Lorene (McKee) Colyer, Age :93
Aug 17,1926---Jan 03,2020

Lorene Martha (McKee) Colyer, 93, finally reunited with Jim, her husband of 67 years on January 3, 2020. They toured in their Foretravel motorhome for 100,000’s of miles. Now they meet in Heaven for their everlasting journey, happily together again.  Lorene passed away surrounded by her family in Kansas City, MO. 

Lorene, a 4th generation Kansan, was born August 17, 1926 in “Hays America” to Zita I. (Bissing) and Cecil W. McKee.  Lorene grew up during the Dustbowl and graduated from Girls Catholic High (1944) in Hays. She worked for her father at The Sweet Shop near Fort Hays and at his vending machine business on airbases for 13 cents an hour.  She was a musical prodigy in the Bissing and Hinshaw families’ tradition.  She was invited by Rudolph Ganz to attend the Chicago Conservatory. But growing up in an era of limits and world war, she had to continue her education at Fort Hays State where she loved the mathematics of harmony.  Her passion for music extended from Clair de Lune to taking her kids to see the Beatles at Red Rocks.  She kept a white piano by her side even at age 93.

Lorene met the love of her life, James Daniel Colyer, as a high school freshman and wrote to him faithfully when he fought on Peleliu in the Pacific.  They married in 1947 and settled in Hays where Jim practiced dentistry from 1955-85.  She was the financial and accounting brains of their successful practice and marriage. 

Lorene’s children were her highest priority even when they were naughty. Her Catholic faith guided her throughout her life.  She taught everyone that the strongest person was not the loudest but the most tenacious, loving, and faithful. She loved music, anything pink (especially her pink gingerbread house), playing bridge, needle-pointing Christmas stockings, spending summers in Steamboat Springs and Cedar Bluff lake, leading Scouts, and her numerous critters.  She and Jim visited all 50 states and more than 70 countries.  During the Cold War they even explored the USSR and China.  They later lived in Scottsdale, AZ and Olathe, KS.  She beat lobular breast cancer twice, 35 years apart.

Lorene and Jim have two daughters, two sons, and 12 grandchildren: Linda (and Rodney) King (Dennis, Jonn, Annette, Michael) of Gilbert, AZ; Dr. James (and Toni) Colyer (James III, Kelli, Chris, Kami) of Paradise Valley, AZ; Diane Colyer (Bria) of Aurora, CO; and Governor Jeff (and Ruth) Colyer, M.D. (Alexandra, Serena, Dominique) of Overland Park, KS.  They have 21 ½ (and hopefully more future) great-grandchildren.  She is the last McKee or Colyer of her generation, preceded in death by her husband Jim (2015), son Jim (1999), her brother James McKee and her sisters, Aileen Nightingale and Roseanne Cechman.

On Sunday January 5, a Rosary will be prayed at 6:30 PM at Porter Funeral Home 8535 Monrovia, Lenexa with visitation to follow until 8:00 PM.  Funeral at St. Michael Catholic Church, 14251 Nall, Leawood at 10:00 AM Monday January 6 followed by burial at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, Lenexa.  In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to https://internationalmedicalcorps.org/colyer


Garret and Laura Schmidt Jan 04 ,2020

Friends ,Prairie Village ,Kansas

Jeff and family, sorry to hear about your mother. What a wonderful life to live to the age of 93 and enjoy such a great family. Comforting to know that she will be with your dad in heaven. Hopefully they’ll run into Marian up there and talk about old times!

Brenda Schmidt Meade Jan 04 ,2020

Friend ,Adel ,Iowa

Jeff, I’m so sorry to hear of the passing of your mother. I remember her fondly from our elementary days and being neighbors in Hays. It is so hard to lose a parent especially a second parent. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers. Thinking of you and your family at this difficult time. Brenda Schmidt need

Barbara Wasinger Jan 04 ,2020

Family friend ,Hays ,Kansas

Prayers for all.

Roger Hrabe Jan 04 ,2020

Colleague ,Plainville ,Kansas

My condolences to you and your family Dr Colyer.

Julia and Jeff Lynn Jan 04 ,2020

Friend, Republican Senator and Supporter ,Olathe ,Kansas

Jeff and I are saddened and heartfelt prayers to you and your beloved family for your loss. A mother is always the first love of our human lives and will always be our collective Governor of our childhoods never leading is astray. Know she is in glory and our Father is celebrating. We are lifting you and your your family up and my God bless you and keep you . Julia and Jeff Lynn

Carolyn Simms Jan 04 ,2020

Political friend ,Republic ,Kansas

Be blessed & encouraged @ this time as you grieve the earthly loss of your mother. Sounds like she was a loving, accomplished person in many respects. May the memory of her name be always remembered & cherished!

Linda Murphy Tavlarios Jan 04 ,2020

Friend from Hays ,Darien ,Connecticut

Dear Colyer family, I’m so sorry to hear this news. What a full and wonderful life your mother had and what a painful loss for you to bear. You will be in my prayers. With sincere sympathy, Linda

Camille Bollig Ellard Jan 05 ,2020

Friend ,Hays ,Kansas

Colyer Family, You are in our thoughts and prayers. The Shirley Bollig Family, Coleen, Joe, Jeff, Camille and John

Mario Goico Jan 05 ,2020

Friend of the family ,Wichita ,Kansas

I am sorry for your loss. Lorene and your family are in my prayers.

Renee Schraeder Sinclair Jan 05 ,2020

Family ,Webber ,Kansas

Dear Jeff, Diane, Linda and family, We're so sorry to hear of Lorene's passing, but know she is now "at home" with Jimmy and little Jim. Mom is welcoming her and waiting with Lorene's bike to go biking in the parks like they did in college. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Love, Renee & Mark Sinclair

Diane Frantz Jan 05 ,2020

Friend ,Phillipsburg ,Kansas

I am so sorry to hear about your Mom. She was an amazing lady, with so much love for others! My Mom adored her! Prayers for your family.

Dale Pfeifer Jan 05 ,2020

Hays friend and former student of Lorene ,Shawnee ,Kansas

I want to wish all members of the Colyer Family peace at this time. Your mother/grandmother was a beautiful person, and I have fond memories of her grace, patience and her connecting religious instruction at Kennedy School.

Dave E Anderson Jan 05 ,2020

Friend ,Overland Park ,Kansas

Gov, You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. You have our sympathies, but also joy as you celebrate a life well lived. Best wishes in life and in the death of your mother. Have a wonderful, productive and prosperous New Year. Dave and Carol Anderson

Bob Montgomery Jan 05 ,2020

Friend ,Olathe ,Kansas

Jeff, Sorry to about the loss of your mother. She raised a great son - I know she is proud of you. Gods peace be with all of you. Bob Montgomery

Susan M Scott Jan 05 ,2020

Family friend ,Family friend ,Kansas

I first met Mrs. Colyer when I was seven years old and met her daughter Diane who became A lifetime friend. They were also our neighbors. Mrs. Colyer was Admired for her dedication to her children and her devotion to her faith. She was quick to give us advice as she would graciously take Diane and friends to numerous activities. She was clear about who she was and values she held dear. She was beautiful and she shared that along with her musical abilities with her children. Her life well have impact upon many people as well as being missed by so many people as well.

Leo Delperdang Jan 05 ,2020

Friend of son ,Wichita ,Kansas

So sorry to hear about this! Our thoughts and prayers are with your family

Dale Schmidt Jan 05 ,2020

friend ,Hays ,Kansas

My condolences to the Colyer clan.

Martha Gabehart Jan 06 ,2020

Dr. Colyer, I was so sorry to hear of your mother's passing. Please know that you and your family are in my prayers.

Pat Do Jan 06 ,2020

Friend of Jeff ,Wichita ,Kansas

Jeff I am sorry to hear of your loss my friend. I am so inspired to hear of your Mom’s story and dedication to raising such a beautiful family! Freshman sweethearts remind me that love stories are alive and well.

Mid America Orthopefics KC Jan 06 ,2020

Business ,Leawood ,Kansas

The staff and physicians of Mid America Orthopedics KC are sorry for your loss. Please know that your family is in our thoughts and prayers. We wish your family grace and comfort in this time. May your minds be filled with wonderful memories. Pat Do and the team at MAO KC

Jeff Bollig Jan 08 ,2020

I am so sorry to hear of your loss. May the many found memories keep her in your heart.

Jeff Jan 08 ,2020

Family Friend ,Olathe ,Kansas

My sympathies to the Colyer family. May the many wonderful memories bring comfort.

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