William “Bill” LeRoy Landreth, 86 of Axtell, died Saturday, June 25, 2011 at the Life Care Center of Seneca, KS.
Bill was born October 7, 1924 at Axtell, KS the son of Ray and Mary (Mathews) Landreth. He attended Axtell Schools. He entered the US Army in June 1943 where he served at a Tank operator in the Tank Corp with the 707 th Tank Battalion. Bill was an instructor with the rank of T/4 before being sent to Europe where he saw combat at the Danube River in Austria and Salzburg, Austria.
After being honorably discharged in 1946 Bill returned home to Axtell where he owned and operated a service station, he worked for the Rural Electric Coop and served as a telegraph operator for the Union Pacific Rail Road.
Bill married Twyla Dale VanDorn on November 18, 1947 at the Salem Lutheran Church near Axtell. Twyla preceded Bill in death on February 17, 2007.
In 1952 Bill started working for the Smith Brothers Funeral Home in Axtell and soon received his Masters Funeral Directors License. Then in 1956 Bill and Arthur Thornburg of Seneca, KS purchased the Smith Brothers Funeral Home. Bill and Twyla operated the Landreth Funeral Home of Axtell, KS until they sold the funeral home to Roger Popkess in 1986. Bill continued to work and serve the community of Axtell and surrounding towns until the summer of 2011 when his health was failing and he moved into the Life Care Center of Seneca, KS.
Bill was a member of the Salem Lutheran Church, where he had served on the church council and the Salem Lutheran Cemetery Board, a lifetime member of the R.R. Hendrick American Legion Post #214, Masonic Lodge #234 AF&AM all of Axtell. The Arab Shrine of Topeka for over 25 years and a member of the Kansas Funeral Directors Association for over 50 years. He was a former Axtell City Council Member, former member of the Axtell Fire Department.
Bill is survived by two sons, Forrest and Cathy Landreth of Decatur, Illinois and Travis Landreth of the home in Axtell and two sisters Ruth Hoskins of Axtell, KS and Helen Saville of Axtell, KS; and four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be Wednesday, June 29, 2011 at 10:00 AM at the Salem Lutheran Church near Axtell, Kansas. Pastor Charlene Barnes and Pastor Robert Boyle will conduct the services. A family visitation will be one hour prior to service time at the church. Bill will lie in state all day Tuesday at the Landreth-Popkess Funeral Home in Axtell. Burial will be in the Salem Lutheran Cemetery with Full Military Honors performed by the R.R. Hendricks American Legion #214 of Axtell.
Memorials are being left to the Salem Lutheran Church or the Axtell Emergency Medical Technicians of Axtell and they may be sent in care of the Landreth-Popkess Funeral Home.