J. Laverne Zlatnik, 97, passed away Wednesday, February 1, 2023, at the Midland Hospice House after a brief illness.
He was born November 30, 1925, in a small house on his family farm near Delia, the oldest son of Joseph and Cecile Thompson Zlatnik. He graduated from Delia High School in 1944, during WWII.
Laverne was a farmer and stockman, and did many jobs during his life to help make ends meet. He educated himself by reading and taking classes. Laverne did all of his own mechanical work on his vehicles and farm machinery. He bought his first farm and tractor (A John Deere model A) before he was legally able to sign the contract. He did a great deal of electrical work, wiring many homes in the Delia community.
Laverne enjoyed computers, and was an early member of the Texas Instrument User Group back in the 1970’s. He loved music, and sang in the St Marys Town Corale and Silver Lake Community Choir for a number of years. Other interests included photography, carpentry, and genealogy. Laverne was an avid reader, and in his retirement years joined the Rossville Library Book Club.
For many years, Laverne served as the sexton of the Delia Cemetery. He served on the Delia Grade School Board, the Jackson County Extension Council, and the Jackson County Conservation Board, serving a term as president. Laverne’s interest in history played a huge role in him creating the Delia Centennial History Project, and assisting with the Rossville Library Genealogy Project. He was a lifetime member of the Delia Presbyterian Church, and served in many capacities over the years.
On August 8, 1948, he married Velma F. Lewelling. She preceded him in death on December 26, 2007. He was also preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Evelyn Parkinson, Judith Macha, Roger Zlatnik, and foster sister Della Blodgett.
Survivors include his children, Mark (Linda) Zlatnik, Topeka, Carolyn (Terry) Orozco, Topeka, and Alan (Tammy) Zlatnik, Rossville; siblings, Rosella Hoglund, Overland Park, and Mary Alice Huntsman, Topeka; seven grandchildren, Julie (Gary) Spring, Sheila (Bobby) Coons, Scott (Isabel) Zlatnik, Melissa (Kelly) Smith, Joe (Leah)Zlatnik, Duane Zlatnik, and Lexi Zlatnik; nine great-grandchildren; two great-great-granddaughters; five step-grandchildren, and 11 step-great grandchildren. He also has an honorary grandchild, Jennifer Hensley of Rossville.
The family extends their thanks to Kim Gillum and Oakley Place in Rossville for the care and love given to Laverne during his final years.
Funeral Services will be at 10:00 A.M. Monday, February 6, 2023, at the Delia Presbyterian Church, with burial in the Delia Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 4:00 to 5:00 P.M. Sunday, February 5, 2023, at Piper Funeral Home in St. Marys. Memorial contributions may be made to the Rossville Library and sent in care of Piper Funeral Home, 714 Maple Street, St. Marys, Kansas 66536.
To leave online condolences, go to www.piperfuneralhome.com.