Merle and Betty McLaren Profile Photo

Merle and Betty McLaren

d. November 27, 2023

Hays, Kansas

Merle and Betty McLaren

Merle Raymond McLaren, age 94 of Hays, Kansas passed away Monday, November 27, 2023, in Hays. He was born December 23, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois to David and Blanche (Beique) McLaren. On January 16, 1954, he married Betty Lou Schemm in Wichita. They celebrated 67 years together before her passing on October 14, 2021.

Merle left school at 16 years old to help take care of the family after his dad passed but did continue his education later in life ending with a bachelor’s degree from Fort Hays State University.  He later joined the United States Air Force and retired after 23 years of service to his country. His service included both Korea and Vietnam in which he received numerous accommodations including a Bronze Star.  

He was the owner of McLaren Lincoln-Mercury-GMC in Hays for 18 years and was one of the original business owners to push for expansion north of I-70. Merle was a member of the Hays VFW and an active member of the Honor Guard.  He received a Quilt of Valor.  He was chosen as Hays All American Citizen in 2018, but his greatest joy was family, and taking care of grand kids. 

Betty L. (Schemm) McLaren, age 87, of Hays, Kansas died Thursday, October 14, 2021, at Hays Medical Center, Hays, Kansas. She was born March 21, 1934, in WaKeeney, Kansas the daughter of Joseph and Eva (Schwien) Schemm.. Betty was a homemaker, and a selfless Mother. Her primary concern in life was always the welfare of her family. She loved people in general and doted on her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She was a graduate of Trego High School, WaKeeney KS. Her husband Merle was a career member of the USAF, and together with their growing family traveled to many areas of the free world.

Survivors include their children, Terrence K. McLaren and wife, Carla, Cape Coral, Fla.; Laurie A. Johnson and husband, Kris, Hawaii; Debra A. McLaren, Hays; Erin P. Filbert, Ness City; Nita M. Tan and husband Mark, Moore, Okla.; Daniel J. McLaren and wife, Lisa, Hays; Michael J. McLaren and wife, Arlena, Baldwin City; Eva M. Parrott and husband. Richard, Hays; 13 grandchildren, Celisa Smith, Wichita; Christopher Johnson and wife, Stephanie, Ellis; Krina Filbert, Ness City; Leah Rodriguez and husband, Hector, Ness City; Kristen Karst and husband, T.J., Hays; Emma McLaren, Knoxville, Tenn.; Jillian McLaren, Baldwin City; Josselyn Dunagan and husband, Colby, Scott City; Jaelyn McLaren and wife, Emily, Little Elm, Texas; Jessie McLaren, Fort Collins. CO; Rachel Linenberger and husband, Ross, Hays; Haley Parrott, Hays; Traven Parrott, Hays; and 20 great-grandchildren, and one great-great grandchild.

Merle is also survived by 5 sisters Elizabeth Wulf, Barbara McLaren, Kay Meyer, Blanche Grisham, and Theresa Spenard and preceded in death by 3 brothers, Jim, David, and Don.

Betty was preceded in death by a brother, Harold Schemm.

Together Merle and Betty were preceded in death by two sons, Sean, and Joel; a daughter, Keri; a grandchild, Desirae and a Son-in-Law Myron Filbert.

A combined Celebration of Life service for Merle and Betty will be 2:30 PM Thursday, November 30, 2023,  with memorial visitation from 1:30 until service time at Keithley Funeral Homes and Crematory-Brock's Chapel 2509 Vine Hays, KS 67601. Military Honors courtesy of the Hays VFW Honor Guard will follow services for Merle.

Memorial contributions are suggested to HaysMed Hospice.

Memories and words of comfort may be shared with the family on Merle and Betty's tribute page at www.keithleyfuneralchapels.com

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Merle and Betty McLaren, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Gathering

Thursday, November 30, 2023

1:30 - 2:30 pm (Central time)

Brock's - Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory

2509 Vine Street, Hays, KS 67601

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Memorial Service

Thursday, November 30, 2023

2:30 - 3:30 pm (Central time)

Brock's - Keithley Funeral Chapel and Crematory

2509 Vine Street, Hays, KS 67601

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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