Paul H. Viets
Paul H. Viets of Independence, KS died peacefully at his home on April 11, 2020. He was born on the family farm in Walnut Township, near Brazilton, KS on October 18, 1932 to John Henry Viets and Martha A. G. (Bennefeld) Viets. The family relocated to Independence during WWII where Paul attended Zion Lutheran School and graduated from Independence High School.
Paul attended St. John’s College in Winfield, but soon returned home to marry Sharon Afton Clayton of Independence on June 2, 1951. He worked for Viets Implement Co., the local John Deere Agency, until 1957 and then attended the University of Kansas in Lawrence. Following graduation, he was the Wichita office manager for the United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. In 1965, Paul rejoined his father in the Viets Implement Co. where he continued until the sale of the agency to the O’Malley Family in 1973.
Paul joined the Board of Directors of Citizen National Bank in 1970 and became President after the retirement of Al Sewell, Sr., a position in which he continued until merger of the Bank with Commerce Bancshares in 1998. Following retirement, Paul and Sharon traveled extensively and enjoyed their many friends, extended family and Sharon’s artistic pursuits.
Paul greatly valued his many friendships and associations in agriculture, business, banking, the arts and entertainment. He had an abiding affection for the City of Independence and the remarkable accomplishments of its citizens and community. He served as a City Commissioner and Mayor, Neewollah Generalissimo, President of the Kansas Bankers Association, and was a member of many social, civic and economic development groups. He was a charter member of the Montgomery County Action Council and was awarded the Gill Community Spirit Award in 2018. He was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Independence, Kansas.
“Life”, Paul told the family last week, “exceeded all hopes and expectations many many years ago”! His positive attitude, wisdom, sense of humor and unfailing love and support will be missed terribly.
Paul was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Sharon, his sister Florine M. Seevers, and a beloved granddaughter, Cyan Scarpati. He is survived by his sisters, Lavera M. Viets of Independence, KS, Lois M. Emerson of Broken Arrow, OK, and Carolyn A. Pfotenhauer of South Bend, IN, his sons, Jon R. Viets and Kurtis C. Viets of Independence, KS, and his daughter, Rebecca Viets Scarpati of Nashville, TN, seven grandchildren, twenty-one great-grandchildren, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Interment will occur privately, and a memorial service must be deferred under the present circumstances.
Paul’s legacy is one of service to the community, and he encouraged us to seek out and serve those most in need in these difficult times. In addition, a memorial fund in the Book of Remembrance, First Presbyterian Church, 201 S. 5th St, Independence, KS 67301, has been established by the family. To leave the family a special message of condolence, please visit, webbrodrickchapel.com.
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