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Sylvester 'S.J.' Applehans

Sylvester "S.J." Applehans, 90, Hays, died Thursday, Aug. 29, 2013, at his home in Hays.

He was born Jan. 30, 1923, in Pfeifer to John Appalhans and Rosa Schmidtberger. He was a 1940 graduate of Hays High School and a graduate of St. Joseph's Military College in 1942. He entered the U.S. Army Air Corps, serving as a B-29 Bomber mechanic in the Marshall Islands on Kwajalein.

After his military service, he attended Worshan College of Mortuary Science in Chicago. He returned to Hays and worked at Brock's Funeral Chapel. He married Doris Walters on April 19, 1948.

He became co-owner with James Gustin of Brock's North Hill Chapel in 1957 until his retirement. He continued service as a monument salesman for Stockton Monuments in Stockton and later for Schmidt Monuments in Hays.

He was a charter member of St. Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church, Eucharistic minister, sacristan and certified lay leader of prayer. He was a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, St. Nicholas of Myra Council No. 10044 Third Degree Knights of Columbus, Perpetual Adorer and a member of the Hays Veterans of Foreign Wars.

Survivors include his wife, of Hays; two sons, Allen Applehans and wife, Apryl, Yuma, Ariz., and Gary Applehans, Springfield, Mo.; a daughter, Lois Applehans, Oklahoma City, Okla.; a sister, Joan Walters, Tulsa, Okla.; extended family, James Tidball and Karen Smith Applehans; six grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; six step-grandchildren; 16 step-great-grandchildren; one step-great-great-grandchild; a niece and three nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; a brother, Elmer, and his wife, Eleanor; and a brother-in-law, Clarence Walters.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Monday at St. Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church, Hays; burial in St. Joseph Cemetery with military honors by the Hays VFW.

Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday and from 9 to 9:30 a.m. Monday, all at Brock's North Hill Chapel, 2509 Vine, Hays, KS 67601.

There will be an Adoration Chapel adorers rosary at 4 p.m. Sunday, a Daughters of Isabella rosary at 5:30 p.m., a Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus rosary at 6:30 p.m., followed by a parish vigil service at 7 p.m., all at the funeral home.

Memorials are suggested to St. Nicholas of Myra Catholic Church, Holy Family Elementary School, HaysMed Hospice or Ellis County Cancer Council.

Condolences can be sent to the family by guestbook at or emailed to