Fern Cress

Fern Evelyn Cress, 98, Humboldt, died Saturday, Nov. 28, 2009, at Arrowood Lane Residential Care Facility in Humboldt.
She was born July 5, 1911, on the family farm east of Humboldt. She was the daughter of John Oliver and Mary Ethel (Blythe) Tomlinson. When she was 5, the family moved to a farm 71⁄2 miles southeast of Humboldt where she attended Prairie View School for eight years and graduated from Humboldt High School in 1930.
On May 28, 1933, she married Millard B. Cress at her parents’ home. They farmed southeast of Humboldt in Neosho County a year before moving to a farm near her parents. In 1942, they moved to a farm 21⁄2 miles north of Humboldt. In 1955, they purchased land west of Humboldt, built a house and moved there until moving into town in 1975. While on the farm, she raised chickens and would deliver fresh dressed chickens ready to cook to neighbors. She also sold eggs and cream. She took in washings and loved to cook. She often took a three course lunch to the field for hungry farm hands. Fern and Millard enjoyed camping and spent 16 winters in Texas where she gleaned the fields to get the food they used including oranges, grapefruit, cabbage, lettuce and carrots.
She was a member of Humboldt United Methodist Church where she had served as Sunday School and Bible School superintendent and sponsored the Senior High Youth Fellowship. She had served as presdent of both the United Methodist Women and Mutual Benefit Society for farm women north of Humboldt. She belonged to the Willing Workers Club for farm women west of Humboldt and South Logan Extension Unit. She baby-sat for the Robert Sharp and Larry Brock families and often kept nieces, nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Millard and Fern celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary on May 28, 2008, with a public reception before his death Oct. 25, 2008.
She is survived by a son, Maynard and his wife, Jeanice, Humboldt; a son-in-law, Coy Allen and his wife, Jane, Wichita; two grandchildren, Karl Allen and his wife, Jill, Humboldt, and Brenda Hicks and her husband, Ross; Winfield; and four great-grandchildren, Kyler and Kolbyn Allen and Sam and Isaac Hicks.
She was preceded in death by a daughter, Gayla Jo Allen; two brothers, Johnnie and Ralph Tomlinson, and five sisters, Velva Tomlinson, Minnie Strack, Winnie Palmer, Dorothy Murrow Cook and Katherine Oliphant.
Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Thursday at Humboldt United Methodist Church, the Rev. Debby Dick officiating. The family will receive friends from
7 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the church. Memorials may be left to Arrowood Lane or the Humboldt United Methodist Church and left with Waugh-Yokum and Friskel Memorial Chapels of Iola, which is in charge of the arrangements.