Gayle Mollenkamp


Gayle Lavern Mollenkamp, 93, went home to be with his Lord on March 6, 2023, surrounded by family at his home in Bartlesville, Okla. Gayle was born the second of two children to Walter and Elsie (Jesse) Mollenkamp on Nov. 30, 1929, at the family farm in Trego County, Kansas. 

Gayle married Marilyn Farmer, daughter of Wilbur and Elma Farmer of Ransom, Kan., on June 20, 1948. To this union, three children were born; Lorelei (Mollenkamp) Edwards, Dwight Mollenkamp and Mark Mollenkamp.

Gayle and Marilyn made their home on the farm in Trego County near Arnold, Kan., until they moved to the ranch in Logan County near Russell Springs, Kan., in 1955. After Gayle retired in 1997, he and Marilyn moved to Quinter, Kan. 

Marilyn, Gayle’s wife of 51 years, passed away on Sept. 1, 1999. 

Gayle married Judy Life, daughter of Howard and Lucile Life of Sedan, on April 10, 2002. 

Gayle’s greatest love was God, his family, farming and ranching, and serving his community in many ways. Martin Ward and Gayle purchased a deep water well drilling rig and drilled many water wells in the community. Gayle was a member of the Russell Springs School Board for a number of years, a Logan County Commissioner for 15 years, and the 118th District Kansas State Representative for 16 years between the years of 1984 and 2000. Gayle enjoyed representing the concerns of those in his district, working hard for less big government and more local control. 

Gayle was a member of the Soil Conservation Board, Northwest Kansas Highway Officials Association, church member, Men for Missions International cabinet member, pilot for Wings for Missions, and various other committees and groups. He utilized his airplane to serve the travel needs for many missionaries and pastors. Gayle also took several trips to Haiti to help drill water wells and build roads. 

Gayle and Judy made their home in Bartlesville, Okla., and became members of the First Wesleyan Church where they made and enjoyed many close friends. 

Gayle is preceded in death by his parents, Walter and Elsie Mollenkamp; his wife, Marilyn; and sister Madelyn Guthrie. He is survived by his wife, Judy; three children, Lori (Keith) Edwards of Russell Springs, Kan., Dwight (Ronda) Mollenkamp of Garden Plain, and Mark (Roxanne) Mollenkamp of Quinter; eight grandchildren, Cameron (Rebecca) Edwards, Matthew (Mitzi) Edwards, Tiffany (Tony) Diehl, Jacki Mollenkamp, David Mollenkamp, Doyle (Skyler) Mollenkamp, Jessica Murray and Shelby (Jess) Mollenkamp; 17 great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. 

A celebration of life will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 18, at Gateway Fellowship Church in Oakley, Kan.