Transportation 21

Kenley J. German

March 9, 1934 ~ February 18, 2021 (age 86)


Obituary of Kenley J. German         

            Kenley Joe German, 86, the son of Kenneth Hadley German and Ellen Elizabeth (Shull) German was born March 9, 1934 in Glen Elder, Kansas and passed away on February 18, 2021 in Deshler, NE.

            Kenley grew up and attended the local public schools in Glen Elder, KS and later attended Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS.

            On June 6, 1954, he was united in marriage to Lela Don Fox and to this union three children were born:  Craig, Deborah, and Randall. 

            After leaving Kansas State, Kenley worked in Concordia, KS at a creamery, making ice cream for a couple of years.  He began his long railroad career with the Missouri Pacific Railroad.  Shortly after, Kenley was hired as an agent/operator on the Rock Island Railroad, working in numerous station stops across Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and Colorado, including Mahaska, KS, before being assigned as the last depot agent at Deshler, NE.   In 1977, Kenley and Lela Don moved to Colby, KS as he continued his work with the Rock Island Railroad.    After the Rock Island shut down, he finished his career with the Union Pacific.

            In 2004, Kenley and Lela Don moved to Deshler, NE to be close to their family.   He continued his special love of sports, especially basketball and followed his grandkids’ games and supported the local school teams. He and Lela Don shared a passion for researching the artifacts and history of the military and stage stations of the Smokey Hills Trail.   They also enjoyed discovering their family genealogy and taking care of the family farm in Agenda, KS.   Over the years, Kenley loved adding to his many collections, especially the coins, pens and railroad memorabilia. 

            Kenley was preceded in death by his parents; his wife Lela Don German, two infant sisters, his sister, Erma Luckey, his son, Randall German, his daughter-in-law, Shelley German, and great grandson, Evan Zucker.

            He is survived by one son, Craig German of Edgar, NE;  one daughter, Deborah (David) Zucker of Deshler, NE; daughter-in-law, Cathy German of Raymore, MO;  7 grandchildren, Jeffery (Kristi) Zucker,  Michael (Nicole) Zucker, Stephanie (Andrew) Frager, Levi (Beth) German, Lynda (Jonathan) O’Dell, Richard (Carter) German, and Raymond (Carolyn) German; 18 great grandchildren; two brothers,  Richard (Millie) German of Springfield, MO and Rodney (Maureen) German of Ft. Worth, TX; along with a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

            Cremation was selected and memorial services will be held at a later date.

Inurnment will be at the Zion Cemetery, rural Belleville, KS.

            Memorials are suggested to the Kenley J. German Memorial to be determined later and can be sent in care of the family or the funeral home.

            Online condolences and information at

            Bachelor-Surber Funeral Home, 1322 19th St.  Belleville, KS  is in charge of the arrangements.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Kenley J. German, please visit our floral store.


Memorial services for family & friends will be held at a later date.

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