Gus (Erwin August) Schmidt

November 13, 1953 - August 30, 2023

Gus (Erwin August) Schmidt, 69, of Lawrence Kansas, passed away the evening of August 30, 2023. Many structures, sidewalks, and roads throughout the city were shaped by his hand. A construction worker by trade, Gus was a savant who pursued knowledge with the same thirst that drove him to indulge in his one true addiction, Pepsi Cola. Engineering, meteorology, ichthyology, and geology stand out as the key subjects that drew his attention, but he sought knowledge about every part of the world. Sharing these facts with children and grandchildren while beating them in chess, cribbage, and Othello were some of his greatest joys.

When in good health, he toured fishing spots and beautiful campsites all over America. Whether taking a day trip over the Continental Divide or organizing a week-long excursion through the Flint Hills, Gus could be trusted to recall the best places to catch fish, find fossils, and spot constellations. He could name every tree and identify the geological history that impacted the type of earth, foliage, and life in a given biome. Similarly, all manner of animal husbandry and culinary arts were pursuits in which he excelled.

Gus left this world from the comfort of his home surrounded by love. He leaves behind a wife, Sondra Bryant, and six children, Mallory Harlan, Matt Schmidt, Valeria Smith, Lacey Schmidt, Ryan Amsel, and Bethany Schmidt. In addition, a dozen grandchildren mourn his loss. In death he reunites with his parents and a daughter, Bethany Bryant.

At the time of his passing, he had custody of three grandchildren: Silas Schmidt, Zeke Schmidt, and Jed Schmidt. In lieu of flowers, the family would be grateful for donations to assist in covering funeral costs and continuing to provide for the wife and children left in his home. Please contact Mallory Harlan or Bethany Schmidt for more information or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A celebration of Gus’ life will be held at Clinton Lake September 30, 2023. The service and potluck dinner will begin at 4 PM, located in Bloomington East’s Elm group campsite. This location is reserved for all who would like to stay Saturday night. For more information, please contact the family with the above email address. 

Paul James Wiens

Paul James Wiens

January 30, 1934 - August 25, 2023

Paul James Wiens 89, passed away peacefully on Friday, August 25, 2023 in Topeka, KS. 

Paul was born on January 30, 1934 in Inman, KS, the son of Daniel and Katie (Heidebrecht) Wiens.  He graduated from Inman Rural High School in 1952 and Wichita University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business in 1959.  Paul met the love of his life in Inman Grade School and was united in marriage on May 22nd 1953 to Darlene Jane Siemens at the Buhler Mennonite Brethren Church in Buhler, KS.  This marriage was blessed with two children, Gregory Paul and Emery Fulton.

Paul was born and raised on a farm and excelled in high school athletics, participating in football, basketball, and track.  After high school, he served with the Jewish Consumptive Relief Society in Denver, CO for two years, returning to Kansas to attend Wichita University.  After earning his business degree, he worked at Hesston Corporation, Excel Industries, and Tabor College.  He was also an entrepreneur, which took him to Fort Worth, TX and eventually to Topeka, KS. Paul’s last and most rewarding job was financial counseling, where he was able to share his faith as he worked.

Paul was community minded and  committed to his Christian faith.  He served as chairman of the Hillsboro Hospital Board, as a Cub Scout Master, and was involved in many other committees.  He was active in his church, serving as a trustee, treasurer, youth group leader, and baritone in church choir.

Jean Batt

Jean Batt

April 24, 1939 - August 05, 2023
Jean Batt 84, died August 5th 2023 with her family by her side in Topeka, KS. 
Jean was proceeded in death by her two sons: Ron Batt and Randall Batt; one daughter Wilma Batt and one brother Robert Batt. 
Jean is survived by one daughter in law Sandra Batt of Topeka. Two grandchildren Angela Batt and Jennifer (Batt) Nelven Petefish of Topeka; and three great grandchildren Hannah and Randall Batt of Topeka, Sterling Batt Topeka,KS and two brothers Leroy from Wyoming and Rocky Batt from Iowa. 
She also leaves behind many other family memeber and friends who sadly miss her.
She was a member of Mother Hugs Knitting group and retired. She enjoyed knitting and spend time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. 
At her request,  the family will not be holding services for her.
Margrette S. Skirvin

Margrette S. Skirvin

May 06, 1971 - August 10, 2023

Margrette S. Skirvin, 52, of Topeka Kansas, passed away on Thursday, August 10, 2023 at home in Topeka. 

She was born in Oceanside, California on May 06, 1971. To her mother Frona G. Watkins. Frona passed away in 2010 while living in Alaska. Margrette found her father in 2021 through DNA search. Donald M. Steedman. She has a twin sister Vivian R. Steinbach that lives in Topeka. A brother Ralph Hefley that lives in Kansas City, and is preceded in death by her other brother Mark Hefley. 
Margrette is survived by her husband Robert W. Skirvin and three children, Robert A. Skirvin, Josh Bryant, and Erin R. Couch.
Memorial service will be held August 26, 2023 at Family Faith Life Center 3710 N.W. Topeka Blvd. Topeka Ks. For family and friends starting at 1:00pm.

Robert F Banta

July 17, 1943 - June 10, 2023
On June 10th, 2023, Robert F Banta passed away at Midland Care, Topeka, Ks. Robert was born July 17th, 1943, at Ft. Scott, Ks., and raised in Chanute Ks. He is survived by three sisters; Barbara McDaniel, Mary Beth Blonder, and Tish Banta Davies. Robert is also survived by his son, John Bradley Banta, his companion of 35 years, Catherine A. Francis, and numerous extended family members.
Robert loved a good story and his were true. He was an altar boy, a military student (Please, don't enroll Robert next year), worked in a tuberculosis hospital, Topeka State Hospital (if you are good, I'll pop a wheelie when I leave- all eyes at the window), had an Associate Degree in Mental Health, and worked with his father until he became a Master Carpenter. Robert skipped prom to see Bill Haley and The Comets, experienced the California 60's scene (rubbing elbows with Janice Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Zappa, etc.) and Kansas (KANSAS), getting a 147mph motorcycle speeding ticket (Oh, I must have been slowing down), racing motorcycles in Mazatlan, Mexico (see speeding ticket), nail gunning a Christmas tree into the floor for the cats, teaching his dog to ring the doorbell to come in, and "raining frogs" (it's true, I was there) just to mention a few.
Catherine and his/her families plan a Celebration of Life on August 27th, 2023, from 3pm- 6pm. This will be at The Ted Endsley Garden House, 3650 SE West Edge Rd., Lake Shawnee, Topeka, Ks. Light food and refreshments will be served. Help us celebrate a life well lived and bring your favorite story. 
Donations in Robert's honor may be given to The Helping Hands Humane Society, Inc. 5720 SW 21st Street, Topeka, Ks. 66604 phone 785-233-7325 

Barbara Frisby

September 19, 1942 - August 08, 2023

"Barbara said just before passing “I want to help everyone to be joyful” She has always wanted the best for her friends and family. She loved her family dearly. She was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses on January 14, 1971, 52 years ago. She shared her Bible based faith with everybody she met, even upon her death she was volunteering at least 30 hours a month to teach Bible truths. One of her favorite scriptures is found at Revelation 21:4
“And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away”
She encouraged all to find answers to life’s problems at "

Daniel Alan Crummey

November 20, 1947 to July 24, 2023
Dan passed away July 24, 2023 at Midland hospice. Dan was born in Holton Kansas the son of Georgetta and Daniel Crummey. Dan has two sisters Joyce Kaul (John) and Janice Crummey (Virginia Cochran). He is preceded in death by both his father and mother, a brother Bill who passed July 24, 2013, his daughter Melissia Kennedy in 2004, and grandson Aaron Kennedy in 1999. Dan is survived by his son Doug Crummey and wife Jo,  Topeka Kansas and daughter Angie Chalmers and husband Mark and multiple grandchildren and a great grandson. He is also survived by the love of his life Patsy Rush. Dan was cremated and no services are planned.
Phillip Wayne Dolezilek

Phillip Wayne Dolezilek

June 29, 1955 - July 12, 2003

Phillip Wayne Dolezilek, 68, passed away Wednesday July 12, 2023. He was born June 29, 1955 in Topeka, Kansas to Harold H. and Norma J. (Crites) Dolezilek.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a niece, Cherie Hopkins of Topeka, Kansas.

He graduated from Highland Park High school in 1973. After graduation he enlisted in the Navy. He was stationed in Norfolk, VA where he served as an electrician aboard the USS California for 4 years.

After being honorably discharged in 1977 he transferred to the Naval Reserve. He also went to work for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., as a tire builder, until he retired in 2017.

He is survived by his sisters Pamela Dolezilek and Stephany (Dolezilek) Hopkins husband Stephen and his brother Steven Dolezilek wife Debbie, all of Topeka, Kansas .He is also is survived by nieces Michelle Clark-Galvan, of Topeka, Kansas and Ashley (Dolezilek) Turman of Overland Park, Kansas.

Phillip will be cremated and his memorial service for family and friends will be held at a later date.

Verlon Ralph Cress

Verlon Ralph Cress

July 31, 1939 - July 20, 2023

Delia – Verlon R. Cress (83) of Delia, KS was born July 31, 1939 in Horton, KS to Joseph & Geneva (Christ) Cress. Verlon passed away at his home on the morning of July 20, 2023 with his loving wife by his side.

Verlon married the love of his life, Judy F. Spetter on June 19, 1967. They just celebrated 56 years of marriage.

He was preceded in death by his parents and identical twin brother, Vernon J. Cress.

He is survived by his wife; daughters Sharlene (Shawn) Cooper, Topeka, KS; Tabetha (Mike) Smith, Carbondale, KS; Sarah (Ted) Perez, Topeka, KS; Autumn (John) Carter, Savannah, GA; Jennifer Cress, Holton, KS; Kristina Cress, Topeka, KS; and Nellie Cress, of the home; his sons Josh (Molly) Robb, Delia, KS; and Brian Cress, Washington State; and his foster sons Aaron (Sarah) Pifer, Rossville, KS; and Julio (Ashley) Enriquez, Topeka, KS. Numerous Grandkids, Great Grandkids and his brother Donald (Barbara) Cress, Spivey, KS.

Verlon was drafted into the U.S. Army and served two years. After release from the Army he worked for Massey Ferguson for several years until he began his career with KPL/Westar at Jeffries Energy Center in 1979 where he worked until his retirement.

Harry W. Tudor

Harry W. Tudor

June 26, 1939 - July 10, 2023

Harry W. Tudor, 84, of Junction City, Kansas, passed away July 10, 2023.  Harry was born June 26, 1939, to Wayne and Frances Tudor.  He grew up in Jackson, Ohio the second oldest of seven children.

Harry married Clara (Lyons) Tudor, also from Jackson, Ohio.  Their early years of marriage included military life, while Harry served in the Army.  They both enjoyed his time stationed in France together.  Harry was also sent to Berlin, Germany, during the Berlin Crisis, and later he would serve in Vietnam.   Finally, he was stationed at Ft. Riley, which brought them to live in Abilene, Kansas, where he and his wife would finish raising their family of five children and begin enjoying life as grandparents. 

Harry transitioned out of military life and began his employment with the Dickinson County Highway Department as a heavy machinery mechanic.  Harry went on to join the Kansas National Guard, and after years of service, retired from both careers.  

Harry was blessed with several gifts of repairing and creating almost anything needed, with precision and craftsmanship.  He was most gifted with his woodworking and always found time to create something special for his wife, children and grandchildren. This is one of the ways he was able to share his love for his family that will always be treasured.  

Throughout Harry’s life, he was particularly proud of three accomplishments.  He loved serving his country and felt it an honor to earn his military retirement.  He so dearly loved his wife, Clara, and their five children.  And he thoroughly loved being a grandpa to 14 grandchildren and 21 great grandchildren. 

Harry is survived by his wife, Clara;  four children, Barb Brenner of Woodbine, Kansas, Edie (Kevin) Ludlum of Ellsworth, Kansas, Shari Paylor of Jackson, Ohio, and Jan (Kafer) Peele of Winfield, Kansas;  and three siblings, Vida Scott, Max Tudor, and Connie Tudor, all of Ohio.  Harry is preceded in death by his son, Jeff Tudor, his parents, and three siblings, Grace Turner, Louise Bowling, and Mary Horton.           

On July 25, 2023, Harry will be interned at The Kansas Veterans Cemetery of Ft. Riley at 11:00 am.   His graveside service will be led by Pastor Dirk Weiss of First United Methodist Church in Junction City. 

Contact Us

Angels Above Cremation Services
3936 NW 16th St., Bldg. B
Topeka, KS 66618

Office hours are by appointment only.
Please call us to schedule an appointment.