Kathleen Lavern “Kate” O’Neill, age 99 of Manhattan and formerly of Randolph, passed away Saturday, January 11, 2020 at the Good Shepherd Hospice House.
She was born on June 17, 1920 on a farm east of Wamego, the daughter of Walter A. and Edith M. (Harrell) Cordts. She grew up in Wamego and was the second oldest of seven children.
In the 1930’s, Kathleen along with her sisters performed around the state with the Wiziarde Circus from Westmoreland. The Cordts sisters were dancers, singers, acrobats and performed aerial acts. From 1936-1938 they joined a larger circus and traveled and performed outside the state of Kansas. She graduated from St. George High School in 1939. In June of 1939, she married Robert “Bob” O’Neill. Kathleen and Robert moved to a farm west of Randolph in 1943, where they raised three daughters. Besides working on the family farm, Kathleen worked at area stores including Beckman’s Grocery Store in Old Randolph and Sprug’s Meat Market in Leonardville. She was a cook at the Randolph School. In 1962 she started as the Clerk at the Randolph Post Office and in 1978 became the Postmaster of Randolph until her retirement in 1995. After retirement she spent a few years working at Area Liquor, which later became D&R Liquor Store in Manhattan.
Kathleen enjoyed working on the farm and providing for her family. She was a wonderful cook and no one ever left her table hungry. She enjoyed watching her children and grandchildren play sports, coffee with her McDonald’s group, playing cards with friends, weekly lunches with sisters and nieces and just spending time with family and friends. The greatest loves of her life were her children and her “perfect” grandsons. She truly loved all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Her hobbies included reading, playing cards on the computer, making quilts for family members and making yarn Santa’s to be given out at Christmas. She will be remembered for her good humor, kind heart, beautiful smile, her fun loving personality, delicious meals and caring disposition.
She is survived by two daughters, Peggy Jo O’Neill (Larry Aschermann) of Carthage, Missouri and Pamala O’Neill (T.C. Griffay) of Manhattan; one son-in-law, James Hefner of Thornton, Colorado; one sister, Margery Baresel of Kansas City, Missouri; three grandsons, Mike Samuelson (Lora) of Carthage, Missouri, Dane Floberg (Pam) of Stanley, North Carolina and Chad Hefner of Thornton, Colorado; one granddaughter, Brook Gomez of Carthage, Missouri; seven great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
She was preceded in death by her husband; one daughter, Patricia O’Neill Hefner; her parents; her stepmother, Ruth Cordts; her stepfather, Charles Bietry; one brother, Walter “Sonny” Cordts and four sisters, June Myer, Jean Cordts, Annabel Dohrman and Mary Ann Mueller.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home. The family will receive friends from 6:00 until 8:00 p.m. Tuesday. Burial will be in the Wamego City Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the T. Russell Reitz Animal Shelter or the Good Shepherd Hospice House. Contributions may be left in care of the Anderes-Pfeifley Funeral Home.
Condolences may be left for the family at www.apfunerals.com.