David Lee Sheets, 79, of Chapman, Kansas, passed away at Geary Community Hospital, Junction City, KS on Tuesday, April 2, 2019.

David was born April 6, 1939 at Abilene Memorial Hospital, Abilene, Kansas to Harold M. and Pearle M. Sheets. He attended Rural Center Elementary School and graduated from DCCHS in 1957.

After graduation he worked for the Kansas Department of Transportation until retirement in 1994. His work ethic is credited to his mother. She raised her sons and taught them the importance of hard work. Early in his career with the department, David spent many hours working on the construction of Interstate 70, a job he was very proud of.

As a result of his hard work, he was requested to move to Olathe and help with the construction of I-70 and I-35. He was Project Inspector of bridges on Kansas City Interstates and received the Inspector Merit Award at both the State and National level for his work on the intersection of I-35 and I-435. After retirement from the state, David worked as a Senior Engineer Technician with Kaw Valley Engineering from 1993 until 2009.

All of these accomplishments were with his high school diploma and hard work. In addition to his skill as an Engineering Technician, David loved to mentor younger employees in the field. He was revered by his co-workers and was the “Granddaddy” to them all!

David married Karen Koland in 1961 and they raised three children, Michael “Mickey”, Marne and Marce. Later, he married Audrey Zeigler in 1984 and the blended family grew with the addition of Julia, Laura and Sara Zeigler.

Working full time, newly married and soon to start a family, David also joined the National Guard and served his country for six years and was discharged as a Staff Sergeant. He was a member of the American Legion Post 240 and the Elks Lodge. He was active in Sutphen Mill Christian Church, serving as a Deacon and mentor. He also served as Trustee for Sherman Township.

He was an avid sports fan of ALL Kansas teams: Kansas State, Kansas University, Wichita State. He loved all sports and his all-time favorite was the New York Yankees. He was such a fan, he nicknamed his son Michael (Mickey) after Mickey Mantle. He was also a competitive, hot shot card player whether it was pitch, rummy or bridge!

David loved having a good time whether it was through sports, cards, visiting or spending time with his family. He loved to talk and visit and some would say he had the “gift of gab” but it was more than that with Dave. Dave had a sincerity that few others have. He truly enjoyed people and life.

Survivors include wife Audrey of the home, son Michael “Mickey” Sheets of Chapman, daughters Marne (Dana) Gaither, Chapman, Marce Sheets, Olathe, Laura (Randy) Rikoric, Chapman and Sara Zeigler, Dallas, Texas, brothers John Sheets, Chapman, and Ray Sheets, Shell Knob, Missouri and 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his daughter Julia Schaefer and two great-granddaughters.

Visitation with the family will be Friday, April 5 from 5 to 7 p.m. at Londeen Funeral Home, 206 W. Fifth Street, Chapman, KS. Funeral Service will be Saturday, April 6 at 10 a.m. at the Sutphen Mill Church, 3117 Paint Roadd, Chapman, KS.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be given to the Class of 1957 Scholarship Fund or the Chapman Senior Center in care of Londeen’s Funeral Home, P.O. Box 429, Chapman, KS 67431.

Contact Tim Horan at editor@abilene-rc.com.

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