Vaughn Lee Kleiner, 89, passed away Thursday, January 10, 2019 at Via Christi Hospital in Manhattan, Kansas surrounded by his family.
He was born February 4, 1929 in Riley, Kansas to Vernon and Blanche (Draper) Kleiner. Vaughn married Donna Jean (Funk) on July 23, 1948 in Manhattan, sharing 64 years of marriage. From this union, they had daughters Kathleen and Vicky. The family made their home in Manhattan for many years, later moving to Wabaunsee and then on to Wamego.
In his early years, Vaughn worked in the grocery business at Manhattan stores Safeway, Doebles IGA, A&P and Chapell's All-Star Dairy. He later worked for Kansas Farm Bureau traveling half the state as a marketing representative (Safemark division) retiring in 1987. After retirement, Vaughn and Donna traveled the country in a trailer camper visiting various destinations, including Tucson, Arizona, Washington, D.C., and South Dakota. The couple also traveled to Spain and Hawaii as part of an organized tour group.
Vaughn enjoyed golf, bowling, a game of marbles or cards, and visiting with friends over a cup of coffee at the Wamego Kreem Kup. He was an avid golfer and one of the few lifetime members of the Wamego Country Club. Vaughn loved to reminisce about his early years in the Manhattan community. An interesting story he told was regarding the 1951 flood of downtown Manhattan. He and his father-in-law (Leo Funk) took part in the Poyntz Avenue rescue and evacuation using a small motor boat to ferry people to City Park. Another fond memory was regarding his small farm in Wabaunsee Township. It was at this location where many family gatherings occurred, along with memories of gardening and raising livestock including Shetland ponies. Vaughn, along with his father, attended many small town parades driving the ponies with carts. He will be dearly missed by so many who knew him as someone who loved life, cracked jokes and cherished time with family and friends.
He was preceded in death by his twin brother, Vincent (in infancy), his parents Vernon and Blanche (Draper), wife Donna, daughter Kathleen (Hubbard), and brother Harlen. He is survived by his daughter Vicky Wendland (Gary) of Manhattan, son-in-law Milton Hubbard of Chanute, KS, Grandchildren Jason Ambrose (Laurie) of Manhattan, Emily Zeka (Russell) of Wellington, KS, Shane Hubbard of Mesa, AZ, Bret Hubbard (Christin) of Temple, TX, Kelsey Dobbins (David) of Roanoke, TX, and Great-Grandchildren Aniston, Luke, Truman, Sylvie, Hunter, Arolyn, Ashlynn, Everly, and Hazel, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Funeral services will be held Friday, January 18th 10:30 a.m. at Stewart Funeral Home in Wamego, KS with burial to follow at Fairview Cemetery in Riley, KS. In lieu of flowers, the family has suggested memorials to Wamego Area Youth Golf Foundation and the Pottawatomie County Caring Hearts Humane Society, and may be left in care of Stewart Funeral Home, PO Box 48, Wamego, KS 66547. Online condolences may also be left at www.stewartfuneralhomes.com