July 15, 2024

OTTAWA — Retired telephone executive Vern Chesbro has died at the age of 84 at his home in Ottawa. In addition to his many activities, Chesbro was chairman of the Kansas Republican arty and politics was his life-long interest. As he related in an interview last fall, he got an early start in politics as a student in his hometown of Kinsley. He got the hankering for politics and decided to be a legislative after watching the Jimmy Stewart movie “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington.” While he was a student, he worked for the election of his employer, a pharmacist. He lost in the Republican primary. Undeterred, he talked to the winner, who said he would recommend him. He got the job and his parents reluctantly gave him a send-off. Back then, rather than serve one day, pages stayed in Topeka full-time and served during the entire session, he said. He said during lunch breaks, he and other pages often watched a painter work on murals at the Capitol – that artist, John Steuart Curry. A memorial for Chesbro will be Wednesday afternoon at 2 at Ottawa University Chapel.

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