Patricia “Tricia” Kay (Gaddis) Fender

Memorial services for Patricia “Tricia” Kay (Gaddis) Fender, 75, will be held at 11 am Monday, October 19, 2020, at City Center Church in Lenexa, KS. 

Tricia passed away Monday, October 12, 2020, in Mountain Home, AR.

Tricia was born on July 13, 1945, in Sidney, NE, the daughter of Lester Clark and Helen Louise (Breece) Gaddis.

She graduated from Chanute High School and went on to receive an associate’s degree in journalism from Johnson County Community College.

Tricia worked for Southwestern Bell Telecommunication until she retired in 2000. She then worked as a consultant for various telecommunication companies for nearly 20 years, traveling throughout the U.S. to install phone systems for corporations and government agencies, training office personnel on how to use the equipment, and taking help-desk calls after installation. 

Tricia married Estel “Sonny” Fender from Yuma, AZ, on November 17, 1963, in Chanute, KS. They spent their early years and started their family in Yuma, where she worked in the local citrus groves and Sonny worked at a local radio station as a DJ. They later divorced. He passed away in 1999.

Tricia is preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her daughter, Rhonda (Ben) Crosby of Kansas City, MO; two sons, Todd (Becky) Fender of Baldwin City, KS, and Sean (Kristi) Fender of Shawnee, KS; seven grandchildren, Joshua O’Keefe, Skylar O’Keefe, Jaimee Crosby, Tyler Fender, Sarah Fender, Nathan Fender, and Hayley Fender; and two great-grandchildren, Brody O’Keefe and Morrison Nicholas. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were the joy of her life.

Tricia touched many lives through her love and kindness. Her love of her Lord Jesus was evident in her life, and she never quit studying, having recently finished a seminary course through Freedom In Christ Ministries just short of ordination. She wanted to serve the Lord until her time came and refused to be daunted by her physical limitations.  

Tricia enjoyed fishing and the peacefulness of being near the water, whether it be an ocean, lake, or river, something she grew up doing with her parents and a passion she shared later in life with her sons Sean and Todd. 

She also loved to cook and was famous for her made-from-scratch noodles. All of the grandkids have fond memories of time in the kitchen helping her roll out and cut the noodles in preparation for a family gathering. She was also proud to serve them at many church dinners over the years.

Memorial contributions may be made in Tricia’s name to Project Lydia ( or Freedom In Christ Ministries ( or may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

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