Tuesday, May 29, 2012

PARADISE - MAY 19, 2012


The most wonderful thing happened to me this morning.
I found out that there are pictures of Paradise, taken on May 19, 2012,
on a web site - FOP (Flyover People).

Click on

I am so thrilled and impressed with the way the buildings and the grounds look.  Yes, everything is old - that is what the Photographer (Blaine) is looking for and likes to take pictures of  - but there are very few weeds, if any, and everything looks so well groomed.  I don't know who does the work - I happen to know that Dan Hoisington does his share of yard work - all over Paradise.  To him and others - THANK YOU!
The latest count of Paradise residents is 36.  I received several emails saying how much they enjoyed the pictures also.  They asked about the Methodist Church, noticing the old Nazarene Church was included, the 2 beautiful homes at the top of the hill looking down on main street and the one business with the beautiful building - Post Insurance -showing  PROGRESS?  (No, that wasn't Dan that asked that.)  This photographer likes EVERYTHING OLD!  I certainly appreciate your comments and agree that they are beautiful pictures giving us a chance to see the buildings that each of you grew up seeing as a kid.  Blaine did a remarkable job taking the photos making everything looking so Old & Picturesque. 

FOP is a web site in Emporia that has the writings of Cheryl Unruh & features from around Kansas which includes the fabulous photography of her husband Dave Leiker and many other photographers and writers.  We are very fortunate to have them in our community.

Cheryl has written a book - Flyover People  Life on the Ground of a Rectangular State and she is a commentator for the Emporia Gazette and KPR (Kansas Public Radio in Lawrence, KS).

Click on

Thank You to my FOP friend.
His name?  1206SWMO   -  Blaine
If you read the comments under his pictures you can read a little bit about him.
Here is a list of the small towns that 120SWMO - Blaine has on FOP
FOP - Small Towns

The photographer's information . . .
Name:  Blaine
Location: Nevada, MO
Occupation: Farmer-Factory Worker
Interests: Anything Old


Monday, May 28, 2012

Keiford Lee Shearer (Husband of Lucille Houser Shearer - Class of 1964)


Keiford Lee Shearer, 73,
was born on
June 5, 1938,
near Almena Kansas
Leslie and Velma Douk Shearer.
He went to heaven to be with the Lord on

May 25, 2012.

Keiford graduated from Lenora High School in 1956. After graduation he worked for R.C. Leake Construction in Oberlin, Kansas, where he was foreman doing roadside and rest area construction. He then worked for Ideal Truck Lines in Norton, Kansas as a mechanic. He served in the Kansas National Guard and was called to active duty in 1961 during the Berlin crisis.

On June 27, 1975, he married Lucille (Lucy) Houser and they moved to Paradise and started farming. Keiford gave Lucy the opportunity to return to her family farm that she cherished. Even though it wasn’t a big farm, Keiford was content with what he had. He really enjoyed riding his horses and raising cattle and hogs. Then 5 years ago Keiford acquired a small herd of Longhorn cattle as his hobby, which he treasured and called his pets. For years he enjoyed hunting and black powder shooting.

On March 2, 1981, they were blessed with a daughter Karen. In 2002 they welcomed John (Ben) Patton into their family as their son-in-law. Keiford approved of him because he enjoyed guns and hunting. Keiford was very proud of Karen when she graduated from Kansas State University as a veterinarian in 2008. Then on June 20, 2011, the new love in his life was his grandson Caleb Alexander Patton.

Keiford was preceded in death by his parents.
He is survived by his wife Lucy, his daughter Karen Patton and her husband John of Sellersville Pennsylvania and grandson Caleb.
He is also survived by his brothers Laynard and wife Cynthia of Scottsdale, Arizona, Gary and wife Rovella of Norton and sister Bernita and husband Willis Daniels of Norton and other relatives and friends.

Keiford was a great person that had a lot of love for God, country, and his family.

A celebration of Keiford’s life
will be held at
10:30 A.M. on Wednesday, May 30, 2012,
at the
Paradise United Methodist Church in Paradise, Kansas,
Pastor Daryl Sherraden and Pastor Sharon Thomas officiating.

Burial and graveside services will follow at the Mt. Hermon Cemetery in rural Paradise. Visitation will be from 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. on Tuesday, May 29, 2012, at the Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Russell.
Memorials may be given to The University Of Kansas Cancer Center and sent in care of the mortuary.
Because his family wants everyone to remember Keiford as he was before his illness, there will be no public viewing or family visitation.
Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell is in charge of the funeral service arrangements.

Although no words can really help to ease the loss you bear,
just know that you are very close in every thought and prayer.
We know that it is difficult today to see beyond the sorrow,
May looking back in memory help comfort you tomorrow.
Our thoughts, our love and our prayers are with you and your family during this time.






Click on

The Third Graders music teacher wrote this for her children to sing.


Saturday, May 26, 2012


I received notice that Keiford Shearer (Lucille's husband) died yesterday evening.

Keiford had been in the Wilson Care Center with cancer and was just recently admited to the Ellsworth hospital with a diagnosis of pneumoia.

Love and Prayers to Lucille and her family.

Keiford Lee Shearer, 73,
Paradise, Kansas,
died on
Friday, May 25, 2012,
at the
Ellsworth County Medical Center in Ellsworth, Kansas.

Please check back later for a full obituary.




A tornado destroyed one home and damaged several other homes and buildings near Fossil Lake on the south side of Russell around 9:30pm. Patricia Strecker was taken to Russell Regional Hospital with injures. She was thrown from her home after it was destroyed by the tornado. Strecker was found by storm chaser Henry Diehl about 20 feet away from the original location of her home.

Interstate 70 and Highway 281 were closed for a brief time after the tornado to allow emergency responders to survey damage and check for injures.

Also, most of the city was without power for between three and four hours due to the storms. Officials were unable to sound tornado sirens at the time the tornado struck the south side of Russell. Power has since been restored to the entire town. Electric Utilities Director Duane Banks said Saturday morning the city's electrical grid took repeated direct lightning strikes from the storms and that appears to be the main reason why Russell residents lost power for several hours. The KRSL news team will check back with Banks next week for more information on the power outage.

Lightning caused at least two grass fires in Russell County.

Click on both links


Click on
Janette (Angel) Ross posted this on facebook.  She received the photo from Bill Conrad saying that the photo was taken by Jill Brown Matt.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


Karen (Hudnall) Jakub (Class of 1960) sent this to me. She received it from her sister, Dorothy (Hudnall) Wilson (Class of 1948). How interesting! 
It was in the letter for the 2002 Paradise Reunion Invitation. Thank You Karen & Dorothy. 


The first school taught in the vicinity of Paradise was a subscription school in 1875, with a term of three months.  This was an outdoor school held under a tree one-half mile west of town.
During the vacation a frame building was constructed and one year's school was held in it.  The next year a stone building was erected.
From 1878 to 1881, four-month terms were held.  In 1882, a five-month term was taught.  In 1885, a sod school was built one-half mile north of town.  In 1887, school opened in a stone school house one-half mile northwest of town.  This year a six-month term was held.
In 1889, the railroad came through, and the first buildings in Paradise were erected.  A school house was built in the west part town and the first school in the town of Paradise was conducted in 1892.
During the next few years the school continued to grow and in 1898 a small one-room frame building was built for the Primary and Intermediate grades.  The Grammar grades occupied the old building.
In 1909, a new stone building was erected which consisted of four rooms.  The following year the number of teachers was increased to three.
In April, 1914, the patrons of the district voted to have a high school offering a two-year course and employing two teachers.  The first year eleven were enrolled in the Freshman Class.
The first class to graduate from the Paradise High School graduated in 1918.  There were four students in this class.
In 1919, a permanent course of study was established.  in 1922, the third teacher was employed.
In 1923, the Paradise Rural High School was organized.  During this year courses in Home Economics and Manual Training were added to the Curriculum.
In 1928, the fourth teacher was added to the faculty.  The next year a course in Typing was added to the Curriculum.
On January 21, 1930, the Patrons of the Paradise Rural High School voted bonds for the erection of the modern, fireproof building which was dedicated on November 11, 1930.
In 1932, Paradise won the Scholarship Trophy presented by the Lincoln Branch League.  In 1935, the Paradise Boys' Basketball Team won the Lincoln Branch Tournament at Waldo.  They played Waldo in the finals and won by a score of 24-17.  The players in the finals were R. Loreg, J. Harrell, C. Elliott, E. Day, V. Hutchcraft, L. Pfortmiller, F. Mellard, G. Beck, R. Weller and R. Booth.
In 1937, the Boys' Basketball Team took second place in the Lincoln Branch League.  In 1938, they took second place in both league and tournament.
We hope that the Paradise School may continue to grow and that her students may win even more honors in the future.
Just a note - The above was typed like it was written.  I didn't know that Paradise School was a "Her."  :)
In a book that I thought was a recipe book of Millard's Mother
, I have a list of the first 4 graduates - plus a list of all of the graduates - 1918 through 1965.  

I also have the list of High School teachers from 1914 through 1966.  
I will put these on ASAP, but do not hold your breath that it will be very soon.

The first Paradise Annual - "THE PARADISE SUNFLOWER" - is on this blog. 
If you keep scrolling down and clicking on Older Posts to Feb. 3, 2010 it has some very interesting information too. 
I had to post it in several posts so I can't just give one link for all of the posts. 

Here are the links, in case you don't like to scroll down that many years.  :)
However if you scroll down, you don't have to click on links.  It is one continuous story












Friday, May 18, 2012



The latest on the Paradise Post Card is that we are still working on it.
Brad Thompson is working with a printer friend and has given him some pictures.  I'm not sure which photos they have selected but I'm sure it will be the ones that will look the best on a post card. 
This post card will be a collage of the schools around the Paradise Water Tower.  Then the printer has asked for a description/story/log that would connect with the schools and the water tower.  This story (short enough for a post card) has been written, changed, corrected, rewritten, changed again and again.  When you have facts about Paradise, it is hard to keep it short. 
Perhaps when Brad gets something from the printer for approval we can unveil it here on the blog.  It is exciting!  After the post card is printed, we will get them to Postmaster Lucille, she will put a stamp on them and postmark them and they will be available at the
Paradise Alumni Reunion - July 21, 2012 with Social Hour beginning at 6:00 p.m.


Thursday, May 10, 2012


Jim Harrell sent this news from The Hays Daily News today.
In northwest Kansas, the following post offices would be affected by a U.S. Postal Service to shorten business hours rather than closing small-town post offices.

Agra, Almena, Alton, Bogue, Bunker Hill, Catharine, Cedar, Collyer, Damar, Dorrance, Gaylord, Gorham, Jennings, Kirwin, Lenora, Logan, Long Island, Lucas, Luray, Morland, Natoma, Norcatur, Palco, Paradise, Prairie View, Rush Center, Waldo, Woodston, Bird City, Brewster, Edson, Gove, Grainfield, Grinnell, Herndon, Kanorado, McDonald, Rexford, Selden and Weskan.

I am waiting to hear something from Postmaster Lucille - via Janette.  This is great news!
I am hoping Brad Thompson will go ahead with the post cards for Lucille to postmark them and we sell them at the Paradise Reunion this year.  I am waiting to hear from him also. 


Tuesday, May 8, 2012


We are needing original photos for the post cards. 
Does anyone have an original photo of any of the schools from several years ago when the schools were in good condition? 
We do have the original photo of the water tower. 

Please let us know as soon as possible. 

Monday, May 7, 2012


I finally found pictures of the old grade school and grade school.
If anyone has better pictures of any of the schools, please send them to my email address.
Click on the pictures to make them larger.


Sunday, May 6, 2012


It is exciting to get emails with suggestions and ideas.
After reading the "Paradise, KS Postmark" post, I received an email from Brad Thompson.  He has a friend that would help in printing a Postcard so that Postmaster Lucille can postmark each of them and they can be sold at the Paradise Reunion.  We are discussing the idea of a collage of the schools around the Water Tower.  I'm sure that I have a picture of the Grade School and old Grade School but I can't find them.  Here are some pictures that we have right now to choose from.  If you have more photos, would you please email them to me?
Janette (Angel) Ross has contacted Lucille, Dan & Deb to make sure that what we are doing will be approved by them.  We still need to contact Joyce and Eric.
Click on one of the pictures, then you can view all of them in a slide show - larger views. 

Please send photos of the schools that you have that we can put in a collage around the Historical Water Tower.


Friday, May 4, 2012


At the bottom of the Paradise Alumni Reunion post I mentioned the Paradise, KS postmark.  We will soon not receive any mail with a postmark from Paradise, KS.  This is a sad reality that we will have to face.  I had mentioned that perhaps a postmark could be on our 2012 Paradise Alumni Directory's, then Janette (Angel) Ross and I had talked about making a post card with pictures of the schools on it.  Janette talked to Postmaster Lucille (Houser) Shearer and Lucille said that a post card would be best since there are rules for using a postmark and probably postmarking a Paradise Alumni Directory is not included in the rules.  I should have thought of that.  Millard's mother and my mother were both Postmasters.  I didn't think things out before blogging my thoughts yesterday.  I had too many things going on at once and I was not doing any of them very well. 

Jim (Sherlock, friend, cousin, the person that tries to keep me on my toes) asked me yesterday after sending a request to him by email saying . . .
"Did you take your medication this morning?"

That was entirely uncalled for.  I had sent two pictures.  The wife of the couple was in one picture with other people and the husband was in another picture with another guy.  I just asked him if he could change the pictures into a picture with just the husband and wife. 
It can be done . . . . . . can't it? 

Anyway, do we have any volunteers for printing post cards that could be used for Postmaster Lucy to postmark and then they could be sold at the reunion?  Would appreciate your input and your expertise on this.

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Yea!  There is a new comment on the blog.  Look at the left under Recent Comments.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012



I have had Donnie Martin Miller on my prayer list since the day that I found out that she had cancer.  I pray for her and Duane daily.  I sent an email to them this week to find out how Donnie is doing.  I should do that more often. Duane is such a remarkable person and always answers my emails immediately.

Donnie & Duane
Duane's email . . . .

"Hello Onnalee.

The next Paradise Reunion will be Donnie's third since discovering she had cancer and began treatment. I agree it is a good idea to report on her condition and as encouragement for others that have similar health problems. The cancer originated in the colon and migrated to the liver. At this point it has been contained or not metastasis to other places. However they are monitoring the Adrenal Gland. Donnie is continuing chemotherapy treatments every two weeks. Three or four days after each treatment is miserable, then she bounces' back to a fair quality of life. Donnie has always had a good attitude, I am sure that helps and she started taking Paw-Paw Reg tablets as a treatment supplement from the very beginning and could be contributing. As you have Onnalee, Donnie's friends are devoted to praying for her continuously.
As far as changing in any other way, not Donnie!! She is looking forward to our daughter Micah having twins about the first of July. They will make seven grandchildren. Our son Dru has four children , three boys and a girl. The oldest is six years old. Micah has a daughter two and when the twins arrive she will have two girls and a boy.
Cancer is a dreadful word. I think of my cousin Arthur Lee who is dealing with cancer, he made an adjustment and recently said, "Duane, maybe we don't have it so bad". Arthur and his wife are both taking chemo. Hope he doesn't mind me commenting about his good attitude.
Get regular checkups to save yourself a lot of misery.

God Bless
Duane Miller

From left to right . . . .
Standing -
Ryan Becker (son-in-law),  Dru Miller (Son)

Seated -
Micah Becker (daughter),  Duane holding Riley Becker,  Donnie holding Jenessa Miller, Jenna Miller (daughter-in-law).
Front row -
Christian Miller, Conner Miller

Duane's email made me think of Arthur Lee.  Arthur had sent an email to Millard and told about his wife having cancer but we did not know about Arthur. 
A few emails have been going back and forth between Arthur and me. 

Arthur & Karen
We all need to pray for these two families daily.  We never know when we will be sharing this kind of news about us and.or our spouse. 

Arthur's email to me . . . .

"It is true, my wife, Karen, was diagnosed with Ovarian cancer. She has finished three chemo treatments and has three or five to go. Her numbers are good and the prognosis is good. It has been a trying time for all of us . I have finished chemo and the Dr. is starting to lengthen the time between lab, scans and appointments. We have gone from daily to every three weeks to every three months and we are up to four months. We expect Karen's case to be the same. Karen does have some really down days after Chemo but she will win . Our motto is " stay strong".
I have Diffuse Large B cell type Non- Hodgkins Lymphoma. It had attached to my spleen and I had a spleen octomy July 20th 2011. It has the potential to come back in some other organ but it may not.
We have the same oncologist but he will not put us on a family plan or give us a discount. Having cancer is like having a job that you really hate. It is demanding of your time and energy. I liken it to a job because there is something you have to do almost every day that is cancer related.

Arthur Lee"

Brad (son), Karen, Marla (Daughter, Arthur

Girls left to right - Olivia, Krista, Sara
Boys left to right - Elijah, James
with Karen & Arthur 


Our thoughts and prayers are with the Miller's and the Lee's.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Thank You Dorene Reich Chrisler for sending Neva Lee's Memorial Record to us so we could share it.


Neva Lee (Reich) Wegele, 80
April 23, 2012
at the
Russell Regional Hospital

Neva was born March 15, 1932 in Natoma, Kansas, the daughter of Otto and Ethel (Palmer) Reich. She grew up and attended schools in the Natoma and Fairport area. She graduated from Paradise High School in 1949 and then attended Beauticians School in Salina.
Neva was united in marriage to Lawrence Olson in August of 1975. Lawrence preceded her in death in 1985. Neva was united in marriage to Reinhold Wegele on August 14, 1993 in Russell, Kansas.
Neva has been a Beautician most of her life. She started out working in Harry’s Barber Shop in Gorham. Then she started Neva’s Hair Salon in Natoma and later in Luray.
Neva was a very active member of the St. John Lutheran Church. She was also involved with the Russell V.F.W. Ladies Auxiliary, the Fraternal Order of the Eagles in Wakeeney and the Russell Regional Hospital Auxiliary. In her spare time, she enjoyed croqueting.
Surviving family include her husband of 18 years, Reinhold of the home; three step sons, Ray Olson and wife Angie of Russell, Kansas, Larry Olson of Muscle Shoals, Alabama and Dwight Olson and wife Sylvia of San Diego, California; nephews, David Yost and Scott Yost both of Colorado and niece, Pamela Hyman of Colorado; 10 grandchildren and 1 great grandchild. She was preceded in death by her parents, step son, Ture Olson and sister, Eloise Yost.
Celebration of Neva’s Life
will be held at
10:30 A.M. Friday, April 27, 2012
St. John Lutheran Church of Russell
Pastor Roger Dennis Officiating

Burial of ashes will take place at a later date.
Friends may sign the book from noon to 5 PM Thursday at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell.
A memorial has been established with the St. John Lutheran Church. Contributions and condolences may be sent in care of Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these funeral arrangements.
      Neva Lee's Sister
Eloise (Reich) Yost
Class of 1951
A Special Thanks to Dan Hoisington, Karen (Hudnall) Jakub and Dorothy (Hudnall) Wilson for the photos.  Sometimes it takes a village to make a post and this certainly was a joint endeavor.
I feel very blessed to have friends that are so willing to help out.