James Bennett “J. B.” Webster, 87, Great Bend, died Monday, Feb. 1, 2016, at Great Bend Health and Rehabilitation Center.
He was born Oct. 10, 1928, in Dexter, N.M., to Wilson Harris and Minnie Louise (Miller) Webster.
He married Ivy Mae Salmans on Aug. 6, 1950, in Minneola. He began his teaching career in Minneola. He was a U.S. Army veteran, serving during the Korean War with the 10th Division Army Band at Fort Riley. Following discharge from the Army in 1953, he was band director at St. John and Hays schools, and then became instrumental music instructor and golf coach at Barton Community College, Great Bend, in 1969. Following his retirement in 1991, he enjoyed delivering vehicles for Marmies.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church and church choir, Lake Barton Golf Club, BCC Prairie Winds Concert Band and Jazz Band, BCC Pit Orchestra, BCC Booster Club, Olde Tyme Towne Band, Dixieland All Stars Band, Great Bend City Band, Great Bend Jazz Festival Committee, all of Great Bend, Kansas Music Educators Association, where he served as past district secretary, district vice president and president, a 65-year member of Music Educators National Conference, charter member and past president of Kansas Bandmasters Association, Phi Beta Mu National Bandmasters Fraternity, Pi Kappa Lambda National Honorary Music Fraternity, University of Kansas Alumni Band, Kansas Czech Band at Wilson, Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity, former Golden Belt Community Concert Association board member, Tau Kappa Epsilon Social Fraternity, former member of National Junior College Coaches Association, and past chairman of the Barton Community College Board of Trustees. In 1987, he was named Outstanding Bandmaster by the Kansas Bandmasters Association. He was inducted into the Barton Community College Sports Hall of Fame in 2004.
He enjoyed playing trombone in the Ted Smith, Jay Leonard and Eddie Basgall bands, the Barton County Kix Band, The Flatland Big Band, The River Bend Five Dixieland Band, the BCC Prairie Winds Bands and Great Bend City Band and leading his own Jay Bennett Band and Little Big Band.
Survivors include his wife, of the home; a son, Marc Webster and wife, Diana, Great Bend; a daughter, Denise Shoff and husband, Dennis, Herington; five grandchildren, Alaina Webster-Stoppel and husband, Jon, Christa Morrison and husband, Grady, Erica Webster, D.R. Shoff and Jennifer Fowler and husband, Charlie; and three great-grandchildren.
Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at First United Methodist Church, Great Bend; burial in Great Bend Cemetery, with military rites by Fort Riley Honor Guard.
Friends can call from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday, with the family receiving friends from 6 to 8 p.m. at Bryant Funeral Home, Great Bend.
Memorials are requested to BCC Foundation Vocal and Instrumental Music Endowment in care of the funeral home.
Condolences can be sent to the family at www.bryantfh.net.