HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. — Robert Norman Alpers, 79, died May 31, in Hendersonville, N.C. A service will be held at Peace Church, 492 NE 140th Street, in Hudson, at 2 p.m. on Friday, July 25, with burial to follow. After the burial, family and friends are invited to a meal at Wheatland Café for visiting and reminiscing.
Robert Norman Alpers was born on Sept. 24, 1934, in Great Bend, to Elmer Leo and Laura Matilda Hullman Alpers. He lived on a farm near Hudson, and attended nearby German Valley School and Peace Church.
Bob earned degrees from Pratt Junior College, the University of Kansas (B.A.), Mission House Seminary (B.D.), and United Seminary of the Twin Cities (M.Div.). He was a football player at Pratt and KU.
Bob was ordained in 1958 by the Evangelical and Reformed Church and was a pastor in the United Church of Christ for 55 years. He served churches in Missouri, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Hawaii, and was a manager of the first McDonald’s in Garden City.
In 1989, Bob became the founding pastor of Brookings UCC in South Dakota. His last pastorate was in Lanai City, Hawaii from 2000 to 2012. He and his wife Dorothy retired to Hendersonville, N.C. in 2013.
Bob, a gentle, kind, principled person, was known for his smile and sense of humor, his commitment to justice and progressive theological ideas, singing, and love of Kansas Jayhawks.
He is survived by sisters Florene Kallaus of Fallbrook, Calif. and Phyllis (George) Miller of Ellinwood; brother Wayne Alpers of Hutchinson; wife, Dorothy Lester of Hendersonville, N.C.; children Debra (Belen) Puga of Wichita, Steven Alpers of Miami, Fla., Larry Alpers of Euless, Texas, Rebecca (David) Shehadi of Dorset, Vt., and their mother Patricia Garrett Conner of Lawrence; stepson Joseph Bolin of Garden City; grandchildren Michael Clifford of Batesland, S.D., Sarah, Nina, David, and Joseph Shehadi, of Dorset, Vt., Corey West, San Diego, Calif., and Joshua West of Wichita; and honorary grandson Kasey Sabin, Lanai, Hawaii.
Memorials may be given to Lanai Union Church, PO Box 630519, Lanai City, HI 96763 or Peace Church in Hudson. An online register book is available at http://www.thosshepherd.com/.
Great Bend (Kan) Tribune, July 20, 2014**