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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Kathryn Birney

  • Kathryn Birney, 82, of Bixby, Okla., passed away peacefully on Sept. 13, 2012 at St. John's Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., after suffering a stroke.
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  • Kathryn Birney, 82, of Bixby, Okla., passed away peacefully on Sept. 13, 2012 at St. John's Hospital in Tulsa, Okla., after suffering a stroke.
    Birney was born Dec. 10, 1929 in Macksville to John Wilder and Alice (Ruggles) Vance. Primarily her grandparents, Guy and Mamie Vance, raised her. She attended Macksville schools and Emporia State University where she received a degree in music. She was a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma sorority.
    Birney moved to Bucklin in 1950 and began a teaching career that spanned over 30 years. Early in her career she taught kindergarten (she was Bucklin's first kindergarten teacher) and fourth grade, but she is perhaps best known for teaching music to scores of Bucklin and Mullinville students. She also gave private piano, vocal and accordion lessons in her home, and played for many weddings, funerals, and other musical events.
    She married Vern L. Birney at Macksville on Aug. 23, 1953. They spent their early years in Bucklin where they had three children, Vern Birney, Jr. (stillborn in March 1956), Jonelle in 1958 and Joe in 1959. They lived for several years on the Birney farm in rural Kiowa County, but primarily raised their family in a big white house on the corner of Elm and Main in Bucklin.
    Birney was a member of St. Cornelius Episcopal Church, Dodge City, where she was an organist and choir director for many years. he was also a longtime member of the American Legion Auxiliary.
    Birney was preceded in death by her husband, Vern, (2002); parents; grandparents; and brother, John Frederick Vance (2012). She is survived by her daughter Jonelle and husband Rick Sullivan, San Francisco, Calif..; son, Joe and wife Cindy, Broken Arrow, Okla.; grandchildren: Will Birney, Ben Birney and Annie Birney, Broken Arrow, Okla.; sister, Sally Schmitz and husband Dave, Upland, Calif.; sister-in-law Phyllis Birney, Deerfield Beach, Flor., and scores of nieces and nephews.
    Memorial Services will be held 1:00 p.m. Monday, Sept. 17, 2012 at the Bucklin United Methodist Church. A private family inurnment will be held at the Bucklin Cemetery. There will be no visitation as cremation has taken place. Memorials may be made to the Bucklin Library Fund or the Band Shell Restoration c/o Minnis Mortuary, Box 516, Bucklin KS 67834.
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