Brian Mark Atwell, 56, Hays, died Friday, Sept.1, 2017, at his brother and sister-in-law’s home in Hays.

He was born May 15, 1961, in Ransom to Merritt Charles and Thelma Janice (Stutz) Atwell. He was a 1979 graduate of Utica High School. He received his associate’s degree in business from Garden City Community College and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from Fort Hays State University.

He was the Director of Living Independently in Northwest Kansas for 27 years and was on the State and National Advocacy Committees for improving the lives of those with disabilities. He has advocated with the Kansas Legislators in Washington, D.C., the Kansas Legislature, Hays Chamber of Commerce, and numerous other groups for changes in policy for bettering individuals. His growing up years on the farm led him to great work ethics and compassion for others.

He was a member of the Longbeards NWTF group.

He enjoyed the youth day showing of turkey calls. He enjoyed his Celebration Church family in Hays as well as his Utica Christian Church family and friends.

Survivors include two brothers, Dennis Atwell and wife, Jennie, Hays, and Courtney Atwell and wife, Paula, Utica; a sister, Merritta Combs, Pamona; nine nieces and nephews, Thad Combs and wife, Marisa, Theron Combs, Thane Combs and wife, Dana, Jason Atwell, Justin Atwell and wife, Trina, Jeff Atwell and wife, Jamie, Brooke Nech and husband, Justin, Taylor Atwell and wife, Jessica, and Danee’ Langer and husband, Jeremy; and 15 great-nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Services will be at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Celebration Community Church, Hays; inurnment will be at a later date in Utica Cemetery.

Family will receive friends from 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday at Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine, Hays, KS 67601.

Memorials are suggested to Brian Atwell Memorial Scholarship for youth endeavors in care of the funeral home.

Condolences can be sent to the family at