Eudora United Methodist Church

Truman, Maizey, and Lainey Orr photo courtesy of Maribeth Malburg Orr

Truman, Maizey, and Lainey Orr
                                                                                                photo courtesy of Maribeth Malburg Orr

Eudora News and Information~www.eudorareporter.com

There is something more for kids at Lucy Kaegi Park,1638 Elm, than the traditional swings and slides.  Children can play on a brand new climbing wall while their moms relax on a nearby bench positioned under a shade tree.  Both the climbing wall and the bench were made possible through donations to the Gary Malburg memorial fund.

Gary Malburg, who died February 7, 2012 at age 65, had spent the last 40 years of his life in Eudora.  He served as Eudora’s city manager in Dad1the 1990’s and was owner of Malburg Electric, a company that started out in the air conditioning business but moved into electric gates, designed and built by Malburg himself.

Malburg was diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2009 and fought a courageous battle for three years.  When it became evident that he wasn’t going to recover, Gary discussed his wishes with his wife Roberta and daughters Maria Oroke and Maribeth Orr.  Gary didn’t want a funeral and he definitely didn’t want flowers.

Over 400 people came to a reception at the Eudora United Methodist Church in his honor three weeks after his death. Gary’s favorite foods (bologna sandwiches, chips and Oreos!) were served, and lots of stories and memories were shared by his many friends and family members.

“After he died, the girls and I decided on the playground equipment since Gary was a big kid at heart,” said Roberta.  “We contacted the bank about getting a fund set up.”

20130523_125109[1]Contributions poured in.  Scott Tumberland,a Eudora city employee who had worked with Gary, asked if he could be the one to put together and install the equipment in the park.  Both pieces were in place about a year after Gary’s death.  During warm weather the park is hopping with kids and all of them, big or small, enjoy the climbing wall.  It’s had a lot of use in the year it’s been there.

Having the new equipment in the park is very special for the Malburg family.  “When I see the kids playing, I feel like I’m looking through Gary’s eyes.  He would have enjoyed it just as much,” shared Roberta. “He was such a kid himself.”

Gary Malburg made another significant donation: he donated his body to science through the Kansas City University of Medicine and Bio sciences, the school his daughter Maribeth attended.  His desire was that research using his body might help someone else.

Besides his wife and daughters, Malburg left behind six grandchildren: Morgan and Corbin Oroke, and Truman, Maizey, Lainey and Pullen Orr.

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Eva Belle GerstenbergerEva Belle Gerstenberger  (photo by Eudorareporter.com reporter Diane Chrislip)

Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com

Today Eudora is a bustling town of over 6,000 residents that sprawls south past K-10. There are housing developments on the east and west edges of Eudora that were farmland just a few years ago. The town has a great education system, a recreation center that is buzzing with activity and a swimming pool with all the amenities.

I’ve lived in Eudora for over 35 years, and it’s a much different, larger town than when I first moved here. But I’ve often wondered what it was like 50 or 100 years ago. I decided to visit with some long-time Eudora residents who now reside at Medicalodges. I chatted with two women in their early 90’s, Eva Bell Gerstenberger and Dessie Williams, as well as 75-year-old Marvin Schehrer.

Eva Bell and Marvin were both born and raised in Eudora while Dessie moved here as a young married woman in 1951. Eva Belle and Dessie are widows while Marvin has always been single. They were each able to provide a glimpse of Eudora in days gone by.

Eva Belle’s early life was spent in Weaver Bottoms, a tiny community just a mile east and a mile north of Eudora. Flooding has long since wiped out the community. Even though Eva Belle’s home was in Weaver Bottoms, her family was very involved in the Eudora community and she attended EHS in her teen years.

She remembers Eudora as being a wonderful place to grow up. “It was clean and safe, and people kept their places up,” recalled Mrs. Gerstenberger. “People always helped each other out. My dad would help anyone who needed it.”

While businesses often struggle to keep going in downtown Eudora today, when she was young there were a variety of stores, restaurants, businesses and lots of activity. Families gathered downtown on Saturdays to buys supplies and to socialize.

“Going to town was a big deal to us country kids,” said Eva Belle. “Daddy gave us kids each a dime to spend when we’d go to town.”

What did a dime buy back in the 1920’s? “We could buy several things with ten cents, and we spent it all on junk food—candy, ice cream and soda,” laughed Eva Belle.

A lot of her family’s life revolved around events at the United Methodist Church, a church that is still active today. She remembers potluck dinners and fun times with friends at church.

“Eudora was a wonderful place to live,” Eva Belle reiterated. “Life is what you make out of it,” she added. “We tried to make the best of everything.”

Marvin Schehrer, born in 1938, grew up on a farm south of Eudora. He remembers simpler times when kids spent more time outdoors. For fun, he and his siblings would ride horses, swim in the creek, and hunt squirrels and rabbits. When asked if his family ate the game he hunted, he assured me that his dad cleaned them and his mom cooked everything he brought home. Occasionally he’d get to go to a movie at the theater in Eudora (Yes, Eudora did have a theater long ago!), which he thinks cost about a quarter to get in. That’s a far cry from the ten dollars or more it costs now.

Marvin’s family attended Holy Family Catholic Church when it met in the beautiful stone building that still stands on Church St.  Holy Family is now located on Birch St., and a brand new building is in the works.

As it was for Mrs. Gerstenburger, going into town was a highlight for Marvin, and he looked forward to the Saturday trips when he could see his friends and have some fun.

“My folks gave me a quarter every Saturday and I’d spend it on ice cream,” Marvin remembered with a laugh. (Apparently kids have always loved junk food!)

What does Mr. Schehrer think is the biggest difference in Eudora now than when he was a kid in the 1940’s? “Everybody knew everybody back then,” he said.

Dessie Williams came on the Eudora scene a bit later. She and her husband Clint moved to Eudora in 1951 and later built a house at 1120 Elm.

“It seemed like we were on the very edge of town because Highway 10 hadn’t gone in yet and there wasn’t much development to the south,” recalled Dessie.

Like the others, Dessie remembers a time when Eudora’s downtown was more bustling. There were two grocery stores in the 1960’s, one owned by Howard Wilson and the other by his cousin Glen Wilson. She worked at one of them, and enjoyed seeing many people local people each day. People tended to do all their grocery shopping right in Eudora in those days.

She thinks that as Eudora has grown it’s lost a little of the friendliness that she enjoyed so much. She said that years ago people tended to be more social, enjoying coffee or meals together regularly.

“We didn’t have much TV back then,” said Mrs. Williams. “People did more together instead of staying home and watching TV. People were more neighborly.”

She and her husband raised two boys in Eudora, and she thinks it was a great place to raise kids. All the neighborhood kids played in the Williams’ yard because they had a basketball goal. Some of the neighbors wondered how she could stand the sound of basketballs bouncing all day long, but she said she enjoyed all the kids and their noise, and she always knew where her boys were!

Dessie and her family were very involved in the Southern Baptist Church (now Eudora Baptist). She taught Sunday School for over 62 years, first to young married women and then to couples. Like Eva Belle’s and Marvin’s families, church played an important role in the Williams’ life.

I appreciate these three seniors giving us a little taste of life in Eudora’s history. While I’m grateful for all the things Eudora has to offer now, I would love to see a vibrant downtown that not only provides shopping opportunities but a place to hobnob with friends and neighbors. My hope is that Eudora will continue to attract business,`and that the community will support them so that even in these modern times we can be a bit more like “old Eudora.”

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The annual city wide garage sale will not be the only benefit for the Eudora Food Pantry on Saturday.

Mason Kelso, 16, will be holding a piano recital at the Eudora United Methodist Church Saturday afternoon at 2:00 PM. Kelso will be performing pieces from the classical, romantic and modern era in the hour long recital.

“I saw the need for donations for the Food Pantry,” Kelso said.  “There is a greater need during the summer due to kids out of school and not able to get free or reduced school lunches.”

Kelso said the event will be casual and feature both liturgical and secular pieces.

“Ive never put on a full concert by myself,” Kelso stated. “I played some pieces at other recitals, but this will be the first time I’ve performed a entire recital.”

Donations of non-perishable items or cash are welcomed at the recital.

“I’m hoping to get enough (donations) to make a dent in the need,” Kelso said.

The Eudora United Methodist Church is located at 2084 N 1300 Road (20th Street, just west of Winchester Rd.).

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Several local churches are holding Vacation Bible Schools in the coming weeks.

Eudora United Methodist Church will “Shake It Up” from July 25 through July 29 from 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM.  The VBS is free for ages preschool to 5th Grade. EUMC will also be collecting donations of school supplies to give to Eudora Public School students.  Recreation, arts & crafts, singing, and snacks will be a part of the program.  For more information go to: http://www.eudoraumc.org/ or contact EUMC at 785-542-3200.

Family of Faith will be hosting a Vacation Bible School on July 24-26 from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM.  Kids can come and learn “Inside Out & Upside Down on Main Street.  Where Jesus makes a difference every day!”  Visit www.familyoffaithks.com/EVENTS.dsp or give them a call at 785-542-3353.

Finally, Eudora Baptist Church will hold their Vacation Bible School July 31-August 5 from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m.  Children as young as 3 years old thru going-into 6th grade are welcome to participate. The theme is Big Apple Adventure-Where Faith and Life Connect.  More information can be located at www.eudorabc.org. The Phone number is 785-542-2734.

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With Easter fast approaching, we wanted to provide a list of services and times for the area churches leading up to Easter.  Below are the churches that responded to our request for information.

Assembly of God

Friday, April 22  6:30PM – Community Good Friday Service

Sunday, April 24 10:30AM – Easter Sunday Service

Clearfield United Methodist Church

Friday, April 22  7:00PM –  Good Friday Service

Sunday, April 24 6:30AM – Easter Sunrise Service

Eudora Baptist Church

Sunday April 24

8:00AM – Worship Service

9:00AM – Sunday School

10:15AM – Worship Service

Eudora United Methodist Church

Thursday, April 21 7:00PM – Maundy Thursday Service

Friday, April 22  6:30PM – Community Good Friday Service @ Assembly of God

Saturday, April 23 3:00PM – Community Easter Egg Hunt @ Medicalodges

Sunday, April 24

6:30AM – Sunrise Service

7:00AM – Easter Breakfast

9:30AM – Children’s Easter Celebration

10:30AM – Worship Service

Hesper Friends Church

Sunday, April 24

8:00AM – Early Service

8:30AM – Breakfast

9:30AM – Sunday School and Kids Resurrection Egg hunt

10:30AM – Worship Service

Holy Family Catholic Church

Thursday, April 21 7:00PM – Holy Thursday Service

Friday, April 22

3:00PM – Stations of the Cross

7:00PM – Good Friday Liturgy

Saturday, April 23 7:00PM – Easter Vigil

Sunday, April 24 9:30AM – Easter Sunday Mass

St. Paul United Church of Christ

Friday, April 22  6:30PM – Community Good Friday Service @ Assembly of God

Sunday April 24

6:30AM – Sunrise Service@ Lewis & Barbara Box Farm

10:00AM – Easter Service

Yokefellowship Baptist Church

Sunday, April 24 1:30PM – Sunday Service

 

For locations of all the churches in Eudora, you can simply go to: http://www.eudorareporter.com/cityinformation/churches/ or look under the City Information tab on the menu above and select Churches.

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