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Linn County News

Published June 1,2022


Esther was born on a farm southeast of La Cygne on July 20, 1933. She was the second daughter to Bernard L. and Dorothy Lucille Good Phalen. She started her journey to be with her savior on May 29, 2022, at Olathe Health Hospice House.

Esther was preceded in death by her parents Bernard and Dorothy; sister Betty Sue Phalen Eberts; and husband Walter Raymond Shields.
Esther is survived by her children Robert Bernard Johnston and wife Susan, Laura Dennae Shields Burke and William Alan Shields and wife Kelley; three grandsons, Corey Jason Burke and wife Natalie, Philip Phalen Johnston and wife Nikki and Matthew Vincent Johnston and wife Jacquie. She also leaves 8 very special great grand-children. Esther was very proud of her children and the wonderful families they created.

She gave up her senior year of high school to marry Roy Noble Johnston on July 22, 1951. To this union Robert Bernard Johnston was born May 30, 1953. Although they divorced in 1954 they remained lifelong friends. On Dec. 11, 1954, Esther married Walter Raymond Shields and to this union Laura Dennae Shields and William Alan Shields were born. Esther returned to school in the fall of 1962 graduating with the class of 1963. Even though this was a very busy year for her the accomplishment was well worth the effort and she made many lifelong friends.

Esther worked in many jobs over her years. In her teen years she worked for Grace Gettings in her café and helped her parents in the Mobil Gas station at 4th & Market Street. Other jobs included helping mom in Phalen’s Café, book keeper for Wade Quarry, City Clerk for both La Cygne and Pleasanton for nearly 25 years. She also catered alumni banquets as well as weddings and rehearsal dinners. She was also a certified Emergency Medical Technician working for both Linn County and Osawatomie Ambulance service. During the construction of the power plant she bought two houses along Market Street to provide rooms for construction workers along with most evening meals.

Esther had many special skills. Among them was singing which she shared with her church and, as requested, many funerals and weddings. She also loved to paint becoming a certified instructor. She set up shop in the old City Hall building as Esther’s Easel, teaching and sharing her art with others. She was also an avid quilter and her family and friends enjoy many of them.
She was always available for any project that would improve her home town, La Cygne. She volunteered her time to the La Cygne and Linn County Historical Society, La Cygne Alumni Board, Lincoln Township Secretary/Treasurer, Lincoln and Scott Township Hospital Board as well as the La Cygne City Council.

Funeral service will be 11 a.m. Saturday, June 4, 2022, at the Calvary Baptist Church, La Cygne, Kan. Burial will be in the Oak Lawn Cemetery.  Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, June 3, at the Schneider Funeral Home and Crematory, La Cygne Chapel.  Contributions are suggested to Calvary Baptist Church, La Cygne Historical Society or Olathe Hospice House.  Online condolences can be left at


Janice Ann Leasure Woodrum ~ 05-04-1948 to 03-05-2023


Linn County News Published March 15, 2023   Janice Ann Leasure Woodrum, Chehalis, Wash., formerly of La Cygne, Kan., passed March 5, 2023.   Memorial service arrangements will be announced at a later date by the Schneider Funeral Home, La Cygne Chapel.  ... [More]

Lewis Michael Wilson ~ 08-13-1952 to 03-05-2023


Linn County News Published March 15, 2023   Lewis Michael Wilson, age 70, Pleasanton, Kan., formerly of La Cygne, Kan., passed Sunday March 5, 2022. Memorial service will be 11 a.m. Thursday, March 16, 2023, at the Schneider Funeral Home and Crematory, La Cygne Chapel.... [More]

Janet Dean Robinson Staton ~ 02-16-1939 to 03-08-2023


Linn County News Published March 15, 2023   Janet Dean Robinson Staton, age 84, Cleveland, Mo., passed away Wednesday, March 8, 2023.   Funeral service will be held 1 p.m. Monday, March 13, 2023, at the Schneider Funeral Home and Crematory, Pleasanton... [More]

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