Obituary-James McChesney

James Rodney McChesney, 86 of Clifton, KS, died Monday Sept. 4, 2023, at Park Villa Nursing home in Clyde, Kansas.

James was born March 29, 1937, in Clay Center, the son of Wilder McChesney and Catherine Marsh McChesney of Morganville, KS. 

James (Jim, Jimmy) graduated from Clay Center High School in 1955. Jim had many achievements from the State Board for Vocational Education, Topeka, Kansas, including demonstrating outstanding ability in Farm Mechanics, Farm Carpentry, and in the judging of Livestock. He was also selected as one of the Kansas Future Farmers of America. 

On May 27, 1960, James completed The Construction Machine Helper/Operator Course given at the 4th Training Regiment, Specialist at The United States Army Training Center, Engineer. Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Jim was also a member of the National Guards and the American Legion.

He married Donna Mae Sorell Taylor on November 14, 1968, in Clifton, KS. They lived in Clifton, Kansas and were members of St. Mary’s Catholic Church.  They shared one daughter together Jennifer Ann McChesney. He had three children that he raised with Donna: Deanne Jackson, Debora Gelino, and Bob Taylor and enjoyed raising them from an early age. They later moved to his father Wilder McChesney’s farm where he grew up near Morganville, KS

James ran a successful farming business in the Morganville area all his life. He grew corn, wheat, soybeans, alfalfa, milo, and he also raised cows, pigs, and chickens.  He took pride in living on the family farm. He loved working outdoors, bailing hay, checking the cows, and harvesting the crops. He was a worker of the earth and a man who loved the land. 

Jim volunteered his time at the American Legion where he was an active member. He helped with fundraising for people in the community, funerals and marching in the color guard. He was also an avid hunter and fisherman. He was a Sports fan and loved cheering for the Kansas City Chiefs, KC Royals, KU Jayhawks, and the Clifton-Clyde Eagles. He enjoyed watching his children and grandchildren play sports. He traveled with family and friends to California, Colorado, the Caribbean, New York, Florida, Nevado, Arizona, Utah, and many other places. He also had a love for grey hound races and would tell us stories of his younger years with his father getting ready for the races. 

He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer McChesney-Hutchinson and Sean Hutchinson, daughters, Deanne and Dennis Jackson, Debora Gelino, son, Bob and Daphne Taylor.  9 grandchildren (Elijah Jackson, Kirstin Wernecke, Kelsey Knox, Justin Gelino, Whitney Snavely, Caleb Gelino, Micah Urban, Lauren Savener, Paine Taylor) , 26 great-grandchildren, brother and sister-in-law Jerry and Kathleen Sorell and numerous nieces and nephews, cousins and friends.

He is preceded in death by parents, Wilder and Catherine McChesney, wife Donna McChesney, brother John McChesney, nephew, Joe Sorell, brother and sister-in-law Don and Phillis Sorell, great granddaughter Evye Jackson.

Respect calls will be from 4-8 pm, Thursday, September 7, 2023 with a Rosary at 7 pm and Mass Christian Burial will be at 1:30 pm, Friday, September 8, 2023 at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church, Clifton, KS with Fr. Steven Heina officiating.  Burial will follow at St Mary Catholic Cemetery, Clifton with a luncheon after the burial at the American Legion, Clifton.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary of the Assumption Building Fund or Altar Society or the Clifton S.A.L. Chaput Mortuary, Clyde, KS is handling arrangement and for online condolences, please visit

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