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3/31/2008

SHOW US HOW RIGHT WE ARE

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 8:18 am

From the Salina Journal Editorial Page, March 31, 2008:

We like to think that when we send legislators to Topeka, they’ll have the wisdom and foresight to draft laws that are written broadly enough to cover a wide range of situations and that are pro-active, not reactive.

That’s what we’d like to think.Gov. Kathleen Sebelius vetoed a bill recently allowing Sunflower Electric to build two coal-fired plants in western Kansas. House and Senate leaders have written another one, this one containing a few more “green” provisions.

We still don’t see a good reason to pass this legislation.

The bill is aimed specifically at allowing Sunflower to build both of its power plants. The pollution standards would apply only to Sunflower’s plants.

Supporters say:

  • Western Kansas needs the power. Maybe, but 86 percent of the electricity will go out of state.
  • Western Kansas needs the economic development. Is this the best way to get it? The Journal’s Duane Schrag has reported that building wind farms will create more jobs.
  • Rod Bremby, secretary of Kansas Department of Health and Environment, overstepped his authority by denying the air quality permit on the grounds of carbon dioxide emissions. The attorney general’s office said he could deny the permit on those grounds. The new plants will emit 2.8 million pounds of carbon dioxide an hour. Frankly, we’re partial to a KDHE secretary who takes health and environment into consideration when he makes decisions.
  • The Chinese are building coal-fired power plants all over their country. Who’s the world leader here?

But even if we accepted all these arguments, we’d still be against this bill. This legislation addresses only one specific situation: the Sunflower plant. Drafting bills on a case-by-case basis is not good statecraft.

And for weeks, legislators have been talking about whether Sunflower’s supporters would make deals tying the energy bill to other legislation. House Speaker Melvin Neufeld, (R-Ingalls), has said he expects opponents to tell him what they want. Sebelius has accused him of playing ‘Let’s make a deal.’ ” Ingalls denies it, but not very convincingly.

It seems indisputable that alternative energy sources will be part of our future power supply and coal will play a lesser role as it becomes more expensive.

We look to our legislators for wisdom and pro-active legislation. Now’s their chance to show us we are right.

– Jean Kozubowski, Copy Editor and member of the Journal’s Editorial Board

(Rep. Josh Svaty should be recognized and commended for opposing this legislation….pb)

3/30/2008

MY CELL PHONE NUMBER

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:26 pm

Dane and I were on the same cell phone plan. I’ll be joining Karen’s plan tomorrow evening which means I’ll lose my current phone number, unless I want my own plan which seems pretty pointless and expensive.

As a head’s up, I’ll let everyone know whose cell phone number I have. If you try to call and can’t reach me on my cell phone, please call my home phone number.

I’m sorry for the inconvenience and don’t want to miss your calls, but economics play a roll here.

Todd and Karen are bringing a “victory dinner”. Ham and trimmings, I think. KU was fortunate to win that one.

KANSAS UNIVERSITY JAYHAWKS 59 - DAVIDSON 57

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 5:16 pm

The four #1 ranking regional teams will compose the final 4 teams for the first time.  I think that pits KU against North Carolina and Memphis against UCLA.
Whattagame that was tonight!

3/29/2008

BEER CAP

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 7:47 pm

Reliving early 1942 was fun, but not as exciting as the first time. Brit said. “You can’t go back”, but we tried. He wanted it to be very romantic, but said…”Gee, I’ve forgotten how!”

After calling the Svaty’s to make sure the road was passable, we took Ringo and headed for Beer Cap. We passed Al Jennings long-abandoned filling station on South Douglas and looked at my grandmother’s aging house across the street. Both Al, his wife Helen, and my grandmother have been gone since the 30s which seems not so long ago.

After passing over the bridge, back then, the road turned to dirt. Brit said he, Joe Morrison and a bunch of other boys were in his dad’s car, a ‘39 or ‘40 Olds, navigating the dark road with no lights. Ellsworth was ordered to have a blackout and no lights were on anywhere in town. By comparison, he said the Japanese would have an easy time finding us tonight with all the baseball, prison and city street lights blazing.

He said their view was spectacular as there were no lights anywhere…just the beautiful starry sky.

We passed the Mother Bickerdyke Cemetery and noted a lot of satellite dishes that weren’t there in the ’40s. It’s not the pristine, beautiful site it once was but it still gives a nice view of Ellsworth. I’ve always liked Beer Cap. Lots of love-making has taken place on that hill over the ages.

I might add the road heading north from the top is passable, but pretty rough. He said the kids must have another place to go these days. “Right”, I said. “Unfortunately, they are very open about their love-making and do it right before us in the woods behind our house!” No kidding.

Another 10 minutes and I can walk around the house with candle-light glow from my very dim CFLs. You need a flashlight to find your way around here at night. That’s a good thing most of the time.

I HAVE A DATE TONIGHT…

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 6:40 pm

In 1942, during THE BIG WAR, Brit and his pal Joe Morrison, who were 17, and some of their friends drove up to Beer Cap south of town to watch an Ellsworth “black out”. It was a much publicized event. Everyone in Ellsworth was supposed to turn out their lights at a specific time. The “boys” wanted to see what Ellsworth looked like with no lights on. He said there wasn’t much to see.

Brit said he’d take me to Beer Cap tonight to see a re-creation of that at 8:00 when, worldwide, we’re supposed to turn off our lights for an hour. I told him I wasn’t sure there is a way to get to Beer Cap anymore, but he assured me that we could find our way in his trusty red truck.

I think I’ll suggest we just sit on the sofa, hold hands and let the youngsters find their way to the top of the mountain. I won’t ask him to forgo the basketball games tonight. He’s entitled to do whatever he wants.

OKAY, OKAY…A NEW EARTH

Filed under: prairie musings, friends — Peg Britton @ 4:09 pm

My wonderful, delightful friend, who thinks my inner-philosophy parallels the author’s has this to say:

I hope you’ll find this book interesting. I’ve found the insights to be monumentally intriguing.

A great many people (myself included) have found themselves getting bogged down in the scope of Chapter One, so my suggestion is this: start with Chapter Two, then go back and read the first chapter after you’ve decided whether or not the concepts presented in a couple of the subsequent chapters have anything to offer.

Glancing at Chapter Two I noticed the word “God” surfaces on the second page, so I decided it might be worthwhile to explain why I feel this author’s insights are radically different…

The way I understand it, the standard Judeo-Christian approach typically points to God as being an external Entity…the notion of a Creator that’s omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent but, to some degree, distinct from us and the world as we know it: our Father (who art in heaven), a Divine Intelligence that’s above us; in ways, separate from us and outside the human dimension.

The insight this guy provides is completely different. instead of looking “beyond” oneself (in worship or in prayer to an Entity that’s, in part, elsewhere or beyond), he suggests that we need to look “inward”.

This author points to the fact that at the core of each one of us there is ‘present’ - a dynamic of ‘being’ that’s shared with every other living entity. The totality of that - ie. the core ‘essence’ of all living things - is what this author variously refers to as One Life, Being, the Source, and God. What’s considered to be sacred in this particular paradigm is the collective consciousness, the unifying intelligence behind (and within) all life forms.

So instead of looking “outward”, one seeks to become ‘at one’ with their Presence, their Being, the One Life that’s the core essence of every human being and is that which we share with every other living thing.

At least that’s my interpretation…

She stapled the pages of the first chapter together so I can’t even peek. I think she has me pegged!

The book? Eckhart Tolle’s “A New Earth”, Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose. He’s also the author of “The Power of Now” that he wrote about eight years ago.

3/28/2008

K.U. 72 - VILLANOVA 57

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:56 pm

Kansas versus Davidson, on Sunday in Houston.

MY BOYS ARE HAPPY

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 9:05 pm

Ringo is lying on Brit’s lap enjoying the warmth of the glowing fireplace. They are discussing the KU-Nova game (KU 41, Nova 22 at half time) and how being parted for a week was no fun. That’s my take on it. The older of the two just requested cherries and pecan ice cream. I opted for hummus with olive oil and roasted garlic with some “Fiery” Habanero Doritos. It’s a party!

Speaking of hummus, friends in Salina brought us five cartons from Dillons in assorted flavors. It has been my dinner for more evenings than you might think. He said another good source is Santa Fe Phillies, which is across the street and north of Martinelli’s. They say they serve a great hummus with warm pita and also swear they have the best Reubens ever.

Brit loves Reubens and I fixed him and Todd my special Reuben’s tonight with great corned beef (I cooked it overnight with a pailful of spices), Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, Thousand Island dressing on pumpernickel. Maybe Brit, Todd and I will try Santa Fe Phillies next Wednesday after Brit’s PET scan.

Brit is enjoying his cigarettes as never before. His lung cancer is not from smoking, if you can imagine. He’s smoked at least two packs a day since he joined the Air Force and they handed out free cigarettes to servicemen. That’s about 65 years of smoking. And, his liver is “beautiful”, the doctor said. Surprised the heck out of me. He’s done it his way.

One of my good friends sent me a book today that she thought I’d enjoy. In a side letter, she said the first chapter was confusing to a lot of people, and knowing me as she does, she suggested I start with chapter two. I opened the book to take a look, and wouldn’t you know? She stapled the pages of chapter 1 together so I HAVE to start with Chapter 2. Following that, I can remove the staples and start at the beginning. I might share her letter describing her reasons in another blog. She writes so beautifully, she needs to write books.

If someone close by understands Excel, I’m having some problems with a spread sheet that Kenz started for me. I could use some help. It won’t take long.

Thanks for tuning in…

TASTE OF ITALY

Filed under: Kanopolis Musings — Peg Britton @ 7:13 pm

Saturday, March 29, the Ellsworth County Historical Society conducts its sixth annual spaghetti supper from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Fort Harker Commanding Officer’s Quarters in Kanopolis.

WE’RE HOME…

Filed under: prairie musings, Roy P. Britton — Peg Britton @ 2:30 pm

Brit didn’t get “sprung” from the hospital until this afternoon. He was packed and ready to go at 7:00 am, tapping his foot waiting for Ally and me. Dr. Berquist thought Dr. Macy was discharging him and visa versa so Brit couldn’t get detached from the wires and tubes until one of them appeared to spring him free.

I’m sure you know how it is when you peek in a hospital room trying to find a friend. They never look the same lying down as they do standing up and since they are sick sometimes you have to get nose-close to see if you have located the right patient. That was a case with me today.

They wheeled a new patient into the room Brit was in, and not being one to stare at car wrecks, people in distress or things that should remain private, I didn’t look at him. He was there hours before I happened to read the patient board in the hall way and saw a familiar name.

I returned to the room and asked his wife, “Is that Jim”….pointing his way. “Yes”, she said. He’s a good friend from Wilson who extended many, many kindnesses to Dane all the time Dane was in the nursing home. Jim, who also suffered through a stroke, tried hard to get Dane active and involved again. I had a good short visit with him and he wanted to meet Brit and Ally as well. He’s recovering and will be home soon.

There was a gorgeous hyacinth plant by the phone in the waiting room. It still had a card on it and I thought it hadn’t been delivered to the patient. I figured someone would come get it at some point. Well, I learned why it was far away from patient rooms….they are the source of terrible allergies in some people and merely having it in the room can cause horrible reactions. Just having it in the same wing almost brought on the collapse of a member of the cleaning staff. So, my recommendation is: don’t send hyacinths to anyone in the hospital.

Also, I discovered something else. If you like bacon, egg and cheese biscuits, they have the best I’ve ever had in the Terrace Room at the hospital. The biscuit is good and doesn’t stick like a big wad of peanut butter to the roof of your mouth, the egg is fried and slightly soft…they are wonderful.

As you can tell, I have a lot of catching up to do….

Thanks for tuning in.

3/27/2008

HE’LL COME HOME TOMORROW…

Filed under: prairie musings, Roy P. Britton — Peg Britton @ 8:04 pm

Ally, Todd and I hovered around Brit today in the hospital. He didn’t want to be there AT ALL, but was forced to stay another day as a small hole still remains at the site of his lung biopsy and they don’t want it to expand. Bed rest aids in healing.

Funny things happen even with all the endless anxious anticipation and sadness we’re enduring.

While standing in the hospital hall today, I observed Brit’s nurse enter data into the computer. It was the conclusion of a long shift for her. Since there were no chairs available, she opted for the nearest, best seat available…a portable commode that had been temporarily placed in the hallway. We laughed about how it looked, but it was better than standing. A doctor passed by and with only a glance at what was going on said cryptically, “That puts a whole new meaning on the word downloading”, and passed on by. I was laughing so hard I almost crumpled in a heap on the floor. Now, that’s my kind of doctor.

To tell you the truth, as I always try to, I was simply dreading having Brit be in the Salina Regional Hospital as we’ve had some very bad experiences there…with Dane and me. I’ll have to qualify that as our experience this time has been wonderful. The care and attention Brit has received on 3 south has been comparable to the ECMC, which is top notch.

The results of the lung biopsy came back late this afternoon and were not as we hoped but were as expected. You always hold out hope it’s going to be “something else”, something curable, nothing terminal. They will do a PET scan on Monday to determine whether there are hot spots other than the three in his lungs or if they, in fact, are the primary source of the cancer. His choice this afternoon was to opt for no treatment.

He’s feeling well, just very weak since he’s been in bed a week. He’ll feel better once he gets home and can sit on the back deck and carry on those funny conversations with Ringo. We’ll look forward to good months and good times with family and friends.

3/26/2008

MORE TESTS

Filed under: prairie musings, family, political musings, Roy P. Britton — Peg Britton @ 8:10 pm

Slomka, Macy, Berquist, Milkulski, Johnson, Brittan. Brit’s list of doctors. The wall chart by the nurses station at the hospital lists all the patients by name and their doctors. No one has the string of names like he does as settling for one seems to be the norm.

Brit still has a small leak in his lung from his biopsy this morning. Needles make holes and sometimes they don’t close as one might hope. He’s apprehensive and nervous about results from the biopsy. He will remain in the hospital for two more days waiting for test results at which time we’ll consider the options. Time weighs heavily on all our family.

If you are in Salina and have a minute to stop by, he’s in 353 south. I’m sure he’d like to see someone other than us, for a change.

Ally brought him his fave “Anthony’s Special” from Lenore’s for lunch. We warned him off the sauce, but he ate it anyway. He also ate all his dinner tonight, even though it was turkey.

Brit wants to come home, as you might expect, and “sit on the deck with Ringo”, as he told me today. He wants to settle back to his usual routine. I wish he were home as well. He’s a very predictable husband and I know what makes him comfortable. He is uneasy and unhappy right now. This is a lonesome home under these circumstances. I’m accustomed to having him away on trips in the past, but this is different.

We filter in news from the outside as we are able. I do know that no one escaped from the prison as erroneously reported and Ally is heading west the first of the week to Palm Springs for a few days of hiking and golf with friends. Those are good things along with all the wonderful cards, letters and emails we’ve received from friends. We’ve had to delay our grieving for Dane until later.

It’s difficult to blog right now, but I’ll be around. There was a coal-fired power plant meeting here in town tonight with folks from Sunflower. They haven’t anything to say that I could ever believe to be the truth, so I didn’t go. And there are other frightening reasons emanating from western Kansas as well.

Thanks for tuning in….

MORE TESTS

Filed under: Roy P. Britton — Peg Britton @ 6:05 am

Yesterday they ran a couple of tests on Brit. He has ulcers in his esophagus which they are treating, the relief being immediate. We don’t know about the results of the other test. No doctors have made rounds yet this morning. I expect they may do a lung biopsy, depending on what his team of doctors decided yesterday.  Todd, Ally and I are holding down the floor on 3 south while Brit catches up on his sleep.

Meanwhile, Ringo is very confused.

3/24/2008

TODAY

Filed under: prairie musings, Roy P. Britton — Peg Britton @ 3:45 pm

Brit was transferred to Salina Regional today for a battery of tests they are going to do tomorrow….scope his esophagus, biopsy growths in his lungs, and see about his gall bladder and aneurism. Todd and Ally are with him today and I’ll be going over tomorrow. Except for difficulty in swallowing and the pain that follows, he was feeling well.

It’s quiet around here at the moment. Kenz and Luke left for home this afternoon. Ringo is lonesome and waits by the window for Brit to return.

Ally called to say they have pictures. We know Brit is okay because he wouldn’t eat jello for anything in the world, never has, never will….but…. they have a picture of him consuming his dinner of grape juice, jello and a popsicle. She and Todd are just cracking up. It has to be a first.

More as it unfolds.

3/23/2008

QUICK POST

Filed under: prairie musings, family — Peg Britton @ 1:03 pm

We called the ambulance for Brit last night about midnight and had him taken to the ECMC where they admitted him. Todd, Ally, Luke and Mackenzie concurred. He was having chest pains, difficulty breathing and a lot of difficulty swallowing. And, he couldn’t sit up in bed.

They have run a lot of tests since then and many problems have emerged, his heart not being at the top of the list. They were going to transfer him to Salina today for gall bladder surgery, but they can’t take him until tomorrow. He’ll go to the surgical center. Once they remove his gall bladder, he’ll need to see a string of specialists…a gastroenterologist, oncologist, and a urinary specialist as well. I’m missing a couple. The list is long as there are many problems. We just wish it weren’t so.

Keep your fingers crossed…

copy-of-brit-and-benji-32308.jpg

Brit and Benjamin March 22, 2008

3/22/2008

ABOUT DANE

Filed under: Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 6:10 pm

As you think about Dane, I will remind you that he has been our son, father, brother, uncle and friend for the time we have known him. Reflecting on his life make places and time all link together.  They are part of an arc of our lives as we were part of his.

We must remember that in the beginning there was only time.  Or so it seems, that cosmologists with an excess of it have now posited. Before space, before light, and before the swarm of matter, the metronome of infinity simply was.

For many of us, the whisper of time is never far from our hearts, and as we grow older the sense of it seems to linger like incense on vestments.

Perhaps what some folks call human anticipation of the course of events is really just the art of seeing more clearly than most, how places and time all link together in our lives, of getting past our small and simple notions of how things really work.

Occasionally, we all step through those moments, when the tick of the clock seems to stop. At this time, the wind moves over and around us, swallowing up all the sound but its own, each one in our own slipstream.  I feel this gift of solitude when I gaze at the starlit sky or walk in the prairie wind. Dane and I talked about this on many occasions and how we experienced these moments. I know each of you have such moments as well.

During the last 56 years that Dane has been a part of our lives, nothing seems to have changed but the seasons.  Our humanity is like that, it seems. We cannot easily see these things in ourselves, these arcs from beginning to end.  When others walk out of our lives they become frozen there, like pictures in a high school year book.

Our paths often overlap like scattered leaves, so that the only whole picture we get is our own.  I think that is what is important about other creatures in our lives.  When we are children they teach us about the beginning and end of life.  As adults, they show us about compassion and its true path.

We think about time. How it sometimes stands still in our minds, how it passes too quickly over those we love and how it has passed by Dane. How we really don’t understand time except when it has run out, as it did for Dane.

I think the physicists are right. In the beginning that is all there was, and sometimes for us, it is still all that is important.

Time has spared you and me, but it has passed over Dane for now.

Peg Britton

(My friend, Josh Svaty, read this for me to conclude Dane’s services yesterday)

3/20/2008

DANE’S STILL AT IT….A SKOSH

Filed under: prairie musings, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 1:30 pm

Dane had the best sense of humor of anyone I know. On top of that, he was the most creative, practical joker I have ever known. This story beats the cake.

Before his stroke over three years ago, when he was with AG Edwards, Dane worked up a scripted message for one of his best friends, Patti, an AGE broker in another town. Patti had her house built on 10 acres and had told Dane she bought 10 acres behind her house and was building a cabin on it. She wanted to have an assortment of weird animals to roam around the farm. They talked a lot about her farm property.

When the cabin was nearly finished, Dane had another broker call her using the scripted message to explain he was with the building permit department and that the new cabin she built was over her property line by a “skosh” and it would have to be moved. The conversation went on and on and on with Dane’s friend playing the perfect part of a hard-headed, argumentative government worker

Well, Patti just hit the ceiling…saying all the building permit people from all their departments had been to her farm and measured and checked everything. There were no exceptions, she said. The argument went on and on. Well, she got madder and madder at the caller and finally demanded to speak to the supervisor. The caller explained he’d put her on hold while they got the supervisor. When they put her on hold, Dane’s big mistake, she recognized the AGE “hold” music, so when Dane came on the line to be the “supervisor” she jumped all over him before he could say a thing. They both loved it.

On March 18th, the day after Dane died, Patti got a letter from the building permit department asking her to come to their office. She had no idea what they wanted but soon found out that her cabin, they said, was a “skosh” over her line and she’d have to move it. Incredibly, they used the word “skosh”! She just yelled….”Dammit Dane, what have you done to me….?” And the permit people stood there wondering who in the heck Dane was and what he had to do with it.

Patti said it was just totally uncanny.

P.S. From Patti:

You have the story - almost - true.

With corrections:

First off - I dont say “uncanny” - I say “bullshit”.

Second off - The cabin was cleared five years ago. It was the new ka-ba-zillion dollar house I’m building on the additional 10 acres that was questionably off a “skosh” - a few days ago. It was the day after Dane passed I got that call. The new house was off a “skosh”. You know what I said ……..”UNCANNY”

The rest was pretty accurate.

3/19/2008

WE’RE ALL DOING JUST FINE…

Filed under: prairie musings, family, Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 2:55 pm

A quick post to say there is joy in letting someone you love so very much leave to find a new path. It’s bittersweet yet joyous and made easier as we’ve been surrounded by family and friends.

Our family is gathering…Tyler finally found a flight out of Las Vegas that will arrive late tonight. His friend, Greg Jones, is making the Wichita airport run to bring him home.

Drew is on his way home from Colorado following his annual ski trip with his frat brothers.

Some of Mackenzie’s friends are driving up from Dallas.

My brother’s family will be coming from Colorado tomorrow and my sister’s family in K.C. will come for the day on Friday. My brother and sister are welcoming Dane somewhere behind the beyond in a metamorphosis of new life forms.

We’ve heard from so many friends…Dane’s pals from over the years in his many walks of life..our friends, family friends, even friends of friends…and it all has been very comforting. The kindness of friends has been overwhelming.

If Salina Journal readers would clip the obit and article about Dane and send them to me, Mackenzie would like to have them to send to some of Dane’s friends who cannot be here on Friday. PO Box 367 Ellsworth 67439 will reach me. Thanks….

3/18/2008

DANE’S SERVICES…

Filed under: prairie musings — Peg Britton @ 12:24 pm

Visitation will be Thursday from 1:00 to 8:00 pm with the family present from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Parson’s Funeral Home, 307 N. Lincoln. Funeral services will be at Parson’s Funeral Home, Ellsworth at 10:30 a.m. Friday March 21st, Pastor Chris Bair officiating,with Masonic burial following at the old Ellsworth Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Ellsworth County Medical Center, the Ellsworth County Emergency Ambulance Service, the Robbins Memorial Library of Ellsworth or the First Presbyterian Church of Wilson.

DANE BLACKMOUR BRITTON

Filed under: Dane Britton — Peg Britton @ 1:01 am

Dane Blackmour Britton, 56, Ellsworth native, former president of Citizens State Bank and former Director of Security and Drug Enforcement for the U.S. Department of the Interior, died peacefully 17 March 2008 at the Ellsworth County Medical Center, surrounded by family and friends. Dane was born 13 March 1952 at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Wyandotte County, the son of Roy P. and Peg (Baker) Britton.

Growing up in Ellsworth, Dane was an Eagle Scout, served on the National Boy Scout Advisory Committee and actively participated in both the Boy Scout and Explorer programs. He graduated from Ellsworth High School in 1970 and went on to play football at New Mexico Highlands State University and was football manager at Stephen F. Austin State University. Dane graduated from the University of Houston with a degree in criminal justice and political science, and later he graduated from the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Wisconsin.

Dane joined the Houston Police Department in 1973 and served as an investigator, bomb technician and field training officer, and in 1975, he was named Police Officer of the Year for Houston and Harris County – at the time, the youngest individual ever to receive such an honor. He returned to Ellsworth in 1980 to become president and chief executive officer of Citizens State Bank, representing the third generation of Britton leadership at the bank.

Upon returning to Ellsworth, Dane became active in many economic revitalization efforts and worked to establish the Ellsworth Public Building Commission. His work helped to bring Cashco, a manufacturer of precision control valves and regulators, to Ellsworth, prevented a buyout and possible closure of the Independent Salt Company in Kanopolis, and secured the building and expansion of the Ellsworth Correctional Facility. He was also provided the leadership for the building of the Performing Arts Center and Ellsworth Fire Station. Dane was elected to the Ellsworth City Council in 1985 where he led a drive to establish the 911 emergency service and other civic improvements to the area. He also served three terms as chairman of the board for Smoky Hills Public Television.

In 1988, Dane was named the Director of Security and Drug Enforcement for the U.S. Department of the Interior where he utilized both his criminal justice and administrative talents to oversee law enforcement for all interior department lands, including national parks, Indian reservations, U.S. trusts and territories and security for the two presidential emergency centers. In the remaining months of the Reagan administration, Dane worked to establish the office and coordinate law enforcement efforts among eight of the Interior Department’s 10 bureaus.

Dane was selected as one of two Eisenhower Fellows in 1992, becoming the first Kansan ever chosen for the honor. After leaving Citizens State Bank, Dane worked as an Edward Jones broker in Ellsworth and Salina, and later as a broker with AG Edwards in Salina. He served as chairman of the Salina Planning Commission, on the board of directors of the Salina Community Theater and remained active in civic and political affairs until December 2004. He was an active member of the Ellsworth Masonic Lodge, Isis Shrine, Royal Order of Jesters and Rotary International.

Dane suffered a debilitating stroke in December 2004. In June 2005 he became a resident of the Wilson Nursing Home and was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Wilson. He also served as vice chairman of the Wilson Pride Committee.

He suffered a second stroke on 9 March 2008 which contributed to his death.

On 24 May 1975, Dane was married to Linda Dianne Yarbrough in Cleveland, Texas. Linda preceded Dane in death in April 1979. Dane was then married to Julie Ann (Sawer) Miller in Ellsworth on 30 January 1982 and later divorced. The couple had one daughter, Mackenzie Baker Britton, born 27 January 1983. Dane married Barbara A. Fedor, divorced2005.

Dane’s surviving family include daughter Mackenzie Britton Vahalik and husband Luke of Royse City, Texas; parents Roy P. and Peg Britton of Ellsworth; brother Todd Britton and wife Karen of Ellsworth; sister Ally Britton and partner Ruby Tilton of Ellsworth; and nephews Rod Helus, Drew Britton and Tyler Britton Amn USAF. He was preceded in death by wife Linda Yarbrough Britton; maternal grandparents Margaret and Bruce Baker of Salina; and paternal grandparents Effie and Don Britton of Ellsworth.

Visitation will be Thursday from 1:00 to 8:00 pm with the family present from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Parson’s Funeral Home 307 N. Lincoln. Funeral services will be at Parson’s Funeral Home, Ellsworth at 10:30 a.m. Friday March 21st, Pastor Chris Bair officiating,with Masonic burial following at the old Ellsworth Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials to the Ellsworth County Medical Center, the Ellsworth County Emergency Ambulance Service, the Robbins Memorial Library of Ellsworth or the First Presbyterian Church of Wilson.

“When you walk through a forest … you will discover that the decomposing tree trunk and rotting leaves not only give birth to new life but are full of life themselves … So death isn’t to be found anywhere. There is only metamorphosis of life forms. What can you learn from this? Death is not the opposite of life. Life has no opposite. The opposite of death is birth. Life is eternal.” Eckhart Tolley

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