St. Marys Star owner dies

Posted April 15, 2011

Steven Chester Tetlow, 51, St. Marys, formerly of Troy, Kan., passed away unexpectedly at his home Wednesday, April 13.

He was born Jan. 9, 1960, in Junction City, Kan., to Max and Darlene Tetlow, the youngest of three children. With his family he moved to Troy from Arcanum, Ohio, in 1966.

Steve attended Troy Grade School and was a 1978 Troy High School graduate, where cross country running was a passion of his. He also played high school basketball and was a member of the school band and school newspaper staff.

He earned his Bachelors of Science degree in Journalism from Kansas State University in 1982. He was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity where he served as social chairman and publicity director. He also worked on the reporting staff of the K-State Collegian while attending Kansas State University.

Steve married Ranae Hornick Akers, July 6, 1991, in Troy. Ryan and Shane Akers made their family complete. Steve was a loving step-father and husband, loved his family, was passionate about community and loved the small town atmosphere.

An entrepreneur he was. Soon after graduation from K-State, Steve purchased the 126-year-old weekly newspaper, The Kansas Chief, in Troy, where he became the youngest newspaper publisher-owner in the state. He published the paper for 17 years, where he wrote a weekly column called Chiefly Speaking. Feeling an urge for something more, in 1995 Ranae and Steve purchased the Green Acres agricultural publication in Lancaster, Kan. He later sold the Chief in 1999 and Green Acres in 2001.

Steve then served as publisher at the Hiawatha (Kan.) Daily World before moving to Missouri in 2002 where the couple purchased an embroidery business and a Fed Ex route in Springfield, Mo. Steve was anxious to pursue the publishing business once more when he returned to Troy in 2004 and a year later Steve and Ranae purchased The St. Marys (Kan.) Star. Steve, a master of dry comments, was ready once again to write a column, creatively named STARvations — “ Mediocre meanderings from the malnourished mind” — a popular commentary on current events, a collection of Steve’s quips and his thoughts on his alma mater, K-State. He was also a member of the Kansas Press Association.

Steve is survived by his wife Ranae of the home; step-sons Ryan Akers and his wife Alyssa of Westwood, Kan., and Shane Akers and his fiancé Kari Shaw of Robbinsdale, Minn.; sisters Lynda Hurt and husband Steve of Mission, Kan., and Susan Day and husband Jim of Las Vegas, Nev.; nieces and nephews Laura, Christopher , Katherine and Steven Day, Wesley and Whitney Willard, and Bradley and Jeffrey Means.

He was preceded in death by his parents Max and Darlene Tetlow; grandparents Chet and Leona Tetlow and George Wilbur and Alta Mae Cunningham.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 17, at Piper Funeral Home, 714 Maple St., St. Marys. A visitation will be held one hour before the service.

Graveside services will be held at 5 p.m., Sunday, April 17, at the Mount Olive Cemetery in Troy.

Memorial donations may be sent to Piper Funeral Home, 714 Maple St., St. Marys, KS 66536, with a recipient to be named at a later date.