Obituaries October 25, 2017

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Richard Dean “Rick” Norris

Richard “Rick” Dean Norris, 49, of Kansas City, MO died Friday, Oct. 20, 2017 as the result of a motorcycle accident.

Rick was born on Dec. 9, 1967 in Atchison, KS to Richard and Betty J. (Hager) Norris. He graduated from Park University in Parkville, MO with a B.S. in Management and Human Resources and a Master’s Degree in International Business Management. Rick worked for over 16 years at Harley-Davidson Motor Company and was presently the Quality Manager of the Kansas City Vehicle & Powertrain Operations. His career began there in the wheels department. Rick married Debin Borowski on March 15, 2012 and lived together in Kansas City, MO. He was active in the establishment of the Dogs by Debin Adoption Center and cared deeply for animals. Rick was a dedicated family man and had a special bond with his grandson Jaxston. He also enjoyed hunting, fishing, cooking, riding his motorcycle, and blues music.

Rick is survived by his wife, Debin. Additional survivors include daughter, Jessica (Jake) Henry, father, Richard Norris, sister, Brenda Norris, and grandson Jaxston Henry, all of Atchison, KS. Step-siblings include Kent (Dianne) Middleton, Karla (Nick) Claycomb, Kellie (Dave) Hall, Kayla (George) Lemke and Shelly (Jeff) Campbell. Rick’s mother, Betty J. Blide, and sister, Dee Ann Ferris, preceded him in death.

Memorial services will be held at 2:00 pm on Sunday, Oct. 29th, 2017 at the Atchison Event Center, 710 S. 9th St., Atchison, KS. His body has been cremated, according to his wishes, and the family will receive friends from 5:30 to 8:30 pm on Saturday, Oct. 28th, at the Becker Dyer Stanton Funeral Home, 800 Kansas Ave Atchison, KS. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Richard D. Norris Memorial Fund and may be sent in care of the funeral home or online at Contributions will be used to develop a humane education community center in the Northland of Kansas City, MO. Condolences to the family may be left online at

A ride will start at noon, kickstands up at 12:30 pm on Sunday for a procession to the services beginning from the Vehicle and Powertrain Operations Facility, Kansas City, MO. Following the services there will be a gathering of family and friends at the Norris Family Farm.

Harold Edwards Ripple, Jr.

Harold Edwards Ripple Jr., 98, of Hiawatha, passed away Monday morning, 23 October, at the Maple Heights Nursing Home.

Born March 24, 1919, in Dodge City, KS, he was the son of the late Harold E (Sr.) and Ada (Hopper) Ripple. A graduate of Dodge City High School and Dodge City Junior College, he attended Northern Illinois College of Optometry in Chicago. However, he left school during the war to serve in the Army Corps of Engineers building Army Air and returned to and graduated from the College of Optometry in 1947. He practiced optometry in Hiawatha 36 years from Sept. 1, 1947 until retirement in 1983 .

On May 29, 1949, he married Margery Elizabeth Shideler, who preceded him in death on Jan. 18, 1978. Of that union, two children were born and survive, Patricia (Mike) Marsh and Gary (Susan) Ripple.

On Feb. 17, 1979, he married Deloris Parker Hathhorn, who survives of the home. This union brought another son and daughter into the family: Steve (Marla) Hathhorn and Debra Hathhorn Wright, of Hiawatha.

As a member of the Kansas Optometric Association (KOA), he served as president of the Kansas Optometric Association, president of the Kansas Optometric Foundation, Chair and Secretary of the State Optometric Board of Examiners, President of the seven-state Heart of America Contact Lens Association, and President of the Kansas Ethics Committee for Optometry. As a member of the American Optometric Association, he earned recognition as a fellow of the American Academy of Optometry. He received numerous honors from both professional associations including KOA’s Emeritus Member and KOA’s first recipient of its Lifetime of Excellence Award for his exemplary ethical and professional character.

Dr. Ripple was a member of The First Presbyterian Church of Hiawatha for 70+years where he served many times on its Board of Trustees and on its Session with multiple terms as Session Clerk. From 1955 until 1963, he served on the Hiawatha Board of Education. He was one of three original founding members of the Hiawatha Elks Lodge serving one term as Exalted Ruler and a member for 70+ years. He was also active for 70+ years in the Masonic Lodge and was a member of the Abdullah Shrine. As a long-time member of the Hiawatha Kiwanis Club, he served once as president, and he was a member of the Hiawatha Country Club. He also served on the Boy Scouts’ District Committee and on the Troop 111 Committee, and he was proud to be an adult member of the Pony Express Council’s tribe of Mic-O-Say. As an enthusiastic KSU Wildcat fan, he attended almost all KSU football games from 1970 until 2015. He loved the mountains and took many trips with family and friends to the Ripple family cabin in Colorado. He was a woodwork craftsman and made intricate, keep-sake toys for his children and grandchildren. Well into his 90s, he enjoyed golf, bridge, fishing and bowling.

In addition to those already mentioned, other survivors include: one brother, Dr. William Ripple of Dodge City, KS.; nine grandchildren and their spouses: Chris (Angie) Grojean of Omaha, NE; Kristin (Chad) Soden of Hiawatha; Randee (Justin) Abitz of Wamego, KS.; Robyn (Aaron) Lanter of Hiawatha; Ryan (Jamie) Hathhorn of Olathe, KS; Emily Ripple (Travis) Rudolph of Dallas TX; Lisa (Shelby) Wendland of Lawrence, KS.; Graham Ripple of Kansas City, MO.; and Jacob (Cas) Marsh of Aurora, CO.; fourteen great-grandchildren: Austyn, Jaydee, Cade, Natalee, Reid, Reese, Westin, Charlotte, Allie, Drew, Henry, Kayla, Savanna – and another baby Wendland on the way; and 2 great-great grandchildren: Kooper and Piper.

He was preceded in death by one sister, Virginia Baldwin.

Friends may call at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home after 10 a.m. until 4:30 Wednesday. The family will meet with friends at the First Presbyterian Church in Hiawatha from 6 until 8 p.m. that evening.

A Celebration of Harold’s life will be held at the First Presbyterian Church, Hiawatha. at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, October 26, with Reverend Nancy Tuma will officiate. Masonic committal services will be a courtesy of Masonic Lodge #35, AF&AM of Hiawatha. Interment will follow at Mt. Hope Cemetery, Hiawatha.

The family requests that remembrances be given to the Kansas Optometric Foundation, Hiawatha’s First Presbyterian Church, or the Maple Heights Activity Fund, which may be sent in care of Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, 124 S 7th St., Hiawatha 66434.

Abby Jo Riggs

Abby Jo Riggs, 25, Crawfordville, FL, passed away Saturday, October 21, 2017 in St. Joseph, Mo. She was born December 14, 1991 in St. Joseph, Mo. She graduated from Benton High School in 2010. She lived life to the fullest and loved unconditionally. Her laugh was contagious and her smile lit up any room. She was a beloved daughter, granddaughter, sister and mother. Remarked as kind, sweet and dearly loved by her “Lil’ P”. She was a Christian. Abby was preceded in death by her maternal great-grandparents, Thomas & Dora (Rosie) Emberry and paternal grandparents, Jim & Beverly Crist. Survivors include: Mom & Dad, Angela & Larry Helfery Sr.; father, Albert Crist; daughter, Chevy “Lil’ P” Riggs; sister, Ryleigh Helfery; maternal grandmother, Roxann Townsend; aunt, Amy Trowell (Mack); cousins, Boden Williams, Tate & Madelyn Waynick; step-brother, Larry Helfery Jr.; step-sisters, Amy Danner and April Helfery. Funeral services will be conducted at 10:00 am, Thursday, October 26, 2017 at Rupp Funeral Home with Jim Hale officiating. The family will receive friends and family from 6:00-8:00 pm on Wednesday, October 25, 2017 at Rupp Funeral Home. In lieu of flowers, family requests memorial donations to the Chevy Riggs Educational Fund. Please make checks payable to Chevy RyLynn Riggs and send to Nodaway Valley Bank, 6304 King Hill Ave. St. Joseph, MO 64504

Connie Nadine Koelliker

Connie N. Koelliker, 77, of Hiawatha died Sunday evening, October 22, 2017 at her home surrounded by her loving caregivers of Brown County Developmental Services and family. She was born March 25, 1940 in Highland , Kansas one of four children to John Wesley and N. Fern (Beaman) Koelliker and she lived most of her life in Hiawatha where she was employed at BCDS up until a few days before she passed. Connie is preceded in death by her parents, a sister, Patricia (Pat) R. Nigus, a nephew, Randy Koelliker and a great-nephew, James Francis Weiland. Survivors include brothers D. Gene Koelliker (Pat) of Hiawatha; Gary Koelliker (Phyllis) of Highland and brother-in-law Donald Nigus of Hiawatha, nine nieces & nephews and numerous great nieces & nephews and great-great nieces & nephews and her special family at BCDS. She loved everyone and considered them her friend. She loved to watch the birds and squirrels outside her window on a daily basis. She enjoyed listening to country, oldies and gospel music. She loved playing Bingo, going for rides in her van/car and getting it washed so it looked clean and shiny. Shopping was always something that put a smile on her face as she liked to pick out new clothes for work. In her younger years she enjoyed bowling at Maple Lanes in Hiawatha and going to the Special Olympics. She attended the First Christian Church of Hiawatha and enjoyed her time in the Sunshine Class on Sunday’s. A celebration of Connie’s Life is planned for 11 a.m. Thursday, October 26, at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Hiawatha with Chaplain Ryan VanPeursem officiating. Interment will follow at Highland Cemetery, Highland. The family will meet the friends an hour prior to services at 10 a.m. Memorial contributions are suggested to BCDS, sent in care of Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, 124 S. 7th St., Hiawatha , KS 66434.

Leslie Ivan Rieger

Leslie Ivan Rieger, age 100, died on October 21, 2017, at the Apostolic Christian Home in Sabetha. He was born on May 11, 1917, on the family farm in Fairview, Kansas. He was the youngest of 9 children to the union of Charles Henry Rieger and Louisa Schaible Rieger. He graduated from Fairview High School with the class of 1935. He attended the University of Kansas and received a degree in Business Administration in 1940. He married Rosalys McCrerey on April 12, 1940. They had one son, Christopher Philip Rieger, of Norman, Oklahoma.

After graduation from KU he worked for TWA in flight control in the downtown Kansas City Airport. He also worked for Remington Arms in the Engineering Department at Lake City, Missouri. In the fall of 1942 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy Reserve and attended Northwestern University in Chicago, as the Navy used various university campuses for training during the World War II. At completion of this training he was promoted to Ensign and transferred to the Supply Corps. He attended Supply Corps School on the Harvard campus at Cambridge, Massachusetts. Duty stations included the Naval Air Training Station at Corpus Christi, Texas, the 8th Naval District Commissioning Detail at New Orleans, Louisiana, and aboard the USS Uvalde, an attack cargo ship operating in the Pacific Theatre. Prior to being assigned to sea duty he was promoted to Lieutenant Junior Grade.

He completed active duty in the spring of 1946 and released from the U.S. Navy Reserve in 1952, returning to Hiawatha, Kansas. He was engaged in private business in farming and operation of the Hiawatha Monument Works. In 1958 he returned for post- graduate work in Public Administration at the University of Kansas. He later served the city of Manhattan, Kansas, as Assistant City Manager, Director of Finance and Personnel, and was ultimately appointed City Manager by the Manhattan City Commission. The Rieger Meeting Room at Manhattan’s City Hall was named in honor of his service to the City of Manhattan.

He was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Manhattan, Kansas, as well as the Hiawatha and Manhattan Lion’s Club where he served as President of both clubs. He was a lifetime member of the KU Alumni Association, the Kansas State University’s President’s Club, and the VFW Post 1786 in Manhattan.

He was preceded in death by his parents, all of his siblings and his wife. He is survived by his son and daughter- in- law, Christopher and Kimberly Rieger of Norman, Oklahoma; three grandchildren, Sara Rieger Ayres, her husband John and great granddaughters Gabrielle and Allison, of Leawood, Kansas; Jana Rieger of San Diego, California; Michael Rieger of San Francisco, California; as well as several nieces and nephews.

Memorial Services will be held Friday, October 27, 2017 at 10:30 a.m. at Mount Hope Cemetery, Hiawatha, Kansas. Shane Spangler will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Riley County Humane Society, P.O. Box 1202 Manhattan, Kansas, or the McCrerey-Rieger Scholarship, Kansas State University Foundation: 1800 Kimball Avenue, Suite 200, Manhattan, Kansas 66502. Please indicate Fund Q85026.

Friends may call at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home, Hiawatha, after 10 a.m. until 7 Thursday evening.

Pamela Sue Mullins

Pamela Sue Mullins, 61, of Atchison, KS died Monday, Oct. 23, 2017 at her home following a lengthy battle with cancer.

Funeral services will be at 2:00 pm on Friday, Oct. 27, 2017 at the Second Christian Church in Atchison. Burial will follow in Mt. Calvary Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:30 to 8:00 pm on Thursday, Oct. 26th at the Becker-Dyer-Stanton Funeral Home. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Second Christian Church Building Fund and may be sent in care of the funeral home. Condolences to the family may be left online at

Pam was born on March 17, 1956 in Winchester, KS the daughter of John D. and Betty L. (Smith) Daum. She had attended Atchison and Nortonville schools graduating in 1974. She worked as a phlebotomist for Atchison Hospital for 25 years, and at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center, Leavenworth for 8 years before retiring in January of 2017. Pam was a member of the Second Christian Church, Atchison and was active the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life for many years before she, herself, was diagnosed. She enjoyed sewing, crafts, painting, reading and especially spending time with her children and grandchildren who adored her. In her words, “They are the absolute best part of life.” Pam was known by many as an extremely hard-working, grateful, and thoughtful person who went out of her way to help others. Her attitude toward her battle with cancer was nothing short of inspiring.

She was married to Mark E. Mullins on August 9, 1975 at Sacred Heart Church, Atchison. Mr. Mullins survives of the home. Additional survivors include two sons, Nicholas and Joseph Mullins, both of Atchison, KS, two daughters, Carolyn (Mark) Bowers, Rushville, MO and Angela (Donnie) Brown, Lancaster, KS, three sisters, Sarah Conway, and Debra Munsterman, both of Leavenworth, KS, and Barbara Zeltner, Atchison, KS and four grandchildren. Her parents, a brother, Richard Daum and sister Charlene Artman, preceded her in death.