Mary “Loretta” Tedford DeWerff, 87, died October 18,2018 at Brookdale Senior Living in Great Bend, Kansas. She was born November 2, 1930 to Walter and Lelia Tedford in Minneola, Kansas where she spent her childhood. Loretta married Jack DeWerff April 8, 1953 and they lived their married life in Ellinwood, Ks. and then in Mesa, Arizona. Jack passed away September 17, 2015.
Loretta was a proud graduate of Sterling College and later earned a Masters degree from Emporia State. She began her teaching career In Greensburg with her first 2nd grade class. After marriage and moving to Ellinwood, she continued to teach 2nd grade in Gt. Bend at Riley, Park and Washington grade schools. She touched the lives of hundreds of children over her 41 year teaching career.
Loretta made friends easily everywhere she went with her beautiful smile and energetic spirit. In Mesa she was very active in the Pueblo Grande park activities and loved swimming every morning with friends. She enjoyed many trips and outings with the Red Hat ladies both in Ellinwood and Mesa.
Loretta was an avid reader and Library supporter everywhere she lived.
Jack Arnold DeWerff, 90, died September 17, 2015 at his home in Mesa, Arizona. He was born November 16, 1924 in Ellinwood, Kansas, the son of Hattie and John DeWerff. Jack was a lifelong resident of Ellinwood, before moving to Mesa, Arizona in 2014.
Jack married Loretta Tedford April 8, 1955 in Minneola, Kansas. She passed away October 18, 2018.
Jack was a farmer, rancher, and a working cowboy all of his life. He also worked for the Kansas Animal Health Department for twenty years, serving livestock producers in thirty counties in southwest Kansas. Jack was also an accomplished rodeo team roper, with his best friend Gene. He enjoyed woodworking and playing his guitar at gatherings with friends and family.
Jack was best known as a cowboy poet and philosopher, inspired by his many experiences as a rancher, cowboy, and rodeo contestant. He performed his work at numerous poetry gatherings throughout Kansas and the western region of the United States. He published several books and audio recordings of his poetry, and several newspapers also published his work, including the New York Times.
Jack and Loretta loved to travel together and took many trips to every corner of the world making friends all along the way.
They were both active members of the Gold Canyon Methodist Church in Gold Canyon, Arizona, and were also lifelong members of the First Baptist Church of Ellinwood, Kansas.
Jack and Loretta, his cowboy sweetheart, were married for 60 years. They are survived by a host of extended family and friends around the country, including their “adopted” family of the Pueblo Grande Park. Jack was preceded in death by his parents and siblings, Chester DeWerff, Harold DeWerff, Ruby Schrader, Mildred Krueger, Lucille Hildebrand and Gertrude Scheufler.
Loretta was preceded in death by her parents and brothers Louis Tedford, Max Tedford and Lawrence Tedford.
Family and friends are invited to a celebration of their lives –
Sunday November 18th at 2:00 Cooper Hall – Sterling College, Sterling, Ks.
(Park in lots west or northwest of Cooper and enter on the west side of building.
Take elevator to Heritage Hall on the 3rd floor.)
It will be casual and cowboy with an old fashioned sing-a-long.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to:
Ellinwood Public Education and Library Foundation
St. Jude Children’s Hospital or
USD 428 Education Foundation (Great Bend)
In care of Minnis Chapel, PO Box 246, Ellinwood, Ks. 67526
To send flowers to Loretta's family, please visit our floral section.