colo.; a sister, Marjorie Johnson of Topeka, Kan.; five grandchildren; and 10 great- grandchildren. A graveside service will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Roselawn Memorial Park Cemetery, Salina, the Rev. Robert Conway officiating. Blackburn-Shaw Funeral Directors, Fifth & Pierce, Armarillo 79101, and Roselawn Heights Memorial Chapel, 1920 E. Crawford, Salina 67401, are handling arrangements. William "Bill" Lauxman COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — William "Bill" Lauxman, 87, Colorado Springs, died Saturday, Sept. 27, 1997, at Life Care Center in Colorado Springs. Mr. Lauxman was born July 1, 1910, at Gypsum, Kan., and was a resident of Colorado Springs since 1996 moving from Salina, Kan., and Abilene, Kan. He worked for Rice Motor Co. in Abilene, and in 1956 he became head custodian of the Dickinson County Court House, retiring in 1979. He was a member of Abilene First Presbyterian Church, the church's Mariner Club and Masonic Lodge , 98 AF&AM. He was past exalted ruler of the local Elks Club. Survivors include his wife, Margaret of the home; two sons, Laverne of Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Eldon of Colorado Springs; a brother, Tom of Gypsum; a sister, Leola Hall of Salina; four .grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at Danner Funeral Home, Abilene. Memorials may be made to the church. The family will receive friends from 7 to 8 p.m. Tuesday at the funeral home, 501 N. Buckeye, Abilene 67410. Fredric E. Rothe Fredric E. Rothe, 73, Salina, died Friday, Sept. 26,1997, at Salina Regional Health Center. Mr. Rothe was born Jan. 15, 1924, at Otis and was a Salina resident since 1962. He was a State Farm Insurance agent for 34 years. Survivors, include his wife, Norma of Salina; two sons, Brent of Valrico, Fla., and Scott of Tucson, Ariz.; a daughter, Kimberly Hoagland of Omaha, Neb.; two sisters, Norma Moore of Overland Park and Elaine Oppenheim of Denver; and three grandchildren. The funeral will be at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 230 E. Cloud, Salina, the Rev. Kerry Ninemire officiating. Burial will be in Roselawn Memorial Park, Mausoleum Willamsburg, 1920 E. Crawford, Salina 67401. A vigil will be at 7 p.m. today at Roselawn Heights Memorial Chapel. Memorials may be made to the church or Salina .Area United Way. Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today at the funeral chapel, where the family will receive friends from 6 to 9 p.m. The time of the service was incorrect in Sunday's edition. MR. ROTHE The Associated Press Martin Vlnje walks away Sunday from the burned-out remains of a rental home owned by his parents in Dobbins, Calif. California fire claims 20 homes Short in RV generator sparked wildfire that wind carried across 5,500 acres By STEVE LAWRENCE Tlie Associated Press OREGON HOUSE, Calif. — A wildfire raged in the heavily wooded Sierra Nevada foothills Sunday, forcing hundreds of residents to flee and destroying at least 20 homes. Many were allowed to return later in the day. The blaze was sparked Saturday when a motor home's generator shorted, officials said. By early Sunday, shifting wind had carried it across about 5,500 acres of mountainous terrain, including parts of the tiny Yuba County town of Oregon House, about 40 miles north of Sacramento. The blaze was 20 percent contained by mid-afternoon, with full containment expected by early Tuesday, the California Department of Forestry said. The wind had calmed Sunday, making the greatest fear low humidity coupled with temperatures expected to reach into the upper 90s. "That's something to worry about," said CDF spokesman John Ferreira. Residents of 300 homes in Oregon House and nearby Dobbins — a total of about 1,000 people — were forced to evacuate. Joe Cardoza found that the fire had destroyed his small restaurant, auto shop and three houses in Oregon House. "There's nothing left — you can't salvage it," he said, surveying the scene Sunday. "The fire took what it wanted to take." Cardoza, 62, said he was watching the flames from a safe distance late Saturday when the wind suddenly shifted and fire barreled down on the town. "It created its own whirlwind, and then everything was on fire. It was just unbelievable," he said. However, much of the rural hamlet was spared as the fire bobbed and weaved with the wind. The town's post office still stood, as did several homes, some standing next to destroyed ones. At least 20 homes and several outbuildings were destroyed, "but we expect that figure to go up," said CDF battalion chief JimHoffmier. Unlike Cardoza, not everyone was able to return right away. 'I'm waiting to get back in to see if anything's left," said Michael Stoodley, who left his home just after midnight. Francesca Motisi, a teacher who lives near Oregon House, escaped about 3 a.m. with a toothbrush and a change of clothes. Her main worry, though ,was a collection of Victorian parasols, which she lugged along. "They're irreplaceable," she said. At Lake of the Springs Thousand Trails Park near Oregon House, some 250 campers fled Saturday night as the blaze neared the private campground. Leonard Bridges, the park's owner, said some campers were reluctant to leave, but were ordered out. Officer / Case spawns divisive views FROM PAGE A1 Another charge of taking indecent liberties was dropped following completion of a 1995 diversion agreement offered to Lee by the prosecution before the start of a trial. Lee maintains his innocence and said, he agreed to seek counseling in return for keeping his law enforcement certification and other considerations. He did not admit to any crimes and accepted the deal to end the nightmare for himself and his family, he said. Little did he know the nightmare was just beginning. "You live this. You sleep this. I'm just so tired of it," Lee said. "There are some days you don't feel like waking up." Lee said his troubles actually started years ago when he was 15 and started an affair with an older woman in Atwood. Her daughter is the alleged victim. Lee and his supporters believe the charges were the result of a personal and political vendetta against the officer and his family. Lee's father, Ray, was Cheyenne County sheriff for more than two decades. Bill Lee has taped depositions from two physicians who examined the girl when she was 10 years old and again at age 12 and found no evidence of sexual abuse. Lee said the state became involved after the attorney gener- al's office received letters from eight St. Francis residents who questioned his continued work in law enforcement. Later, copies of the commission's case petition were posted on car windshields in St. Francis and Bird City and sent anonymously to regional newspapers. Assistant Attorney General Cassidy is out of his office until Tuesday. However, in the past office representatives have said they relied on court documents and conducted no independent investigation of the case. A prosecutor and a friend Rawlins County Attorney Scott Beims, who filed the original charges against Lee, said he offered Lee the diversion agreement because the night before the trial was to begin on the indecent liberties charge he discovered that incorrect dates were used by prosecutors at the preliminary hearing and in court filings. "We had gone through the whole procedure and we were a year off," he said. "It didn't affect the validity of the claim, but it would have made it very hard to get around the time element." Beims said the case was personally difficult for him. As longtime Rawlins County attorney, he worked with Ray Lee and considered him a friend. "It would have been a lot easier not to prosecute this case," Beims said. "We proceeded with a lot of caution. That's why I feel my prosecution was completely justified." Beims has talked with Cassidy, who will present the state's case to the commission, but he has not been asked to testify. Meanwhile, the case has created some nasty talk in the northwest corner of Kansas. Beims said there are rumors — all untrue — that he was paid by the Lee family to offer the diversion agreement. "It had been so long ago. The girl just didn't remember that clearly. The diversion agreement was just a decision I made based on the whole case," he said. Bill and Cheryl Lee wonder about their future. Cheryl was several months pregnant when her husband was charged. The fight to save his career has taken time away from their son, emptied their pockets and caused untold stress on them and their families. Through it all, the residents of Bird City have stood behind their marshal. 'These people like Bill' "These people like Bill. They like his dad," said Cheryl, who married Lee in 1992. "Bill protects their kids. He's not a hard ass. He's not out to write tickets. I can't tell you how many kids come to our door. He's like a big brother to all of them. He makes sure they stay safe." Mayor Partch said people in Bird City are offended by the state's involvement in what they consider a local matter. "My kids are safe because of Bill. My home is safe because of Bill. Bill is a fair man," he said. "To think we don't have anybody come forth with anything close to this (charges of sexual misconduct). I can't imagine there are 500 people whose judgment is so poor." They also are upset with the location of the hearing, five hours away in Salina. "To have to load up a community and drive them to Salina. Can't they move it to Hays or Norton?" Partch said. "If they think they're right, they're right in Salina or in Topeka — or in Bird City." On the other side, County Attorney Beims is not bothered by the intervention. "I think the attorney general is there to check on local prosecutors. If the victim has a complaint, then they have a voice, someone to go to," he said. Nor does he object to the commission's action. He thinks the panel should have been more involved in the past with discipline, similar to the boards that oversee attorneys and physicians. Farmer's accident claims wife, too ON THE RECORD She died of a heart attack on her way to be with husband's body By CARMEN J. LEE Pjttsbyrgh Post-Gazette ' PITTSBURGH — Theirs was a twilight romance. He was the shy and quiet land- }prd, a retired steel worker who de- vpted his time to a family farm. She was (he outgoing and social tenant, .the ijtother of adult children. .',_ Twelve years ago, Arlene and jftaynflond Keefer married, proving that love can be found after 50. On Thursday, Arlene Keefer died, of a heart attack after learn- in.g jier husband had been killed in a tractor accident. She was 65. He was 68. "We were going to drive her up to the farm, but when we got her to the top of her street in Munhall (a Pittsburgh suburb), we looked at her, and it didn't appear that she was breathing. We knew something was wrong," recalled Karen Zekany, one of Arlene Reefer's daughters. "We happened to be across the street from the Homestead Emergency (& Family Medicine) Center. My sister and I drove her to the emergency room door and they took her in the emergency room," Zekany said, choking back tears. "Then they came out and told us that our mother had passed away due to a massive heart attack brought on by the shock of losing her husband." A steel worker for more than 30 years, Raymond Keefer took retirement when USX Corp.'s Homestead Works shut down in the 1980s. Although he had purchased a du- plex in Munhall, Keefer rented the property, choosing to live instead on a farm his family owned. Then he met one of his tenants, the woman who would become his wife. Arlene Keefer was Raymond Keefer's opposite in temperament. While he quietly devoted his time to his farm, she socialized with friends, played bingo with a passion and participated in a range of other activities. Both had generous hearts, family members said, and they married in 1985. Raymond Keefer moved to Munhall to be with his wife, but he regularly traveled back to Champion to work the farm. That's what he was doing Thursday when the seat on his aging tractor collapsed, causing him to fall backward onto the mowing machinery, state police said. He died of injuries to his legs, abdomen and chest. As was her habit each night her husband was away at the farm, Arlene Keefer phoned to check on him Thursday evening. "She couldn't understand why he wasn't answering the phone," Zekany said. "She called one his relatives who lived on the property, and the relative went up searching for him and found him." Keefer was dead by the time the family member reached him, state police said. The relative phoned Arlene Keefer with the news, and she immediately summoned her four children to her home. "When we got there, she stated she had to get up to the farm to see Ray. She said, 'I need to be with my Ray,' " Zekany recalled. She never reached the farm. 1 Hospital report Salina Regional Health Center SANTA FE ADMISSIONS — Trisha Cleveland and Llllianna Martinez, both of Salina; Marceline Blochlinger, Concordla; John Horn, Clarksvifle, Ind. DISMISSALS — Andrew E. Conard, Trena Kay Hoppock and baby girl, Ida M. Loader and Cindy L. Sandow, all of Salina. Kimberly A. Putter and baby girl, Abilene; Amy M. Glavin, Bennlngton; Adrlanna White and baby girl, Canton; Susan Panciera and baby girl, Lindsborg; Virginia R. Starkey, McPherson; Cameron Lee Mullen, Minneapolis; Kathy J. Palmer, Minneapolis. Births BOYS: Trisha Cleveland, Salina, 8 Ibs. 1.5 ozs., born Sept. 27. Ellen and Mark Coble, Salina, 8 Ibs. 6 ozs., born Sept. 27. PoNce (Hotter VEHICLE BURGLARY — Two cases of compact discs belonging to Sharon Jost taken from a vehicle that was parked at 913 Highland between 11 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday; a passenger window was broken; $450 loss and $200 damage. PROPERTY DAMAGE — The vinyl top of a car belonging to Clifford Crick damaged between 10:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 a.m. Sunday at 1108 Holiday; $500 loss. TODAY'S SCRIPTURE "For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shall open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land." — Deuteronomy 15:11

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