By The Mercury

Belinda Mary Brockish Ebert, 78, died Dec. 7 at the Westmoreland Care Home in Westmoreland, where she had been a resident for the past five years.

The family provided some of the following information.

Belinda was born on May 20, 1935, in Blaine to Genevieve and John L. Brockish. They preceded her in death.

She graduated from Westmoreland High School in 1952 and married Delbert L. Dekat in 1953. They lived in the country near Westmoreland for 23 years and later divorced.

She worked at the Hildebrand/Hoffman Pharmacy in Westmoreland early in her career. She later served as secretary to the Pottawatomie County Soil Conservation District for over 20 years. She diligently promoted watershed and conservation efforts for the county and community. 

Known for her entrepreneurial spirit and passion for cooking, Belinda pursued her dreams to purchase her mother’s liquor store located at the corner of Highway 99 and Main Street in Westmoreland in 1989 and turn it into an enterprising business. Seeing a need in the community for basic services, she remodeled and expanded the small store and opened the community’s first full-service convenience store, gas station and restaurant, known then as BB’s Handi-Korner.  She operated the popular spot seven days a week by offering creative daily food specials, basic necessities and friendly conversation for over 10 years before she retired.

In 1993, she married James Ebert and moved to their home in Wamego.  Belinda was an avid gardener, extraordinary cook, enthusiastic traveler and witty conversationalist.  She and James enjoyed working together in their bountiful garden, entertaining family and friends at their rural home, and traveling before she was diagnosed in 2000 with a rare debilitating brain disease. This disease contributed to her many other medical struggles, but she still managed to keep a positive attitude the last years of her life even when daily living was overwhelmingly physically and mentally challenging.

Belinda’s surviving daughters and family include Debra J. Elder and John Weimer of San Tan Valley, Ariz., Cynthia S. and Kent Dugger of Manhattan, and Mary Kay and Chuck Gunnels of Kansas City, Kan., plus three grandchildren, Courtney Gunnels of Manhattan, Carly Gunnels of Kansas City, Kan., and Tyler Dugger of Manhattan.

She is survived by her husband; daughters; five step-children, Becky Riniker, Denise Carlston, Rhonda Trudo, Lisa Diedrich and Jimmy Ebert; and 13 step-grandchildren. She also leaves a brother, Kenneth Brockish of St. Marys. 

Visitation is at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Stewart Funeral Home of Wamego, followed by a rosary at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial is at 11 a.m. Wednesday at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Flush with burial to follow at Flush Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to meet afterward for lunch at the Parish Hall.

Contributions may be made to St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, the American Stroke Foundation, or the Cerebral Amyloid Angiopathy Research Center and may be left in care of the Stewart Funeral Home, PO Box 48, Wamego, KS 66547.

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