Velma B. Yarber Schnittker

By The Mercury

Velma B. Yarberry Schnittker, 97, died Monday at South Wind Hospice Home in Pratt.  She was born in Pratt County on Nov. 15, 1913, the daughter of Bessie (Marteney) and Gene Oller. She grew up in a large family of 12 brothers and sisters. She married Lester Yarberry on Easter Sunday, April 1, 1934.  He passed away on Oct. 23, 1966 after 32 years of marriage.  Velma and Lester lived on 3 different farms around the Cunningham- area and raised their three daughters, Betty, Belva, and Linda.

She worked right beside her husband on those farms for many years.  While her daughters were in high school, she worked in Pratt at Davies Manufacturing and Doskocile’s Meat Market.  She cultivated huge gardens, loved raising flowers, cooking, and sewing.

She was a lifetime resident of Cunningham and Pratt.  In 1960 she and Lester left the farm and moved into Cunningham, where she was employed as a cook for the Cunningham School District No. 332.

In 1973, she married Joe Schnittker and moved to Pratt.  She was a member of the Cunningham Christian Church and The American Legion Auxiliary in Cunningham.  While living in Pratt she attended the Pratt Christian Church.  She was a volunteer at the Pratt Historical Society, Pratt Regional Medical Center, a member of the Elks Foundation and the Pratt Senior Citizen’s Center.

She is survived by her 3 daughters: Betty Crawford and her husband Arnold Hedke of Wamego, Belva Dauner of Bend, Ore., and Linda and her husband John Shelk, Powell Butte, Ore.  She is also survived by seven grandchildren: Michael and Randy Warren, Brenda Kirkendall, Brian Crawford, Michelle Hajovsky, Clark Dauner, and Anne Marie Shelk.  She also has 10 great-grandchildren and six great-great grandchildren.

Also surviving is her sister, Gertrude Wehling, Colorado Springs, Colo.; half-brother Jerry Oller of Langdon and half-sisters Ellen Jean Hanson of Pratt, and Lynnette Chick of Hutchinson; and step-children Jolene Tustin of Great Bend, Delmar Schnittker of Grand Lake, Colo., and Howard Schnittker of Kansas City.

Velma was a member of that “Great Generation” that is fast leaving us.  The generation who started with so little, worked so hard, and endured much. 

Visitation will be 9 a.m. - 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday at Larrison Mortuary, 300 Country Club Rd., Pratt, KS 67124, where family will receive friends from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Friday.

Funeral services will be held 10 a.m., Saturday, at Larrison Mortuary with Pastor Mike McGovney presiding. Burial will be in the Maud Cemetery in Cunningham.

Memorials may be sent to South Wind Hospice or Big Lakes Developmental Center of Manhattan, both in care of the mortuary.

Condolences may be left at

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