KGFA Mourns the Passing of Former Board Member Roy House

Roy House

KGFA Mourns the Passing of Former Board Member Roy House

Roy Lee House, 80, of Bel Aire, Kan., and formerly of McPherson, Kan., passed away Feb. 3, 2024 after a long illness. True to form, he was a fighter to the end.

House served on Kansas Grain and Feed Association’s board of directors from 2006-09, graduated from the association’s 1999 class of Tomorrow’s Agribusiness Leaders and dedicated countless hours to the Kansas Agri Business Expo Committee.

A rosary/vigil will be held on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024 at 6:00 p.m. A funeral will take place Friday, Feb. 9 at 11:00 a.m., with a luncheon to follow. Both services will be held at Resurrection Catholic Church (4910 N Woodlawn Blvd., Bel Aire, KS 67220).

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Arbor Day Foundation, which Roy had an affinity for, or the Kansas Grain and Feed Association Scholarship Program.

To contribute in Roy’s memory to the Kansas Grain and Feed Association scholarship fund, make checks payable to: Kansas Grain and Feed AssociationMemo: Scholarship Fund816 SW TylerTopeka, KS 66612

Roy was born Feb. 22, 1943, in Arbor Grove, Ark., to Allen and Rebecca House and was the seventh of nine children. The family moved to Parkin, Ark., where Roy was raised. His formative years were marked by lean times that instilled in him the value of hard work and a dogged determination to power through any obstacle, which he later passed down to his children.

After graduating from high school in 1961, Roy followed the lead of his older brother John and enlisted in the U.S. Air Force. “I joined the Air Force to see the world, and they sent me to Salina, Kansas,” he once quipped. Indeed, he was stationed for most of his service at Schilling Air Force Base in Salina, and was a veteran of the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Vietnam War, serving stateside supporting the Strategic Air Command’s Atlas missile silos around Schilling. Roy was honorably discharged in 1965, and he and several Air Force buddies were hired on at McPherson Concrete Products, where Roy worked for 50 years.

Silos remained a theme throughout Roy’s career at “The Plant,” and he found his greatest contribution as Sales Manager for sister company McPherson Concrete Storage Systems, helping to grow the company from its start in 1977. He was a familiar face at grain elevators and co-ops throughout the Midwest, and wherever in Kansas you see a concrete silo with white diamonds around the top, there’s a good chance Roy had something to do with it. He had a reputation for integrity throughout the industry, and was a highly regarded member of the Kansas Grain and Feed Association as well as a Lifetime member of the Grain Elevator and Processing Society (GEAPS). He retired in 2015, but continued to support his colleagues with networking and advice until his illness prevented him from doing so.

While serving in the Air Force in Salina, Roy met Donna Jean Hecker, whom he considered “the best thing that ever happened to me.” They married Oct. 12, 1968, and settled in McPherson, where they raised four children. Roy traveled frequently for work but made the most of his time at home with family popcorn nights, weekend trips to the movies and mall, and a keen sense of humor. Summer vacations included road trips across the South and West, with Dad moments such as “The Great Air Conditioner War,” “Dinosaur Tunnel Scare,” and “Climb Out on That Rock” taking their place in family lore. Roy worked hard to make sure his children got the college education he never had, and he never failed to encourage them to be anything they wanted to be — even if he didn’t agree.

In March 2022, Roy and Donna moved to the Shepherd’s Crossing community in Bel Aire, where Roy again immediately made new friends among the staff and residents of the Catholic Care Center, whose patience and compassion supported him in his final days.

Roy was preceded in death by his parents, four sisters, and two brothers. He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Donna; his four children: Cynthia House (John Moore), of Bellevue, Wash., Joseph House (Sarah), of Topeka, Kan., Rebecca Newman (David), of Papillion, Neb., and Kathleen R. House (Jesse Mans), of Wichita., Kan.; three siblings, Alice Perry, of Parkin, A. Kathleen House, of San Angelo, Texas, and Jackie House (Mary), of Memphis, Tenn.; and eight grandchildren.