Smith Center - Leland E. Baetz, 91, passed away Sunday, June 23, 2019 at Smith County Health and Rehab, Smith Center, KS.
Leland was born February 11, 1928 at home on the Baetz homestead near Reamsville, KS, the son of Albert and Goldie (Gouldie) Baetz. He was the second child of four children and the only boy. Leland graduated 8th grade from Ash Grove and went to work helping his father on the farm.
On July 31, 1951 Leland joined the United States Army and served during the Korean War and was honorably discharged on July 15, 1953. During his time in the service he spent time in Japan and Korea. Following his active service he enlisted for 8 additional years in the reserve corp.
Leland met his love, Helen Hawkins shortly after coming home from the service. They were married on March 30, 1956 at First Christian Church, Smith Center, KS. To this union they were blessed with five children, Russell Eugene, Sharlyn Kay, Judith Lynn, Larry Duane and Kevin Wayne.
Leland loved farming and raising livestock, he took great pride in what he did and passed this down to his sons that continue to farm on the family farmstead. He enjoyed spending time with his family and going to family functions. He had also delivered trailers for Peterson Industries for a while when they needed him to.
He was preceded in death by a son Larry Duane Baetz, his parents, son-in-law Milo Shellito, brother-in-law Duane Hawkins and nephew Jerry Hawkins.
Leland is survived by his wife Helen Baetz of Smith Center; two sons, Russell (Karen) Baetz and Kevin (Kim) Baetz all of Smith Center; two daughters, Sharlyn Shellito and Judith (Wayne) Hyman all of Smith Center; three sisters, Ilene Booten of Kearney, NE, Mildred Daniels of Franklin, NE, Norma Schriner of Holdrege, NE; eleven grandchildren and eighteen great grandchildren.
Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, June 26, 2019 at All Faiths Funeral Chapel, Smith Center, KS, with Pastor Randy Hill officiating. Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 from 3:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. with family present to greet friends from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Burial will take place in Fairview Cemetery, Smith Center, KS. Memorials may be given to the First Christian Church of Smith Center or the Leland E. Baetz Memorial Fund and can be sent in care of the funeral chapel.