Friday, March 27, 2015

The Bronze Sculptor: Leonard Enos "Gus" Shafer

My first cousin once removed, Leonard Enos "Gus" Shafer, was born on a farm 3 1/2 miles southwest of Hoisington, Barton, Kansas and received his formal education at Hoisington High School.  He furthered his education at Grinnell College in Grinnell, Iowa and Kansas State Teachers College in Emporia, Lyons, Kansas.  He was the son of Louis Franklin and Etta Delphenia "Del" (Smith) Shafer.  

Gus learned how to draw while attending a small one-room schoolhouse.  It was his favorite subject!

He married Eva C. Gerardy, in 1930, and they had one daughter, Patricia Louise "Pat" Shafer.  Shortly after his marriage to Eva, they moved to Kansas City where he worked as a commercial artist (after a short stint working for the Wichita Eagle).  

It wasn't until 1966, at the age of 59, that he sculpted his first model for casting.  He closed his studio and started sculpting bronzes full time in 1968 and became internationally known for his works, even being commissioned to do some work in England and Italy.   

In 1973, Gus published a book called "Gus Shafer's West", which features a number of his sketches, paintings and bronze sculptures.

He passed away on 5 May 1985, in Overland Park, Johnson, Kansas.

On 22 September 1991, Eva broke ground for the L. E. "Gus" and Eva Shafer Memorial Art Gallery aka "The Shafer Gallery".  The gallery is located on the campus of Barton County Community College, Great Bend, Barton, Kansas,  Grand opening was held November 1, 1992.

Here are photos of some of his works:


Thursday, July 3, 2014

The Barker/Strait Connection

John and Mary (Chamberlain) Barker, had four sons who married into the Strait family. Two of them married daughters of William and Sophia (Imel) Strate and two married daughters of Peter and Catherine Hummel (Myers) Strait.

William Franklin Barker married Barbara Ellen Strait/Strate, daughter of William and Sophia (Imel) Strate. They had nine children: Samuel P., John H., Sophia, Samuel, Elizabeth, Mary, William C., Enoch and Sarah Ella.

Samuel Barker married Elizabeth Strait/Strate, daughter of William and Sophia (Imel) Strate. They had 11 children: Mary A., William J., John W., Christopher S., Samuel, Sophia E., James P., Joseph Creighton, Minerva Elizabeth, Meliva B. and Harriet.

Richard H. Barker married Elizabeth Strait, daughter of Peter and Catherine Hummel (Myers) Strait. They had eight children: George, Maria, Melchi "Blackie", Albert William, Milton, Jemima, Clara and Franklin "Frank".

Lewis A. Barker married Anna Strait, daughter of Peter and Catherine Hummel (Myers) Strait. They had six children: Enoch, Eliza, Melissa, Amy, Mary Catherine and Martha Ann.

Another Barker/Strait connection: Milton Barker, son of Richard H. and Elizabeth (Strait) Barker, married his first cousin, Mary M. Strait, daughter of John "Curly" and Rachel B. (Strait) Strait.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ron A. Radke

Bryant Funeral Home and Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home

Ron A. Radke Ron A. Radke
(March 28, 1945 - June 7, 2011)

U.S. Veteran Ron A. Radke, 66, died June 7, 2011 at Cherry Village Nursing Home, Great Bend, Kansas. He was born March 28, 1945 at Great Bend, the son of LaVerne F. and Beatrice C. (Hull) Radke. He married Jeanie Becker September 11, 1965 at McPherson, Kansas. A lifetime Great Bend resident, Mr. Radke was owner and operator of Discount Trading. He was a veteran of the United States Navy.

Mr. Radke was a member of First United Methodist Church, NRA, NBRSA, IHMSA, NRCA, and Sunflower Rod and Custom Association. He was a car builder, gunsmith, and certified golf club maker.

Survivors include his wife, Jeanie Radke, of the home; one daughter, Lori Bieberle and husband Greg, Phoenix, Arizona; one sister, Sharon Kubitscheck and husband Larry, Great Bend; and one granddaughter, Ashley Bieberle.

Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, June 11, 2011 at Bryant Funeral Home. The Reverend Tom Sheldon will officiate. Burial will be in Great Bend Cemetery. Friends may call from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., with the family receiving friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Friday, June 10, 2011 at Bryant Funeral Home. Memorials are requested to Hospice Care of Kansas, in care of Bryant Funeral Home.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Fern Leona Boyce

Beckwith Services & Monuments

Fern Leona Boyce Fern Leona Boyce
(November 14, 1921 - April 24, 2011)

Jetmore - Fern Leona Cowles Boyce, 89, died April 24, 2011 in Stillwater, Oklahoma. She was born on a farm in Ness County, Kansas on November 14, 1921 to Lydia and Walter Cowles. She attended grade school and 3 years of high school in Ness County. The family moved to Hodgeman County where Fern completed her senior year and graduated from Jetmore High School. Everything changed as World War II began. Fern’s sweetheart, Glen Boyce, was drafted and left for service in the United States Army. Fern decided that was what she wanted to do and as soon as she turned 21 (the required age at that time) enlisted in the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corp. She completed basic training and Motor Transportation School at Ft. DeMoines, Iowa. After school she was transferred to Ft. Adams, Rhode Island located about a mile from Newport, RI. There she drove an ambulance, mail truck and staff car for several officers. This job took her all over the area and as far as Boston, Massachusetts. After about 6 months, the Women’s Auxiliary Army Corp was changed to the Women’s Army Corp and staying in required re-enlistment. Fern re-enlisted and served as a Chaplin’s assistant at Ft. Wright, New York doing office work and helping with Sunday services. She applied for a discharge in 1945 to come home to help her father care for her mother who was very ill. Glen was discharged in October, 1945. Fern and Glen Boyce were married on November 23, 1945 in Larned, KS. That marriage was blessed with two daughters. Glen and Fern farmed in Hodgeman County. Fern was a hard working farmer’s wife and mother. She always had a garden and chickens to help put food on the table. She was a very talented seamstress. Although it wasn’t her favorite thing to do, she was a great cook. Fern was a 4-H sewing leader for many years and choir director at the First Baptist Church in Jetmore. She worked part-time during tax season in Jack Dalton’s office while the kids were still in school. Years later, Glen and Fern drove a school bus for 8 years and Fern worked in the business office of Hodgeman County Health Center for 11 years, retiring in 1987. Upon retiring from farming, Glen & Fern resided in Jetmore where she was a member of the Jetmore Senior Center, until the early 2000’s. Fern has resided in assisted care for the past several years. Fern is preceded in death by her mother and father, one brother, Kenneth Cowles, and one sister Ruby Delaney, her husband Glen and her daughter Sandie. She is survived by one daughter, Pat Ardern of Stillwater, OK, 4 grandchildren, Craig Gustin, Christina Humes, Shannon Layman and Jeff Layman and three great grandchildren, Cooper Humes, Andie Humes and Marcus Layman.

Funeral will be at 2:00 p.m. Saturday at the United Methodist Church, Jetmore, with Pastor Dennis Fulton presiding. Visitation will be from 9a.m. to 8p.m. Thursday and Friday at Beckwith Funeral Home, Jetmore. Burial will be in the Fairmount Cemetery, Jetmore.

Memorials may be sent to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation in care of the funeral home.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

James E. "Pappy" Bell

Bryant Funeral Home and Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home

James E. James E. "Pappy" Bell
(May 18, 1928 - April 10, 2011)

U.S. Veteran James E. “Pappy” Bell, 82, died April 10, 2011 at his home surrounded by his loving family in Great Bend, Kansas. He was born May 18, 1928 at Peabody, Kansas, the son of Jesse M. and Anna (Swift) Bell. He married Grace Ann Smith June 15, 1952 at Great Bend. A Great Bend resident for sixty years, coming from Eastern Kansas, he worked for Petro-log and Tomlinson Oil Company until his retirement in 1989. He was a United States Army veteran of the Korean Conflict.

Mr. Bell was a member of King United Methodist Church, Great Bend. He was a loving husband, father, and brother, and could always be found in his garage working on cars, and was an accomplished auto mechanic. He always enjoyed racing and watching his grandkids in football, wrestling, and motorcycle racing.

Survivors include his wife, Grace Ann Bell, of the home; one son, Jimmy Bell and wife Elysia, Hoisington, Kansas; four daughters: Karen Birzer and husband David, Cody, Wyoming; Janis West and husband Marty, Wichita, Kansas; Rhonda Spencer and husband Kevin, Gering, Nebraska; and Jamie Boor and Raymond Horton, Hoisington; two sisters: Naydene Hefner and husband Ray, Austin, Texas; and Betty Lewis, Kerrville, Texas; twelve grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by one daughter, Lisa Jo Bell; three brothers, Howard Bell, David Bell, and Raymond Bell; and one sister, Grace Bell Petre.

Funeral services will be at 10:30 a.m., Thursday, April 14, 2011 at Bryant Funeral Home with the Reverend John Grummon and Pastor Scott Tempero officiating. Burial will be in Hillcrest Memorial Park. Friends may call from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 13, 2011 with the family receiving friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Memorials are requested to Golden Belt Home Health and Hospice, in care of the funeral home.