Alumni Obituary - Herbert Carey (Cay) Zortman Skip to content

Alumni Obituary – Herbert Carey (Cay) Zortman

Herbert Carey (Cay) Zortman in 1962Herbert Carey (Cay) Zortman (CC ’62), age 81, peacefully passed away at his home very early Saturday morning, October 15th, 2022, after a three-year battle with multiple myeloma. Cay was born in Dodge City, Kansas, on July 1st, 1941, to Herbert and Gladys (Newell) Zortman. The third of four boys, Cay was raised in rural Fowler and attended the Fowler Public Schools.

After graduating from Fowler High School in 1960, he married Carol Ann Frazier. They later divorced. She survives.

Cay attended two years of college, earning an Associate’s Degree, from Central College in McPherson, Kansas, where he played on the men’s Tiger basketball team.

After college, Cay returned to Fowler to work alongside his dad, brothers, nephews and three children operating a commercial feedlot and alfalfa hay operation.

On September 3rd, 1993, Cay married Shirley (Isaac) Wheeler. Cay and Shirley lived in the Fowler and Meade areas until moving to Wichita in 2015. After retiring from farming, Cay continued to work as a hired hand for various local farmers in Meade and Gray counties and worked in Wichita for Kansas Truck Equipment Company, transporting buses across the state of Kansas until his illness in 2019. Cay had an outstanding work ethic and was a life-long learner and problem solver. He enjoyed tinkering in his shop, he could be quite the renegade rounding up cattle on a 4-wheeler in the feedlot, he could fix anything and everything, he enjoyed attending sporting events with Shirley and most recently he thoroughly enjoyed the companionship of his and Shirley’s two dogs, Penny and Knuckle.

Cay gave his life to the Lord as a young boy. He faithfully attended church and served in a variety of leadership roles throughout his life with Cave Free Methodist Church, Fowler Friends Church, Countryside Bible Church, where he received baptism and most recently RidgePoint Church in Wichita.

Cay is survived by his wife, Shirley, of the home, his daughter, Elaine Kohler and her husband, Eddie, his daughter, Anita Zortman, and his son, Stan Zortman and his wife, Mindy; grandchildren, Joshua Zortman, Alaura Zortman, Blake Zortman, Elyssa Kohler, Tamron Thornburg, Jacob Shaw, and Raquel Shaw; and two great-grandchildren (with two more on the way). Cay is also survived by his step-son, Max Wheeler and his wife Laura, his step-daughter, Margo Shelton and her husband Brian, and his step-grandchildren, Chase Wheeler, Katelyn Wheeler, Allen Shelton, Kyra Shelton, John Shelton and James Shelton. Also surviving is Cay’s brother, Chuck Zortman and his wife, Ramona, and Cay’s bonus grandchildren, Robby, Cody, Molly, Karlee, Caleb and Trudy.

Cay is preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Ed Zortman and Gary Zortman.

Memorial services for Cay were held on Thursday, October 20th, 2022, at 10 AM at RidgePoint Church in Wichita, KS. Cremation has taken place. Graveside services were at a later date at the Fowler Cemetery, Fowler, Kansas.

In lieu of flowers, the family would welcome memorials to RidgePoint Church, 8000 W. 21st Street, Wichita, Kansas.


Central Christian College of Kansas is a regionally accredited institution offering undergraduate and graduate-level programs. Central strives to offer Christ-centered education for the whole person – heart, mind, soul, and strength. Its history dates back to 1884, and it is located in the friendly town of McPherson, Kansas. Central is a strategically small college that offers over forty areas of residential study and a thriving online program for non-traditional students. To learn more about Central go to Visit the Foundation of Central Christian College to see what projects and events are coming up.

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