Michael E. "Mike" Venters, Barber County, Kansas Barber County, Kansas.  

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The Pratt Tribune, October 26, 2005.

Michael E. Venters

At right: Michael E. "Mike" Venters

SAWYER -- Michael E. "Mike" Venters, 54, died Oct. 24, 2005, at Sawyer.

Funeral service will be at 2:30 p.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church, Pratt, with Pastor Billy Simar presiding. Friends may call from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Larrison Mortuary. Burial will be in Ellenwood Cemetery, Sawyer, with Pastor Rick Burwick presiding.

He was born Dec. 15, 1950, at Pratt, the son of Bill and Martha Jean Hearn Venters. He was a 1969 graduate of Haven High School. A longtime resident of Pratt County, he was a farmer.

He was a member of First Assembly of God Church, where he served on the church board for 10 years and served on the Clear Target Board. He was a member of the Sawyer Rural Fire Department board, Paxon Township board and Skyline School Board of Education.

On Aug. 7, 1976, he married LaDonna Wray at Pratt. She survives.

Other survivors include: a son, Chad, Hillsboro; a daughter, Sara, of the home; his mother and stepfather, Martha Jean and Richard Hurt, Haven; five sisters, Mary Scobee, Marsha Wells, Bobbie Loehr and Jerri Ann Taylor, all of Haven, and Janet Jones, Mount Hope; and two brothers, Bill and Barry Venters, both of Haven.

He was preceded in death by his father.

Memorials may be made to Skyline School Scholarship Endowment or First Assembly of God Church, both in care of the funeral home, 300 Country Club Road, Pratt, KS 67124.

Condolences may be left at www.larrisonmortuary.com.

The Pratt Tribune, October 25, 2005.

Skyline board member dies

By Gale Rose of the Tribune Staff

The Sawyer community and Skyline USD 438 were shocked and saddened Monday by the death of Board of Education member Mike Venters, 54, a longtime Sawyer area resident.

"It's a tremendous loss. We're deeply saddened," said Skyline Superintendent Mike Sanders. "He served the Skyline community well. He was a genuinely good person and a good Christian. His family will be in our thoughts and prayers."

Venters, who had served on the USD 438 Board of Education since 1998, was found dead of natural causes in a vehicle 3.5 miles east of Sawyer on K-42 Monday afternoon by a family member. He had just left a field where he had been helping his employer, Bill Miller, harvest fall crops, said Pratt County Sheriff Vernon Chinn.

Venters was pronounced dead at the scene by acting Pratt County Coroner Dr. Daniel Schowengerdt. Sheriff's officers, Pratt County Emergency Services and the Kansas Highway Patrol were called to the scene at 4:45 p.m.

Venters was well known throughout the community and was a strong supporter of his church, First Assembly of God in Pratt, and the Skyline school district where his daughter, Sara, is an eighth grader and from which his son, Chad, graduated in 2004. Venter's wife, LaDonna, is a lifelong resident of the Sawyer area.

The mood at Skyline was somber today as the school dealt with the loss, said high school secretary Angie Lykins.

School counselors were on hand and extra counselors will be called in if needed to help students, faculty, staff and administration deal with the death, Sanders said.

Venters' character was a comfort to those who are dealing with his death.

"Mike was one of the biggest hearted guys I've ever known and was a true example of one who cared more for others than himself," Chinn said. "Mike was a strong Christian and family man that leaves a heritage that all should strive for. He was dedicated to his family, church, and community and gave much more than he ever thought of receiving back. I am proud to have known him and called him a friend."

Funeral arrangements for Venters were pending at press time.

Thanks to Conrad Easterday, Managing Editor of The Pratt Tribune for permission to reprint the above obituary and photograph from his newspaper! The Pratt Tribune is online at http://www.pratttribune.com/

Homer Venters, Rodeo Photographer, is pictured at center with his photographs from McLain's Roundup rodeo at Sun City, Barber County, Kansas, at right and left.

Photos courtesy of Mike Venters.

CLICK HERE for more information about Homer Venters.
Homer Venters, Rodeo Photographer,
with two of his photographs from McLain's Roundup rodeo at Sun City, Barber County, Kansas.

Photos courtesy of Mike Venters.

Although Mike Venters wasn't a resident of Barber County, his obituary appears on this web site because he was a very important contributor of photographs to the site, those taken by his granduncle Homer Venters.

Mike signed the site guestbook on 21 July 2005: "My family really enjoyed looking at your website. It's put together well. Uncle Homer would be proud!".

Thank you, Mike!

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