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Former State Representative and Senator Bert Chaney Dies at 96, Leaving Legacy on Hutchinson and Kansas


By Lucky Kidd


HUTCHINSON, Kan. — Former State Representative and State Senator Bert Chaney of Hutchinson died Wednesday at the age of 96, leaving his mark and legacy on Hutchinson, and on Kansas.

Born and raised in the Coffeyville area, Chaney served three years in the US Air Force and after earning Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in political science from Pittsburg State University, began his teaching career in Kansas City, Kansas. He came to Hutchinson in 1958, and taught political science, government and history for 32 years.

As an educator, he was instrumental in the establishment of the GED diploma program at what is now Hutchinson Correctional Facility, opening educational opportunities for many. He also coordinated a program to provide training and education necessary for citizenship.

In 1966, Chaney began his next phase of public service when he was elected to the Kansas House of Representatives, moving over to the Kansas Senate in 1972 where he served 12 years. During his time in Topeka his major accomplishments included legislation that removed height requirements for police and fire officers, allowing purchase of generic drugs, and the immunization requirements for school children that remain in place to this day.

Two of his three children and the husband of the other would also be involved in public service. Son Doug went into education, and this summer will retire after 25 years of service as superintendent and principal at Hodgeman County USD 227 in Jetmore. Daughter Cindy Proett served eight years on the Hutchinson City Council including time as mayor. The late Barry Law, husband of daughter Melissa, also served on the City Council and as mayor.

The funeral for Bert Chaney will be held Monday morning at 11 at Elliott Mortuary.