is honored with a Large Paver from Fred Van Buren.
My mother, Dollie Van Buren, raised five children--four girls and one boy. In the early years, she had the help of my father in this, life's most important task. With the onset of my father's illness and his subsequent death, she became the sole support for her three children still at home. With only a grade school education, she worked as a cook in restaurants in our home town of Florence, Kansas, making sure we all graduated from high school and encouraging me, her youngest child and only son to pursue a college education. She was the most unselfish person I've ever known, working ten hours a day, seven days a week to support her family. She was known and respected by everyone in our community. My mother was indeed a Kansas Heroine.
The other four women honored here, my sisters, are also heroines and respected members of their communities. Marguerite Blatchford lives in Abilene, Kansas; Virginia Wagner in McPherson, Kansas; Betty Varner in San Bruno, California; and Pat Starkel in El Dorado, Kansas.
I'm pleased that the Plaza of Heroines provides me a way to permanently honor these wonderful women who have influenced my life by their example and encouragement.
Submitted by Fred Van Buren, BBA 1960
July 28, 1998 (for Pat Starkel)