David N. Simmons
1937 – 2019
David N. Simmons 81, of Highland passed away on May 16, 2019 at his home in Highland, Kansas.
David was born October 17, 1937 in Robinson, Kansas at the Kurt Miller’s farm the son of Robert and Cecil Gibson Simmons. He attended school in Troy, Leona, Highland, Bendena, Kansas and Greely Colorado. He told us that John Albert (his cousin) and Him use to ride horses to school every day. As a young boy he got the measles. Later on when he was older he got the mumps and they were very painful. When he was 16 or 17 years old he was living with Uncle Lee in Leona and graduated from the 8th grade in Highland, then graduated Junior High in Greeley. He never knew why his cousin John Albert called him Davy Crockett and his Uncle Dink would call him Abe never knew why they did that.
His family moved back to Highland and he went to Highland High School for three weeks before dropping out to join the Marines. Dave’s first job was delivering news papers in Greeley Colorado. He also worked at Boeing Airlines in Wichita, worked at a couple gas stations and helped his dad on the farm and did some plumbing. He was the janitor and bus driver for the Highland School District. Growing up he also worked for Ukena’s Hardware and Dawson’s Automotive. He started his own plumbing company and did that until retiring at the age of 65.
When he was younger he remembers scooping coal off the box cars in Leona and was a corn sheller. He made $1.10 an hour and his last job he made $20.00 an hour. He told us in 1962 the gas price was 19 cents a gallon and he remembers Grandpa (Robert Simmons) giving him 10 cents to buy a pop and ice cream. His favorite age was 21 because he got out of the service and was able to come home. On August 26, 1961 Dave married Shirley Hobbs and to this union 4 children were born; Wayne, Gloria, Lori and Jerry. Later they divorced in 1996.
David loved his gardens, raising rabbits which he sold, and always had large strawberry patches. His hobbies were fishing, and gardening. He loved to camp at Perry and Tuttle Creek, because the fishing was great in both these places.He has traveled to all the states but 4 as he got older, he loved to watch the yellow canaries and the hummingbirds that came to his feeders outside his window. One year he had two babies that stayed all season and they entertained him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, a daughter Ruth Ann; three brothers and two sisters, and a grandson Jeremy Tilton.
Survivors include his four children Wayne, Gloria, Lori, Jerry; 10 grandchildren and several great grandchildren. Also surviving are her sisters: Judy Ross, Luella Golden, and Jerry Ruth Davis, and brother; Bill Simmons.
Military Graveside services are planned for June 4, 2019 at 10 am at the Highland Cemetery.
Memorials in his name and may be sent in care of Chapel Oaks Funeral Home Box 33 Highland, Kansas 66035.
1928 – 2019
Gene McNeal, 90, of St. Joseph, MO, died May 19, 2019 at Living Community.
Gene was born October 16, 1928 in St. Joseph, to Russell and Jennie Opal (Cavinee) McNeal. He was a 1946 graduate of Lafayette High School and served his country in the U.S. Army as a Corporal during the Korean War; receiving an honorable discharge in 1952. Prior to retirement he was Executive Director of Administration of the Transportation Communication International Union (TCU); retiring December 31, 1988. Gene was a member of the VFW, American Legion #287 Savannah, MO, Am Vets, Elks Club, and served as Adjutant for seven years for American Legion #359 St. Joseph.
He married Mary Ellen Mayse and they were married for 46 years. She preceded him in death. Also preceding him in death were an infant daughter Rose Marie McNeal; his parents; four brothers and a sister.
Survivors include seven children, Peggy Maats (Job); Tootsie Bell (Donald); Patrick McNeal (Joan); Kathy McNeal; William A. McNeal (Susan); Michael McNeal (Cathy); Joseph McNeal (Helen); Gene’s significant other Valeeta Soltys; thirteen grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; other relatives and friends.
Mr. McNeal has been cremated under the direction of Heaton-Bowman-Smith & Sidenfaden Chapel.
Fond memories and condolences may be shared at www.heatonbowmansmith.com