Earline Laura Costley Carnes, age 100, passed away Saturday, Dec. 3, 2022, at Leisure Homestead in Stafford, Kansas. She had been a resident there for three years, moving from Webb City.
Earline was born near Monett, Missouri, on Feb. 8, 1922. Her family moved to the Carl Junction area, where she graduated from high school in 1940. Perseverance was one of her gifts, and after many years of working full-time and earning an associate's degree at Joplin Junior College (now Missouri Southern), she accomplished her goal of graduating from Kansas
State College (now Kansas State University) in 1953 with a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics.
Upon graduation, she was employed as the Wilson County Extension Home Economist in Fredonia, Kansas. There she met Kenneth L. Carnes. They were married on Dec. 27, 1953, in Joplin. To this union were born two daughters. The family moved to different towns in Kansas as Kenneth received job transfers as a Farmers Home Administration Supervisor.
Her daughter Laura Suzanne was born in Washington, Kansas, and Carol Jean was born in Stafford. The next move took them to Wellington until 1969 when they moved to their farm near Pittsburg. After Kenneth's death on May 24, 1997, Earline moved to Webb City, Missouri, and lived there until 2018.
Earline was active in several United Methodist churches, in her daughters' activities, and as a member of various clubs. She taught elementary school and was a substitute teacher in Wellington until the family moved to their farm. She helped Kenneth with their farm and cattle operation and was a 4-H club community and project leader.
She was a talented seamstress and enjoyed traveling and refinishing furniture. Her true passion was gardening – growing large vegetable, fruit, and flower gardens. She enjoyed collecting and trading flowers. She was happiest outside, enjoying God's creation. A prolific reader, she read daily newspapers and The Wall Street Journal well into her late nineties. Visiting with family and friends was her joy as well.
Earline is survived by a daughter, Suzanne (Don) Hildebrand of Stafford, Kansas, as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Kent and Rebekah Hildebrand, their daughters, Harper, Holland, and Maize of Manhattan, Kansas; Laurie and Heath Vincent, their daughter, Lillian Laura, and soon-to-be-born, Lincoln of Wamego, Kansas; Josh and Bethany Hildebrand, their daughters Lydia, Hannah, and Elyse of Bel Aire, Kansas; and son-in-law Larry Heller with his children, Laura Katherine and Will of Bethesda, Maryland. Earline is also survived by her sister Sue (John) Fredrickson of Webb City, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Earline was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth; daughter, Carol Carnes (Larry Heller); brothers, Roland Costley, Ralph Costley, and Bill Costley; and a sister, Paula Dill.
Private burial will take place at Evergreen Cemetery in Fort Scott, with a Celebration of Life service later this February. Memorials may be sent as contributions to the scholarship fund Earline began at Kansas State University. Please indicate the Kenneth L. and Earline L. Carnes Scholarship Fund, number 05595, in care of Minnis Chapel, 125 N. Main, Stafford, Kansas 67578.