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Rev. Robert Alpers

Rev. Robert Alpers

Robert Norman Alpers, 79, died May 31, 2014, in Hendersonville.

He was born Sept. 24, 1934, in Great Bend, Kan. He lived on a farm and attended a one-room school near Hudson, Kan.

Bob earned degrees from Pratt (KS) Junior College, the University of Kansas (B.A.), Mission House Seminary (B.D.), and United Seminary of the Twin Cities (M.Div.). An athlete, 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 the Midwest and Hawaii and was a manager of the first McDonald's in Garden City, Kan.

Bob was the founding pastor of Brookings (S.D.) UCC. His last pastorate was in Lanai City, Hawaii, 2000-2012. He and Dorothy retired to Carolina Village, Hendersonville, in 2013.

Bob, a gentle and kind but highly principled person, was known for his smile and sense of humor, his commitment to justice and progressive theological ideas, singing, and love of Kansas Jayhawk basketball.

He is survived by his wife, Dorothy Lester, Hendersonville; sisters, Florene Kallaus, Fallbrook, Calif.; Phyllis (George) Miller, Ellinwood, Kan.; brother Wayne Alpers, Hutchinson, Kan.; children, Debra (Belen) Puga, Wichita, Kan.; Steven Alpers, Miami, Fla.; Larry Alpers, Euless, Texas; Rebecca (David) Shehadi, Dorset, Vt. and their mother Patricia Garrett Conner, Lawrence, Kan.; stepson Joe Bolin, Garden City, Kan.; and seven grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 20, 2014, in the Village Hall at Carolina Village, and in July in Brookings, S.D., with burial at Peace Church, Hudson, Kan. Memorials may be given to Lanai Union Church, PO Box 630519, Lanai City, HI 96763.

An online register book is available for family and friends by visiting

Thos. Shepherd & Son Funeral Directors and Cremation Memorial Center is in charge of arrangements.