Sunday, December 28, 2008



Gene Eulert (class of 1959) is presently in Egan, SD. He would like to move back to Kansas one of these days but that's all up in the air right now as he is looking for work in this area, with no success as of now.
Maybe some of us could help him out. We would love to have him in Emporia.

Gene has one son, Joshua. Joshua is married and he and his wife have a new baby - Gene's new granddaughter - Megan. They live in Edmonton Alberta.

Gene worked in Vail from May through "mad" Dec. He has worked in Vail, including one winter in a large ski shop. The Vail work fit nicely into those times between international consulting contracts. It is expensive to live there but the wages are also higher.

Gene has a wonderful hobby and does a fantastic job.
Here are a few of his projects with his descriptions.

A rolling butcher block out of
Osage Orange (Hedge)
for Rebecca Johnson in Sioux Falls
about 17 x 17 x 35

A large chest I sold out of Craftsman Creek Studio in Sioux Falls..
Made from good ole Kansas Walnut and Poplar from the lumber yard.

The 3rd, 4th, and 5th is a mixture of parts that make first a crib,
then with different parts toddlers bed, and finally a full size bed.
I made this for my son Josh and wife for my grandchild in Edmonton Alberta.
It is made from Burr Oak my son and I cut in the log and took
to the sawmill some years ago in Kansas.

The rolling Kitchen Island from the same Burr Oak with black granite
inlays that are .04 inches proud so hot pans will not touch the finish
on the top.
About 2' x 3' x 35"

This is a corner cabinet out of "Monteray Pine" a California pine
widely grown in the southern hemishere, as it grows rapidly
but is a bitch to finish.
I made it for a faculty member at SDSU.

These two pieces I made for myself out of Burr Oak with Walnut accents.
The cushion on the rocker is leather that I made.
Later I had two made up for the settle out of Naugahyde
by a shop in Dell Rapids.

This is an example of a number of small tables I have made out of
Burr Oak or Walnut in a bunch of sizes and shapes.

These two stands were made for a couple of cousins (Maupins)
for their wedding present.
Made of Kansas Walnut and Honey Locust.
Would have been called telephone tables in the old days!

Lastly is a stand up desk I made for myself out of Burr Oak
and Walnut from the Paradise and Eagle Creek locations.

Oh! How Wonderful!
A piece of furniture from Paradise.

Note: I did not edit Gene's descriptions. Gene has such a way with words that I would not want to touch. Ha!

I asked Gene to comment on the "international consulting contracts".

Gene . . . . . .
"Not much to tell. I have worked in over a dozen countries including the Middle and Far East, Canada, East and West Africa, and several Central American countries. Between professional contracts I have done lots of drywall, taping and steel stud construction work mostly in the Vail area. I have worked in the areas of Ecology and Natural Resources, Satellite Imagery and Photo interpretation, GIS (Geographical Information Systems), Internet based Clearinghouses and institution building in the just-mentioned areas of expertise. Employers have included education institutions, private companies (from the US, Canada and Australia and England), and several UN agencies. Even taught at the University level at Montana State University, North Dakota State, and in the Visiting International Scientist Program at the former Remote Sensing Institute at South Dakota State University.

I have had to get lots of shots .... sometimes I would wonder why my arms don't leak. Most of this isn't of much interest to most people I would guess. Was really just lot of work under sometimes trying and occasionally dangerous circumstances getting by as best one can."

Personally, I found this very interesting, Gene. Thanks so much for your photos and information. We will see what we can do to get you to Emporia.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


It would be so thoughtful if each one of us would
send Christmas and Holiday wishes to . . .

PFC Frimmel, Trenton
HHC, 2-12, 4BCT, 1CD
APO, AE 09331

Trenton is in Tallil, Iraq . .
and will be there until next

Trenton is the son of
Michele Peterka
He is the grandson of
Janette (Angel) Ross

Another one of our "Neighbor's" (Natoma) Military
My husband has been in Tallil, Iraq for 8 days (and counting, he will be gone until Oct. '09).
I am blessed in the fact that he is a Warrant Officer in a Brigade unit,and will be doing mostly paperwork.
He has an awful lot to look forward to when he returns. Our firstgrandbaby (our daughter, Keshia) is due on March 12th, and our second grandbaby (my step-daughter Randi) is due in April. What an eventful year this will be. Yes, I will be one proud grandma.
Please keep Andy and our other soldiers in your prayers, especially during the holiday seasons when we can't be with our loved ones. It seems that people tend to forget about our soldiers as the years keep dragging on, or until it effects someone we know.
Happy Holidays!
Teresa Laffery
516 N. Main St.
Natoma, KS 67651

WO1 Andrew Laffery
HHC, 287th Sus Bde
APO, AE 09331

Please send me other addresses of "OUR MILITARY" and I will add them to
Our List.

Also PLEASE join us in sending Christmas Greetings to our Military?

Some of these cards are really cool, especially since they are drawn by kids 8yrs - 15 yrs.

You can click on the Lets Say Thanks link below and pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq.

You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services. How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one!!!

This is a great site. Please send a card. It is FREE and it only takes a second. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these? Whether you are for or against the war, our guys and gals over there need to know we are behind them...

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.

The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know,
Then the sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.

Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.
A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.

"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"
For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,

Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."
"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.

No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."

Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

PLEASE, would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people as you can?
Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our U.S service men and women for our being able to celebrate these festivities.
Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe.
Make people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed themselves for us.

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC, USN
30th Naval Construction Regiment
OIC, Logistics Cell One
Al Taqqadum, Iraq


This is one of the best presentations of the sixties that I have seen.
It is very well done.
Click on the link below.
If you're not quite old enough to have been there, feel free to enjoy some of "our past memories" anyway.

The sixties<>

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


Thanks to Jan, there has been a correction made on Al's posting. She also added the description of Paradise that Rev. Pat Ault-Duell used in Al's service. Please scroll down to Al Strecker and read about him and the wonderful wording of Rev. Pat Ault-Duell about Paradise. Thank You Jan! Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

Monday, December 15, 2008


Julia Tichenor, 90, died Saturday, Dec. 6, 2008, at Cambridge Place, Marysville.

A memorial service, following a noon luncheon, will be Dec. 28 at United Methodist Church, Paradise.

Cremation is planned and her ashes will be scattered at the farm at Fairport.

Julia Tichenor was born Oct. 20, 1918, at Sawyer, the oldest child of Bert and Emma Banker Buck.

She attended school at Sawyer. She went to Fort Hays State College and majored in art and education. She earned a teaching certificate and taught in the Sawyer area.
She became an accomplished violinist.
She married Robert D. Tichenor on June 2, 1942, at Los Angeles.
She worked at Northrup Aircraft during World War II.
That factory produced the Flying Wing, a prototype of the stealth bomber. In 1951, the family moved to the Tichenor
farm at Fairport. She taught at Fairport and Natoma schools.
She was a member of the Paradise United Methodist Church and was known for her quilting.

Survivors include two brothers, Herbert and Riley Buck, Cerritos, Calif.; a sister, Gloria Lindenmuth, Adams, Neb.; three sons, Steve, Marysville, Stuart, Okmulgee, Okla. and Scott, Lawrence; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband; two sisters, Erma and Blanche; and a brother, Brenton.

Memorials may be made to the United Methodist Church, Paradise.

Marysville Advocate Dec. 11,, 2008

Julia and Robert's sons were Paradise graduates.
Steve - 1965
Stuart -1968
Scott - 1972


Paradise Grain Company, owned and managed by Joyce Thompson, sells cattle feed, fertilizer, etc, but best of all - provides free coffee and a place to visit.
The guys, usually Ron Mead, Myron Bartlett, Johnnie Roberts, Steve Thompson, Brett Thompson, Dan Hoisington and sometimes George Welling are regular customers in the morning to either bring in grain or buy their feed or fertilizer or . . . . . perhaps just to do the good old fashioned thing . . . visit with their neighbors and see what is going on. To be truthful most of them go in for free coffee. Then there are some that just go in for the free gossip. Isn't that a small town luxury? What fun! They say that women gossip, but I have a feeling a group of women could not hold a candle to what these men are saying. Do our ears burn?
You betcha'.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Karen and Keith Jakub
Photo taken Dec. 2006

Karen, her brother Harold Hudnall, and her sister Connie Hudnall Steinle.
They all graduated from Paradise High. Harold graduated in 1952 and lives in Great Bend, Kansas, and Connie graduated in 1962 and just moved to Tucson, Arizona.
Their mother is in the wheelchair and it was her 90th birthday party in 2007. She died 6 days later. Their step dad is the older gentleman.

I received this delightful e-mail from Karen. As usual, we have become acquainted with several e-mails and me asking many questions. (Snoopy me!)

Hi Onnalee,
My name is Karen Hudnall Heitschmidt Jakub and I live in Derby, Kansas (just south of Wichita). I certainly enjoy the Paradise Blog and the woodcarving website! Thanks to both you and Millard for all your work in maintaining both. I went to Paradise High School and was one year behind Millard, graduating in 1960.
The photographs & info provided by Pat Hoopes Preston on Wednesday, November 12, 2008, were great. She mentioned in the second one that "the little girl on second row first one was from Fairport" but she didn't know who that was. At first I thought it was me. I too do not know what kind of group that was.
In the first picture, I am the girl between Mary Lou Miller and Sharon Miller on the back row.
Keep up the good work. I'm not sure I have ever met you, but feel I know you from the Blog!

Karen and I had emails going back and forth - in just a few hours. We discussed how much fun it would be to get together with Paradise Friends in our area - perhaps close to Wichita, Derby, Emporia (and other nearby places), sometime after the holidays and just have a couple of hours to visit. Perhaps there would be a cozy restaurant we could go to, or if someone knew another place, we could make plans. With her and Cheryl Cronk living in Derby, Larry and Marilyn Hoopes living in Wichita and we are in Emporia - and with others living close by that will read this and let us know - we could just have a good visit. This would be neat for us the year that we don't have the Paradise reunion?
When Millard taught a woodcarving seminar in Augusta in Nov. he ate at a good place in Andover that has a Chef. He thought that was good food. I don't remember the name of that restaurant, but will do my homework on that. Perhaps someone else would have another place where visiting would be better.
I also had mentioned to her that I couldn't find her photo in the 1960 yearbook - as she was a 1960 graduate.
And . . . I mentioned that both Vada and Millard thought the little girl from Fairport that Pat had mentioned in the Nov. 12th posting was Miriam Beller.
I am still looking for someone that has a 55 and 57 yearbook. We have them from 54 to 64, but are missing 55 and 57. By looking at the 56 and 58 yearbooks, I'm sure that Pat's photos came from the 55 or 57 - probably the 57 yearbook.

Karen's response . . . .

I believe that is correct about the girl in the 2nd picture being Miriam Beller. She lived near Fairport. That is definitely me in the first picture, however. The yearbooks I have are 1958 to 1965 and I'm missing 1960. You can tell Vada that I had a senior moment … You'd think I would recognize myself, huh? I'm not quite as sharp as I once was :) I worked as a legal secretary for 33 years, with 28 of those years with the same firm. I just retired June 1 of this year. I love retirement!

I started at Paradise High in September of 1956. I didn't attend school my senior year (1959-60), as Roger Heitschmidt and I got married in September of 1959. I was pregnant and, in those days, pregnant girls were not allowed to attend high school. I took the classes I needed to graduate through correspondence classes at K-State and from the principal at Paradise High. I have a diploma, but my picture wasn't in the yearbook and does not appear with the other seniors that year on the wall in the high school. There are probably a lot of people who think I didn't finish high school, but I did and am thankful for it.

I didn't know Cheryl Cronk until she stopped by my house a couple of weeks ago with Roger Pruter and his wife. Roger and Verlin were pretty close. I had talked to Verlin in Dillon's grocery store not long before he died. We visited for quite a while. His death was quite a shock to me.

I have attended every school reunion until the one this year. My husband, Keith, was diagnosed with prostate cancer the end of June and had his prostate removed July 10 of this year. We had thought he would feel well enough to attend, but that wasn't the case. I really hated missing the reunion. A great way to keep connected with school friends.

I would love to get together sometime with those who live around here. Cheryl Cronk seemed like such a delightful lady. I would like to get to know her better. Larry & Marilyn Hoopes are really nice people also. I run onto them from time to time in Wichita.

I can't wait to get to know you better. Again, I am so grateful for all your work on the blog!

I asked Karen about her children . . . . . . I also told her she was very pretty.

I have 3 children - two girls and a boy. I have a total of 9 grandchildren. My oldest daughter, Kim, age 48, lost her husband in a boating accident 11 years ago at El Dorado Lake, when her youngest (a girl) was 1 month old and her other daughter was 4-1/2 years old. She remarried to a man who lost his wife to cancer and had 5 children. So Kim has raised 7 children. My other daughter Shelly, age 46, is married and has a son and a daughter. My son Jerry, age 44, and his wife have no children.

Thank you for the compliment! You are so sweet. I've lost 25 lbs. since that photo of Keith & me, as I was diagnosed with Type II diabetes in May 2007, and decided to change my diet and exercise rather than take medication. I feel a lot better.

Thanks, Onnalee, for all your interest and help.
Looking forward to talking to you and Millard in person.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Under "More Memories of the Past" that Devin Strecker had sent more pictures of the Paradise Hotel, he had talked about the family. Then, he had told me more in an e-mail. I asked him if I could put that on the blog. He said he needed to get permission from his cousin first.

Devin's cousin, Bobbi, is the daughter of Claude Hendershott (later to be known as Kenneth James Marshall).

Devin wrote Bobbi the following . . . .
Bobbi,I don't know if you're aware of the blog but it's a site I really enjoy as it has a lot of history and current information about people who are from Paradise. Onnalee, the lady who runs the blog, has posted some pictures I sent her that I got from your site. She wanted to know if she could relate the story about your father but I wanted to see how you would feel about that, and if you would want to tell it yourself. She posted some of the pics of the Paradise Hotel recently so that was how it came out. Check out the blog and let me know what you think. You can always contact Onnalee directly through the blog if you'd like too. Devin

Bobbi immediately e-mailed me and sent these photo's. Her e-mail is below the photo's with more description within the e-mail.

Bobbi described the photo's . . . .

This great photo was a gift to me from Sharen (Saum) Bell. Seated are our great-grandparents, Randolph Foster & Mary (Talbert) Saum. Sharen's grandfather is George Albert Saum, 2nd from the right; my grandmother, Ida May (Saum), wife of George Edmond Hendershott, was their only daughter. This is the only photo that I have of my paternal grandmother.The missing sibling in the photo was the youngest child, Frank Foster Saum b-Oct. 11, 1889 d-Oct. 21, 1897. He was shot & killed at the age of 8 in a hunting accident by his brother George.April 1, 2001 identifications provided by my aunt, Lois (Hendershott) Lindshield. L to R:Alfred Allen, oldest b-1872 d-1940; Walter Jessie 2nd b-1873 d-1939; Charles Isaac 3rd b-1875 d-1929; Ida May 7th b- 1885 d- 1923; Nathan Ernest 4th b-1878 d-1944; Emmett Roy 8th b-1887 d-1925; George Albert 6th b-1882 d-1948; Wilber Lewis 5th b-1880 d- 1933.

3Bobbi's Great Grandmother
Mary (Talbert) Saum.
She is napping.

James and Sarah (Barker)
Hendershott 6

2nd Lt. George Hendershott

Saum home becomes Hotel Paradise
These have been on the blog before,
but all of these photo's are from
Bobbi Harrison

Paradise Hotel Veranda Addition

And . . . . here is Bobbi's very descriptive e-mail.
Bobbi gave me permission to publish this in full on the Paradise Blog.

Hi Onnalee,
I just learned today about your site from Devin Strecker who is my cousin and son of my 1st cousin, Rhonda (Hendershott) Strecker. I left a comment on your site about the Paradise Hotel photo with the 8 people on the porch. I understand you will review it before it's posted. I have 2 sites for my father's side of my family, one for our Hendershot/Hendershott Descendants and the other is Descendants of Nicholas Saum. I don't mind a bit these photos being shared on your site, but do want the ownership and where they came from to be noted.
I was very fortunate when I discovered my birth roots that both family surnames were already well documented and researched back to our German immigrant ancestors. I was even more fortunate when I began to make contact with my many Hendershott and Saum cousins that I didn't know I had before, that they've all shared many priceless photos and keepsakes that I never had of my father's side of my family.

I thought you might enjoy seeing the various other ways the Paradise Hotel looked, from when it began as my Great-grandparents home (Randolph Foster Saum & Mary Talbert). Also attached is a family photo of them with 8 of their 9 children. Their youngest son, Frank Foster Saum (my cousin, Sharon's, grandfather) was accidentally shot and killed at the age of 8 in a hunting accident by his brother George. My Grandmother, Ida May (Saum) Hendershott is buried next to Frank in the Mount Herman Cemetery, as are many of my other Hendershott, Saum and Dwinelle family members. Vada (Dwinelle) Krumwiede is my 2nd cousin and her grandmother Maude May (Hendershott) Dwinelle was the only sister to my grandfather, George Edmond Hendershott. Attached is a photo of my grandfather as a 2nd Lt. in the Kansas National Guard during WW I. Also of his parents, James Montgomery & Sarah Delilah (Barker) Hendershott who moved from Wisconsin to Paradise, KS in 1882, where they remained until their deaths ...hers in 1921 and he in 1922. It's the only photo I have of them, other than their gravestone photo. He served in the Civil War, as did his 2 brothers and I have the pension files for all 3 of them. Very interesting reading, especially the hand written letters.

I have other photos of the family members that were born and lived in Paradise if you're interested in having them for your site as well. When I finally located my father's only remaining sibling, my Aunt Lois (Hendershott) Lindshield in Lindsborg, KS by telephone in February 2001, it was she who was able to answer the question of why my father had completely changed his name. She has since passed away too, in June 2005. But before her death, she was able to identify a lot of faces in the photos that had been in her brother Everett's collection and oh how well she'd described the Paradise Hotel to me over the phone. For she lived there with her grandparents after her Mom died in 1923, just 2 days after the birth of the twin boys. Lois wasn't quite 3 yet when they were born and their Mom died.

My Mom left him my Dad when I was 18 months old.
You see, I never knew my father because my Mom left him when she came home and found him in bed with another woman! She knew he'd been married before and had a daughter and she'd met his one brother Everett . But my Mom died in January 2000 never knowing that my father lied about what his name was. He married her as Kenneth James Marshall in October 1939, but was born as Claude Eugene Hendershott. My aunt told me he'd been writing bad checks in Kansas and when the family quit cleaning up after him he skipped town , deserting his wife and 2 little children (assuming he left after my half brother Rex was born in Dec. 1934). Ironically, When I finally obtained his death certificate, it has both of his names on it, as it was revised by his then 3rd wife. Probably when she found out his true identity from his brother Everett after his death (my speculation there since they were all deceased by the time I tracked this all down). My Uncle Everett went along with his name charade and my Mom sent him a photo Christmas card the year I was born in 1941 and the envelope was addressed to Everett Marshall in Kansas and then forwarded on to Everett Hendershott. Ironically, this was among the many family keepsakes that my Uncle Everett had saved and that his daughter sent to me after her Mom had passed away too.

Well I don't mind sharing this unusual tale of my louse of a father, who never tried to contact me the rest of my life. But I'm not sure I want all of what he did to be posted on the open Internet, which your blog is. At least on the sites, they're private, password protected, by invitation only and so we share there a lot that we wouldn't post on the open Internet. Louse though he was to both his wives and all 3 of his children, he was the looser in the end and never knew his many grandchildren before he died in 1964. Even more ironically, he was living in Portland, Oregon at the time of his death.....just 4 hours south of where I lived in Seattle and he knew that's where my Mom returned after she left him, because he'd been there with her too. Plus he'd remained in contact with my Mom's Aunt and husband who knew where we lived, so he could have reached me had he really wanted to.

I never knew my father,
But he did leave me a wonderful family genealogy legacy that I never knew about before. Plus I'm met numerous of my cousins now and have contact via email and phone with many of the others that I haven't been fortunate yet to meet....including my half-sister and my nephew from my half-brother.
Till later....
Bobbi Harrison

PS- my other email bobbih2u@gmail
is the one that's recorded from sending you a posting from your blog, but this is my primary email and the one I use for my genealogy.

Thank You Bobbi for the information, the memories and the photo's.
And . . . . Welcome to the Paradise Blog and the extended family of our
Paradise Relatives and Friends.


A note from Dan Hoisington . . . .

"Joyce Thompson informed me today that Julie Tichenor passed away but not sure if it was yesterday or just when. She was a retired teacher who I think taught in Fairport and Paradise. She was 90 yrs old.

She and her husband used to farm at Fairport and grow several acres of watermelons. I know there were several high school boys and some girls from Paradise who would sneak out and "kipe" some melons at night. If her husband, Bob, would see you he would shoot at you with his shotgun. I know some of the thieves but can't remember for the life of me if I was ever involved. Dan"

Dan always makes me laugh, even when he is serious.

I had Steve and Stu Tichenor as music students when I was teaching at Paradise. Steve was in a quartet with Terry Martin, Gene angel and Steven Bealby. An excellent quartet, as I remember. Then, the next year, Stu was in a quartet with Gene Angel, Albert Clow and Dean Chesney. They were a good quartet also. I know that their Dad's name was Bob. So, does this mean that Julie is their Mother?

Millard just read this. He said he can honestly say that he never went watermelon stealing but he did add . . . . he sure enjoyed eating them when they got back.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Duane, Donnie & David Miller
Photo taken in 1967
David died Dec. 7, 2005 from cancer.

Saturday, December 6, 2008


Donnie and Duane Miller
Photo taken in 2008
This is an update on Donnie's health.
It is Tribute to Donnie, not a Memorial.

On May 16, 2008, we received an e-mail from Roger Pruter that he had received from Irvin Miller.

From Irvin . . . . .

"Donnie has been in the hospital 15 days. I am sure she will be in the hospital a few more days. Yesterday a vacuum tube was placed in the wound. Instead of the dressing being changed three times a day and risking infection, the vacuum pump will be serviced three times a week. The pump will remove fluid, and enhance healing cells around the wound. She will be connected to the tube three or four weeks.
The surgeon said the colon tumor was almost gone and he removed all of the cancer he could see or feel. The pathology report showed chemotherapy was effective and substantially reduced the liver tumors or masses. I am convinced the Doctors have done everything right. The colon collapsed because of damage to tissue before discovery of the cancer. The subsequent treatment and shrinking of the tumor was like caving in an unstable wall against a good wall. The big concern to doctors is the lost time in chemotherapy treatment. It could be four to six weeks before the wound is healed enough to continue chemotherapy. It seems like the cancer cells are stronger and more radical than ever, after a surgery delay. Donnie is walking a little and sitting in the chair.
We all know there is a lot of suffering for most people with cancer, but only the one having the pain really knows. I asked the nurse if the pain medication she was administering was morphine and she said no it was stronger. She is now off of the real high stuff and morphine. She is getting milder pain medication and less often."

On Nov. 29th (6 months later), I sent the following e-mail to Terry Martin and Irvin Miller - to them because the email from Roger was from Irvin to Roger Pruter and Cc Terry Martin.

Irvin and Terry,
I have been going through my Inbox tonight deleting old e-mail's. Is this something I could use on the Paradise blog? If so, how is Donnie doing now and is there something between this email and now that I could add? I'm sure that there are those that would be very interested. I'm sorry that I did not pick up on this before. Onnalee

Irvin e-mailed me back on Nov. 30, 2008. He said . . . .

"Donnie is back on chemotherapy treatments. The cancer test was normal for several months. When the cancer count became elevated to 5.8 six weeks ago, her oncology doctor decided to resume the treatments. She is feeling good most of the time and works at the Russell Regional Hospital, on an as needed basis. Usually on the week-ends. Donnie also has diabetes and controlling her sugar levels have given her the most problems. It goes out of control immediately after a chemotherapy treatment and does not stabilize until 3 or 4 days have passed."

Since I didn't know who Irvin Miller was, I was still hesitant about putting anything on the blog. So, I e-mailed Terry and asked him the relationship with him and Donnie and asked him to fill me in on Irvin.
Sorry, Irvin that I was hesitant.

Terry Martin e-mailed me back on Dec. 1, 2008. He said . . . .

"Donnie is my older sister. She graduated from Paradise in 1961. She has had a go of it with cancer. It was in her colon and they have removed the cancer portion of it, and now they have spotted some on her liver. She is going through chemo therapy now and it is improving the size of the spots. Irvin Miller is her husband from Natoma. I think he and Roger used to run together in the old days."

Terry sent this to Irvin too. Irvin responded the same day . . . . sending it to Terry too.

Hi Onnalee,
I think Terry is drunk tonight!! Donnie is my wife. She graduated in 1960, not in 1961. Pruter was too fast for me to run with. He is my "Distant" cousin. I actually go by my middle name "Duane". People at Paradise would know me as Duane. Terry is right and that I am a deadbeat from Natoma. Donnie and I were married in 1960. We were blessed with the birth of our first granddaughter on November 25. We have three grandchildren, two boys and a girl. The oldest boy is three years old.
Duane Miller

Before I had time to respond, Terry sent this . . . .

I wonder who's been drinking what. Didn't I say Irvin Miller (Duane) is her husband. No wait a minute she's his wife.

Another email from Terry a little later . . .

I still think Donnie graduated in 1961. We are 4 years apart in age and I was 1965 graduate.

My response to Terry . . .

Well . . . . Terry . . . . I hate to tell you, but she has a Sr. picture in the 1960 year book. Hmmmm! What else can I say? Ha! This is called a Senior Moment!!!!!!!!

Terry’s response . . . .

I guess you are right. I'm getting that way now after passing 60. I'm lucky I remembered I had a sister. LOL

You would have thought I had done all of my homework and was ready to blog this story. However . . . . I still had another question - For Duane . . . .

Duane . . . . OK! I almost have it altogether.
2 more questions
1. So . . . Is Donnie Martin actually Donnie Martin Miller - or did she keep her maiden name?
2. Where do you and Donnie live now?

(I was still unsure, as Terry said Duane was from Natoma.)
Oh! One more thing . . . . . . . . . do you have a photo of you and Donnie that you could e-mail me? Or, a family photo - or anything???????

Duane's response . . . .

Donnie Martin is actually, Donnie Martin Miller. We now live at 100 South Main St. Russell, Kansas 67665.
We are checking out photos and plan to send you one tomorrow.

With Irvin and Terry's permission, I am publishing this the way it is. I know that many of you have been very concerned about Donnie and perhaps with their help - or even Donnie's - we can keep all of you posted on her health situation. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Donnie and her family at this trying time. May God grant you the wonderful gift of returned good health, Donnie.

God gives us so many wonderful things . . .
The joy and the promise that each new day brings,
The beauty of friendship, the comfort of prayer
And the dearest of blessings -- His own loving care. Eleanor Leah Woods

Thursday, December 4, 2008



Class of 1962

I just heard sad news from Dan Hoisington.
Al Strecker died yesterday - Dec. 3, 2008.
He had a stress test taken on Mon and passed it with "flying colors".
Jan was gone from the home for a while yesterday, came home, and found him on their bed. He had a massive thrombosis.
Such a shock and so sad. As soon as I hear more, I will add it to the blog.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Jan and the family.

Jan Strecker
10205 Riviera Circle
Hutchinson, KS 67502

Al's Memorial Service is Sat. at 10 am in Hutchinson.
In the afternoon there will be a service at Paradise.

Albert "Al" Henry Strecker, 64, died Dec. 3, 2008, at his home.

He was born June 5, 1944, the son of Ernest and Eva May Strecker. He was a 1962 graduate of Paradise Rural High School. He graduated from Kansas State University in 1967 with a B.S. in engineering.

He then received his P.E. (Professional Engineering) license in 1971. He was an agricultural engineer currently working as a sales representative for Engineered Sales of Kansas City.

He served as a staff sergeant for the Army Reserves from 1967-73. He was a member of Trinity Methodist Church, and of AMBUCS, K-State Alumni and the American Society of Agricultural Engineering.

On June 6, 1965, he married Janice "Jan" E. McNeal in Paradise. She survives. Other survivors include:
sons, Scott and wife Cindy and Stuart and wife Lori, both of Lawrence;
brother, Glen, Olathe; sisters, Mary Anderson, Osborne, and Wanda Kay Augustine, Hutchinson;
grandchildren, Lidia, Jai, Henry, Maggie and Ada May;
and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents.

Memorial service at 10 a.m. Saturday at Trinity Methodist Church, Hutchinson, with the Rev. Pat Ault-Duell presiding.
Cremation has taken place.
Friends may sign the guest book 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday at Elliott
Mortuary, Hutchinson.

Interment will be in Mount Hermon Cemetery, Paradise.
The cemetery service will be at 3:30 at Mount Hermon at Paradise.
There will be cookies and coffee at the Methodist Church following.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Hutchinson AMBUCS for AmTrykes, Trinity Untied Methodist Church or Paradise United Methodist Church in care of the mortuary.

Visit to leave the family personal condolences.

This is the description of Paradise that Rev. Pat Ault-Duell used in Al's service.

"People who say that Kansas is flat have obviously never seen Russell County where the ancient ocean still swells and falls in tawny, grass-covered waves that foam with limestone breakers. In some parts of the world, hills conceal and enclose. but in Russell county, the hills enlarge the landscape so that you think you can see almost into eternity. It's no wonder to me that some people thought to call it "Paradise".

And why should it surprise us that, when you grow up in Paradise, you have something wonderful to bring to the rest of the world?

Standing on the crest of one of those wind-swept hills, sharks-teeth beneath your shoes and open sky all around, you just learn to see life in terms of great possiblities. You think of things you can do, places you can go, friends you can make and the whole world feels like an open hand extended in friendship."

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


After posting Pat's last photo, I thought it would be interesting to see the Paradise Cafe, as it is today. I sent an email to Dan Hoisington and Thanked him for taking some photos of the Cafe at all angles that he could send me when he had time. Sure enough! He took out time of his most busy schedule and took the photos and emailed to me.
Thanks so much Dan!

Monday, December 1, 2008


New Photo's from Pat

Pat wrote . . . .

"My Mother Louise Hoopes in the Paradise Cafe. She was embroidering pillow cases while she had no customers. If you look real close you can see the coal stove by her feet. This is the only pic I can find of the cafe. Maybe my sis has one but it almost looks like the one on blog, but windows were bigger on the front. Had a porch over the front some, facing the J.Tl Harrell hardware store. Pat"

Pat wrote . . . .
"From left to right.
Back row . . .
Pat Hoopes , Betty Dwinelle, Vada Dwinelle
Front row . . .
Sharon Dwinelle, Linda Hoopes
Cousins --We were really close when growing up.
Hoopes girls belong to Lee and Louise Hoopes
Betty, Vada and Sharon Dwinelle belong to my Uncle Ray and Edith Dwinelle.They lived down the hill and across the creek. We played many nights basket ball with Uncle Ray."

Thanks for the Photo's Pat!