Romelda June Lamar was born on June 23, 1931 to a 16 year old girl at Deaconess’ Hospital in Oklahoma City, OK. She was adopted by Luther and Margaret Whinery of Medford, Ok. Romelda’s name was changed to LaDuska Helene Whinery, nicknamed “Dusty.” She graduated from Anthony High School in 1949.
On August 29, 1949 she married the love of her life Kenneth Linn. This union was blessed with 3 children, Rodger, Linda and Will. Kenny took the job as manager of the Anthony Airport. He was also a crop duster and in his absence it was Dusty’s job to gas up airplanes while taking care of the household. She was active in the children’s school and the Anthony Christian Church.
On July 1, 1970, Kenny was killed in an airplane accident while crop dusting. Dusty found herself 39 years old with 3 kids, a leased home and no job. She bought Dr. Gardner’s house in Anthony and started working at Farm Bureau. This was a start of many trials and tribulations. She was not afraid of work and took on many different jobs. At this time the kids felt she was being harsh with them, but later realized she just wanted them to have a good work ethic. She took in a family friend’s son, Hirum Burr so he could finish High School. She had two failed marriages, and then married Dale Gates. They had less than a year together, but it was a wonderful year. Dale and her traveled some and she really enjoyed his family. After Dale had passed his granddaughter, Lindi, stayed with Dusty for awhile. Lindi and her shared a strong friendship and Dusty loved having her.
Dusty opened a Dress shop in Anthony, “Dusty’s Boutique.” She loved going to market, decorating the shop and helping customers find just the right outfit for any occasion.
She always wondered about her birth mother. Deaconess’ Hospital sent her a letter saying they had opened the adoption laws. So they did a search and found Dusty had a half sister, Lee Helms, in Dallas, Texas. Their birth mother had passed away in 1977. Lee had no idea about Dusty. We all went to meet her. They had the same build and mannerisms, but Lee was blonde and Dusty was a brunette! Lee had lived in Wichita and worked at a restaurant not far from where Rodger and Jane lived. And Lee’s in-laws lived in a house in Haysville that Irene Nichols (Jane’s mother) later lived in.
Dusty loved going to Gatlinburg, TN to visit her daughter, Linda, Mike and their two sons. Linda passed away from cancer in June 2006. Then in November 2008 her son Will passed away from coronary artery disease. In December of the same year her house caught fire and burned. She moved into an apartment in Anthony. In the fall of 2013 she moved into assisted living in Haysville.
Through all her trials she kept a strong faith in God, hardly missing a Sunday morning in Church.
On June 27, 2020, Dusty passed away at Diversicare in Haysville, KS at the age of 89. She was preceded in death by her husband, Kenneth Linn; parents, Margaret and Luther Whinery; husband, Dale Gates; daughter, Linda Linn May; son, Will Linn; granddaughter, Sadie Linn; brother and sister-in-law, Vernon and Doris Whinery; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law: Charles and Lois Linn, Helen Harrison, Virginia Cotterill, and Lorene and Luther Grim.
Dusty is survived by her son Rodger Linn and daughter-in-law Jane; daughter-in-law, Liz Linn; son-in-law, Mike May Sr.; grandchildren: Karie Linn, Darci Van Sciver and husband, Marshall, Kenny Linn, Mike May Jr., Max May, Addie Linn, and Gracie Linn; great-grandchildren: Zackary Shinkle, Katlinn and Emily Stolp and Levi Van Sciver; nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Graveside service will be held 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 1, 2020 at Forest Park Cemetery in Anthony, Kansas with Pastor Kurt Henson officiating. Visitation and Viewing will be held 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Tuesday at Prairie Rose Funeral Home in Anthony.
Memorials in memory of Dusty may be made to either the Anthony Christian Church or the Haysville Christian Church and may be sent in care of the funeral home.
Prairie Rose Funeral Home, 602 E. Main St., Anthony, KS 67003. www.prairierosefuneralhomes.com