Grave marker (front and obverse) for
:Les Droge in the Friedens United Church of Christ Cemetery, Bern
(Photos courtesy of
click to enlarge)
Leslie A. Droge
retired Kansas Senator, 90, of Seneca, died Monday evening, January 14,
2008 at his home.
Les was born
August 3, 1917, at rural Nashau, Montana, the son of Henry A. and
Gertrude Berdau Droge. When he was 6 weeks old, the family came home to
the Droge homestead north of Seneca. He attended the Allison School and
then DuBois High School for three years. He graduated from Seneca Public
High School in 1936.
Les worked on
his Uncle Albert Droge's farm during the summer, and then in December
1936 he joined the CCC Camp in Seneca. In the fall of 1937, he enrolled
at K-State. While at K-State Les played basketball, just as he had at
Seneca High School and at the CCC Camp.
In May of
1941, he graduated from K-State, and in June, he entered the US Army,
and served in the 82nd Airborne. He was stationed in the Philippines in
1945, with the 511th Parachute Regiment, and from an adjacent ship in
Tokyo's Harbor, he observed the signing of the Armistice on the
Battleship Missouri. After his discharge in 1947, he returned to the
farm at rural Seneca. He remained in the US Army Reserves with a rank of
Lt. Colonel upon his retired.
In 1963, he
ran for the Kansas Senate serving from 1964-1976, all the while
continuing to farm. He served as Chairman of the Senate's Ag Committee
and was Chairman for the Senate Military Affairs Committee.
attending K-State he met his wife, Lola F. Hubbard; they were married on
January 26, 1941 at Leota, KS. The couple enjoyed 66 years of marriage.
Survivors besides his wife, Lola, of the home; are his three sons,
Dennis and wife Karen of Seneca, Douglas and wife Cindy of Montgomery,
TX, and Duane and wife Bobbie of Eureka, KS; two daughters, Joann and
husband Warren Freeborn of Concordia, KS and Beverly Droge of Ozawkie;
12 grandchildren and 20 great-grandchildren. Four brothers, Arden and
wife Bessie of Seneca, Charles of Snohomish, WA, Harry and wife Norma of
Council Grove and John of Waldorf, MD also survive him. Three brothers,
Clarence, Emil, and Leonard and three sisters, Helen Rhodes, Margaret
Kirk, and Eleanor Duello preceded him in death.
services will be Saturday morning, January 19, 2008 at 11 am at Friedens
Church of rural Bern; Military Honors and pallbearers will be provided
by the Army, Navy and Airforce and National Guard; he will be in state
at the church at 9:30 that morning. A private family inurnment will be
in the church cemetery, at a later date.