Corona Kelpe

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Corona "Topsy" Brucker Kelpe, 96, passed away Monday, July 6, 2009, at the Lutheran Home, where she was a resident the past eight years.

She was born Jan. 2, 1913, in New Hamburg, Mo., daughter of Theon and Ida Menz Grojean. She and Cornelius "Peg" Brucker were married May 16, 1933. He died Sept. 18, 1972. She later married Norman Kelpe on Dec. 4, 1987. He died Jan. 30, 1994.

Kelpe attended school in New Hamburg and worked several years at International Shoe Factory in Chaffee, Mo. She and her husband operated a grocery store in Illmo five years until their retirement.

She was a volunteer with Saint Francis Medical Center Auxiliary several years and accumulated over 8,500 hours. Since Toybox began in 1974 she spent time throughout the year making gifts for each Toybox campaign, which included numerous stuffed animals, puppets and pajamas. She enjoyed traveling on senior citizen trips throughout the United States and also traveled abroad. She loved to dance and was a regular at the senior citizen dances.

She was a member of St. Mary's Cathedral and St. Ann's Sodality.

Survivors include two sisters, Sybilla Cresap of Advance, Mo., Rita Staebel of Kelso, Mo.; a brother, Francis Grojean of Cape Girardeau; two sisters-in-law, Erma Grojean of New Hamburg, Flora Brucker of Chaffee; a stepdaughter, Ruth Wagner Corey of Wheeling, W.Va.; a stepdaughter-in-law, Peggy Kelpe of St. Louis; as well as several nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents, four sisters, two brothers and a stepson.

Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m. today at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home. Parish prayers will be at 7.

Funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at St. Mary's Cathedral, with the Rev. Tom Kiefer officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary's Cathedral or Saint Francis Medical Center Auxiliary.