Mildred Merle Lohr was born on April 3, 1925, in Kanorado, Kansas to Louis F. Lohr and Tillie G. (Luken) Lohr. She grew up on the family farm and went to school in Kanorado until transferring to Sherman County High School where she completed her Senior Year and graduated with the class of 1944. She was one of 5 children and enjoyed farm life with her older sister Maxine (Winfrey), two brothers, Kenneth and Melvin, and younger sister, Evelyn (Davis). Together they survived the dust storms of the “dirty thirties”, as well as the trials and joys of farming in western Kansas. Mildred had fond memories of life in Kanorado and the many good friends she had there. Moving to Goodland expanded her circle of friends, and introduced her to a handsome upper classman, Joe Gutsch, who become the love of her life as her husband and life partner. Joe joined the Army and was stationed in California. Wanting to get married before he was shipped overseas, Mildred boarded the train in Goodland and traveled west where they were married on Jan. 20, 1945, in Paso Robles, California. After Joe’s military service ended, they moved to Goodland and began farming with his father, Joseph P. Gutsch, on some of the land originally homesteaded by relative J.L. Gandy, early settler, and landowner in Sherman County.
Mildred and Joe began their farm life and raised their family on some of the same land once owned by Gandy, and now farmed by their children north of Goodland. They were blessed with three sons, Steve, Larry, and Jim, and one daughter, Carol. Farming became the center of their lives with the expansion of their operation, to include irrigation and then livestock, which eventually lead to the formation of J & J Feeders, which is today Sherman County Feedyard. Mildred was an active participant on the farm, helping Joe during harvest and keeping things running behind the scenes with the home, yard, children, community activities and church. She continued to live on the farm even after Joe’s untimely death in 1977.
Mildred was an active member of Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Goodland. She was the only continuous member of Emmanuel who was baptized as an infant in the original white framed church and was later confirmed on May 12, 1940. She was a member of the Rebecca Circle and served the church in many capacities throughout her life.
Mildred was a community member through her membership in many organizations. She served on the Goodland Regional Medical Center Foundation Board. She proudly served in the VFW Ladies Auxiliary Post #1133. Mid was a member of Thetis Women’s Federated Club, and “U & I” Extension Homemakers Unit. As a co-owner of Collage Ltd. she enjoyed being involved in the business aspects of the Goodland community.
Mildred’s biggest pride and joy was always her family, and she leaves to mourn, her sons, Steve Gutsch of Lakewood, CO, Larry (Linda) Gutsch of Goodland, James (Karen) Gutsch of Olathe, KS, and daughter Carol (Robin) Deeds, of Edson, KS. She was the loving grandmother to Steven (Jessie) Gutsch, Jr. of Highlands Ranch, CO, Chasiti (Shawn) Gerstenkorn of Huntley, IL, Lance (Annie) Gutsch of Denver, CO, Lara Gutsch Firman of Denver, CO, Leah (Mike) Lehrburger of Corona Del Mar, CA, Sarah (David) Fuchs of Springfield, MO, Julie (Brandon) Yates of Olathe, KS, Dexter (Jessica) Deeds of Leawood, KS, Dr. Aaron (Macy) Deeds of Salina, KS, and Nathan (Shayley) Deeds of Goodland. She was so proud of her 17 precious great-grandchildren including Ethan and Madeline Gutsch, Sidney and Sadie Gerstenkorn, Gatsby and Georgia Gutsch, Ella Firman, Ryan, Kaitlin, Alex and Jackson Fuchs, Carson, Averie, Vera and Silas Yates, and Henry and Natalie Deeds. Mid had a special evening ritual where every night before she went to sleep, she would recite the first and middle names of all her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. She leaves a rich legacy of love, trust, compassion, strength, kindness, wit and humor, and perseverance to her family who will treasure the times they got to spend with her. She will be dearly missed by all.
She also leaves her sweet sister, Evelyn Davis of Burlington, CO and sister-in-law Louise Gutsch Panas of North Carolina, as well as a host of dear nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives, family, friends, and her community of faith family at Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Goodland.
Preceding Mildred in death were her parents, Louis and Tillie Lohr, her husband, Joe Gutsch, his parents, Joseph P. Gutsch and Dorothy D. Gutsch, her brothers and sisters-in-law; Kenneth (Joyce) Lohr, Melvin (Patricia) Lohr, her older sister and brother-in-law Maxine (Irvin) Winfrey, sisters-in-law Catherine Brown, Nellie (Guy) Wallace, and brother-in-law George Panas.
Family meant everything to Mildred and she cherished every visit, phone call, letter and gift she ever received from each one. Her family dinners were legendary, and her homemade pies were blue ribbon special treats. She always put her family first and she would do anything for every one of them. Mid enjoyed time with her many friends, and for years the ladies would gather for coffee at Evans Café, Ray’s Café, or Hank’s. She was a lifelong resident of Sherman County and one of the most well-known, well-loved community supporters. Thanks to the love and assistance of her family and friends, she was able to live her life out in her own home in Goodland, a goal and source of pride for her.
Mildred passed away peacefully on August 2, 2022 at the Goodland Regional Medical Center.