Cover photo for Ronald Newkirk's Obituary
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1951 Ronald 2022

Ronald Newkirk

April 13, 1951 — February 27, 2022


For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believes in Him, shall not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Ronald Lee Newkirk, age 70, of Wichita, Kansas passed peacefully to his eternal reward on Sunday, February 27, 2022 at 2:12 p.m. in the St. Frances Via Christi Hospital Surgical Intensive Care Unit in Wichita, Kansas. He was surrounded by loved ones present in body and present in spirit. His passing came just 81 days following a cancer diagnosis.

Ron is survived by his loving wife of 46 years, Kathy Smith Newkirk; his son Jedidiah and wife Ami Newkirk of Greensboro, North Carolina; daughter Jalaynna Beers and loved one Cory Leonhardt of Inman, Kansas; Granddaughters who affectionately called him “the Baba” are Jaylah Hurley, Hays, Kansas, Joannah Hurley and Jaisah Kate Hurley, Inman, Kansas; Jannah Newkirk and Jaydah Newkirk of Greensboro, North Carolina. Also loved dearly by Baba are bonus grandkids Jayden Leonhardt and Sharley Leonhardt of Inman, Kansas.

Ron is survived by his precious mother Joan Newkirk of Elk City, Kansas; sister Debbie Rayner and husband Carl also of Elk City; and brother Lloyd Dean Newkirk of Fall River, Kansas.

Also left to cherish his memory are his niece Shelley and husband J.J. Mrkwa of Fredonia, Kansas. Shelley held a special place in her Uncle’s heart and was often referred to as his “practice child.” Ron loved his other nephews and nieces, Doug Rayner and wife Tara of Reed Springs, MO; Tim Rayner and wife Lydia of Chico, Texas; Amy Newkirk, Joplin, MO; Shane Kerstetter and wife Geanette of Grifton, North Carolina; Teila Newkirk of Hardtner, Kansas and Chris Newkirk, Fall River, Kansas and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, great nieces and nephews, great-great nephews, and more friends than one deserves.

He was preceded in death by his, grandparents Paul and Hazel Dexter Newkirk, Herbert Greenburg and Emma Brand Greenburg, father, Maxon Lee Newkirk, brother Roger Dale Newkirk, Sister-in-law Janet Ruth McDowell Newkirk, infant brother Neal Wayne Newkirk, Father-in-Law Jimmie Smith and his “favorite Mother-in Law”, Bonnie Botts Smith.

Ron was born April 13, 1951, at Mercy Hospital to Maxon and Joan Greenburg Newkirk. He was a proud graduate of the Elk City High School Class of 1969. Ron attended classes, studying diesel mechanics at OSU Technical School in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Custom Harvesting was a passion for Ron, and he made many memories going on harvest annually with the Dexter Brothers during his formative years. He was employed by MY Transport as a Diesel Mechanic. In 1975 he and Jimmie Smith opened and operated Midstate Diesel in Independence, a business endeavor they pursued until 1983. He carried rural mail for a short time before becoming engaged with Quality Motors of Independence in 1986 where he drove the car hauler and later became the parts manager, a position he enjoyed until 2012. In his transition to retirement, Ron worked part-time at Roman’s Outdoor Power.

In 2014, Ron and Kathy moved to Joplin where Ron enjoyed retirement full-time. In March 2020, Ron and Kathy moved to Wichita to be near family where Baba could help with his best friend, Jaisah’s many appointments and treatments as she continues to battle Crohn’s disease.

Ron was a member of the Independence First Baptist Church, attended Epic Church in Wichita; a member of Masonic Fortitude Lodge #107; a member of the Mirza Shrine, Pittsburg, Kansas.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Friday, March 4th, 2022, at 1:30pm at the First Baptist Church in Independence, Kansas. A Visitation will be held prior to the service from 9:00-11:30am. Family will be greeting friends 10:30-11:30am. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be in memory of Ron to the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Attn: Processing Center, PO Box 947765, Atlanta, GA 30394 or online at, Epic Church, 7011 E. Central Ave., Wichita, KS 67206, or the Via Christi Foundation, Surgical Intensive Care Unit, 3600 E. Harry, Wichita, KS 67218. These may also be left with Potts Chapel.

Ron was a simple man who loved Jesus and his family with all of his heart. He continuously put others needs before his own and was perfectly content mowing on his Kubota tractor, talking on the phone to friends for hours, and playing on his I-Pad. He will be missed!

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ronald Newkirk, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Friday, March 4, 2022

9:00 - 11:30am (Central time)

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 4, 2022

Starts at 1:30pm (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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