Kent Douglas Beisner

Kent Douglas Beisner, 70, passed away on Saturday, November 28, 2020, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital in Lawrence, Kansas.

Kent was born on October 22, 1950, in Oakley, Kansas, the son of Harold O. and Betty (Gatlin) Beisner. Kent studied pharmacy at the University of Arizona and earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Business from Baker University. He played golf and basketball in college. He was united in marriage to Diana (Olberding) Beisner on April 30, 1976, at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Colby, Kansas, and had a beautiful marriage for 44 years. Together they have three children, Kyle, Keith, and Elizabeth.

He lived a full and vibrant life. He was truly a friend to everyone he met and a mentor to many people in all aspects of his life and professional career. His smile and humor were infectious (dad jokes included). Spending time with his wife, children, and grandchildren brought him so much joy.

Kent had a wonderful career and was a beloved leader. He was in the beer and beverage distribution business for over 33 years. He was Vice-President and General Manager of V & M Distributing, Inc., a family-owned Coors & Miller Distributor in Colby, Kansas from 1976 to 1989. Kent was Vice-President and General Manager for Jayhawk Beverage, Inc. & DeBauge Brothers, Inc. Coors, Boulevard and Miller Distributors, from 1989 to 2008. Kent joined the Kansas Chamber in 2008 and served in several positions including President & CEO and Chief Operating Officer. He was also on the Leadership Kansas advisory board. In addition, he served on multiple boards and was a member of, or affiliated with, many organizations during his career.

After retiring in March 2018, he served as a managing partner for Professional Pile Solutions, LLC, a small business with his son, Keith, as well as an insurance agent. He continued to be involved with the Chamber, the Chamber PAC, Leadership Kansas and Rotary. Much of his time was also spent on the golf course – his passion and hobby that he was truly exceptional at.

Kent was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, Lisa Beisner and Kelly Beisner. Survivors include his wife, Diana of the home; children, Kyle (Jodie) of Beloit, Keith (Kim) of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Elizabeth (Nick) Jerkovich of Leawood; sister, Linda West (Paul) of Norfolk, Virginia; grandchildren, Bryce, Allison, and Ethan; and several cousins, nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial will be at held at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, December 4, 2020 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, 1234 Kentucky Street, Lawrence, Kansas or may be live-streamed at sjevangelist.comlive.

Private family inurnment will be at Pioneer Cemetery in Lawrence.

He will lie in state from 1:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 3, 2020. The family will greet friends from 5 – 7 p.m. with a Rosary starting at 6:00 p.m. at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, which can be live-streamed at

Friday visitation will be from 9:30 a.m. until the Mass begins.

For those attending in person, masks will be required and social distancing will be practiced.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Jayhawk Breakfast Rotary Club or St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church.

56 Condolences

  1. Taylor Lowe on November 30, 2020 at 7:22 pm

    Kent wasn’t one of “the good ones” and he wasn’t even one of “the great ones” – Kent was one of the best ones. To Diana and the entire Beisner family, to say I am sorry for your loss is an understatement. He will be missed beyond measure. I know that Jesus greeted him on Saturday and said “Well done my good and faithful son. Welcome home.” My prayers are with all of you, I am so very sorry.

  2. Don Brunell on November 30, 2020 at 7:46 pm

    Kent was a great friend. I always enjoyed his down-to-earth sense of humor. I looked forward to the chamber and Manufacaturers association meetings and hearing Kent’s stories. If I played golf, I’d want to be on the foursome with him. Our scores would be lousy, but we’d have a good time. Our thoughts and prayers are with Kent and his family. We lost a good one—but not his memories. They live on.

    Don Brunell
    Retired President of Association of Washington Business
    Vancouver, WA.

  3. Andrew W. Cote’ on November 30, 2020 at 11:55 pm

    Kent was a cherished friend, with an easy smile and laugh, a gentle nature, and a genuine concern for others. He lived his Catholic Faith, in union with Christ and His Church, while devoting himself to reaffirming the same in aiding his Catholic brothers in Lawrence. His career success, with both Coors and at the State Capitol in the Chamber of Commerce was built on the trustworthy relationships that can only result from an ethic of always doing the next right thing. Finally, his love and talent for the game of golf gave his friends the gift of many enjoyable weekend rounds in his company. I’m proud to count my myself among them.

    I’ll miss you terribly, Kent.

    Requiem aeternum dona eis Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis. Requiescant in pace.

  4. John potter on December 1, 2020 at 6:09 am

    Although I’ve only known Kent for a couple of years, I can say he was one of the best, and he could sure talk! He loved Lawrence, he loved Kansas, he loved the USA, he loved beer(Coors light), he loved his friends, and he especially loved his family. I’ve had the privilege of watching his outstanding golf game and throughout every round he spoke with great pride of his wife, Diana, his children and grandchildren. We’re all going to miss you Kent, but thanks for the memories….golf will not be the same.

  5. Dan Heptig on December 1, 2020 at 7:18 am

    I have had the great privilege to have worked with Kent on the weekend mowing crew at Eagle Bend for the past few years. Gosh did we work hard and have some great conversations. Through that I was also fortunate enough to have played a small amount of golf with him and I learned a lot about life and the game from those times. Kent was the very definition of the words “Gentleman “ and “class”! I will so miss him. May God’s love be with his family.

  6. Judy Wedermyer on December 1, 2020 at 7:49 am

    My deepest sympathy to Diana and family. Prayers for all of you.

  7. Jeff Kruse on December 1, 2020 at 8:48 am

    Kent was a GREAT friend and mentor to me. I had the privilege of growing up just down the alley from the Beisners in Oakley Kansas & the Beisner residence was like a 2nd home for me. Kent was my golf coach at Colby JC and was not only a great coach but an even better friend. I was lucky when we re-connected a few years ago and decided to play some of the KGA events as a team. These are times that I will forever cherish. I will miss him as a partner but more so as a great friend. My prayers are with Kent, Diana and the family. He will be missed by many.

  8. Nelson & Judy Krueger on December 1, 2020 at 9:09 am

    We were stunned to learn of Kent’s passing in today’s paper. It seems like not that long ago our paths crossed many days walking in the neighborhood. Our acquaintance dates back to Western Kansas, Coors and Leadership Kansas days. In all situations, Kent always had a smile and an easy chuckle. Diana always has a twinkle in her eyes. We send loving thoughts to you and yours. He was a good guy — gone way too soon.

  9. Jim Thompson on December 1, 2020 at 9:17 am

    I met Kent a little more than a year ago on the golf course. He soon became a regular member of our group as everyone so much enjoyed his sense of humor, his golf stories, and his ability to hit laser like iron shots almost always at the pin. Kent was a people person who took a true interest in others. I was one of his more recent friends and wished that I could have known him longer. I, along with so many others, will miss him greatly. Our sympathies to Diana and all the family.
    Jim and Linda Thompson.

  10. Brandon Young on December 1, 2020 at 10:07 am

    Kent was a great friend. I am going to miss our Rotary conversations and time spent on the golf course, but will cherish and remember the memories. My sympathies to Diana and the family.

  11. Sandy Praeger on December 1, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Mark and I are just so sad that Kent is no longer with us. We shared some amazing times with Kent and Diana over the years, with great memories of our two trips to Rome and Tuscany. They were wonderful travel companions, especially with their devotion to the Catholic Church and their faith. We did not walk by a church without walking in to see the beautiful interiors and the amazing art. Kent loved exploring every inch of these beautiful houses of worship and explore he did. I first met Kent through Leadership Kansas in the mid 80’s while he and Diana still lived in Colby. Later we loved being able to welcome them to Lawrence. Kent truly is one of the nicest people I have ever known. He was kind, thoughtful, loved to tell stories and was just a joy to be around. My heart goes out to Diana and his wonderful family. May the person he was live on through your memories and in the joy you bring to those who share those memories.

  12. Mark Praeger on December 1, 2020 at 1:18 pm

    Sandy and I are heartbroken by the news of Kent’s untimely passing. We have both known him for many years. Sandy through Leadership Kansas and me through golf, which was one of Kent’s loves. We never tired of his golf stories, which were seemingly endless. But our friendship grew enormously during the past few years and included Diana and their children. We learned that his love of golf was dwarfed by his love of family and their church. We were privileged to observe his faith in action during two magical trips to Rome. He was mystified by the churches of Rome, some famous and others not. Long after we had seen the artwork which lured us there, Kent was taking photographs of even minor chapels, and commenting about his admiration of Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis. His love for Diana, his family, and his church surpassed even his love for golf. We will remember his beautiful golf game, but the joy he demonstrated in Rome will be our lasting memory.

  13. Sean Thayer on December 1, 2020 at 1:33 pm

    Just a terrific man. Sorry to his family for a tremendous loss.

  14. Kevin Shaw on December 1, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Kent was not only a lifelong friend, but a neighbor, classmate, and childhood buddy. As kids we would hop on our bikes with our golf clubs and ride out to the course and spend all day out there playing and competing. We played many tournaments in the day together, and were the 2-man golf team all through high school. Many Great memories! Kent did have a gift for gab for sure. He could tell a story with the best of them! In later years I would call him “old man” because he was two weeks older than me. I will miss him dearly! My heart goes out to Diana and the family for their loss. Kent touched many people in his life and will be missed. RIP my friend !!!

  15. Duane Dickson on December 1, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    Kent was definitely one of the good ones. Every time I would see him he would have that grin on his face like he was up to something. He probably was most of the time. I enjoyed his friendship and golfing with him. He had so many stories. The one that sticks out in my head is the time when he stated, “You know it is bad being the Coors distributor when you offer a guy a FREE Coors Light and he says no.”
    I really enjoyed golfing with him for the last two or three years. He was just fun to be around. He would hit a shot about 120 yards about 15 ft in the air and start walking forward-looking over at me and wink and say, “Watch this.”
    The ball would hit the green go by the hole then back up about 20 feet. He would just grin ear to ear.
    I just want to tell the family so sorry for your loss. I was blessed to get to know him and spend time with him. RIP!!!!

  16. Valerie Leach on December 1, 2020 at 3:08 pm

    Deepest condolences Diana and family.

  17. Brennan Eilert on December 1, 2020 at 4:36 pm

    Deepest condolences go out to all of you! Kyle and his family are beloved members of our community, and we could tell he came by it naturally after getting to know his parents. What kind, wonderful people Kent and Diana are! Heartfelt sympathy goes out to all of you as you mourn Kent’s passing and celebrate his amazing life!

  18. Gary Bedore on December 1, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    Kent’s passing makes me very sad. Of course I’m happy he’s with God in heaven. I’m kind of speechless at the passing of such a nice person. I enjoyed quick visits with Kent and Diana walking in or out of Mass. I very much enjoyed listening to Kent’s singing as song leader at Mass. I ran into him at a golf tournament or two and enjoyed his welcoming smile. I will pray often for Kent, Diana and the entire family. He was a very nice, engaging person and obviously a God-loving man. Bless you all.

  19. Jacque Madison on December 1, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    Condolences to your family on behalf of the staff and volunteers of Central Links Golf. Kent was a valued and popular member of our course rating team. He served our team throughout the state, and we never went anywhere with Kent where he did not find someone he knew whether it was from his business endeavors or long-time participation in championships. We will miss his service, his stories, his easy-going demeanor, and his infectious smile. Prayers for all your family during this time.

  20. Todd Bingham on December 1, 2020 at 7:02 pm

    Kent was a wonderful person and I truly enjoyed his friendship. I always looked forward to seeing him at the annual Conference of State Manufacturing Associations.

    He will be truly missed. My thoughts and prayers to all of his family during this difficult time.

    Todd Bingham, President/CEO
    Utah Manufacturers Association

  21. Dick Kendrick on December 2, 2020 at 6:51 am

    Kent loved the game of golf and playing in the Kansas Senior Series. He was a welcome member of any grouping. Always a great smile and cheerful attitude no matter how his game went that day. A pleasure to be around. He will be dearly missed by all of us. My condolences to his family and friends for this great loss.

  22. Kent Scott on December 2, 2020 at 8:38 am

    Diana, Kyle, Keith, Elizabeth,

    Dana and i are so so sorry to hear about the loss of Kent. What a super person, and I know a super Husband, Dad, and Grandpa. Our deepest sympathy and condolences are with you all.

    Working together and having Kent as both of our first names, he was KB or Beis, and I was Scotty. So with that said, Beis was a “Prince of a man” as a co-worker, and as a close friend. He was one of the wisest, honest, knowledgeable and sincere people I’ve known and I so enjoyed being around him no matter what the occasion was. At times we would be enjoying Coors Light(s) together talking about many things like his family, my family, a little work, golf, KU basketball, more golf and sometimes even other sports. I told him one time that I thought he should run for public office but he said he was afraid he might get elected. He always had a comeback no matter what. Beis and I had only one thing we didn’t agree on a couple of times a year…………..Chiefs & Broncos.!! He will be missed by all and will be in the hearts and memories to many forever. Words won’t bring him back but the feelings and memories will never be forgotten. Take care and be safe Diana and family. God Bless

    Kent & Dana Scott

  23. Laurie L Bristol on December 2, 2020 at 8:40 am


    So sorry to hear of the passing of Kent. My heart and prayers go out to you and your family at this difficult time.

  24. Terri Gibbs on December 2, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Diana and family: Adding my sincere condolences to the long list of friends, colleagues and golfing buddies, who all have such fond memories of Kent’s life well lived. I will miss seeing Kent drop you off for work or pick you up for lunch, as his love for you was so apparent in his smile and demeanor. May you surround yourself with friends and family who are there to console you, pray with you and help you get through the sad days ahead.

  25. Stephanie Litton on December 2, 2020 at 9:35 am

    Diana, Kyle, Keith, and Elizabeth,
    I have truly enjoyed reading all of the wonderful stories about Kent. What a blessing to know that your husband and dad was truly loved by so many. Being close friends with Kyle and Jodie in Beloit, I was able to get to know Kent and DIana over the last few years in their parent and grandparent roles. Everytime I would see Kent he would be dressed so regally— always slacks and a nice shirt. I started razzing Kyle calling his dad the “Silver Fox”. Over the years the name stuck. I often would hear Kyle refer to the “Silver Fox” coming into town or them attending a golf tournament together.
    Kent’s grandchildren, Bryce and Allison, are blessed to have so many wonderful memories with their very present grandparents. They both inherited many of Kent’s wonderful characteristics; from Bryce’s tall athletic frame to Allison’s quick wit. It warms my heart to see a little bit of the “Silver Fox” in both of them. Thinking of you all often during this difficult time.

  26. Mark Denzler on December 2, 2020 at 10:10 am

    Kent was a truly a genuine and warm individual. It was my honor to meet and get to know him through national manufacturing meetings and he was a mentor to many of the younger leaders. He was also much sought out partner on the golf course! He leaves a tremendous legacy of his time on earth through his family. I wish you peace and warm memories. Godspeed Kent.

    Mark Denzler
    President & CEO
    Illinois Manufacturers’ Association

  27. Gail Courtwright on December 2, 2020 at 10:52 am

    Diana, I am so very sorry for your loss. I will be praying for Christ’s Peace to comfort you and your family during this difficult time.

  28. Dia Simons on December 2, 2020 at 11:10 am

    Diana: I am so very saddened to learn this news. Even though I knew Kent only through his drop offs and pickups of you at work, his kind heart, beaming smile and pleasant conversations will be sorely missed. Thinking of you and your family during this difficult time.

  29. Pat McCandless on December 2, 2020 at 11:27 am

    Diana, Kyle, Keith, and Elizabeth, My sincere condolences to each of you. Kent will be missed dearly. I always looked forward to seeing Kent on Thursday mornings at Rotary. He was always wearing a smile and quick to share updates on his beloved family. Kent was a dear friend and I always enjoyed talking about business, golf and happenings in Lawrence and around the state. But what I enjoyed most was our talks about family. Gain peace and comfort through the difficult days ahead knowing that Kent is in Heaven and he will be with you always! God bless!
    Pat and Debra McCandless

  30. Keeley Stalnaker on December 2, 2020 at 11:57 am

    Diana and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Kent clearly left an impression on everyone, even to those who knew him only as the handsome man with the wonderful smile in the Endowment parking lot.

  31. Doug Lawrence on December 2, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    Kent was a natural giver. His participation in the Lawrence Jayhawk Breakfast Rotary where the motto is “Service above self,” matched perfectly his own values. His ready smile and warmth will be missed greatly.

  32. Brad Demo on December 2, 2020 at 12:24 pm

    One of a kind, great golfer/competitor and amazing friend.

  33. Dick Kendrick on December 2, 2020 at 1:57 pm

    Kent clearly enjoyed the game of golf and loved participating in the Kansas Senior Series. He was always a welcomed member of any grouping. Always a smiling face and cheerful attitude no matter how his game went that day. He will be dearly missed by all of us. My condolences to his family and friends for this great loss.

  34. John Shafer on December 2, 2020 at 2:02 pm

    My condolences to the Beisner family. Kent will be missed. Kyle and I played high school golf together and after graduating we annually played in the LHS alumni scramble with Kent and fellow LHS golfer Ron Shaver. That was always the high point of the summer for me, a chance to come back home and swap stories, and (nearly always) win the event. Kent usually carried us young guys, although every now and then we’d contribute a putt or two. I always enjoyed playing golf with Kent, he knew the game inside and out. He never tried to force a shot he couldn’t hit (of course, he could hit most of them!), which is good advice for golf and life.

  35. Phyllis Fantini on December 2, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    Dear Diana and Family,
    Sorry to hear of the passing of your husband and father. My son, Franklin, was a schoolmate of Keith’s. I always enjoyed watching the young boys play basketball with you, Diana, and Kent.
    Phyllis Fantini

  36. Brooke Unruh on December 2, 2020 at 3:13 pm

    So sorry for your loss, I am thinking of you and your family. 2020 sucks.

  37. Mike Grosdidier on December 2, 2020 at 5:48 pm

    My condolences to the Beisner family. Kent was a great man, friend and golfer and probably his greatest trait was his love of his family. You didn’t need to spend much time around him before you heard numerous stories about them. We would always catch up on them when we would be driving to tournaments together or after we mowed greens. To say that he will be missed is an understatement. As far as Diana was concerned Kent was head over heals in love with her as he would refer to her “as his lovely bride” anytime he would refer to her. A little sidebar the last time we played together,he won $20 (birdied 3 of the last 4 holes). If you knew Kent you know the grin that he gave me when I handed him the money, that will be one of lasting memories I will have of him. Partner I will miss you.

  38. Mike Kissing on December 2, 2020 at 6:14 pm

    One of the most genuine men I’ve ever met. Our families get-to know each other to Canada was so very good. Rest In Peace my friend, I’m honored that I got to know you. My thoughts and prayers are with your soul, Diana and her family.

  39. Brendan and Adria (Jerkovich) Block on December 2, 2020 at 6:40 pm

    Brendan and I were so sorry to learn of Kent’s sudden passing. Nick has always spoken so highly of him. I know he loved and greatly admired Kent as a father-in-law and businessman. I have greatly enjoyed our meetings with Kent and Diana over the years, as well. We particularly enjoyed spending Thanksgiving with them last year at Nick and Liz’s home. Kent will be missed by all. Our prayers are with you.

  40. Diane Massey on December 2, 2020 at 9:08 pm

    Diana, My sincere condolences for your loss. You and your family are in my prayers.

  41. Eric Burks on December 3, 2020 at 1:04 am

    I was fortunate to get to know Kent through several conversations at Bryce‘s sporting events. I will truly miss seeing Kent as he always greeted me with a warm smile and handshake. He was always ready to talk about sports, the progress of Bryce’s team, and about our families. It was clear he loved his family very much and was extremely proud of his children and grandchildren. Kyle and his family are wonderful people and we’re blessed to have them in our community. He has been a positive influence, supporter, and mentor for my children. The more I got to know Kent, the more I understood where Kyle received so many of his characteristics and qualities.

    I wish the entire Beisner family my sincerest condolences You are in my family’s thoughts and prayers.

  42. Steve Sloan on December 3, 2020 at 7:48 am

    Kent was someone we all looked up to in the golfing and business community. He epitomized the meaning of integrity and class with a lot of fun and laughs mixed in. We will all miss Kent but he will not be forgotten. His smile, laugh and competitive spirit will live in perpetuity.

  43. Shelly Triplett on December 3, 2020 at 9:25 am

    I was very saddened by this news. Prayers go out to your family, Diana. I enjoyed visiting with Kent and know he will be missed greatly.

  44. Dan Simon on December 3, 2020 at 9:36 am

    Diana and family-
    So very sorry for your loss. I always loved seeing you and Kent in the early morning walking around the track at Sports Pavilion Lawrence. I’d often then see him dropping you off or picking you up at work and he’d always share a smile and a wave. Reading all these wonderful tributes may not fill the hole in your hearts, but I hope they give you a smile and some joy knowing the many lives he touched. My condolences to your family.

  45. Tim Martin on December 3, 2020 at 1:17 pm

    My mother Shirley Martin-Smith introduced me to Kent Beisner in the late 80’s or early 90’s. From the moment I met him I knew he was a great guy. I played golf a few times when he was on the golf course and he would show off how he could hit the ball a mile, straight as an arrow making it look so easy. He would always take the time to talk to me no matter where we were. Kent was such a great guy. May he rest in peace.

  46. Athena Devers on December 3, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    My heart goes out to you. Keeping you and your family in my prayers.

  47. Gretchen Hundley on December 3, 2020 at 2:52 pm

    Diana, I am so sorry. I wish there was something I could do for you.

  48. Richard Kvasnicka on December 3, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    I knew the Bisner family well. His Father worked for The Highway Engineer,s Dept. His mother was a great player on the ladies softball team. A great 2nd baseman. We were all born in Osborne Co. My Condolences to the Bisner family.

  49. Jim and Carol Buchheister on December 3, 2020 at 4:14 pm

    Kent was a great guy to trade stories with, whether it was about his family, about golf, about Church, or especially about the good old days at Colby Community College, where I knew both Kent and his brother Kelly. Our condolences to your family – – he will be missed!

  50. David and Beth Reynolds on December 3, 2020 at 4:33 pm

    Diane are thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  51. Lori Blaylock on December 3, 2020 at 6:17 pm


    So sorry for your loss. Prayers for you and your family.

  52. Robert "Bud" Jacobs on December 3, 2020 at 6:22 pm

    Diana, Kyle, Keith, and Elizabeth,

    We are Sheryl and Bud Jacobs, and we offer our heartfelt sympathies to you in the loss of Kent. Although we did not know you personally as a couple, we “kept up with you” though our mutual friends, Sandy and Mark Praeger. I played golf with Kent on a number of occasions, and, of course, he was part of my Tuesday morning breakfast group. I always thought of Kent as a true friend, and really enjoyed his company (and watching him play golf!!) whenever we were together. His passing will not soon be forgotten. Please know that your family is in our thoughts and prayers at this time. We will attend his service via live-stream. God Bless.

  53. Sarah (sister Sarah) Jane Barrett on December 4, 2020 at 5:01 pm

    Dear Diana and family,
    So sorry for your loss.

  54. George Roberts on December 6, 2020 at 7:49 am

    Kent was a great guy. I had lots of fun with him on the golf course. He will be greatly missed in the community. My deepest sympathies go out to the family.

  55. Shirley Martin-Smith on December 7, 2020 at 8:18 am

    Dear Diana and family,
    The memories of Kent will live on in many ways, through all the people that knew him, including me. I met Kent through Leadership Kansas when we were both serving on the Board in 1985. Kent and I had much in common with the love of the program, and that commonality stayed with both of us through all these years. Thank you to the entire Beisner family for sharing Kent with all of us! He loved you all dearly.

  56. Patricia Kissing on December 7, 2020 at 10:58 am

    Kent made you feel like you had been related in the few minutes you met. He was devoted to his family, church and, of course, sports. His son, Keith, is our son-in- law. I see some of the enviable business management that Kent was all about in him. What a great partnership for both of them.
    The services were so fitting to honor Kent. I will miss Kent and send my prayers for Keith and his family.

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