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Albert E. Rodehorst

February 7, 1920 — December 12, 2017

Albert Ernest Rodehorst, 97, Linn, KS, died Tuesday, December 12, 2017, at the Linn Community Nursing Home, Linn, KS. Visitation was 4:00 to 8:00 PM, Friday, December 15, at Ward Funeral Home in Linn, KS. The family received friends from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. His funeral was held at 10:00 AM, Saturday, December 16, at Zion Lutheran Church in Linn, KS, with Rev. David Gruoner officiating. Eunice Beier played the organ with the congregation singing, “In the Garden”, “The Lamb”, “Just As I Am”, and “Be Still My Soul”. Pallbearers were his grandsons Jared Meier, Kevin Hartman, Eric Winter, Aaron Rodehorst, Evan Meier, Ethan Rodehorst, Casey Winter, and Alex Winter. Honorary pallbearers were his granddaughters Heather Hubert, Heidi Perkins, Shannon Downs, and Amanda Sudbeck. Burial was in the Zion Lutheran Cemetery, Linn, Kansas. Bert was born on February 7, 1920, on the family farm in rural Palmer to Ernest and Hulda (Meyer) Rodehorst. On February 15, 1920, he was baptized at St. John Lutheran Church, Palmer, by Rev. J.G.B. Keller. Bert attended St. John Lutheran School, rural Palmer, through the 8th grade. On March 25, 1934, at St. John Lutheran Church, Palmer, he was confirmed in the Lutheran faith to which he was faithful all of his life. After his confirmation, he worked on the family farm until he enlisted in the US Army on October 27, 1941. Bert served in Germany, Panama, and the Galapagos Islands and always said it was quite something for a Kansas farm boy to see the world. Bert and both of his brothers each served in the military during WWII and each of them came home proud to have served his country. He was honorably discharged on October 4, 1945. On October 13, 1946, he was united in marriage to Edna C. Wilkens at Immanuel Lutheran Church. Rev. Otto Praeuner officiated. Their wedding day was celebrated at Edna’s family farm south of Immanuel Lutheran Church. Bert and Edna enjoyed the day despite the rain and mud that, as Edna would say, created a “muddy mess”. Bert for the rest of his life referred to her as “The Mrs.” For 70 years, they lived, laughed, and loved together while building a home of faith and family for their four children, Mary, Deanna, Joyce, and Rich. Bert was a farmer at heart, but when he returned from his military service, the family farm had been sold. He found employment with the Washington County Creamery, first picking up eggs and cream and later, working as a Grade B milk route driver. Bert spent many hours on the road but he always enjoyed the families that he visited on his milk route making sure to give each of the kids on the route his time and attention. After his retirement from the milk route in 1982, he had the opportunity to work with his son, Rich, at the Rice-Johntz Lumberyard in Linn. During his retirement, Bert created and built many woodworking and craft projects. His children and grandchildren were the bearers of toy barns, toy farm fencing, and any wood shelf, frame, nativity barn, or garden decoration he could dream up. His farmer’s heart led him to become a gifted gardener. With Edna’s keen sense of planning and Bert’s willingness to follow her directions, they created an intricate maze of fruits and vegetables each spring, summer, and fall and with that bounty he fed his children and grandchildren and anyone who was willing to buy a little from Bert’s Bargain Barn. Many mornings and evenings Bert would spend in the backyard wearing his trusty overalls and farmer’s cap with a watering hose in his hands keenly looking out for the next weed and fostering his next plentiful harvest. In addition to his creative woodworking projects and productive garden harvests, Bert was a humorist who enjoyed the wit and irony that life provided. He wrote little poems and ditties in his grandchildren’s birthday cards and he always enjoyed a good story and a good laugh with good friends and good family. Bert was also a musician who loved to play German polkas on his accordion, to sing his favorite traditional hymns at church (including Be Still My Soul), and to dance a silly jig that would make his “Mrs.” giggle. Beyond his love for woodworking, gardening, words, and music, was his love for his family. Because he worked so many hours in the truck on his milk route when his children were growing up, he made a point to spend his retirement attending any local ball games or concerts or school programs in which his grandchildren were involved. Bert was at his best when he was “Papa”. Whether he was chatting on the front porch with a neighbor or produce buyer, working in their backyard garden, completing a project for Edna, crafting the next masterpiece in his garage workshop, or giving a horsey ride on his lap with the next grandbaby, Bert lived his faith and loved his family. Preceding him in death were his wife, Edna (on January 4, 2017), his parents, sisters Clara Rahe, Frieda Ohlde, Hilda Rodehorst, and Dora Rodehorst, and brothers Rev. Ervin Rodehorst and Elmer Rodehorst. He is survived by his children, Mary (Jim) Hartman, Clifton, Deanna (Steve) Meier, Palmer, Joyce (Greg) Winter, Palmer, and Richard (Dinah) Rodehorst, Downs; sisters-in-law, Catherine (Kate) Wilkens of Clay Center, Bernice Wilkens of Clifton; 12 grandchildren and 21 great-grandchildren. A memorial fund has been established and will be designated later. Contributions may be sent in care of Ward Funeral Home, P.O. Box 157, Washington, KS 66968. To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Albert E. Rodehorst, please visit our flower store.


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