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The Hesston Record
345 Old Hwy 81
Hesston, KS 67062
(620) 327-4831


July 12, 2018 Hesston RecordJuly 12, 2018 Hesston Record

Sid Swartz Whitcher, 68

Posted 7/19/2018

Sid Swartz Whitcher was born on Jan. 21, 1950 to Bertha and Forest Whitcher of Falfurrias, Texas, in Premont, Texas.

When Sid was around a year old, the family moved to Premont where he attended school, until his graduation in 1968. While in high school, Sid played football, baseball and was a very active member of the Premont Band, playing alto saxophone.

Sid attended Hesston College in the fall of 1968, part of the notorious group which lived in “The Elms,” a house on the corner of Weaver Street and Academy.  Sid had to promise to be good to attend HC the following year.
While at Hesston, he met Kathy Erb. Sid returned to Texas to attend Texas A&I (now Texas A&M-Kingsville), for a semester and the two continued to date. In November of 1971, Sid and Kathy were married. 

The couple bowled together and played softball. Sid also began to umpire for Carl Boyer and the Hesston Recreation. In 1972, Sid began to work at Hesston Corporation, now AGCO, until his retirement in October of 2015. 
When the Hesston Golf Course opened, Sid became a member, and helped with the founding of the various men’s clubs and leagues. He was known as the guy who could hit a three-wood from anywhere. He also continued to play slowpitch softball, and became a fixture behind the plate at youth baseball games. Rarely a rule came up which Sid didn’t know and was also the first to help teach any kids on the field.
In 1977, Sid and Kathy had Rusty, with Mindy following in 1980. Sid soon had his kids playing golf and ball. In 1991, the couple had daughter number two, Wendy, and Sid was back in the coaching ranks until Wendy hung up her cleats. 

He loved his sports, with his favorite athlete being Mohammed Ali. Sid was a rabid Dallas Cowboys fan (imparting the fandom on Rusty and Wendy), adopting the Royals as one of his favorite baseball teams. He rarely missed a KU basketball game. Sid was a stats guru, looking up stats to share, or taking stats at games. 

He fell in love with fishing and also took up pheasant hunting, enjoying time in the field with the friends he made. When there wasn’t a game on, or he wasn’t outside, he liked to play all sorts of card games, or devour books with a voracious appetite for reading.
Sid never met a stranger, talking to as many people as he could. He was active in his retirement at the Hesston Area Senior Center, making two trips a day to see the “morning” and “afternoon” crowd. He was incredibly proud of his kids and their accomplishments. 

Memorial service will be Friday, July 20, 2018 at 5 p.m. at Hesston Mennonite Church. Memorials may be made to Hesston College Athletics. 

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Anna S. Friesen, 85

Posted 7/9/2018

NEWTON - Anna S. Friesen, age 85, of Newton, passed away June 29, 2018, at Newton Presbyterian Manor. 

She was born Anna S. Doerksen on Nov. 15, 1932, in Rural Meade County – the daughter of John and Sara (Reimer) Doerksen. Anna was the fourth of six children born to John and Sara.

Anna and her siblings lived and worked on the family farm. Anna’s father, at the age of 43, was killed by a drunk driver as he was standing by a car on the side of the road instructing Anna’s sister, Lena, where to take the farm equipment. This event had a profound impact on the family for the rest of their lives.

Anna attended Lakeview Elementary School of Fowler, Kansas, for grades one to eight. Lakeview was a small school with only 14 students. She had fond memories of teachers and friends at school. Math was one of Anna’s favorite subjects. 

Later, she acquired her GED, followed by LPN School in McPherson.

Anna met Alvin Friesen through friends. They were married on Feb. 18, 1962, in rural Meade. They were married 56 years until Alvin’s passing on April 1, 2018. 

Since Alvin worked in Hesston when they married, Alvin and Anna resided in Hesston for 53 years until they moved to Newton Presbyterian Manor in early 2015.

Alvin and Anna welcomed their only son, Marc, in September, 1974. The family celebrated Alvin and Anna’s 50th wedding anniversary in February, 2012 – a celebration Alvin and Anna enjoyed.

Early in their marriage, they stayed around home and worked, taking trips to visit far away family and to Alvin’s Army reunions. As they aged, they did additional traveling on bus trips as well as an Alaskan and a European tour – trips they greatly enjoyed.

Anna worked for many years as a Licensed Practical Nurse at Axtell and Bethel Hospitals – which later merged into Newton Medical Center. She retired in 2001, at the age of 68.

In addition to working at the hospital, Anna taught children’s Sunday School for many years. 

She enjoyed gardening, collecting dolls, and watching and listening to Royals baseball. She would tell you, “Royals all the Way.” Once Alvin and Anna moved to Presbyterian Manor, Anna enjoyed playing Skip-Bo on Tuesday nights with other ladies, as well as visiting with residents who became close friends.

Alvin and Anna were members of Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston. Anna has confessed her faith in Jesus Christ. The hope is that brothers and sisters in Christ will meet Anna again in heaven.

Anna is survived by their son and daughter-in-law, Marc and Sarah, and two grandchildren, Luke and Kate, of Newton. Anna leaves sisters Alma (Lou) Friesen of Edmond, Oklahoma, Sara of Reedley, California, and one brother, Pete (Lydia) Doerksen of Fowler. Anna also is survived by many nieces and nephews.

Anna is preceded in death by her parents; husband Alvin and sisters Lena and Elizabeth.

A visitation will be held Thursday, July 5, at the Presbyterian Manor Chapel in Newton. Burial will be Friday, July 6, at 9:30 a.m. at Eastlawn Cemetery in Zimmerdale. 

Memorial Services will be held following the burial at 11 a.m. at Whitestone Mennonite Church in Hesston. 

Memorials are suggested to Good Shepherd Hospice and may be sent in care of Petersen Funeral Home.