by | December 21, 2020 12:10 pm

Madison (Matt) Traster died at his home on December 16, 2020, in Ulysses, Kansas. He was born on September 1, 1927, on a farm near Edna in Labette County, KS.  Madison was the son of Ralph E. and Cora B. (Massa) Traster.  Matt had an idyllic childhood at Altamont, KS where he raised livestock, and hunted and fished with his boyhood friends and his dog Jack.  He attended the Labette County Community High School, graduated in 1945, and immediately joined the Navy for World War II serving on the U.S.S. Hyades in the South Pacific. 

After his Naval service he attended Parsons Junior College, now Labette Community College where he played football. He went on to Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas graduating in 1950 with a degree in agronomy. Upon graduation, he worked for the U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation in Huron, South Dakota classifying soils. While in Huron, he met and married his life-long love Patricia (Pat) Snow on January 24, 1954. The couple lived in Dodge City and Garden City, before settling for good in Ulysses, KS in 1957.  

Matt loved Kansas and the land and was always connected to agriculture in his work.  He was active in his community and church. He was an inaugural member of the Ulysses Park Board, served on the USD 214 Board of Education for 13 years, and another 13 years as a Grant County Commissioner. He was the head of the building committee at the United Methodist Church during the construction of the Wesley Hall addition. In 2005 Matt was recognized as the Grant County Citizen of the Year.

Madison fiercely loved his family and friends and was especially devoted to his wife Pat.  He was a man of strong faith and loved the Lord Jesus Christ.  He made a mean peanut brittle every year at Christmas and loved to play bridge. 

His wife, Patricia, his parents and his sister, Norma Gean Winters preceded him in death.   

Madison is survived by a son, David Traster of Wichita; two daughters, Julia Traster Rowe and her husband, Tony, of Dickinson, North Dakota; Janet Long and her husband, Mike, of Ulysses; three grandchildren, Joshua Thomason of Topeka, Nicholas Long and his wife, Shasta, of Manhattan, and Melissa Pickett and her husband, Michael, of Aurora, Ohio; six great-grandchildren and one on the way, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Funeral service will be held Tuesday, December 22, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church, Ulysses, KS with Reverend Todd Guinn officiating. The family encourages social distancing and wearing a mask.  The service will be broadcast live via Garnand Funeral Home Facebook Page and the First United Methodist Church Facebook page.  A private family burial was held at the Ulysses Cemetery, Ulysses, KS with military rites conducted by Dexter D. Harbour American Legion Post #79.  Visitation will be from 2:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. on Monday, December 21, 2020 at Garnand Funeral Home, Ulysses, KS. Memorial contributions may be given to the United Methodist Women or the United Methodist Wednesday Fellowship Dinner Fund in care of Garnand Funeral Home, 405 W. Grant Ave, Ulysses, KS 67880.  Condolences may be posted at www.garnandfuneralhomes.com.

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