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Keith Harkness
Axtell, KS

Keith E. Harkness, 71, of Axtell, Kansas passed away at his home with family at his side on Saturday, September 1, 2012, after a long battle with cancer.

Keith was born September 22, 1940, the son of Wilmer Harkness and Ruth (Arlene) Rushtin Harkness, in McMillan, Michigan.

He joined the United States Army in 1959 and served until 1963 when he was honorably discharged. In March of 1963 Keith married Mary Virginia Simenson.  To this union were born seven children; Jerry Harkness, Jeff Harkness, Amy Harkness, Jon Harkness, Tammi Lieshing, Misty Shephard and Jay Harkness.

Keith worked for Goodyear Tire Co. for 18 years before retiring in 1978.

Keith's wife Mary Virginia preceded him in death in 1994.  He then married Phyllis Sutterlin in July of 1995.  Keith is also survived by seven step-children Jerry Bird, Shelly Wahl, David Bird, Christine Garber, Philip Sutterlin, Justin Sutterlin and Audrey Wichman. He was preceded in death by a step-son Kelly Bird who died in 1994. He is also survived by 33 grandchildren and seven great grandchildren and a large and loving family which include three brothers, Steve Harkness, Dwight Harkness, and Tom Harkness; three sisters, Linda Humbert, Kathy Simenson and Idessa Henderson.


Funeral services will be Wednesday, September 5, 2012 at 10:00 AM at the Axtell United Methodist Church.  Rev. Susan Montgomery will conduct the services.  Lila Alfers is the organist.  There is a visitation Tuesday evening from 6-8 PM at the Landreth-Popkess Funeral Home in Axtell, KS.  Burial will be in the Rose Hill Cemetery with Full Military Honors conducted by the R.R. Hendricks American Legion Post. 

Online condolences may be left at

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