Don Edward Rager, a Wellington, Kansas, resident for 54 years and a loving father, grandfather and great-grandfather passed away on Thursday, September 19, 2019, at Ascension Via Christi - St. Francis in Wichita, Kansas, at the age of 94.
Don was born the son of Arthur Wayne and Selena Rachel (Kyles) Rager on Saturday, January 24, 1925, on a farm four miles South of Gordon, Nebraska. It was here that Don was raised by his mother after his father passed away when he was only one and a half years old. His mother continued the family farming business using their six horses. Don helped on the farm and attended a country school through the eighth grade and then high school in Gordon, graduating in 1941. During this time, Don and his family were members of the Presbyterian Church. Following his graduation, he attended Success Business College in Denver, Colorado, until he was called to war. He served withe US Army, 100th Infantry Division in Europe, where he was a member of a twelve man rifle squad working day and night to seek out numbers and positions of the enemy. Don was taken to a field hospital in France on Christmas Eve of 1944, and spent the next eight months in four different hospitals where he was medically discharged in 1945.
Don then went to work for the J.C. Penney Company in November 1945, and on March 16, 1947, he was married to Bonnie Blare. To this union two children were born, one son and one daughter. The young family was transferred to North Platte, Nebraska, in 1951, Fort Morgan, Colorado, in 1957, Yuma, Colorado, in 1960, and finally to Wellington, Kansas, in 1965. Don retired from the company in 1985.
He was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and served on the Retail Committees. Don served on the Board of Directors at the Wellington Senior Center, but also helped with Noon dishes and meal delivery for many years. He was a member of the American Legion, VFW, First United Methodist Church and the Wellington Lions Club where he has served as treasurer since 1986.
Don was a great fan of all Crusader sports and enjoyed selling tickets for the home football games with his fellow Lions members. Don was also an avid Nebraska Cornhusker fan and a fan of the Denver Broncos. He enjoyed the friendships he made on the golf course, in Lions Club and at his coffee group. Don loved his family and the joy that his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren brought to him.
Survivors include his son, Rick Rager and his wife Virginia; grandson, Steven Ross; granddaughter, Samantha Ross; great-grandson, Zane Ross all of Wichita, Kansas; grandson, Dustin Rager and his wife Michelle and great-grandchildren, Alyssa, Wyatt and Katelyn all of Onega, Kansas; granddaughter, Lindsay Rager of Wellington, Kansas; daughter, Connie Biles and her husband Wayne of Wellington, Kansas; grandson, Sam Biles and his wife Anne of Belle Plaine, Kansas; great-grandchildren, Cameron Sanchez of Augusta, Kansas and Katie Marchese and her husband Roger of Navarro Beach, Florida; great-great-granddaughters, Kira and Iris of Navarro Beach, Florida, Tyler Biles; great-grandson, Rylan Biles both of Wellington, Kansas; granddaughter, Abby Torres and her husband Chris; great-grandson, Henri Jackson and Cooper Torres all of Wellington, Kansas.
He was preceded in death by his parents, wife, sisters, Ila Borders and Inez Davis, brother, Wayne Blare; great-grandson, Chance Jackson and special nephew, Gerald Davis.
Visitation was held at the funeral home from 1:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 24, 2019, with the family present from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Funeral services for Don will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, September 25, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church, Wellington, Kansas.
Interment with Military Honors will follow at Prairie Lawn Cemetery, Wellington, Kansas.
A memorial fund has been established in his loving memory to the Wellington Lions Club. Contributions may be mailed or left with the funeral home.
To share a memory or leave condolences, please visit www.cornejodayfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by Cornejo|Day Funeral Home & Crematory, Wellington, Kansas.