Cover photo for Melvin F. Roepke's Obituary
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Melvin F. Roepke

November 27, 1928 — August 12, 2018

Melvin F. Roepke

Melvin F. Roepke, age 89, of Topeka, passed away on Sunday, August 12, 2018, in Topeka.Mel was born November 27, 1928, in Cottage Hill, Kansas, the son of Arthur and Eleanor (McAtee) Roepke. Growing up the son of a farmer and stockman, Mel was no stranger to hard work, having to perform morning chores of cow milking and livestock feeding before walking to school where his athletic activities included football and track . After graduating Waterville High School in 1947, Mel left the farm finding work constructing sheet metal grain storage silos throughout Kansas. Mel then entered the Air Force, first as a Military Air Policeman at Lackland AFB (San Antonio, TX) and soon transitioned to become a Survival Instructor in the mountains of Reno, Nevada. He ended his four year military service proudly at the rank of Staff Sergeant, setting him up for a new career as a Kansas Highway Patrolman, a job he truly loved. Needing steadier hours and less travel in order to start a family, Mel got his foot in the door as an insurance adjuster in order to begin his 35-year partnership in building the Foltz-Roepke independent insurance sales agency.Mel loved his community and helping others, serving 53 years in Arab Temple Shriners in which he participated in the Royal Order of Jesters and Director Staff, supporting and participating in Boy Scout Troop #7, Topeka, KS, serving on the Board of Directors for Marysville Mutual Insurance, and enjoying fellowship and worship through the Lowman United Methodist Church of Topeka and the United Methodist Church of Waterville.When not working in the yard, Mel enjoyed building creations in his woodshop. Mel’s zest for life included relaxing with friends and family and enjoying the outdoors. Whether grilling for large gatherings, parties with the German-American club, wintering in Rockport, TX , quail hunting in Waterville during snowy winter days, or wading creeks with Mari in summer heat with fishing rod in hand in search of catfish (the goal being the largest fish ), Mel felt most at peace outdoors.Mel is survived by his wife of 33 years, Marianne Roepke, Topeka, KS; brother Gail Roepke, and his wife, Bevy, Waterville, KS; son Kevin Roepke, Overland Park, KS; son Scott Roepke, and his wife, Leila, Richmond, MO; son Kirk Roepke, Euless, TX; step-daughter Jeri Noble, and her husband Chuck, Tulsa, OK; step-daughter Angie Morrison, and her husband Bill, Gravois Mills, MO; step-son Bill Dickerson, and his wife, Kristi, Olathe, KS; step-daughter Dawn Yarnell, and her husband Lyndall, Topeka, KS; 12 grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.Mel was preceded in death by his father Arthur Emil Roepke (1983), mother Eleanor Margaret Roepke (2001), sister Margaret H. Siebert (2017) and brother-in-law Clark W. Pierce (2003).Visitation will be from 11:00am to 1:00pm, Friday at the Kevin Brennan Family Funeral Home 2801 SW Urish Road, in Topeka. A second visitation will be held from 6:30pm to 8:00pm, also on Friday, at Terry-Christie Funeral Home in Waterville.Funeral services are at 10:00 am, Saturday, August 18, 2018, at the United Methodist Church in Waterville with Pastor Debby Dick officiating. The organist is Beverly Hedke, Alvin Roepke is the soloist. Casket bearers are Shane Morrison, Eric Morrison, Chris Noble, Bret Dickerson, Darren Searles and Brett Casper. Burial is at Riverside Cemetery in Waterville with military honors provided by the Offutt Air Force Base Honors Detail.Memorials are suggested to the Shriners Hospitals for Children or Waterville United Methodist Church and may be sent in care of the Terry-Christie Funeral Home at PO Box 61, Waterville, Kansas 66548.
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