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Kiowa County Signal - Kiowa County, KS
  • OBIT: David Franklin Smitherman Jr, 86

  • David F. Smitherman Jr. went to his heavenly reward on Saturday, April 28, 2012  at South Wind Hospice House in Pratt, KS.


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  • David F. Smitherman Jr. went to his heavenly reward on Saturday, April 28, 2012  at South Wind Hospice House in Pratt, KS.   He was born to David and Lyda (Kendall) Smitherman April 2, 1926 in the farm house north of Haviland, KS where he lived most of his 86 years. He attended Haviland Grade School and Friends Haviland Academy, graduating in 1944. On August 31, 1947 he married Ruth McNichols from Burr Oak, KS.  To this union were born Linda Clarkson (husband Terry) of Pratt; Sandy Skinner (husband Gary) of Hugoton; and Dwight Smitherman (wife Debbie) of Haviland. After 48 years of happiness together Ruth slowly developed Alzheimers and spent the last five years in a care facility.  She passed away September 18, 2001.  The following three years were spent alone, semi-retired from the farm, with occasional trips to their winter home in Yuma, AZ which they had enjoyed together for many years. On August 14, 2004, he married Barbara (Plank) Hecht.   She survives of the home.  Besides his three children, he is survived by 7 grandchildren, and 14 great grandchildren. Step-children are Marsha Wright of Colby, Roland Hecht (wife Janet) of Overland Park, KS, Sonya Wilson (husband Kevin) of Chesapeake, VA, and Darin Hecht (wife Jennifer) of Wichita, also 7 step-grandchildren and 3 step-great grandchildren. David was preceded in death by his parents and a brother Charlton.  His livelihood consisted of farming, dairying, operating a television sales/service business, and bringing cable TV to the community.  He will be remembered for his Christian faith, generosity, and numerous leadership roles. David was an active member of the Haviland Friends Church, serving in many positions throughout his life. He was Clerk of Mid-America Yearly Meeting of Friends, served numerous years on the Barclay College Board of Trustees and as Chairman for many of those years.  He was a member of the Kiowa County Hospital Board, and many other organizations that profited from his leadership.    Being a pilot, he was active in Kansas as well as International Flying Farmers, attending many conventions and serving in many capacities. Funeral services and celebration of David's life were held on Wednesday, May 2, at 2:00 PM at the Haviland Friends Church with Dr. David Robinson, Pastor Donnie Hinshaw, and Rev. Merl Kinser officiating. Burial followed at the Haviland Cemetery. Viewing took place from 5:00-7:00 PM Tuesday, May 1, at the Haviland Friends Church, Haviland, KS.   Memorial gifts may be given to the Haviland Friends Church, Barclay College, or South Wind Hospice of Pratt in care of Fleener Funeral Home, 514 S. Main St., Greensburg, KS, 67054.
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