Franklin C. Bidinger 1926 - 2011 Clinton
Graveside services for Franklin C. Bidinger, 84, Clinton, will be at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Clinton Cemetery, with the Rev. Steve Bubna and Dr. Dan Neuenswander officiating.
Mr. Bidinger died Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011, at his home.
He was born June 1, 1926, in Stull, the son of Frank A. and Edith Gibler Bidinger. He graduated from Liberty Memorial High School.
Mr. Bidinger began working at a young age as a farmer and a body man for Winter Chevrolet, specializing in renovating totaled cars. He was a welder and machinist. He worked for the American Walnut Company, cutting and shipping logs to Kentucky and Louisiana. He traveled as a demonstrator for Dale Babbitt Electric Welding Alloys. He spent 20 years, including serving as supervisor, in the inside shop at the city of Lawrence water department, followed by 12 years as shop foreman and supervisor of steam at Kansas University.
He enjoyed fast-pitch softball, coon hunting, breeding angel fish, raising and selling minks, gardening and encouraging the environmental use of purple martins. He was known as the “Bird Man” and established the Purple Martin Sanctuary in Clinton with his wife, Betty. He was a member of Clinton Presbyterian Church.
He married June Tate in 1953. They later divorced. He married Bethany Louise “Betty” Neuenswander on Dec. 27, 1978, in Colony. She survives of the home
Other survivors include a son, Kit, Topeka; six stepsons, John Oehlert and wife DeVonna, Paul Oehlert and wife Kris, and Luke Oehlert and wife Sheri, all of Lawrence, Mike Oehlert and wife Robbye, Round Rock, Texas, William Oehlert and wife Paula, La Porte, Texas, and Dan Oehlert, Eudora; four stepdaughters, Janie Landau and husband Rex, Lawrence, Mary Oehlert, Kansas City, Kan., Beth Sherman and husband Roy, McPherson, and Pat Oehlert, Hutchinson; a sister, Rita Harrison, Clinton; two grandchildren, Misty Stofer and Leslee Kennedy; 22 stepgrandchildren; two great-grandchildren; 20 step-greatgrandchildren; two nephews, Dana and Curt; and three nieces, Tina, Denise and Diana.
He was preceded in death by his parents, and a son, Michael, in 2009.
Friends may call from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Friday at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, where the family will receive them from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. A procession to the cemetery will follow the visitation.
The family suggests memorials to the Clinton Historical Society, for the establishment of a bird aviary in Mr. Bidinger’s memory, sent in care of the funeral home, 601 Ind., Lawrence, KS, 66044.
Online condolences may be sent at rumsey-yost.com.