David Patrick Werner, 76, died September 10,2019, at his home in Offerle. He was preceded in death by his father, Hugo, his dear mother, Laura Crissman Werner, and two older brothers, William and Gary. Survivors include his wife, Bonita of the home, and siblings, Lois Warner of Boise, Idaho, Sue (Fred) Nystrom of Dodge City, KS, Timothy of Tucson, Arizona, Julie (Steve) Knoeber of Spearville, KS, and Steven (Barbara) of Ellis, KS.
Like many young men of his era, Werner was drafted on November 15, 1965, but because of his father’s untimely death, he received a deferment. When he finally took the long black train to Chicago for basic training, he was, at the least, two years older than the others in his company. They took to calling Werner “the old man” or “gramps”, and his army buddies still call him this today, even though they are ALL old men, and some of THEM are even great-grandparents! A doting son, Werner made every one of his 7 siblings swear not to tell their mother where he was headed, and in April 1967, he boarded a ship with 3500 of his closest friends and set sail on Uncle Sam’s “free 30-day cruise” to the paradise of Viet Nam.
The army was a good experience for this small town boy from Sts. Peter and Paul, America. Werner graduated from Aircraft Instrument repair school, specializing as an electrician. With his quick smile and friendly, Midwestern demeanor, he made friends easily, and advanced quickly, partly because of the all the mechanical “rigging” he had done on the farm, and partly because he played their game, and did whatever was asked, because all he really wanted them to do was to send him HOME.
If anyone had asked, Werner would tell them that all he had when he returned from Viet Nam in 1967 was “$400 in my pocket, and a bad attitude…” He went to work for his brother Gary in Ulysses, in the hay business. He lived there for 1 year, then moved back to Kinsley and worked as a meat cutter for Burkhart Meats. In 1972, Werner took over the Kinsley Car Wash on the corner of 8th and Wichita, and in 1974, purchased a small farm of his own.
David Werner farmed and ran cattle for several years, operated the old car wash, and remained “terminally single”. When the new “Oasis” car wash east of town came up for sheriff’s sale, he bought it and re-named it “The Kinsley Car Wash II”. The computer mechanisms and gazillion parts associated with the automatic wash proved a lot to learn, and required so much of his time that in the spring of 2010 he sold all the cattle. At the time of his death, Werner raised wheat, and operated the two Kinsley Car Washes.
In 2004 Werner met a woman who moved to the area from Pennsylvania. She put up with all is little idiosyncrasies, even embraced some of them, and on October 25th, 2008, he married Bonita Hull Coulson in the St. Nicholas Church in Kinsley. The wedding was huge, in part because half of the guests only showed up to see if, after 65 years as a bachelor, he was actually going to walk down the aisle.
Werner was a proud member of the Kinsley High School Class of 1961, with whom he shared some of his very fondest memories. He was a life member of the Jones Barnes Gasser VFW Post 7349, and twice served as Commander. He was also a member of the Gilbert M Lewis American Legion Post 113, the Edwards County Historical Society, and, when the group was active in Edwards County, the Tired Iron Club. Werner was a 4th degree Knight of Columbus and a member of the St. Edwards Council #2131.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Jones Barnes Gasser VFW Post 7349, Kinsley, KS.
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VFW Post #7349
Kinsley KS 67547