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Earney's Story

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RIVERTON, Kan. - Earney Paul Donaldson, age 72, of Riverton, Kan., passed from this life on October 30, 2017 following a short illness. Earney was born on February 1, 1945, in Galena, Kan., to his parents, Earnest and Ruby (Armitage) Donaldson.
Earney was a graduate of Galena schools, where he excelled in athletics. He later obtained his Associates Degree in Business and Industrial Supervision from Labette Community College, in Parson, Kan.
Earney lived in southeast Kansas his entire life and was dedicated to serving the people of Cherokee County. In 1966, Earney started his celebrated career in law enforcement as a patrol officer with the Joplin Police Department. He later served as an officer for Galena Police Department, in 1967, before accepting a position with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, where he served 33 years. During his tenure with the Cherokee County Sheriff's Department, Earney served as a member of the Tri-State Major Case Squad; the department's hostage negotiator; the lead representative between the department and all outside agencies, including the Kansas Bureau of Investigation; and lead supervisor of all Sheriff's Department investigations. Earney's final 16 years of service with the sheriff's department was as Undersheriff. In August of 1999, Earney began his most recent role as a security officer for Riverton schools.
He was a member of the Riverton Friends Church; the Kansas Sheriff Association and the Kansas Peace Officers Association. He was a retired member of the Galena Volunteer Fire Department. Earney received numerous recognitions and awards for his meritorious service. He enjoyed watching NASCAR, and his pet dogs. His greatest interest was his family and grandkids.
Earney is survived by his wife of 50 years, Royce. One son, Scott Donaldson; his daughter, Sydnee Donaldson, of Riverton; and her mother, Jennifer Donaldson, of Joplin, Mo. One daughter, Heather Richmond, her husband Jared, their sons Chase Richmond, with girlfriend Taylor Cowan, and Cutler Richmond, all of Joplin. He was preceded in death by his parents, Earnest and Ruby; Earney was also preceded in death by one brother, Donald Joe "Hammer" Mallatt; and one sister, Vivian Jean Mallatt.
The family ask that in lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the Riverton Friends Church.
The family will receive friends at 6 p.m. Friday, November 3, at the Derfelt Funeral Home, in Galena. Funeral services will be at 1 p.m., Saturday, November 4, at the Riverton High School Fieldhouse, officiated by Wes Davis and Shane Dotson, with Carey Haner assisting.
Published on November 3, 2017
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