OBITUARY: Beryl N. Laswell

Beryl N. Laswell, 101, passed away November 4, 2019 at Newton Presbyterian Manor.

She was born on September 24, 1918 to Albert and Bertha Meisterhans Rutschman in rural Whitewater, Kansas. In her early years she attended the Swiss Mennonite Church in Whitewater and in the 1940’s she became a member of the EUB Church in Newton which eventually became Salem United Methodist Church.

Beryl and Roy Laswell were married August 28, 1941 in Belleville, Kansas, and celebrated 61 years together until his passing on December 31, 2002. Her greatest joy was when the children came, then the grandchildren and great grandchildren, and she loved each one dearly.  As she never knew either of her grandmothers because they were in Switzerland, her ambition was to be a good grandma and great-grandma and she was the absolute best.

When the children were in high school, she worked at Ben Franklin Variety Store for a number of years until its closing. Beryl loved to cook and bake for her family and enjoyed sharing cinnamon rolls with family and friends. It was important for her to be a good neighbor. She enjoyed going fishing with Roy or the children or grandchildren after he passed, working in the yard and her flower garden, arranging flowers and feeding the squirrels. She was creative and during the last decade spent many hours making personalized birthday, get well and other cards for family and friends.

Beryl was able to remain in the home she shared with Roy until a stroke in April 2019 took away much of her mobility. She made so many new friends at Presbyterian Manor and each one was special to her.

Beryl was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Roy, son Duane in 1992, grandson Albert Leal in 1989, granddaughter Jenette Laswell in 2011, siblings Paul Rutschman, Margaret Gronau and Alberta Covalt, and her cats, Newman, Max, Lop and Loofy.

She is survived by her son Gary (Trudy) of Puyallup, Washington, daughter Kathleen Leal of Newton, grandchildren Chris Leal, Sarah (Russ) Atherton and Betty Chappell, great-grandchildren Brandon Leal, Taylor Leal and Michael McCarter McGraw, and sister-in-law Martha Rutschman. Beryl also is survived by two special nieces, Susan (Bob) Mayer and Sharon (Bill) Tolle, who considered her a second mother after the deaths of theirs, three additional nieces, five nephews, other extended family members and friends, and her much loved puppy, Bolt.

Friends may call Monday, November 11 from 1:00 PM until 8:00 PM with the memorial service Tuesday, November 12 at 2:00 PM, both at Broadway Colonial Funeral Home. Interment will be in the Greenwood Cemetery in Newton.

A memorial has been established with Caring Hands Humane Society in Newton. Contributions may be sent to Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, 120 E. Broadway, Newton, KS, 67114.

Condolences may be left at

Arrangements are by Broadway Colonial Funeral Home, Newton.

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