Aileen Elizabeth DeBruce, 91, passed away March 9, 2019, in Kiowa, Kansas, with family by her side. She was born in Junction City, Kansas, on April 16, 1927, the daughter of Forest Valentine Beal and Gladys Smutz Beal. Aileen attended grade school and high school in Junction City, and graduated from the University of Kansas. She married Archie Paul DeBruce on December 27, 1948. They lived in Denver, Colorado, where she taught school for several years, before moving to Ulysses, Kansas, in February of 1952. They had two children, Paul Edward DeBruce of Mission Hills, Kansas, and Shirley DeBruce Conaway of Medicine Lodge, Kansas.
Over her active life, Aileen enjoyed memberships in AAUW, CIRCLE, the Red Hat Society, The United Methodist Church and UMW. She served on the board of the Kansas Children’s Service League for many ears. She and Archie were big supporters of their church in Ulysses, the local Lions Club, Bob Wilson Memorial Hospital and the Diabetes Association. They were made Honorary Trustees Emeritus of the KCSL Foundation Board of Trustees. The DeBruces were active “grandparent volunteers” at the Ulysses grade school, helping to teach reading in the lower grades. Aileen was a Cub Scout den mother, a Girl Scout leader, and an enthusiastic member of the hospital ladies’ auxiliary. She enjoyed many hobbies, among them needlepoint, wheat weaving, tole painting and baking. She loved her needlepoint guild, book club and bridge club, but most of all she loved spending time with her grandchildren.
Aileen was preceded in death by her parents, her beloved Archie, and her siblings, Jack Beal and Rachel Caerez.
She is survived by her two children, Paul Edward DeBruce and Shirley DeBruce Conaway; nine grandchildren, Brandon DeBruce, Amanda DeBruce Walters, Trenton Heath Johnson, Heather Diane Sorrell, April Dawn Bodine, Dana Marie Sorrell, Christopher Lloyd Conaway, Christina Elizabeth Conaway, and Rose-Marie Valentine Conaway; five great-grandchildren, Zachary, Hayden, Hailey Sorrell, and Jessica and Ashley Sorrell; her sister-in-law, Shirley Beal; and numerous nephews and nieces.
Funeral service will be held Wednesday, March 13, 2019, at 10:00 AM at the First United Methodist Church in Ulysses, Kansas, with Reverend Kelly Gindlesberger officiating. Interment will follow at Ulysses Cemetery. Visitation will be Tuesday, March 12, 2019, from 7:00 PM until 8:30 PM at Garnand Funeral Home in Ulysses. The family requests in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be given to the Kansas Children’s Service League, Grant County Library or Grant County Community Foundation all in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 405 W. Grant Ave, Ulysses, KS 67880. Condolences may be posted at www.garnandfuneralhomes.com.
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