Patricia “Tricia” Kay (Gaddis) Fender

Memorial services for Patricia “Tricia” Kay (Gaddis) Fender, 75, will be held at 11 a.m. 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 Haylee 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.

10 Condolences

  1. Judy williams on October 14, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss. I love this wonderful woman of God and will miss her. She always lite up the room with her laugh and her smile. When she talked about her family, she came alive with memories and stories.

  2. Ginnie Ellis on October 14, 2020 at 9:10 pm

    So sorry to hear of Tricia’s passing. Prayers with your family.

  3. Dan Studt on October 15, 2020 at 1:42 pm

    We are so grieved to hear of your loss! Those who have known your mom / grandma from our ministry have been so excited to see how God has been at work in her life and thrilled that she was preparing to be part of the ministry in a formal way. We are praying for you all and confident that the Lord will comfort your hearts as you share memories that make you weep, laugh, or simply thank God for Tricia. I was comforted in the loss of my mom years ago when I read 2 Corinthians 5:4 and saw that, from God’s perspective, “the mortal has been swallowed up by life.” Your dear loved one is alive because of Jesus Christ! Thank God we do not have to mourn without hope.
    Praying for you all,
    Dan Studt
    President, Freedom In Christ™

  4. Marilyn Kaufman on October 15, 2020 at 9:07 pm

    So sorry to hear of the loss of your loved one ! She will be greatly missed!! Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.

  5. Betty Scribner on October 16, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    So heartbroken to hear this news. We have known Tricia Fender since Calvary Temple days back in the 80s. She spent time in my office because she was a great sales lady and had sold an up-to-date phone system to the USGS, making sure every detail was working. We attended LCC together where we always watched for her in the choir. She moved back to Lawrence and we attended church together again, had lunches, and prayed together. She loved and prayed for her family. She overcame so many obstacles in her life. She was always positive in spite of her heartaches. She was a beautiful, most inspiring friend. We will miss her Facebook posts. Tricia Fender was a true woman of God. Love to her children and grandchildren. RW and Betty Scribner.

  6. Norman and Doris John on October 17, 2020 at 11:22 am

    So sorry for your loss.
    Our prayers for your family.

  7. Virgie Christy on October 17, 2020 at 12:26 pm

    Mac and I are so sorry for your loss. We are sure you are comforted on knowing for sure that you will see her again in heaven . You are in our prayers .

  8. Lynn Bonney on October 18, 2020 at 5:16 am

    The news of Tricia’s passing is shocking and sad. I’ve known her since our school days in Chanute, where she was a fine student and a good friend to many. We reconnected in the 1970s, when I worked with Sonny at KLWN/KLZR and stayed in touch through Facebook. She was so proud of her family and I know that you carry that love with you. Tricia is a beloved child of God and I will always treasure her memory.

  9. Rita Thompson on October 18, 2020 at 10:48 am

    Dear family of Trish Fender,
    We, a small group: Intentional from City Center Church (formerly Lenexa Christian Center) want to share our condolences and heart felt love to you at this time. Trish blessed so many lives with her tender friendship, soprano voice, awesome food prep skills. and most of all her love for God and his word. She has left an awesome legacy for all to follow. She is enjoying her eternal rest in heaven. We know words cannot replace the feelings you have but do know God is always faithful and his love Will fill whatever void you may be experiencing right now! In Jesus Name, Small Group Intentional of CCC, Rita Thompson, Anchi Zwede, Arin Burgess, Ava Jones, Ellen Huff, Karen Grover, Joann Williams, Martha Pecina-Woods, Dee Ndidi Obiefuna, Yolanda Newsome.

  10. Fawn Turner on October 22, 2020 at 7:33 am

    Rhonda and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Tricia was an amazing lady, beautiful inside and out. She definitely had her hands full with the three of you growing up but she was always up for the challenge. I remember the fun times we all had back in the day. Sorry to you all for your loss.

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