Rodney Russell Landers, age 71, passed away Saturday morning, September 17, 2022, at the home of his stepdaughter, Katharyne Jane (Silva) Belew, in Girard, KS. Rodney suffered from several chronic health conditions for most of his adult life. He was unable to care for himself following a surgery in 2016, which is when his family helped him move from Virginia Beach, VA, to Kansas, where Katheryne and her family took care of him. He as a Vietnam Veteran who served 20 years in the US Navy, starting right after graduating high school in Gainesville, MO, in 1969. Rodney had an Associates Degree in Accounting, but typically worked in the hospitality and retail industry as a clerk. He also volunteered as a maintenance man and landscaper at his former condominium complex when he was more physically able. He kept in touch with a few friends from Virginia, Hosea and Juny Oldham, and Louise and Oliver Eaton. Rodney never married, but did have a child with his former girlfriend, Karen Jean (Eckles) Silva Butterfield. His only biological son, Jonathan William Landers, of Houston, TX, surprised him with a visit last weekend, and the whole family went to Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. Rodney enjoyed riding the train, which was wheelchair accessible. He went peacefully in his sleep, hopefully dreaming about the happy final memories with his family.
Rodney was preceded in death by his parents, Roy Rex Landers (died 2018) and Alma Bernece (Taylor) Landers (died 2004) of Gainesville, MO. He was the oldest of six Landers boys, including Stephen Wayne (living in West Plains, MO), Jeffray Leland (died 2020), Norman Gregory (died 1982), David Keith (living near Gainesville), and Kenneth Jonathan Landers (living in Gainesville). Rodney’s son Jon is not yet married and has no children. Jon’s half-sister, Katharyne, lives with her husband, Brandon Belew, and their children, Bryce (age 9) and Hannah (age 4). Due to most of his family living out of state, in lieu of a funeral, the family has decided to plan a gathering for the summer, close to Rodney’s birthday, which was June 7th. Special thanks to the wonderful staff at the VA Clinic in Fort Scott and Girard Medical Center. Smith-Carson-Wall Funeral Home of Girard, KS, will be handling Rodney’s cremation.