Obituary-Fern Solbach

Fern N. (Chartier) Kusy-Solbach, age 90, of Topeka, KS, passed away on Saturday, May 6, 2023 at McCrite Plaza, Topeka, KS.  She was born on July 8, 1932 in Colfax Twp, Cloud Co., KS to Lewis Albert & Blanche Victoria (Cyr) Chartier.

Fern graduated from Miltonvale High School. She worked as a waitress, telephone operator, travel agent, florist, and was a homemaker.  She married Duane Kusy on April 16, 1955, in Clay Center, KS and he preceded her in death on March 22, 1991. Fern loved to paint the woodcrafts that Duane designed and they sold their “Dust and Fun Kuts” items at area craft shows. Fern later married Charles “Chuck” Solbach on Aug. 5, 1994 in Salina, KS.

Fern told everyone about her travels to France.  In fact, she traveled to France 29 times! Fern and Duane developed a very close relationship with the Jean Lechrist family in France and they also hosted several students from France in their Clifton home. Chuck and Fern made additional trips to France and the relationship with the Jean Lechrist family continued to blossom after their marriage.

Fern was always a character who loved to laugh, joke around, and have a good time. Another one of her talents was antiquing. Fern and Duane collected and filled their Clifton home with antiques. She also helped Duane find over 40,000 arrowheads. She and Duane were very active in the Clifton Historical Society where they donated many of the arrowheads.  She felt very honored to have three people named after her, Benedictine Fern Lechrist, Vera Fern Lyne and Louise Anne Fern.

Fern is survived by her “chosen family” caretakers for 47 years, Yvonne (Von) & Galen Unruh, Topeka; brother, Keith Chartier (Avis), Newton; 2 nieces, Candace  (Chartier) Murrell, Denise (Chartier) Dorcey, 1 nephew, Kevin Chartier; and 4 step children, Jody Solbach, Joel Solbach, Julia (Solbach) Brittner, and Erica (Solbach) Sharp, and many children who claim her as their grandmother/godmother.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Duane Kusy and Charles Solbach; son, Rick Kusy, daughter, Rhonda Kusy; her parents; brothers, Orville & Edrus Chartier and sister, Leona Ione.

Funeral services will be at 11 am. Monday, May 22, 2023 at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Clifton, KS with visitation beginning at 10 am.  Burial will be at 1 pm in the Miltonvale Cemetery, Miltonvale, KS. The family suggests memorials be made to Saint Jude Childrens’ Research Hospital in care of Chaput Mortuary, PO Box 291, Clyde, KS 66938.  For online condolences, please visit

Sign up for the KCLY Digital Newspaper, The Regional