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Helen "Kay" Rudder Hasenohr
Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Hiawatha
Hiawatha , KS

Helen Kay Rudder Hasenohr, age 71, of Hiawatha, Kan., passed away on Friday, July 14, 2023 - surrounded by her family - after a short battle with cancer.

She went by Kay - or Katie occasionally from her parents and siblings - was born Aug. 2, 1951 to James Clifford Rudder, Jr. and Lois Aldine Harvey Rudder. She was the middle child out of three girls and earned the distinction of being the first brown-eyed baby born at Hiawatha Community Hospital, which had just opened in May.

They lived in Padonia, where Kay attended the one-room Padonia schoolhouse until the end of third grade. She skipped fourth grade as the schoolhouse closed and she and one other student were transferred to Reserve for fifth grade. She graduated with the 1968 Class of Hiawatha High School.

Kay married James Ellis and the couple had a daughter, Joey, born in 1971. They later divorced. She married Larry Hasenohr and the couple had a son, Liberty Beau, born in 1977. Their family lived in Hiawatha and then Baker for a short time before moving to Winfield then Arkansas City for Larry to attend drafting school. Following his schooling, the family relocated to Emporia for 2 years and then a farm at Admire. Larry and Kay later divorced and she returned to Hiawatha to help care for her ailing father until his death in 1998, then continued to live with her mother at their Padonia homestead until they moved into Hiawatha in 2010. Her mother passed in 2016 and Kay continued to live in her Hiawatha home with her many pets.

Kay worked a variety of jobs during her life. She was employed several different times at the Hiawatha Daily World over a span of 50 years. At the newspaper she worked in typesetting, paste-up, served as Lifestyles editor and was a reporter and photographer. Kay even created her own newspaper “The Guardian,” where she wrote about local news and included editorials - distributing locally for about a year. Kay also spent 13 years as a dispatcher at the Brown County Sheriff's Office, before retiring at age 63. Kay came out of retirement to work one last time at the Hiawatha World as a part-time front office administrator until she finally retired a couple years later to stay at home with her “doggies.”

Kay was a huge animal lover and never had a moment where she didn’t have a dog, a cat - or several of each. She spent many years working at and volunteering with the Brown County Humane Society and also fostered and adopted several dogs. At one point she was caring for 15 foster dogs in a series of pens she had put up herself at Padonia, while she helped the Humane Society work to find them homes.

Among Kay's hobbies and great loves were fishing and hunting with her Daddy as a youngster, her “critters” as she called her dogs and cats, mellow classic rock and blues music, watching true crime shows, writing and woodworking along with other arts and crafts. She spent hours upon hours woodburning and creating beautiful artwork for her family and for gifts over the years. Above all else, Kay's family mattered most to her and she never left a conversation without saying “I love you!”

Kay is survived by a daughter Joey May (Jeff) and son Beau Hasenohr (Kimberly) - both of Hiawatha; two sisters - Lois Arnold and Janet Clearwater (Scott) - both of Topeka; grandchildren Joshua May (Lindsey), Josey May, Austin Hasenohr, Arillyn Kimmi, Aizlynn Kimmi, Ashlynn Hasenohr and Leighton Hasenohr; cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother-in-law Bobby Arnold.

Kay was cremated, but friends may call at the funeral home on Thursday & Friday, July 20, 21 to sign register book

A family visitation will be at 2 p.m. on Sunday with services at 3 p.m. at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, 124, S. 7th, Hiawatha, KS. Inurnment will follow be at Oakland Cemetery, Padonia, Kan.

Memorial contributions are suggested to the Brown County Humane Society and can be sent to Chapel Oaks.

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Hiawatha, Ks 66434
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