A tradition in Ellinwood, Kimple Furniture will close its doors one final time later this year when Richard and Linda Kimple retire.
The funeral service portion has been sold to Ryan Minnis, effective Sept. 1, who will continue to operate that business.
For the couple, the time has come to slow down a bit. Richard and Linda have actively run the Main Street business for 40 years.
“Kimple’s has had a presence on Main Street in Ellinwood for over 70 years, and the decision has not been easy,” said Richard. “Our retirement sale and liquidation of our home furnishings inventory begins immediately.
“I am certain that the Ellinwood community will find that the Minnis family will be a good fit here,” he said. “Ryan is a fifth-generation funeral director, and a responsible and compassionate young man.”
Minnis has had a long family history in funeral service. In 2012, Minnis completed mortuary school in Dallas and was hired as an assistant funeral director and an apprentice embalmer. Ryan’s parents, Mitch and Lisa, own the funeral homes in St. John and Macksville and live near there.
In addition, Ryan’s uncle and aunt, Jay and Adrienne Minnis, live in Stafford and operate Minnis Chapel. Ryan, who is 26, lives in Ellinwood and completed his one-year apprenticeship in mortuary service.
According to local historian Robert Yarmer, there has been a furniture and funeral business in Ellinwood since 1881. The first ad for the new furniture store indicated that ready coffins were kept on hand in case of immediate need as well as fine furniture. The funeral business made history when they offered the first auto funeral in Barton County in 1915.
The furniture store as it stands today, was built in 1922 and was owned by Frank Weber. In 1944, a custom drapery shop was added.
Richard’s father and mother, Stanley and Elizabeth Kimple assumed operation of the business in 1945 and ran it until 1978, when Richard and Linda took over the business. The couple had moved back to Ellinwood in 1972 to help out.
Richard praised his loyal employees who have worked for him over the years, including Melvin Ringering who has served as assistant funeral director for 30 years.
“We are looking forward to retirement and are extremely grateful for the loyalty and support of this community for two generations,” Richard said.
The couple plans to continue to live in Ellinwood and will continue to operate their monument business for more five years. In addition, Richard will handle pre-need sales for Minnis.
Richard and Linda still plan to be involved in community as well, although they plan to spend a bit more time with the grandkids and participating in hobbies such a golfing, hunting and shopping.
Richard is on the hospital board, Jensen insurance board, Farmer’s Mutual Insurance board, and is involved with the American Legion and church.
“We are still involved in a lot of things,” Richard added.