Archive for Wednesday, December 26, 2001


December 26, 2001


Funeral services for Theda C. Kepple, 79, Baldwin City, were Friday at the Lamb-Roberts-Heise Funeral Home in Baldwin City. Willis Cheatham and Shawn Smith officiated. Mrs. Kepple died Tues., Dec. 18, 2001 at Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

She was born April 24, 1922, near Vinland, the daughter of Byron Isadore and Nellie Maud (Tucker) Holmes. She lived her entire life within a few miles of where her grandfather, Dexter Tucker, was a pioneer homesteader in 1857. She received her primary education at Stony Point School and graduated from Vinland High School in 1940.

She began work as a cook for the University of Kansas in 1965 and worked for several years in Ellsworth Dormitory. She retired in 1982.

She married Max Dean Kepple on Dec. 1, 1945 in Kansas City, Mo. They made their home on the Holmes family farm until they moved to Baldwin City in 1982. He preceded her in death on May 31, 2001.

She was a lifelong member of the Vinland Church of Christ.

Survivors include two daughters, Terri Ellis and her husband, Paul, Baldwin City and Audrey Walter and her husband, Jeff, Chelan, Wash; a son, Todd Kepple and his wife, Susan, Midland, Ore.; two sisters, Bernice Gottstein and her husband, Fred, Vinland and Violet "Wee" Anderson, Baldwin City; ten grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, three step-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by two brothers, Melvin Edgar "Bub" Holmes, Theodore Tucker Holmes; a sister, Edna May Rockhold and a stillborn son, Christopher.

Burial was at Oakwood Cemetery, Baldwin City. The family suggests memorial contributions to the Maude Carpenter Children's Center and sent in care of Lamb-Roberts-Heise Funeral Home, PO Box 64, Baldwin City, KS 66006.


Graveside services for Clarence Rusk, 104, Baldwin City, were Saturday at Fairview Cemetery, Talala, Okla. Masonic services were Friday at Warren-McElwain Mortuary, Lawrence. Mr. Rusk died Dec. 19, 2001 at Baldwin Care Center.

Mr. Rusk was featured in the August 2000 issue of the Williams Pipeline magazine "Interconnect" as the oldest living Cities Service Gas Co. retiree in the country.

He was born in 1897 on the Rusk Ranch at Talala, Indian Territory (now Oklahoma), the sixth of the eleven children of James Austin Rusk and Margaret "Maggie" Faulconer Rusk. He served in WWI as commander of the 205th Company at Camp Cody, N.M., and was on a troop train headed to the East coast to be shipped out when the armistice was signed.

He started work for the Cities Service Gas Company in 1932 and retired in 1962 with the rank of Engineer A. He then worked for the engineering maintenance department at Lawrence Memorial Hospital, retiring from there at age 82 in 1979.

He was a member for 82 years of Fortitude Masonic Lodge and 52 years of Eva Chapter, Order of the Easter Star, both in Independence. He was a member of the High Twelve Masonic Club in Lawrence and is believed to be the oldest active member in Kansas, rarely missing a meeting for the past 30 years. He was a member of First United Methodist Church, Lawrence, and was the oldest man on the church roster.

He and Anna Laura Grisham of Belton, Mo., were married Dec. 24, 1932. She preceded him in death May 25, 1994.

Survivors include one daughter, Nancyelaine Rusk Anderson, Duluth, Minn.; one granddaughter, Mary Ella Watts, Sand Springs, Okla.; four great-grandchildren; two great-great-grandchildren and eight nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his ten siblings, three nephews and one niece.

The family suggests memorials to the University of Kansas School of Education Clarence Rusk Scholarship Fund and sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th St., Lawrence, KS 66044.

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