Olathe’s ‘Santa Claus’ dead at 81

Marvin 'Doc' Wollen dead at 81. Family photo

Marvin ‘Doc’ Wollen dead at 81. Family photo

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Much of the following information was provided by Wollen’s daughter, Cathy Maxwell.)

Long-time optometrist, community activist, community Santa Claus, and for years the voice of the Johnson County Old Settlers Parade, Marvin “Doc” Wollen, died peacefully at his home this morning, Tuesday, Sept. 10.

He was 81.

According to his daughter, Cathy Maxwell, funeral services will be Monday, Sept 16, 2013 at Grace United Methodist Church. Visitation is scheduled for 9 a.m. with services starting at 10:30. Graveside services will be at 2:30 p.m. in Garnett.

Wollen will be most remembered by thousands of children for his role as Santa Claus.  He was talked into being the “right jolly old elf” for the first time by his oldest daughter’s kindergarten teacher.  The suit and the part was a natural fit for him and he continued to entertain Olathe School District children as well as appearing at numerous charity and community events as Santa for a total of forty-nine years.  He is also known for his support of local football teams with his infamous watermelon feeds during summer practices.  Continue reading

Name of car fire victim released

The victim of a car fire Johnson County Sheriff’s deputies responded to during the early morning hours of Sept. 8 has been identified as Jerome Stonebraker, 61, Olathe.

The investigation determined there was no criminal activity involved in Stonebraker’s death.

On Sept. 8 at 5:30 a.m., deputies discovered a body in a vehicle after responding to a fire call at 183rd and Clare Road in rural Johnson County.  When deputies and firefighters with Johnson County Fire District No. 1 arrived, the vehicle was fully involved and firefighters were able to quickly put the fire out.


Olathe PD release victim’s name


Jonathan Fischbach

Jonathan Fischbach

Olathe Police officers released the name of the man found dead when they were called to investigate a single-car accident in the 16200 block of west 124th Street last Saturday, Sept. 7.

Jonathan Fischbach, 21, Olathe, was found unresponsive and later pronounced dead at the scene and police said his injuries appeared to be unrelated to the accident.

Fischbach’s obituary can be found at https://viewfromthemidwest.com/obituaries/

Police also found a female at the scene who was transported to an area hospital with critical injuries that also appeared to be unrelated to the accident. Her name and condition have not been released.

Police said a handgun was recovered from inside the vehicle.

This case remains under investigation as a possible attempted murder-suicide by the Olathe Police Department. Anyone with information regarding this investigation is asked to call the Olathe Police Department at 913-971-6950 or the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-8477.


Pistol packin’ prairie publishers were polished at name calling

David Chartrand

David Chartrand

Like most Americans you are growing increasingly offended by the shocking things you read and hear in the mass media.

It’s a good thing you weren’t born in the mid-19th Century. For one thing, you’d be dead by now. You’d also be more accustomed to raw language. Consider, for example, the editorial wars among the nation’s earliest newspapers.

The 1800s was a time of blustery newspaper wars. Name-calling was a prized art on the Great Plains. Rival publishers saved their best shots for each other. Continue reading

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