Michael Lee “Mike” Smalley, age 75, of rural Neodesha, Kansas passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on November 3, 2020. Mike was born August 18, 1945 to Steven M Smalley and Zelda I (Sandefur) Smalley in Neodesha. He grew up on the family farm and attended the First Christian Church.
Mike graduated from Neodesha high school in 1963 and graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Wichita State University in 1974. Mike served his country in the U.S. Air Force from 1963 to 1967. He was stationed at Forbes Air Force Base in Topeka and served three months in Europe.
On December 27, 1964, Mike was united in marriage to Connie M Morgan at the First Christian Church in Thayer. In 1967, they moved back from Topeka to rural Neodesha where Mike tried his hand at farming while working for the Union Gas Company in Independence.
In 1972 they moved to Wichita where Mike was employed by the Wichita Police Department until 1975. He owned Midwest Mobile Homes from 1975 to 1980. In 1980, Mike started his 40 year career in Insurance. He served as an agent for Farm Bureau Insurance and Farmers Insurance in Wichita, later starting the Smalley Insurance Agency, Inc. In 1992 Mike built his home back at the family farm. His wife Connie retired there and Mike worked in both Wichita at his Insurance agency and at the farm with their cattle operation. Never one to take it easy Mike recently opened the Scoops Ice Cream Parlor followed by the Neodesha Sporting Goods store in Neodesha.
As a young man, Mike enjoyed writing poetry and short stories, riding motorcycles, racing cars at 81 Speedway, and was somewhat of a daredevil even competing in demolition derbies. He was an entrepreneur who enjoyed life and loved to spend time at the lake, boating and fishing with family and friends. He enjoyed watching football, going to the casino, county music, playing cards with friends, and eating a good prime rib dinner. Mike was a good son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather and will be remembered with much love.
Those left to cherish Mike’s memory are his wife Connie of the home; son Richard (Kathy) Smalley of Wichita; son Dwight (Helen) Smalley of Augusta; daughter Morgan (Rex) Smalley-Cotterill of Cherryvale; seven grandchildren; brother Duane (Jewell) Smalley of Arvada, Colorado; and many nieces and nephews. He was preceded in deaths by his parents and three sisters.
Visitation with family and friends will be held Thursday, December 3, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Loran Fawcett Chapel, 704 Indiana Street, Neodesha, Kansas. Graveside funeral services will be at 2 p.m. on Friday, December 4, at the Harrison Cemetery, 8459 Wichita Road, Thayer, Kansas.
The family suggests memorial contributions to St Jude Children’s Research Hospital or the Sycamore United Methodist Church. Donations can be left with Loren Fawcett Chapel. On-Line condolences can be left to the family by going to www.loranfawcettfuneralhome.com