Lawrence Jess Pfortmiller, 97 of Plainville and formerly of Natoma, Kansas died Thursday evening, September 23, 2010 at the Red Bud Village in Plainville.

Lawrence was born January 24, 1913 on the family farm north of Natoma, the son of Gustav and Wilhelmina (VonFange) Pfortmiller.  He grew up around Natoma and graduated from Natoma High School.  During this time he also played semi-pro baseball.  He graduated from Ft. Hays State University with a degree in Education.

Lawrence was a teacher and a coach at Natoma in 1939 &40.   He then was united in marriage to Hazel Romine on April 18, 1941 in Salina, Kansas.  This union was blessed with four children; Larry, Linda, Gayla and Louis.  Hazel preceded him in death on December 11, 2005. 

Before the war Lawrence taught in Wakeeney when he had the opportunity to go to Sweetwater, Texas where he helped train pilots and WASP for the Army Air Corp.  He was then drafted by the Army during WWII where he served in the radio corps in New Guinea and the Philippines.  After the war he returned to Natoma.

Lawrence worked several years at the Farmer’s Union Hardware before working at the Natoma Post Office as a postal clerk.  He retired from the Post Office in 1972.  He then drove a school bus for the Natoma School district.

He was a member of Peace Lutheran Church of Natoma.  He served on the Natoma Volunteer Fire Department and was Chief for many years.  He was a Lewis Field Pioneer at Fort Hays State and helped in construction of the football stadium.  He loved coaching youth baseball, hunting, raising and training dogs, throwing horseshoes and having the “biggest and best” garden.

Surviving family include his four children; Louis Pfortmiller and wife Carla of Lawrence, Ks., Gayla Wichman and husband Ross of Ellis, Ks., Linda Sharits and Larry Pfortmiller both of Natoma, Ks.; brother, Paul E. Pfortmiller of Wichita, Ks.; brother-in-law, Dean Barringer of Englewood, Co.; sister-in-law, Frieda Pfortmiller of Natoma, Ks.; 10 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren.  He was preceded in death by his parents, two brothers, four sisters and a grandson.

Celebration of Lawrence’s Life will be held at 10:30 A.M. Monday, September 27, 2010 at Peace Lutheran Church of Natoma with Pastor Michael Schmidt officiating.  Burial will follow at the Natoma Lutheran Cemetery where Russell V.F.W. Post #6240 will conduct Military Rites.  Visitation will be from noon till 8 P.M. Sunday at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary in Natoma.  A memorial has been established with Peace Lutheran Church.  Contributions and condolences may be sent in care of Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary who is in charge of these arrangements.


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