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Profiles of four who died in the Greensburg tornado

  • Published Tuesday, May 8, 2007, at 1:36 a.m.
  • Updated Thursday, Jan. 24, 2008, at 5:15 p.m.

Beverly Volz, 52

Volz was a quiet woman who loved to knit and would take in any stray kitty she found.

She was at home with her husband, Norman, and her father, Max McColm, when the tornado roared in Friday, said Virginia McColm, Volz's sister-in-law who lives in Lakewood, Colo.

Volz had been caring for her father, who recently had surgery. Max was flown to Wesley Medical Center in Wichita. As of Monday afternoon, he still hadn't woken up, McColm said.

Volz had lived in Greensburg with her husband for about 30 years, running the office at Volz Oil Co., which she and Norman owned, Virginia McColm said.

"We said she ran the business," McColm said.

"She was a great gal," McColm said. "She was very interested in knitting."

She and Norman had many friends, but lived quietly.

Going to Hutchinson or Wichita was a pretty big deal to them, McColm said.

"She wouldn't have been the life of the party," she said of her sister-in-law. "She'd be more comfortable talking to somebody one on one."

The Volzes had no children and lived in town. Their home and business were destroyed.

Volz's funeral will be in Mullinsville on Thursday, McColm said.

"We're just shocked," she said.

-- Brent Wistrom

David Lyon, 48

Lyon was a resident of Greensburg.

He grew up in Dodge City and received his GED.

He loved science, particularly learning about space, and was a devoted reader of Popular Science magazine.

"He had a very searching, inquisitive mind," said his aunt, Carolyn Lane of Dodge City.

Lyon was proud that his mother, Marilyn, served in the Air Force during the Berlin blockade. Marilyn Lyon was killed four years ago by a reckless driver.

David Lyon will be buried next to her in Bucklin on Friday.

Lyon lived in a mobile home that he owned near the railroad tracks in Greensburg. It was one of several mobile homes obliterated by the tornado.

-- Fred Mann

Colleen Panzer, 77

Panzer was like a second mom to her daughter's friends, said Carrie Hall.

"All of us, she made us feel welcome," Hall said. "I think we all called her 'mom.' "

Hall, who lives in Hesston now, has been in Greensburg helping her grandparents and uncles collect their belongings.

She hadn't heard any details about how Panzer died.

Sitting at a picnic table in front of Haviland High School and thinking about that, Hall started crying.

"It's one of the hardest blows I've had in this," she said.

-- Deb Gruver

Ron Rediger, 57

Rediger had lived in Greensburg since January 2005.

He worked for Pathways in Pratt as a personal care attendant.

"He was a caring person that liked to help other people," said his brother Gary, of Newton.

Before moving to Greensburg, Rediger worked for his father's feed business in Iowa.

After his father sold the business, he worked a Wal-Mart distribution center in Iowa.

Rediger lived in a section of Greensburg believed to be the hardest hit by the tornado. His home did not have a basement.

A memorial service will be held at 4 p.m. May 11 at Shalom Mennonite Church in Newton. A graveside service will be May 19 in Wayland, Iowa.

A memorial fund has been established for the Iroquois Center for Human Development of Greensburg, in care of Broadway Colonial Funeral Home in Newton.

-- Fred Mann

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