TIMKEN — Donna Loree Smolik, 83, passed away Nov. 17, 2023, at the University of Kansas Health System – Great Bend Campus. She was born Feb. 19, 1940, in Great Bend to Dan Ochs, Sr. and Violet (Shetler) Ochs. She married Richard Smolik Sept. 12, 1959, in Timken, Kan.
Being raised on a farm north of Otis and a lifetime Rush County resident, Donna worked as a cook and dietary manager for Rush County Nursing Home (Locust Grove), LaCrosse, for 34 years. Developing a good work ethic at an early age, she worked at her mother, Violet’s, restaurant, The Nifty Nine, and also the Tastee Freeze, all of LaCrosse. She was also known to be an exceptional farm hand and an excellent cook, passing on her love of cooking to her daughter and grandchildren. When her children were in school, Donna attended all of their activities whenever she could and loved to watch KU basketball.
Donna was a member of Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Timken and attended Prince of Peace Parish at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Great Bend. Donna will be missed for her servant’s heart and always being ready to lend a hand where needed.
Survivors include, her husband Richard of the home; two sons, Ken Smolik and wife Kris of Great Bend and Gerald Smolik of Timken; a daughter, Mary Bieker and husband Darrell of Great Bend; four grandchildren, Scott Smolik and wife Cassie, Michael Smolik and wife Kendyll, Michala Bieker and Emma Bieker; three great grandchildren, Olivia Smolik, Connor Smolik and Levi Smolik; and four step-great grandchildren, Kadyn Schmidt, Carsyn Berggren, Brock Berggren and McKoy Berggren. She was preceded in death by her parents; a brother, Dan Ochs, Jr.; and three sisters, Leona Hanhardt, Wanda Jacobs and Norma Foos.
Visitation will be held from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 21, 2023, with Altar Society Rosary at 4 p.m., the family to receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. and Vigil service at 7 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023, at St. Patrick Catholic Church, with Father Prakash Kola presiding. Interment will be in the Bohemian Cemetery, Timken. Memorials have been designated to Prince of Peace Parish, in care of Bryant Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at www.bryantfh.net.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Bryant Funeral Home
1425 Patton Road
Great Bend, KS. 67530
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Nov. 21, 2023