Leslie Wilhite

April 15, 1949 — Jan. 17, 2022


January 20, 2022 - 9:27 AM

Leslie William Wilhite of Yates Center was born April 15, 1949, in Iola, one of the two children of Robert Frederick and Mardell Glyndon (Randall) Wilhite, and passed away on Monday, Jan. 17, 2022, at Freeman Hospital West in Joplin. He was 72.

Leslie spent his early childhood in Yates Center. When he was in junior high the family moved to his grandparents’ farm northwest of Yates Center. Leslie graduated from Yates Center High School in 1967. He then attended Allen Community College. He hadn’t finished earning his degree, so after some time he went back to Allen Community College and earned his associates degree in 2010.

Les worked at various jobs over the years. He worked at a gas station, drove a fruit truck, worked for Mark Kilby as a roughneck in the oil fields, was employed by the Woodson County Road and Bridge Dept. for a number of years. He was supervisor of the Woodson County Solid Waste Dept., drove a bus for the Yates Center schools, managed Prairie Villa Apartments in Yates Center, was employed by KVC Health Systems, and most recently by St. Francis Ministries as a transport driver for foster children. He was active in his community and was always ready to support any project he thought would benefit Yates Center and the surrounding area. He served on the Yates Center City Council and as Interim Mayor. He was a member of the Full Gospel Business Fellowship that later became the Businessmen’s Fellowship International, and he was a Certified Advocate for CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates.)

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Roberta Glyndon Mardis; and two aunts, Marjorie Randall and Mayetta “Polly” Powell.

He leaves his wife, Shelda; nieces Josie Mardis and Kelly Baker (Kenny); great-nephews, Asher Sievers and Brycen Baker; his special sister, Carol Roush (Richard) and daughters Amy (Jason) Barnes and Kayla (Blake) Thackery and their children; and many other relatives and friends.

Memorial services will be at 2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 22, at the Cowboy Church and the Arena of Life at Toronto. Inurnment will follow in Yates Center Cemetery.

The family will meet with friends from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Friday at Campbell Funeral Home in Yates Center.

Memorial contributions may be made to CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) 31st Judicial District and may be sent in care of Campbell Funeral Home, P.O. Box 188, Yates Center, KS 66783.

Masks are encouraged at the visitation and memorial service.

The service will be streamed at https://www.facebook.com/jonesfuneralhomeburlingtonks.



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