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Wayne Joseph Armbrister



1951 - 2023

Wayne Joseph Armbrister, 71, of Burlington, Colorado, passed away Thursday, March 16, 2023, at Wesley Medical Center in Wichita, Kansas.

Wayne was born July 16,1951, in Hays, Kansas to Joseph and Martha (Keller) Armbrister. Wayne spent his childhood and adolescence in Ellis and Rooks counties, attending school in Zurich and Palco. He learned to farm from his dad, Joe, while tending the family’s land. He enjoyed spending time with his cousins and his sister, Donna (Armbrister) Benoit. Wayne graduated from Palco High School in 1969 and attended Northwest Kansas Technical College in Goodland, where he learned carpentry. Wayne married Terry Billenwillms in 1972. She and their unborn child preceded him in death in 1974. In 1978, he married Terrill Bartels of Burlington, Colorado.

While living in Zurich, they had three children, Jonathan Armbrister in 1979, Haley Armbrister in 1982 and Molly Armbrister in 1988. Wayne and his family moved to Colorado in 1989 and settled in Burlington. They later divorced. While living in Burlington, Wayne became well-known in the community as a talented carpenter and hard-working farmer. He built homes and completed renovations for countless families in the area and made friends wherever he went. An active member of First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Wayne served several terms as president of the church council and led the effort to finance and build a new church for the congregation in the late 1990s.

In 2004, Wayne married Kimberly Whipple, and together the couple built a successful carpentry business. They also volunteered to operate the First St. Paul’s food booth, raising money for the church, and operated Red Cross shelters in Burlington, offering food and shelter to travelers stranded in town during inclement weather. In addition to farming and carpentry, Wayne enjoyed playing and watching sports, especially baseball, watching Western movies, gardening and spending time with his wife, kids and grandkids.

Wayne is survived by his children, Jon Armbrister of O’Fallon, MO, Haley Armbrister of Alamosa, CO, and Molly Armbrister of Windsor, CO; step-children, Brad (Amanda) Whipple of Virginia, and Stephanie (Bob) Miller of Casper, WY; grandchildren Tyler and Sophia Armbrister and Hannah Leiker; and sister Donna (Tom) Benoit. He was preceded in death by his parents, Joe and Martha; siblings, Jeanette, Jean, Darrell and Wilma; and wives Terry and Kim.

A visitation will be held Monday, March 20, from 6 PM to 8 PM CT. with a prayer service at 8 PM all at Keithley Funeral Chapel 400 E. 17th Ellis, KS 67637. Funeral services will be held at 10 AM CT Tuesday, March 21, at St. John Lutheran Church in Ellis. Additional visitation will be 3 PM – 4 PM MT at First St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Burlington, CO, followed by a short graveside service and burial at Fairview Cemetery. Memorial contributions are suggested to St. John Lutheran Church flooring repair project. Condolences may also be left on Wayne's tribute page at