Monday, February 19, 2024

Gerald Dirks, 92

 Funeral services for Gerald Dirks will be 10:30 AM Tuesday, February 20, 2024 at Bethany Mennonite Church in Rich Hill, Missouri. Viewing will be prior to the service from 9:30 - 10:30 AM at the church. Burial will follow services in Bethany Mennonite Cemetery in Rich Hill. Arrangements are entrusted to Mullinax Funeral Home of Butler (660) 679-0009, and messages and memories for the family may be left at

Gerald Henry Dirks was born on March 10, 1931 at Halstead, Kansas to Henry and Sadie Smith Dirks. He was ninety-two when he passed away on February 15, 2024, at Pine Village, Moundridge, Kansas. A little less than two weeks prior to his death, he suffered a stroke from which he never recovered.

In the spring of 1942, as a young lad of eleven, Dad moved to Rich Hill, Missouri with his parents and siblings. Here he enjoyed a life on the farm working alongside his brothers and sisters in the days when much of the farmwork was hard manual labor. Dad was a farmer all his life, living most of his years in rural Butler, Missouri except for several years from 1974 to 1979 when he moved his family to Wallace, Kansas, before returning back to rural Butler, Missouri. Dad always had a great fondness for the place of his early childhood, and all his dear cousins who remained in the Halstead area. It was his wish to enter a care facility nearby, and he and his wife, Evelyn, entered into the care of Pine Village in the fall of 2021. To his great disappointment, many of those cherished kin had already gone to their reward, and his days were not as he had anticipated.

Our father was baptized into the Church of God in Christ, Mennonite on April 18, 1943 at the Bethany Congregation at Rich Hill, Missouri, by his father, Minister Henry Dirks. He and our mother, Evelyn JoAnn Schmidt, were married by his father on September 14, 1952, at Rich Hill, Missouri. Their wedding day was shared with Mother’s sister Violet and Arthur Wedel. Our mother was a most devoted companion, giving dad her unconditional love, care, and support throughout their long marriage of over seventy-one years. To their union were born two sons and one daughter. The passing of their son Denton at the young age of 47 was a lasting sorrow.

The grandchildren had many happy times with a playful grandpa when they were young.

Our father’s life was not without struggles and discouragement. He had a desire for worldly gain, and yet there was a generous, hospitable side to his character. It was with great joy that he gained a true experience of the New Birth, and was reaccepted by water baptism in the year 1994. The months following were the happiest of his life. Sadly, that joy slipped away, and he again experienced many frustrations. Dad valued his upbringing and always desired to be a part of the church he had known.

As a family, we noticed a softening and a mellowing of Dad’s disposition in the past few months. We appreciated his graciousness in accepting the changes a retirement facility brought to his life. His demeanor to us became loving and gentle. His fellow residents also noticed a difference in his interactions and interest in them. There are good memories we can hold dear to our hearts.

Our father is survived by his loving wife, Evelyn, of Moundridge, Kansas; son Mark and wife Susan, Rich Hill, Missouri; daughter Starla and husband Stanton Koehn, Plains, Kansas; daughter-in-law Karen Dirks, Rich Hill, Missouri; nine grandchildren; fifteen great-grandchildren; and one brother Leland and wife Marylou Dirks, Montezuma, Kansas; a sister Gloria Koehn, Moundridge, Kansas; and sisters-in-law Carrol Dirks and Donna Dirks, Rich Hill, Missouri; Violet Wedel, Tampa, Kansas; and many nephews and nieces whom he loved. He was predeceased by his parents, a son, two brothers, three sisters, and an infant grandson.

Upcoming lane and ramp closures for sign truss installation at MO-7 South over I-49, April 22

CASS COUNTY – Crews working on the bridge replacement and intersection improvement project on MO-7 South will make the following lane and ra...