This page is meant to honor Giles, Laci, Bill, Shonnie, and Keri and allow classmates to share memories of those we have lost. Please send us your own photos, comments, or stories to help us more fully reflect how each of them touched our lives.

If you notice errors in the information presented here, or if you are aware of another classmate who has passed away, please contact us immediately. This memorial is for all of us living and all of us who have passed.

Giles Kyle 1969-1994
Giles Kyle 1969-1994
Giles Byron Kyle

Giles was born September 7, 1969, in Wichita. He had one sibling, his brother Joshua. Giles’ family moved to Manhattan in 1972.

Giles attended Bluemont Elementary. In high school, he was a member of the cross country and track teams. During our senior year, Giles was chosen as a Fall Homecoming Honorary.

After high school, Giles attended KSU. He met his wife, Wendy Nicholson, in a philosophy class during the summer of 1990. Wendy said, “When I first met him, he was definitely a philosophy major, he was into all the philosophers—Kant, and so on. He also enjoyed writing. He’d come up with the strangest metaphors, but once he said them, you realized that they made perfect sense.” Wendy noted that Giles was especially caring and always concerned with the well-being of others.

Giles and Wendy married in January of 1993. In December of the same year, Giles graduated from KSU with his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. He was then accepted into KSU’s master’s degree program in environmental engineering and began his course work. He participated in intramural sports and was a member of the Chi Epsilon enginering fraternity. He was also a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

On the night of October 10, 1994, Giles took his own life. His wife Wendy said later, “He found it painful to lose friends. College is a transitory time when many people graduate and move on out of your life. He didn’t want to let go on people, he said he knew he wasn’t hurting them, but he felt like he was.”

Giles was 25 years old when he died. He is buried at Carnahan Creek Cemetery.

Classmates on Giles:

“We ran cross-country and track together, we even climbed the fence and camped out on Bishop Field with Tim Willingham before our first cross country practice one year.”
—Mark Gray
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Laci Norris 1970-1995
Laci Norris 1970-1995
Laci Lynn Norris

Laci was born June 3, 1970, in Manhattan. She had two older sisters, Lisa and Lori. Laci attended Northview Grade School and lived in Manhattan her entire life. Her father, William Norris, still lives in Manhattan. Her mother, Kay Sumner, now lives in Mission, Texas.

After graduating high school, Laci worked at Sears and, later, the Riley County Clerk’s Office. She was a devoted aunt to her nephew Cameron, who called her Auntie La La. In 1990, she married David Weir. Just two years after her wedding, Laci was diagnosed with leukemia.

Friends tell us Laci fought hard against the disease and remained hopeful throughout her treatment. Suzy (Mickey) Shortsleeves remembers, “One day she came over to see me and my son shortly after she had gone through some treatments. It was strange because she had lost her hair and it had grown back almost black and curly. Laci’s hair had always been kind of a dark blonde and straight. She couldn’t get used to the new hair and it was still really short, so she was wearing a long blonde wig. I had left the room for a few minutes and I heard my son (who was about four at the time) laughing really loud. When I came back into the room Laci was taking her wig on and off for him and making funny faces. She could always find a way to make light of things and she was always more concerned about how we all felt about her being sick than she was about how sick she really was.”

After several rounds of chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, Laci died on April 13, 1995, at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C. She was 24 years old. Laci is buried at Sunrise Cemetery.

The following was taken from the funeral program designed for Laci’s services held on April 19, 1995:

If I Had My Life to Live Over Again

If I had to live my life over again, I’d make more mistakes next time. I would relax, I would limber up. I know of very few things I would take seriously. I would worry less about what others thought of me and I would accept myself as I am. I would tell more people that I like them. I would hug my friends. I would forgive others for being human and I would hold no grudges. I would watch less TV and have more picnics. I would have only actual troubles and very few imaginary ones. I would feel sad not depressed, concerned not anxious, annoyed not angry. I would regret my mistakes but not spend a lot of time feeling real badly about them.

You see, I’m one of those people who lived cautiously, sensibly, sanely, hour after hour, all of my life, day by day. Oh, I’ve had my moments. But if I had it to do over again, I’d have a lot more of them. In fact, I’d have nothing else. I would just have moments. One after another. Instead of living so many of my years ahead of each day.
—Nadine Stair

Classmates on Laci:
“She was a jewel with the most contagious smile and laugh.”
—Daedra Lowry
Laci Norris and Jill Philipp
Laci Norris and Jill Philipp
Laci and Suzy Mickey
Laci and Suzy Mickey
Suzy Mickey, Laci, and Nanette Pelletier
Suzy Mickey, Laci, and Nanette Pelletier
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Bill Starkey 1970-1997
Bill Starkey 1970-1997
William John Starkey

Bill, or Billy, as many knew him, was born February 3, 1970, in Topeka. He had a brother, Christopher, and a sister, Megan. In high school, he was a wrestler, a member of FFA, Rodeo Club, and a bull rider with the Kansas High School Rodeo Association. After high school, he graduated from Manhattan Area Technical School in 1989, and Universal Technical Institute in Houston, Texas, in 1990. He then returned to Kansas, where he worked as a mechanic for Wamego Sand Company.

In 1991, Bill met Kimberly Pritchett during her senior year at KSU. In 1995, they married. Kim and Bill had had a son, Justin. They lived in Topeka for a number of years, where Bill attended Washburn University. In May 1997, Bill completed his bachelor’s degree in law enforcement.

After Bill finished his degree, Bill and Kim decided to leave Topeka for Wamego so that they could both be closer to their jobs. Bill was working for Midwest Concrete Materials in Wamego, and Kim was employed by Caterpillar. On November 14, 1997, the week before their planned move, Bill took his own life.

Bill’s widow, Kim, said, “I don’t believe he planned to do it that particular day. Things were going well for us, so in that sense, the timing doesn’t make sense. On the other hand, this was something Bill had struggled with for much of his life.”

Bill was 27 years old when he died. He is buried at Emmanuel Cemetery in Berryton. Bill’s wife Kim and his son Justin, who is now 13 years old, live in Wamego.

Shonnie Moser 1970-2004
Shonnie Moser 1970-2004
Shonnie Renee Moser

Shonnie was born July 24, 1970, in Manhattan. She had six sisters, Monica, Julie, Toni, Tami, Shannon, and Stephanie. She also had two brothers, Tony Olivera, and Lee Winjum. Lee passed away a number of years before Shonnie’s death. Her father, Carl Moser, now lives in Colorado Springs. Her mother, Pamela Barden-Moser, lives in Oakhurst, California.

Shonnie attended Seven Dolors grade school. Her family then moved to California for several years. Shonnie returned to Manhattan in 1985 and lived with her grandparents Glen and Dorothy Moser during high school. After graduation, she returned to Oakhurst, California. Her grandfather has since passed away but her grandmother continues to reside in Manhattan.

In 1996, Shonnie married Shannon Hard. They had two children, a daughter they named Shonnie Marie (“Lil” Shonnie) and a son, Andy Montana James.

Shonnie died on January 24, 2004, in California. Her cause of death is unknown. In her obituary, her family said, “we will always remember her sunshine laugh and how happy she always was. She was the life of the party and loved life. All her family and friends will miss her.”

Classmates on Shonnie:

“I don’t think I have ever met anyone that could light up a room so completely. There was something so special about Shonnie; it didn’t matter where I was or what I was doing, when she entered the room I just couldn’t help but smile.”
—Jason Walker
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Keri Liverance 1970-2004
Keri Liverance 1970-2004
Keri Liverance

Keri was born July 20, 1970. She had a sister, Kristin, and a brother, Joe. Keri came to Manhattan with her father, Darwin, and her step-mother, Nina, in 1983, and began 8th grade at Manhattan Middle School. After completing her junior year at Manhattan High School, she moved to Michigan to live with her mother, Diane Gorkewicz. She attended college in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she pursued an advanced degree in Entrepreneurship.

After college, Keri moved to Decatur, Georgia, where she met her husband Tom Abraham. Tom is a professional photographer. Keri was involved with Tom’s business and also had her own company. Keri’s dear friend and Manhattan High classmate Jenni Hoover (Strahan) tells us that Keri and Tom shared a passion for renovating their home, enjoying and babying their two Rottweilers, entertaining friends, and exploring self-improvement, nature, and creative expression.

In August of 2004, Keri traveled to Alaska. She spent seven days kayaking through Prince Willaim Sound with an Outward Bound guided adventure, as well as several additional days exploring the Alaskan wilderness. After returning from the trip, she sent an email to friends and family describing her Outward Bound experience. She said, in part, “For those of you who remember the Breakfast Club in the 80’s, this experience was not unlike that—minus the school and pot smoking. It was a group of people from different backgrounds, age groups, cities and lives. Put together by luck of the draw for 24/7, required to work together and rely on one another for support. What I hope we all realized is that we each have our challenges and may be in different places in our lives, but we share similar experiences, emotions, fears, weaknesses, and strengths. Each of us with our own changing lives, dreams, and aspirations. Not so dissimilar after all. And, in the end, lessons and friendships that we’ll take with us for life.” Keri went on to write that she planned to kayak in Georgia that fall, and was looking forward to another trip to Alaska. She closed by encouraging everyone to “enjoy this great gift of nature for yourself.”

Less than three months after writing this message, on Friday, October 22, 2004, Keri took her own life. She died at her home in Decatur, Georgia. She was 34 years old.

Jenni Hoover remembers, “I met her in Mrs. Frost’s English class. On the very first day of school, she leaned over in her desk and tipped the entire thing over on herself and broke her collar bone. I was elected to take her to the nurse’s office. Our friendship was instant and very close. I considered her my best friend, the one who knew me best. We loved Pink Floyd, the Kansas sky, beer, Tuttle Creek, camping, popsicles . . . I could list a thousand pages.”

Keri’s funeral was held on October 29, 2004, in Decatur, Georgia. Keri’s mother now lives in Charlevoix, Michagan, her father in Auburn, Alabama, her sister (now Kristin Goeters) in Opelika, Alabama, and her brother in Berne, Indiana.
Jennie Hoover and Keri Liverance
Jennie Hoover and Keri Liverance
Keri in Alaska, August 2004.
Keri in Alaska, August 2004.