Kleppe, Mary J. 1931-2021

Mary Joyce Kleppe, age 90, passed away Friday, Aug. 13, 2021, at Amberwell Hiawatha Hospital surrounded by family.

She was born near Fairview on Feb. 22, 1931, to John Henry and Mildred (Houlette) Fraser. She met the love of her life and best friend, Paul Adam Kleppe, while attending Hiawatha High School. They graduated in 1949, and Mary worked in the Brown County Extension and Treasurers Office, until she and Paul were married at the First Christian Church of Hiawatha on Nov. 5, 1950.

Mary and Paul started their married life farming near Troy. They later moved to Hiawatha and purchased the farm where they worked side by side for more than 50 years. Mary served for many years on the Election Board in Robinson. She spent countless hours working outside caring for her flowers and yard, still mowing up until the time of her death. She and Paul were married nearly 65 years when he died on June 29, 2015.

Mary was preceded in death by her parents; husband, Paul; infant daughter, Mary Beth; two brothers: Jake Fraser, Gerald Fraser; four sisters: Jean Zimmerman, Joan Hall, Shirley Babb, and Janice Kathrens; and daughter-in-law GeGe.

She is survived by children Debra (Jim) Ewing and Bruce (Whitney), all of Hiawatha; grandchildren, Gilay (Richard) Allen of Topeka, Kansas, Karma Kleppe (Steven Jones) of St. Joseph, Missouri, Justin (Sherame) Kneisel of Benton, Kansas, Jarred (Jennifer) Knelsel of Hutchison, Kansas; 14 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandson; a sister Betty Adams, of Oregon; and numerous nieces and nephews.

Memorial services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021, at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Hiawatha with Eric Hicks officiating.

The family will receive friends one hour prior to services.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions are suggested to Hope Brown County or St. Judes Children Hospital sent in care of the funeral home, 124 S 7th St., Hiawatha, KS 66434.

A special message or note of remembrance may be sent to the family at www.chapeloaksfuneralhome.com. As published in the Hiawatha World.

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