Obituaries in Topeka, KS | Topeka Capital-Journal (2024)

James K. (“Jim”) Van Slyke II, Age 66, of Topeka, passed away on Thursday, December 21, 2023. He was born on November 3, 1957, in Topeka, Kansas, the son of James K. and Mary E. (Fuller) Van Slyke. He attended Randolph Elementary and Boswell Junior High School and graduated at the top of his class at Topeka High School in 1976. In high school, he was active in debate, band and choir, and he sang with the Topeka High Madrigal Singers.

Jim graduated from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut in 1980 with a B.A. in History. He was 1st chair clarinet in the Yale Concert Band and sang in the Yale Glee Club. Music was always important in Jim's life. His father was the band director and clarinet professor at Washburn University in Topeka while he was growing up, and his family was recognized as the Kansas “Musical Family of the Year” in 1975. In recent years, he played clarinet with Marshall's Civic Band and the North Topeka Community Band, and he sang with the Yale Alumni Chorus on tours to Washington, D.C., Toronto, Canada, and Puerto Rico, USA.

Following his graduation from Yale, Jim worked on President Ronald Reagan's Inauguration Committee in Washington, D.C. in 1980-81 and worked for the U.S. Department of Commerce in Washington, D.C. from 1981-82, and then enjoyed a 6-month assignment to work for the U.S. Pavilion at the 1982 World's Fair in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Following the Fair, he returned to Topeka, where he met his future wife Patti-Lou Reed in 1983, and they were married in February of 1984. Patti is still well-known in the Topeka area as a talented singer and actress, and she is a member of the Topeka Civic Theatre's Hall of Fame.

In November of 1988, Jim and Patti welcomed James K. Van Slyke III (“Jake”) into the world. He has been a source of pride and joy, and they happily followed him to Topeka West High School marching band competitions, jazz band performances, and tennis tournaments. They were proud of his graduation from Kansas University in 2011, and they were happy to visit him in San Diego where he lived and worked for five years before moving back to Lawrence. Since his return to Kansas in 2017, they have especially enjoyed spending time with their grandchildren Madeline (7) and Grayson (5).

Jim was the Republican nominee for U.S. Congress in the 2nd District of Kansas in 1984 and again in 1992, and he was the runner-up in the race for Mayor of Topeka in 1993. He served as the Shawnee County Republican Chairman from 1985-1988. While no longer politically active, he still enjoyed submitting the occasional letter-to-the-editor on important issues of the day, and he rejected the extreme partisanship which has paralyzed our political discourse in recent years.

Jim was a registered representative with Waddell & Reed Financial Services from 1985-87 and then worked for the Kansas Department of Commerce from 1987-1991. In August of 1993, he started working for Central National Bank and he and his family moved to Junction City, Kansas where they lived from 1993-1996. In 1996, Jim became the Chief Financial Officer for Central National Bank, and he and his family moved back to Topeka. He served in that capacity as CFO until his retirement in 2023 and was honored to have been associated with an outstanding 4th generation, family-owned bank with total assets of $1.2 billion, that has been in existence since 1884. In addition to the CFO role, Jim served as Secretary to the Board for nearly 30 years.

Jim was an active member of West Side Christian Church in Topeka for more than 50 years, where he sang in the chancel choir and served as an Elder and in various leadership positions. He also sang with his wife Patti and their good friends Dan and Megan Lindquist in the “MPH Folk Group“ at Most Pure Heart of Mary Parish in Topeka for some 25 years. Until recent years, Jim enjoyed playing volleyball regularly at the Crestview Community Center. He and Patti loved to travel, and they especially enjoyed cruising in the Caribbean and trips to Pagosa Springs, Colorado in the fall. They took a two-week trip to Ireland in 2019 and recently enjoyed a three- week African safari (cameras only) in May of 2023. One of the highlights of every year was the family Thanksgiving gathering, which Jim and Patti were proud to host for members of both sides of their families for nearly 30 years (since 1993), before the pandemic temporarily brought such gatherings to a halt. They were happy to renew this tradition in 2023.

Jim was preceded in death by his father, James K. Van Slyke in 1984. Survivors include his mother Mary E. (Van Slyke) Muilenburg, three sisters, Dorothy Iliff (Douglas) of Topeka, Joanna Kimbal (David) of Guyton (Savannah), Georgia, and Elizabeth Groff (Jr.) of Linwood, Kansas, his wife Patti of the home, their son James K. (“Jake“) Van Slyke III, and grandchildren Madeline and Grayson Van Slyke of Lawrence, Kansas, as well as many nieces and nephews. Jim also enjoyed and appreciated Patti's family - mother-in-law Margaret A. Reed of Topeka, sisters-in law Mary Ca Ralstin of Lenexa, Kansas and Noelle A. Resch (Scott) of Topeka, brothers-in-law J. Philip Reed of San Antonio, Texas, and Paul A. Reed (Mary Anne) of Folsom, California. He also loved Patti's many nieces and nephews. Jim loved animals and is survived by three large dogs and six cats who will miss him most of all.

A funeral service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 28, 2023 at West Side Christian Church, 432 SW Lindenwood, Topeka, with burial to follow at Mount Hope Cemetery, 4700 SW 17th Street, Topeka. Visitation will be from 6:00 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, December 27, 2023 at Penwell-Gabel Funeral Home, 1321 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka. Memorial contributions may be made to West Side Christian Church or to the James K. Van Slyke Memorial Scholarship Fund (named in his father's honor) at the Washburn University Foundation, 1729 SW MacVicar Ave., Topeka, KS 66604. To leave a message for the family online, please visit

Posted online on December 22, 2023

Published in Topeka Capital Journal

Obituaries in Topeka, KS | Topeka Capital-Journal (2024)


How do I find a local obituary? ›

Many funeral homes publish obituaries on their websites. These can usually be located with a Google search on the person's name. Local genealogical and historical societies, public libraries, and some newspaper publishers maintain clipping files of obituaries.

How do I find an obituary in Kansas? ›

The Kansas Genealogical Society and Online Library offers a name index of their Obituary Collections for newspapers of many Kansas counties. Kansas Newspapers Obituaries Archive - Numerous newspapers listed from the 1980's to the current time. Death Notices of Members of Kansas Fraternal Orders - 50,000 entries.

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Circulation. As of 2016, The Topeka Capital-Journal had a daily circulation of 40,435 copies.

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The Topeka Capital-Journal is a daily newspaper in Topeka, Kansas, owned by Gannett.

How can I check if someone has died? ›

Regardless of your reason, pursuing one (or any combination of) these six options should help answer your questions:
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How do I search for someone who has died? ›

7 ways to find out if someone has died recently
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How do I find a death record in Kansas? ›

The Office of Vital Statistics provides walk-in service from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday - Friday. $20 for each certified copy. Around 15 to 20 minutes provided there is no difficulty in locating the record. Access the VitalChek website at any time.

How do I get an obituary in the Kansas City Star? ›

Need help publishing an obituary in The Kansas City Star? Obituaries can also be telephoned to our support team at +1 (855) 200-8529 or sent by email to mcclatchyobits@​

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Begin by entering the name of the person, the word obituary, and “Florida” into your favorite search engine. If the deceased had a common name, you might need to add additional search terms, such as the name of a family member, the town where they lived, or the date of death.

What is the largest newspaper in Kansas? › is the Web site of The Wichita Eagle, the largest newspaper in Kansas, serving Wichita, the largest city in Kansas, and the surrounding area.

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What was the capital of Kansas before Topeka? ›

Illustrations and article about the history of the captials of Kansas, including its territorial capitals, starting with Fort Leavenworth. In order the following capitals until statehood: Shawnee Methodist Mission in Johnson County, Pawnee, the Shawnee Mission again, Lecompton, Minneola, and finally Topeka.

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TOPEKA CAPITAL JOURNAL - Updated May 2024 - 100 SE 9th St, Topeka, Kansas - Print Media - Phone Number - Yelp.

How do I contact Topeka Capital Journal? ›

To contact the newsroom, call (785) 295-1240 for news, or email, for sports, call (785) 295-1188, or email For classified, call (785) 295-1122 or email For circulation, call (785) 295-1133 or email

Who owns WIBW Topeka? ›

Owned by Gray Television, the station maintains studios on Commerce Place (next to the interchange of I-70, I-470, US 40, US 75 and K-4) in west-southwestern Topeka, and its transmitter is located on Windy Hill Road in Maple Hill.

How do I find an obituary for a specific person in Wisconsin? ›

Recent obituaries from the current year can be viewed, many without images, at the Wisconsin State Journal web site. Obituaries before the current year can be obtained by browsing the newspaper microfilm or can be requested (with a two-week date range) by phone, mail, or email.

Is there an app for local obituaries? ›

MyObits: Obituary Listings on the App Store.

How to find out if someone has died in CA? ›

The California Department of Public Health – Vital Records (CDPH-VR) maintains birth, death, fetal death/still birth, marriage, and divorce records for California. Services provided by CDPH-VR include issuing certified copies of California vital records and registering and amending vital records as authorized by law.

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Find an Obituary. The Cremation Society of Pennsylvania ® online obituary search tool gives you access to obituaries from thousands of locations across North America. You can search by first or last name, state and publication date.

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