John William Prior, 94, formerly of St. Marys, passed away Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at McCrite Health Center in Topeka.
He was born on the family farm one mile west of St. Marys to Andrew T. and Helen Fitzgerald Prior on May 5, 1923.
John graduated from Immaculate Conception High School in 1941. He attended welding school in Wichita and worked in the shipyard in Seattle for a year. John enlisted in the Navy in 1943 and served in the 96th Seabees as an electric welder. He served in the Azores, Philippines and China. John was discharged in April 1946. He returned to the family farm and worked there until 1973 when he started working at Rezac Livestock Commission where he worked for over 34 years.
He was a member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Marys, Knights of Columbus Council #657 and a 4th degree member of Thomas A. McNeive Assembly. John was a member of Jimmie Lillard Post No. 31 of the American Legion in Rossville and a member of the VFW.
John was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Tom and Roderick Prior; two sisters, Geraldine Adams and Shelia Seibert.
He was united in marriage to Edna Kincaid on November 7, 1953 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Marys. She survives of the home.
Other survivors include his children, Dennis (Janice) Prior, Rossville, Karen Stockman (Marc Rupp), Arvada, CO., Diane (Severin) DeBacker, Topeka and Patricia Rentfro, Topeka; 7 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank McCrite Health Center and Great Lakes Hospice for the care given to John and his family.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 A.M. Monday, June 26, 2017 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church. Interment with Military Honors will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, St. Marys. Mr. Prior will lie in state and the family will receive friend from 5:00 P.M. until 6:30 with a rosary recited at 6:30 P.M. on Sunday, June 25, 2017 at the funeral home. Because of John’s great love of the Seabees memorial contributions may be made to Seabee Museum and Memorial Park and sent to Piper Funeral Home, 714 Maple Street, St. Marys, Kansas 66536. To leave an online condolence please go to www.piperfuneralhome.com