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Donald Fredrick Henry "Don" Kelpe, 76, of Cape Girardeau went home to be with his heavenly father Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012, at his home.
He was born Jan. 28, 1936, on the family farm in Cape Girardeau County, to Arthur L. and Helen Louise Bertling Kelpe. He was baptized and confirmed at Old Hanover Lutheran Church. He attended Old Hanover School and graduated from College High School.
He and Diane Kimmich Kelpe were married May 29, 1993, at Old Hanover Church.
Upon his retirement Don enjoyed spending time with his family and friends. His children and grandchildren were the light of his life.
He had lived all his life on the Kelpe family farm and in his youth worked the Kelpe Dairy Farm alongside his parents and siblings.
Don started out working for AmerenUE as a laborer, becoming foreman and then retiring as supervisor over the gas department.
He served his country 17 years as a member of the U.S. Army Reserve.
He was a member of Hanover Lutheran Church.
Survivors include his wife, Diane Kelpe of Cape Girardeau; two sons, Bruce (Lauren) Kelpe of Ruston, La., Joseph (Annette) Kelpe of Jackson; two daughters, Jill (Jason) Morrow of Shelbyville, Ky., Christy (Jeff) Bebej of Shorewood, Ill.; two brothers, Gerald (Bonnie) Kelpe and James (Jeanne) Kelpe of Cape Girardeau; a sister, Dorothy Gray of Canton, Ill.; many nieces and nephews.
Also special friends, Richard Meyer and Ed Hamilton of Cape Girardeau, and Deborah Griffin of Jackson; 11 grandchildren, Lance Kelpe, Morgan Kelpe, Zeke Kelpe, Alexa Kelpe, Hunter Kelpe, Landon Morrow, Maggie Morrow, Carson Morrow, Brett Bebej, Kyle Bebej and Kalyn Bebej.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two sisters, Verna Gross and Ruth Heuer; and a niece, Robin Gross.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home.
The funeral will be at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Old Hanover Church, with the Rev. Barry Pfanstiel officiating. Burial will be in Hanover Church Cemetery with military rites by Missouri Honor Guard.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Old Hanover Lutheran Church Fund or Good Shepherd Lutheran Building Fund.
Online condolences may be made at www.fordandsonsfuneralhome.com.