Velda Darlene (Erway) Updegrove

February 7, 1934 ~ January 23, 2019 (age 84)


Velda Darlene Updegrove, 84, beloved wife and mother, went to her heavenly home on Wednesday, January 23, 2019. Velda was born on February 7, 1934 to Edgar Earl & Hermenia Erway at the family farm in Rozel, Kansas. Velda met and later married the love of her life, William G. Updegrove, Jr. on June 14, 1951 at her parent’s home in Larned, Kansas. To this union were born five children, Rhonda Marie, Janette Kay, Daryl Dean, Carol Jean and Lynn Wayne.

Throughout their early married years, Bill & Velda lived in Richmond, California; Long Beach, California; Larned, Kansas and Lawrence, Kansas before settling down in Lewis, Kansas in 1958. Velda was a National Sales Correspondent for Cross Mfg. before retiring in 1999.

Velda was a longtime member of the Lewis United Methodist Church and ever faithful in her service and volunteer work for God and her church. She was an active member of UMW, served as Church Treasurer for many years, took the Walk of Emmaus, played on the church bell choir for many years and also helped lead the children of the Lewis community through KFC (Kids for Christ) for more than 15 years.

Velda was also dedicated to serving others through her years as an active member of ladies auxiliary to the VFW Jones Barnes Gasser Post #7349, serving as President of the local post, the 7th district and held several state offices, Social Order of the Beaucant and the Order of Eastern Star, where she accepted and proudly served the office of Grand Warder in 1991.

But her absolute pride and joy were her family - her husband, children, grandchildren and great grandchildren always knew her unconditional love. Her family always came first in her life and she & Bill would travel across the country, from end to end, if a family member had an important event. She was always working on needlepoint projects, and would often be seen crocheting, cross-stitching or embroidering gifts for her family. She enjoyed embroidering quilts for each of her grandchildren which she gave as gifts for their HS graduations. She loved playing the piano, where the family would surround her singing or merely enjoying her music, which she mostly played from memory. She was a loving wife, mother and grandmother who will be so dearly missed.

She was preceded in death by a son, Daryl Dean Updegrove, her parents, two brothers, Marvin Erway & Harold Erway, sister Ersel Erway Yost and infant sister Verda. Left behind to forever mourn her passing are her husband of 67 years, Bill, four children, Rhonda (Terry) Strate, Janette Youngblood, Carol (JayDee) Zahradnik and Lynn (Sherry) Updegrove, 13 grandchildren, Lisa (Adam) Gatlin, Cindy (Brian) Ramirez, James (Tia) Hanson, Jon (Beth) Hanson, Cassidy (Sandra) Kohout, Megan Updegrove, Kyla Updegrove, Rex Updegrove, Brandon (Laura) Elliott, Brett Elliott, Lakin Elliott, Casey Reif and Valerie Reif, 20 Great Grandchildren, Blake Westbrook, Houston Gatlin, Ethan Gatlin, Emily (Kelly) Barbee, Kimberly (Brent) Taylor, Reagan Bryan, Maddux Ramirez, Hunter High, Cameron High, Chloe Hanson, Taylor Hanson, Lauren Hanson, Madison Jones, Kaylin Hanson, Everett Jones, Addison Elliott, Ainsley Elliott, Haydn Reif, Trayvon Reif, Marquez Reif, and one great-great Granddaughter, Kinsley Barbee.

Visitation will be on Friday from 9:00 AM-7:00 PM at McKillip Mortuary in Kinsley, Kansas. Services will be held on Saturday, January 26, 2019 at 2:00 PM at the Lewis United Methodist Church with interment at Wayne Cemetery with an Eastern Star burial service. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials to Lewis United Methodist Church or Lewis Lodge #220.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Velda Darlene (Erway) Updegrove, please visit our floral store.


January 25, 2019

9:00 AM to 7:00 PM
McKillip Memorial Chapel
623 Marsh Ave.
Kinsley, KS 67547

Funeral Service
January 26, 2019

2:00 PM
Lewis United Methodist Church
406 Lewis St.
Lewis, KS 67552

Interment following funeral service
January 26, 2019

Wayne Cemetery
37.955168, -99.215298
Lewis, KS 67552


Lewis United Methodist Church
406 Lewis St., Lewis KS 67552

Lewis Lodge #220
Lewis KS 67552

© 2020 McKillip Memorial Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA