OBITUARY

Helene Lapp

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Helene Lapp (nee Shuler), age 78, a longtime resident of Kansas City, Missouri, passed away May 18, 2018. Originally from Dayton, Ohio, she was born in 1939 to the late Carl James and Winnie Shuler. She graduated in 1956 from Springfield (Ohio) High School, and then attended Miami-Jacobs College in Dayton, where she earned an associate degree in accounting. She had a wicked sense of humor and delighted in telling how she wielded her power as society columnist for her school newspaper. She regaled friends and family with tales of the many jobs she held as a youngster, from Arthur Murray dance instructor to Olan Mills touch-up artist.

She married Fred Lapp in 1962, with whom she had three daughters, and they settled in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1971. Although she lamented the distance to her beloved family in Ohio, she enjoyed driving the 700 miles back home and challenged herself to make the marathon trip in shorter and shorter durations.

As a stay-at-home mom, she urged her daughters to take part in extracurricular activities, and ferried them to dance, music and swim lessons, trips to the mall and Worlds of Fun. She encouraged her daughters to take pride in their intelligence and further their education in college.

She returned to the workforce full-time in the late 1970s, starting as a seasonal tax examiner for the IRS, and working her way up to a supervisor. She retired in 2001, but not before making countless friends among her coworkers.

Her many interests revolved around family and friends. She loved music and dancing, smoking and drinking, dining and travel. From a young age, her parents instilled in her a fondness for the road trip. One of the cherished family stories was how she gamely drove her mother and younger siblings from Ohio to San Francisco in the days before the Interstate Highway System for a family vacation when she was just 18. As an adult, she thrilled to hit the open road – driving as far away as Maine, Florida, California and Mexico by car. She loved cards and board games and in later years played online poker with virtual friends. She was an unabashed flirt even when her health began to fail and she was relegated to hospitals and retirement communities. When she began spending more time in skilled nursing facilities, despite whatever difficulties she was enduring, she tried to find humor in the experience and learned the names of all her caregivers and expressed gratitude for the care she received.

She is survived by her daughters Vicki Lapp of Alameda, California; Toni Lapp of Fort Collins, Colorado; Gina Lapp-Rincker and her husband, Jason Rincker, Fort Collins, Colorado; sister Dorothy Rike of Yellow Springs, Ohio; brother James Shuler of Yellow Springs, Ohio; grandsons Ryan Hengy of Prairie Village, Kansas, and Cory Hengy of Kansas City, Missouri; granddaughters Sabine Rincker and Greta Rincker of Fort Collins, Colorado; and four nephews.

Visitation will be held June 7 from noon to 1 p.m., and Memorial Service from 1-2 p.m. at McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road, Kansas City, Missouri.

Services

  • Visitation Thursday, June 7, 2018
  • Celebration of Life Thursday, June 7, 2018
REMEMBERING

Helene Lapp

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Helene with grandson Ryan

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Helene at Renaissance Festival -- huzzah -- circa 1980

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