Obituaries for March 3, 2015

• John Smithhisler

John Smithhisler

John Wendelin Smithhisler, 87, of Manhattan since 2011, passed away Friday, Feb. 27, at the Good Shepherd Hospice House. He was a retired District Conservationist and a Resource and Soil Conservationist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture until his retirement in 1986.

John was born in Anthony, Kansas on July 14, 1927, the son of the late Mary Lidwina (Kastens) and John Edward Smithhisler. He was united in marriage to Rita Jean Downey on June 7, 1954, at the Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Manhattan, and she precedes him in death. After their marriage they moved to Ness City, Kansas until 1957 when they had the opportunity to move to Hawaii for 16 years and then to Illinois until his retirement in 1986. He graduated from Anthony High School in 1944, and KSU in 1953 with a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture. He was a member of St. Thomas More Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, NARFE (National Association of Retired Federal Employees) and the VFW. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a weather observer during WWII.

John is survived by his son, John W. Smithhisler, Jr., husband of Marsha of Dodge City; son, Matthew L. Smithhisler, husband of Patricia, of Manhattan; a daughter, Mary A. Salsbury and husband Sean of Bowlingbrook, IL; daughter, Judith L. Smithhisler, of Lake Villa, IL; a son Peter D. Smithhisler, husband of Christina, of Zionsville, IN; a sister, Teresa A. Brooks, wife of Jack of Halstead; a brother, Lonnie Smithhisler, of Macomb, IL; 11 grandchildren, John Patrick Smithhisler, Zachary Smithhisler, Leslee Smithhisler, Kaitlin Salsbury, Rebecca Salsbury, Maureen Salsbury, Erin Smithhisler, Jill Davis, Olivia Smithhisler, Hadley Smithhisler. He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Jean; two brothers, Herman Smithhisler and Leland Smithhisler; one sister, Barbara Smithhisler and one step-granddaughter, Amy Rolak.

A parish rosary/vigil service was held on Sunday at the Irvin-Parkview Funeral Home and Cremation. On Monday, a Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated at St. Thomas More Catholic Church, burial followed at Sunrise Cemetery, Manhattan.

The family request donations to the Good Shepherd Hospice House, 3801 Vanesta Drive or Manhattan Catholic Schools and sent in care of the funeral home. For more information or to send an on line condolence, visit


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