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Howard Kidd

Howard Kidd Howard Paul Kidd was born October 15, 1927, in Milford, Kansas to
Clifford and Ena Fern Weaver Kidd. He went to school in Milford and
graduated in 1945, just as World War II ended in Europe.

He was a child of his time, and experienced firsthand both the Great Depression and
the Dust Bowl. He lived almost his entire life in the Milford-Junction
City-Manhattan area. Howard was the first-born son; two more boys came
after him: Jim and Norman. Both are also deceased.

He worked after High School graduation in Junction City at the Economy
Cleaners, and learned his future trade (dry cleaning) there. He also
worked at the Colonial Theater in his spare time. At 18, he financed his
pilot`s license to fly single engine, small craft planes. For many years
he enjoyed flying over the plains of the Midwest.

He began studies at the Utilities Engineering Institute in Chicago,
from which he earned a degree in refrigeration technology.
He got a job in Concordia, Kansas, installing electrical wiring to farms in Cloud County.

In 1950 he married Bette Francis Barth, of Palmer, Nebraska. He was
drafted into the US Army, joining the 2nd Armor Division, with basic
training in Ft. Hood, Texas and was stationed in the Rhein-Main area in

Howard started a business with his father, the Fashion Master Cleaners,
in Junction City. He owned the business for about 40 years. Howard and
Bette separated in 1974.

Bette and he had two daughters: Claudia Ann, born 1951, and Elaine
Christine, born 1953; also, an adopted son, Jonathan Paul, born 1967,
who died in 1977.

In 1975, Howard married Ruby Nichols, who also had two daughters by a
first marriage: RoAnn and Louisia Ginest. Howard and Ruby lived in a
lakeside home on High Meadow north of Manhattan. Howard retired from the
Dry Cleaning business in 1989. Howard and Ruby were both active members of the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), where Howard served as a life-time elder. Ruby died in August of 2016, they were together for 41 years.

He devoted over thirty years to many service organizations in Manhattan to support the community, enjoying very much working as part of a team, for instance: The Sertoma Club, The Bread Basket, The Salvation Army, Kiawanis Club, Meals on Wheels, as well as volunteering several years at the Manhattan Hospital. He was a woodworker, who enjoyed building children`s rocking horses (72) for charity and for his own extended family.

Howard is survived by his daughters Claudia Ann Criss, with husband Tony, in Juneau, Alaska, and Elaine (Gellert) Bollinger, with husband Walter, in Fridingen, Germany. Both have children: Howard´s grandchildren Andy Criss, married to Jamie, and Kjersten Criss; and Anna Gellert, married to David Randleman, and Carla Gellert. On this side of the family there are five great-grandchildren: Connor Randleman, and Jack, Alistair, Finn and Amelia Criss; and his former son-in-law, Roland Gellert, of Munich, Germany; also Howard’s first cousin Deanna Tressin of Manhattan.

He is also survived by Ruby`s daughters: RoAnn Mitzner, of Hutchison, Kansas, who has two children, Bart Ferguson and Stephanie Ferguson, and Louisia Osborne, married to Pete, of Shell Knob, Missouri. They have two daughters: Alicia Woolen, with husband Ryan, and Heather Schiffelbein, with husband Greg. There are five great-grandchildren; Burke and Beckett Woolen, and Summer, Lilly, and Addilyn Schiffelbein. Two grandchildren of Ruby´s; Ron Ginest and sister Elisa Ginest are deceased; each of them also has a child: Great-granddaughter Abigail Ginest Dougherty and Rob Ginest.

Howard and Ruby enjoyed their large and extended family very much, whose members presently live in Kansas, Nebraska, Texas, Oregon, Alaska, Missouri and Germany.
Howard will be remembered as an amiable and helpful fellow with a good sense of humor who liked to tell jokes. Born in 1927, he saw "hard times" as a child and remembered well stories about the struggles his parents had during the dust storms and the Great Depression, and years later The Second World War. He and those of his generation, who were expected to become independent and self-reliant at an early age, made their way with determination and optimism, anticipating better times.

We salute Howard and his contemporaries, sometimes referred to as the “Greatest Generation.”

Howard's family is grateful to his caregivers at Via Christi Village for their kind and attentive care; also grateful to Interim Hospice for their visits the last weeks of his life.

There will be a graveside service on Saturday, September 25th, at 10am at Sunrise Cemetery, with Howard’s friend and pastor Rev. Ben Duerfeldt officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Manhattan, Interim Hospice Care or the Alzheimer’s Disease Association. Contributions may be left in care of the Yorgensen-Meloan-Londeen Funeral Home, 1616 Poyntz Avenue, Manhattan, Kansas 66502.

Online condolences may be left for the family through the funeral home website at

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