Dec 10, 2019 4:16 PM

Rachel Etiennette Oldham

Posted Dec 10, 2019 4:16 PM

Rachel Etiennette Oldham was born November 20th, 1984 to Dennis Oldham and Regina (Whipple) Oldham in Burlington, Colorado. She was welcomed home by her older sister, Hailey Oldham, who became her fierce protector. After a courageous battle with kidney disease starting at age 2, she passed away December 7th, 2019 at her home in Goodland, Kansas.

Rachel grew up in Burlington, Colorado attending the Burlington school system, graduating in 2004. Rachel took CNA classes in Colby, Kansas in the summer of 2002. She worked for Stratton Coop, Wheatridge Acres, and Res-care Golden West.

It was in Burlington that she met the love of her life and best friend, Zeb Smith. They both attended the Kit Carson Correction Center open house in October 1998, which offered an overnight stay in jail for those interested. Rachel and her many girlfriends and Zeb with his friends chose to stay. They all played games and chased each other throughout the night. They would joke they met while in prison. They started dating in 2000 and started sharing a life together in 2004. Brayden became part of their lives in November 2006, and with Brayden’s final adoption on September 9th, 2009, their family was complete.

Rachel was a devoted wife and mother, taking great pride in having a welcoming and warm home. She loved the change of seasons, adding and removing decorations around her house for each season and holiday. She loved the Christmas season with the birth of our Savior, the bright lights, and decorations. Rachel loved to cook and bake from an early age, starting at her parents’ and grandparents’ kitchens, which were always busy places.  She especially loved cooking with her father and learning the family recipes. Christmas was always special as trays of goodies were taken to friends and neighbors to share and to visit. She loved collecting and sharing recipes and ideas.

Rachel loved living in the country with her garden, chickens, ducks, honey bees and various other animals. She was active with Zeb and Brayden in 4-H and school. Rachel and Zeb also enjoyed working together remodeling rental properties.

Rachel is preceded in death by her father, Dennis Oldham and father-in-law Rex Smith; Grandparents Forrest and Regina Whipple, Lois Crist, Viola and Jerome Janousek, and Royce and Blanche Smith; Aunts Kim Armbrister, Judy Hadley, and Joyce Meyer; Uncles Larry Oldham and Clifford Whipple; and her cousins Loyd Whipple, Jennifer Whipple, Grant Winslow and Brent Oldham.

The people she leaves behind with broken hearts and cherished memories are: Zeb and Brayden Smith, mother Regina Oldham, mother-in-law Colleen Smith and Mike Maupin, Grandpa Dale Crist, her sister Hailey Oldham, sister-in-law Jandi Smith, brother-in-law Spencer Smith as well as her aunts, uncles, cousins and many friends.

Honorary pallbearers are Kim Bohme, Chuck and Joyce Bohme, Kim and James Mayfield, Kyle and Danielle Ramsey, Nicole Holub, and Karen Loudon.

Rachel became a strong advocate of Donate Life and was an active participant in the annual donor dash. She had her team of family and friends joining her for this very important day. Rachel was very passionate about blood and organ donation. She wanted everyone to know how important it is to be a blood and organ donor. She wants everyone to donate blood on a regular basis and to register as an organ donor. Please keep in mind that when one recipient receives an organ donation, that recipient is not the only one affected; everyone around them is as well: spouses, children, parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. Organ donation is truly a gift that keeps on giving. It also gives the donor family comfort knowing their loss has truly blessed another family.

Services for Rachel will be held on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 10:00 AM MT at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Goodland with Father Andrew Rockers officiating.  Inurnment will follow in the Fairview Cemetery in Burlington, CO.

Visitation will be held on Monday, December 16, 2019 from 5:00 to 6:00 PM MT at Koons-Russell Funeral Home in Goodland with a Parish Rosary to begin at 6:00 PM.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Rachel Oldham Memorial Fund to be used for her son Brayden, and may be left at the services or mailed to Koons-Russell Funeral Home, 211 N. Main Ave., Goodland, KS 67735.

Online Condolences for the family may be left at

Services for Rachel have been entrusted to Koons-Russell Funeral Home in Goodland.

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Dec 10, 2019 4:16 PM
John Howard Cranston

John H. Cranston, 94, of Colby, Kansas, passed away on Monday, December 9, 2019 at Citizens Medical Center in Colby, Kansas. He was born on November 7, 1925 in rural Bazine, Kansas during a snow storm. He always told people it took three days for the doctor to make it through the snow to their rural farm.

He was the son of Thomas & Elva (Delaney) Cranston. He attended a small one room school in rural Ness County, Kansas from 1st through 8th grade. John graduated from Bazine High School in 1943 & enlisted in the United States Army in 1944. After his military service he moved to California & became a journeyman machinist with the Caterpillar Company. There in the San Francisco bay area he met his future wife Marjorie.

On May 20, 1950 he married Marjorie Blanc in Reno, Nevada. They were blessed with two daughters, Deborah & Linda.

In 1959 John moved back to Kansas where he started his own custom harvesting business. After 35 years as a custom harvester he decided to retire from his custom harvesting route. However, custom harvest for people close to home, farm for relatives, mechanic, raise cattle & drive cattle trucks for many years thereafter. John did not like to be idle for long. He always had something that needed fixed or mended on his small farm by Levant, KS. He named his little farm “Oleo Acres” which when asked about the name he would explain that he chose that name because it was a “cheaper spread”.

After his wife passed away in 2004, his constant companion for the last 14 years has been his little dog Sally. They went everywhere together. John & Sally enjoyed their weekly trips to the Colby Sale Barn to watch the livestock sell & talk to everyone there. They also enjoyed their weekly trips to the grocery store, Orscheln’s & Palace Drug Store as well as other businesses in Colby.

John enjoyed visits from his eight grandchildren & great grandchildren. He had a basket of toys that the younger great grandchildren would drag out & play with each time they came to visit. He always had a dish of candy to share with them as well. He enjoyed humorous greeting cards from his grandchildren & would proudly display them near his recliner for all to see.

John was preceded in death by his parents; wife Marjorie; brothers Harold, Rex & Lester & sister Evelyn Duncan.

He is survived by his two daughters Deborah (Richard) Robinson, of Hill City, KS; Linda (David) Pabst, of Colby, KS, sister, Ruth Cranston, San Pablo, CA; Sister-in-law Shirley Cranston, Colby his eight grandchildren: Melissa (Todd) Stramel, Colby, KS; Christy (Richard) Acheson, Windsor, CO; Ryan (Amy) Robinson, Lindsborg, KS; Julie (Mike) Zybko, Shawnee, KS; Kyle (Kendra) Robinson, Asheville, NC; Wyatt (Baley) Robinson, Kansas City, MO; Marie (Brad) Skolout, Levant, KS & Karen(Toby) George, Haslet, TX & twenty great-grandchildren.

Visitation is from 5-7:00 PM Thursday, Dec. 12, 2019 at Baalmann Mortuary, Colby, KS. Funeral service is 10:30 AM Friday, December 13, 2019 at the Mortuary with burial in Beulah Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to the American Legion, sent in care of Baalmann Mortuary, PO Box 391, Colby, KS 67701. For information or condolences visit