Kenneth C. Van Cleave

December 13, 1925 - September 22, 2019
Kenneth C. Van Cleave

Kenneth Charles Van Cleave Jr., 93, passed away at 1:03 a.m., September 22, 2019, at the Greenwood County Hospital in Eureka, Kansas.

He was born on December 13, 1925, in Galesburg, Kansas, to Kenneth C. Van Cleave, Sr. and Margaret (Robinson) Van Cleave. Kenneth graduated from Galesburg High School, attended Labette County Community College, and graduated from Kansas State University. He also served in the US Navy as a Communications Specialist in the Pacific during World War II. Following his discharge, Kenneth worked for the Soil Conservation Service in Marion and Eureka, Kansas, his entire career, helping farmers and landowners to conserve God’s natural resources (land and water). He was active in Lions Club International in Eureka and Parsons, and was a lifelong member of the United Methodist Church in Eureka and Galesburg. During his tenure in Lions Club International, he served as President, Secretary/Treasurer and District Governor, and attended multiple International Conventions with the Lions Club.

Kenneth and Verna Fae Berends were married on August 14, 1949, and they celebrated 69 years of marriage before Verna preceded him in death in 2018.

Survivors include:

Two Sons – Larry Van Cleave and his wife, Nancy, of Lake Waukomis, Missouri; Gary Van Cleave of Pomona, KS.

One Daughter – Cheryl Sowder and her husband Jeff Sowder of Toronto, KS.

Six granddaughters – Stephanie (Jamie) Nelson of Toronto, KS; Lindsay (John) Hill of Ft. Scott, KS; Holly (Joe) Van Cleave Schindler of Salina, KS and Hannah, Hope and Addison Van Cleave of Galesburg, KS. Great Grandchildren include Corinne, Sutton, and Reid Nelson; and JJ & Hudson Hill.

He was proceeded in death by his parents, Kenneth Charles and Margaret (Robinson) Van Cleave, a son Vernon Ray and a brother Harold Van Cleave.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 25, 2019 at the Galesburg United Methodist Church in Galesburg, Kansas. The family will receive friends prior to the service beginning at 9 AM at the church. Burial will follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery with military honors given by the George L. Hendricks American Legion Post #102 of Erie, Kansas.

Memorial donations are requested for the United Methodist Church Memorial Fund in Galesburg, KS, or the Greenwood County Hospital Foundation in Eureka, KS. These may be left at or mailed to the Forbes-Hoffman Funeral Home. P.O. Box 374, Parsons, Kansas 67357.

Condolences may be left at


Get the latest local and national headlines straight to your email for free: Sign up here.