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By The Mercury

Kenneth Harvey Piel, 73, of Topeka, formerly of Paxico, died Sunday at Stormont-Vail Healthcare. He was a life-long resident of the Paxico area.

Ken was born Nov. 4, 1940, in McFarland. He was the son of William and Josephine Meinholdt Piel.  He attended local schools and graduated from Paxico High School in 1958.  He then served in the United States Army Reserve.

Ken was a farmer and stockman on his farm east of Paxico. He also worked for AB Hudson Ranch, Lietz Construction, Newbury Township, and Wilsey D, Inc.  He was a member of the American Legion, the Wabaunsee County Watershed Board, and an active member of Trinity Lutheran Church in McFarland.  He also enjoyed going hunting and fishing.

Ken married Vanita Rae Nations on August 21, 1965, in Topeka.  She survives at their home.

He is also survived by his daughters, Jo Robertson (Doug Crummey), Carol Piel (JB Ray) of Topeka, and Shari Piel of Manhattan; his grandchildren, Samantha Robertson, Zackory Robertson, Gabrielle Robertson, Jalynn Ray and Jabrel Ray; great-grandchildren, Jesse and Emilii, and numerous nieces and nephews.  Ken was preceded in death by his parents; his brother, August Piel; and his great-grandson, Hadley.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m., Friday at Trinity Lutheran Church in McFarland.  The Rev. Chris Vossler will be officiating.  Inurnment will be held in Bethlehem Cemetery at a later date. 

The family will greet friends on Thursday at the church from 6 to 8 p.m.  They suggest memorial contributions to Big Lakes Developmental Center, Trinity Lutheran Church, or The American Heart Association, and those may be sent in care of Campanella-Gentry Funeral Home in Alma.  Online condolences may be made at

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