The Superior Express -- Jewell County Record


Obituaries published Nov. 16, 2017

The Superior Express and Jewell County Record

This week: Lewis Topliff, Kent McCartney, Viola McGowan LeeRoy Elliott, Curtis Terrill, James Roush, R.B. Hayes III, Donna Oliver, Betty Pettigrew


Lewis Topliff
Lewis Henry Topliff, 91 years, nine month and one day, died Nov. 3, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. He was born on Feb. 3, 1926, to Henry Newton Topliff and Leona Agnes Birdsell Topliff in Jewell County, Kan.
He was the owner of La-Top-Topmark dairy in Kansas and manager of Adams Acres Dairy in Oklahoma, Sky Go Dairy in Missouri, Valley Gold Dairy in Albuquerque, Price Black Dairy in New Mexico, and most recently the Dairy Department of New Mexico State University. He was a life member of the Holstein Friesian Dairy Association of the United States.
He was active in 4-H all his life and received the Danforth College Scholarship and won the Moses Trophy which is the highest national award that 4-H presents for leadership achievement to one man and one woman each year.
He served as president of the New Mexico Holstein Association for many years. In 1971, he was appointed inspector for export qualifications of all Holstein cattle going to Mexico and South America. His appointment was announced by Maurice E. Mix, director of classification services for the Holstein Friesian Association of Brattleboro, Vt.
In 2011, New Mexico State University created the endowed Topliff Dairy Chair. Lowell Catlett, dean of the college of agricultural, consumer and environmental sciences, presented the honor. "Lewis was always Mr. Dairy," Catlett said. "He has had a role helping the College of ACES in many, many ways." Topliff served as the dairy general manager with the university for 26 years, establishing the dairy as a focal point for the agriculture industry.
Lewis enjoyed camping and fishing and was an accomplished woodworker. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was predeceased by his parents; sister, Donna Clark, and her husband, Ray Clark of Kansas; brother-in-law, Emory Hobleman of Nebraska; and daughter, Rachel Alberson, R.N., M.S.N., of Albuquerque, N.M.
He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Minnie Alice Welch Topliff of Las Cruces, N.M.; his son, Mike Topliff, Ph.D. (Cyndy) of Las Cruces; son, Pat Topliff (Barb) of Phoenix, Ariz.; daughter, Berna Woods (Don) of Albuquerque; daughter, Connie Topliff, M.D., of Tucson; son, Marty Alberson (Janet) of Montana; son, Dean Alberson, Ph.D., (Mary) of Texas; and son, Dennis Alberson (Cathey) of Las Cruces. He is also survived by 18 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life will be held on Saturday, Nov. 25, at 1:30 p.m. at the Farm and Ranch Museum, 4100 Dripping Springs Road, Las Cruces, 88011. His ashes will be interred in Kansas in April.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Rocksprings 4-H Center, 1168 K-157 Highway, Junction City, Kan., 664411.

Kent McCartney
Kent McCartney, the son of Merton and Beulah (Skinner) McCartney, was born on June 30, 1935, in Oak, Neb. He died on Nov. 7, 2017, at Mary Lanning Memorial Hospital at Hastings, Neb., at the age of 82 years, four months and eight days.
Kent was a 1953 graduate of Nelson High School. In November of 1953, Kent was inducted into the United States Army, serving during the Korean War. He was honorably discharged on Oct. 20, 1955. Kent returned home to the family farm near Angus. In 1956, he moved to Omaha to begin work at Allis Chalmers.
On June 29, 1958, Kent was united in marriage to Willa Williams at Nelson, Neb. This union was blessed with three children. He was employed at Allis Chalmers for 23 years and Reinke Manufacturing for 16 years before retiring in 2000.
During his lifetime, Kent lived in the communities of Omaha, Franklin, Indiana, Wausau (Wis.), Hastings, Hebron and Edgar. He was a member of the Lions Club, Clay County Zoning Board and TeamMates Organization.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Merton and Beulah; his sister, Phyllis Baker; brothers-in-law, Virgil Williams and Lawrence Williams; sisters-in-law, Mary McCartney and Nina Lea Williams; and parents-in-law, Wilbur and Hazel Williams.
Survivors include his wife, Willa, of Edgar, Neb.; his children, Doug McCartney and wife, Pam, of Hastings, Neb.; Barb Ninabuck of Edgar, Neb.; and Scott McCartney of San Diego, Calif.; five grandchildren, Zachary McCartney, Tyler McCartney, Jamie Bohlen and husband, Schyler, Sara Ninabuck and Derek Ninabuck; siblings, Connie McCartney of Grand Island, Neb., and Alvin McCartney and wife, Nola, of Odell, Neb.; other relatives and a host of friends.
Funeral services were held on Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, at 10:30 a.m. from the Klawitter-Price Funeral Home in Nelson, Neb., with Pastor Josh Davis officiating.
Music was "Amazing Grace" and "The Old Rugged Cross."
Pallbearers were Zachary McCartney, Tyler McCartney, Schyler Bohlen, Derek Ninabuck, Donald Williams, David McCartney, Randy Theasmeyer and Bruce Williams. Honorary pallbearers were Sara Ninabuck, Jamie Bohlen, Kathy Laucomer, Rhonda Theasmeyer, Michele Graham, Kevin Baker, Fred Baker Jr., Jim Baker, Marshall Baker, Brad Williams and Stephen Williams.
Interment with military honors was in the Nelson Cemetery at Nelson, Neb.
Memorials are suggested to the family for future designation
Condolences may be sent to Megrue-Price Funeral Home, 750 N. Commercial, Superior, Neb., 68978, or
Klawitter-Price Funeral Home of Nelson, Neb., was in charge of the arrangements.

Viola McGowan
Viola Odessa McGowan, the daughter of Thomas C. and Dagmar (Andersen) Petersen, was born March 5, 1918, on a farm in Nuckolls County, Neb., north of Hardy. She died on Thursday Nov. 9, 2017, at the Good Samaritan Center in Superior, Neb., at the age of 99 years, eight months and four days.
Viola was baptized on March 29, 1918, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church and was confirmed at St. Paul Lutheran Church at Hardy, Neb., in 1932, of which she has been a member since. Viola attended Miller Country School for eight years and graduated from Hardy High School with the Class of 1935. She furthered her education by attending Kearney Teachers College for normal teachers training. Viola taught at both Weimer and Oak Creek country schools for three years each. On Sept. 23, 1943, Viola was united in marriage with Charles Dean McGowan at St. Peter Lutheran Church, Deshler, Neb. The couple farmed south of Hardy, Neb., for 17 years, leaving the farm and moving to Superior, Neb., in 1960. To this union, two sons were born, Stephen Dean in 1945 and Thomas Charles in 1950. Upon moving to Superior, Dean was employed at Mid America Dairymen and Viola was a 20-year employee of Superior Public Schools.
Viola had been a member of Danish Brotherhood, St. Paul Lutheran Church Ladies Aid and 17-year Sunday school teacher.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Dean; brothers, Harvey and Alvin; and a sister, Elna.
Survivors include her sons, Steve McGowan and wife, Marlene, of Superior, Neb., and Tom McGowan and wife, Jane, of Omaha, Neb.; sister-in-law, Virginia Petersen, Belleville, Kan.; grandchildren, Kim and David Williams of Superior, Neb., Shaun McGowan of Fremont, Neb., Mollie and Karl Lemberg of Dallas, Texas, Kellie and Jason Krall of Wellington, New Zealand; Patrick McGowan and Katia Bergeron Cauchon of Ottawa, Canada; great-grandchildren, Heather Williams of Burbank, Calif., Lauren and Jordan Isaacson of Superior, Neb., Amy and Tim Meyers of San Francisco, Calif., Rhys Williams of Omaha, Neb., Caleb McGowan and girlfriend, Oliva Scott, of Omaha, Neb., Hugo Lemberg, Avery and Harvey Krall; great-great-grandchildren, Avaleigh, Sawyer and Mason Isaacson and Jude Meyers; nieces, nephews other relatives and a host of friends.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 17, 2017, at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Hardy, Neb. Pastor Breen Sipes will be officiating. Burial will be held in Evergreen Cemetery, Superior, Neb.
Condolences may be sent to the family at
Williams Funeral Home of Superior, Neb., is in charge of the arrangements.

LeeRoy Elliott
LeeRoy Duane Elliott, 91, of Belleville, died last Tuesday at his home. He was born on the family farm in Republic on Oct. 25, 1926, to Violet and George Elliott, one of 12 children. On April 17, 1949, LeeRoy married Bonnie (Botz) Elliott of Longford. They were married 68 years.
LeeRoy was a man of God and instilled that faith in his family. He was a life-long member of the Republic United Methodist church. He was an avid bow hunter with his last hunt as recently as last fall, shortly after he turned 90. Roy shared his love of hunting with his family and countless friends. He rediscovered his talent for horseshoe pitching during his winter Texan days and became a valuable member of the Republic County Ringers, often winning trophies in the over-80 age group.
LeeRoy retired from farming in 1986, having farmed west of Republic since he was 16. He and Bonnie enjoyed their retirement years as winter Texans in Brownsville, near their daughter and her family. Roy was one of the first Republic County farmers to grow milo, having received seed from his brother-in -law, Dale Wright, who brought it to him from Texas. During the Jimmy Carter years, Roy grew a few acres of peanuts and the entire community of Republic had fresh roasted peanuts that winter.
Survivors include his wife, Bonnie, of the home; Keenan Elliott of Belleville, Craig Elliott of Courtland and Lecia Chaney of Kingwood, Texas; seven grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Evelyn, Gertrude, Ruth, Lucille and Dorothy; brothers, Irving, Melvin, Kent, George and Howard; sisters, Vida Boman and Verlene Veteto; numerous nieces and nephews.
His funeral was Friday, with graveside services immediately following at Lake Cemetery, Republic.

Curtis Terrill
Curtis W. Terrill was born Jan. 5, 1923, to Everett and Estel Terrill on a farm southwest of Burr Oak, Kan. He died Nov. 7, 2017, at Jewell County Hospital, Mankato, Kan., at the age of 94 years. He graduated from Burr Oak High School in 1941.
Before he had even graduated from high school, he was already farming. He milked his first cow at age five, and from then on did the daily milking for the family.
In 1948, Curtis married Glenadean Terrill. To this union were born Dewey Terrill, Junction City, Kan., Colleen (Terrill) Jeffery, Burr Oak, Kan., and Robert Terrill, Hugoton, Kan.
In 1967, Curtis was severely injured in a farm accident. His right arm was severed except for some tendons and he was given eight pints of blood. He fully recovered from this accident, gaining back full use of his arm and continued to raise cattle, pigs and crops for another 40 years. He reluctantly sold his cows in his late 80s, but continued to enjoy trips to harvest fields and crop tours. Almost to the end, he could still carry on a conversation about his land and crops, and he almost always had an ear of corn or a stock of soybeans in his room.
Curtis was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Vernon, Keith and Max; and his sister, Betty Lukenbill.
He is survived by his sister, Wanda Myers, and husband, Ray; his sons, Dewey and Robert; his daughter, Colleen, and husband, Brad Jeffery; grandchildren, Scott and wife, Christina Jeffery, Mankato, Kan., Lauren and husband, Caleb Frasier, Wichita, Kan., Lexi Jeffery, Burr Oak, Kan.; great-grandchildren, Jayden, Jaxson and Jordan Frasier, Wichita, Kan., Brynlee and Hazel Jeffery, Mankato, Kan.; and a host of other relatives and friends.
Graveside services for Curtis W. Terrill were held Saturday, Nov. 11, 2017, at 3 p.m., at the Burr Oak Cemetery, Burr Oak, Kan., with Pastor Jonathan Harkness officiating. Interment followed in the cemetery. Visitation was Friday, Nov. 10, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Melby Mortuary, Mankato, Kan. The family suggests memorials in honor of Curtis to the Burr Oak Cemetery Association. Online condolences can be left at Melby Mortuary, Mankato, Kan., was in charge of the arrangements.

James Roush
James "Jim" Roush, 74, died Nov. 1 at the Belleville Health Center. He was born Dec. 31, 1942, in Sacramento, Calif., to Orval and Florence (Stuart) Roush.
Jim served his country in the United States Navy. He was an over the road truck driver for 24 1/2 years, completely accident free. Jim also operated a gasoline station, painted houses and worked in a junk yard.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his son, Richard; two brothers; and two sisters.
He is survived by his wife, Joye; daughter, Tawnia Roush, Canyon, Texas; sons, David Roush, Lazbuddie, Texas, Bryan Roush, Ellsworth, Robert Roush, Formoso, and Ronald Roush, St. Joseph, Mo.; 22 grandchildren, 14 great-grandchildren, many other relatives and friends.
Services may be held at a later date. James was cremated. Melby Mortuary, Mankato, was in charge of the arrangements.

R.B. Hayes III
R. B. Hayes, III, died on Nov. 1, 2017, after battling vascular dementia. His first breath on this earth in Kensington, Kan., was Sept. 12, 1934, under the birth name Rutherford Burchard Hayes, III. Family and friends knew him as Butch, Rudy or R.B.
Growing up he was obsessed with football. His father played for KU and was honored as All-American. He started coaching his son as soon as he could walk. Butch lived, breathed and ate football. Being on the basketball team was geared towards footwork and endurance to be a better football player. Participating in track made him a faster football player. There are many stories of his athletic accomplishments within the walls and field of Mankato High School, Mankato, Kan. It was no surprise at his graduation in 1952 he was named Top Athlete of his class.
Memories of young Butch are all over Kansas from Kansas City, Topeka, Stockton to Mankato. At the age of 10, he worked as a Senate Page in the State Capital building. This started his love of history and politics. From there he helped farmers all over the northwest part of Kansas well into his 70s. He even worked and lived in an old flour mill while in college.
Butch enlisted in the Army right out of high school. In his truest form, he made sure the necessary paperwork was in order so he would only serve three years instead of four. If Butch could ever get out of extra work, he would find a way! His military duties landed him overseas during the Korean War. He took a Radio Operations Class and also ended up as a cook. His first meal was spaghetti with no idea how to cook it. He felt sorry for the guys who had to eat it. He would always laugh when he told that story. His war injury was a jammed thumb playing football with his peers.
When his tour ended, Butch went to college at Kansas Wesleyan. He played football as a full back and punted on special teams until his graduation in 1960. He graduated with a dual degree in elementary and secondary education specializing in history and physical education. He loved teaching and well exceeded his calling over 30 plus years. Many children and teenagers who were influenced by him can attest to this.
Butch began his coaching and teaching career in Atwood, then Red Cloud, Neb., where his daughter Royalyn was born, then on to Underwood, Iowa. He then pursued a master's degree in education at K-State. He was also on the coaching staff as an offensive line coach for the freshman football team.
In his personal life, he became the proud father of two sons, Butch and Thomas. R.B. then went on to teach on the Shoshone Indian Reservation in Landers, Wyo. The commute from Saratoga, Wyo., where his family lived proved to be too much. He accepted a position as a history teacher and football and basketball coach at Saratoga High School. During the summers he was the drivers ed. instructor as well as driving the mosquito truck and working in the nearby coal mines until a mining collapse.
R.B. moved his family back to Kansas in 1974 to accept a position as director of education for the youth center in Beloit. His divorce took him and his boys to Dorrance, McCracken, Utica, Kirwin and Westomoreland. He loved being a part of the rural communities. Unfortunately, during this time, the state was consolidating small schools into one big rural school. Tenure was still enforced which found him transferring to different schools.
R.B. was wise beyond his years in understanding the needs within the educational system. He was constantly thinking of ways to save the small communities. One idea was to cut the school week to four days with an extra hour of study added. 30 years later schools are implementing this system. R.B. was constantly going back to college for refresher courses and had well over hours needed for a doctorate degree.
Family and friends meant the world to him. His big smile was infectious and his handshake strong. He often gave away his last dollar to help someone or give them want they wanted even if that was donuts to his dogs.
R.B. was preceded in death by his parents, R.B. Hayes II and A. Royalynn (Greene) Hayes-Lee; step-parents, Marion Hayes and Dr. Carleton Lee; sister, Katherine Hayes-Johnson.
Left to celebrate his life are daughter, Royalyn Hayes-Barwig; sons, Butch Hayes IV with wife Kaira, and Thomas Hayes; grandchildren Tommy and Jacob Barwig, Colton Hayes; Mac Hayes; Hannah and Gavin Hayes; sisters Patricia Hayes and Nancy Hayes-O'Connor; step-brother John Hayes; plus many nieces, nephews, and cousins.
Services at the United Methodist Church in Mankato are pending. Please share stories on R.B.'s Facebook page supervised by his daughter. For more information contact Royalyn Hayes, 785-412-0425.

Donna Oliver
Donna Marie (Rodgers) Oliver formerly of North Platte, Nebraska, died Friday. She was born on Nov. 10, 1929, to James and Elizabeth (Easton) Rodgers. She grew up, attended school and graduated from North Platte High School.
On Feb. 1, 1958, she married Vernard Jack Oliver, who adopted her two small children from a previous marriage. They made their home on the Oliver Ranch before moving to North Platte to have additional children and raise their family.
She enjoyed being a housewife raising her children and being "Mom" to more than 200 children as a daycare provider, foster parent and guardians for more than 25 years. In February 2013, Donna and her husband moved to Ft. Collins, Colo. After her husband died, she moved to Oakbrook One apartments where she made many friends and was close to her special companions through volunteers of America as well as her many CSU dog walkers through "Pets Forever."
Her secret passion for 54 years was watching Days of our Lives, which taught her how to keep a secret and how to shop.
She was preceded in death by her parents, four brothers, two sisters, her husband, and three sons, Randall Jack, David Eugene and Gary Lee.
She is survived by her children, Kelly Doyle Oliver of Superior, Debra (Wayne) Lynnis Viewig of Kiowa, Colo., Sandra Katherine Tanner of Ft. Collins, Colo., Rodger Kevin Oliver of Cheyenne, Wyo., Janelle Rich of Bullhead City, Ariz., Carolyn Richard and Tracy Helvie, both of Hastings; 14 grandchildren, 13 great-grand children; her brother, Virgil "Butch" Rodgers, numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, 10 a.m., at First Christian Church Disciples of Christ, 220 N. Vine, North Platte, followed by a graveside service at Fort McPherson National Cemetery and noon lunch at the church. Vessey Funeral Service was in charge of the arrangements.

Betty Pettigrew
Betty Ruth Pettigrew died Monday at the Good Samaritan Center in Superior. She was born in Norfolk on Nov. 29, 1923, to Lloyd and Ida (Rose) Sarchet.
Betty's father worked for the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad and was transferred to Superior when she was 10. She graduated from Superior High School with the Class of 1942. Betty worked as a secretary for the Farmer's Union Creamery and later as bookkeeper with Consumers Public Power.
Betty met her husband, John, at the Superior Skating Rink in the summer of '42. They were united in marriage June 14,1947, at the First Baptist Church. They owned and operated the Superior Bakery where Betty kept the books and specialized in cake decorating.
Betty loved her church and was the oldest surviving member when the Superior Baptist Church closed its doors in 2015. She enjoyed cooking, ceramics, bowling and having a good dance partner.
Betty and John's marriage was blessed with three daughters, Nancy Young, Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Peggy Jorgensen, Kearney; Merri Morris, Denver, Colo.; eight grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John; and brothers, Melvin and Milan (Toad) Sarchet.
Private family memorial services are being held.

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