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By The Mercury

Helen Delores Ringel, 83, of Alma, died Friday. She was a life-long resident of the Alma area.

The family provided some of the following information.

Delores was born May 3, 1930, in Wamego. She was the daughter of Loren and Frances (Merryman) Kaenel. She attended local schools and graduated from Wamego High School.

Over her lifetime, Delores was a farm wife, an Avon Representative, the secretary at Alma Grade School and, for nearly 30 years, the Clerk of Unified School District 329. Delores’ passions were her family and her town. One of her greatest joys was her children and grandchildren traveling from all parts of the country to spend every Christmas in her home. Many years this meant grandchildren lining the floor of her living room in sleeping bags.

She also had a passion for Alma, serving on the city council, motivated by her firm belief that the city should preserve its heritage, beginning with its downtown street lights. She was also engaged with the Wabaunsee County Historical Society and had a particular interest in the downtown Railroad Park, the log cabin, and millinery shop that were relocated and saved in the park. Her 1888-built cut limestone home was a lifetime labor of love from the time they purchased it in 1956, eventually being completely refurbished. In addition, she was an active member of Peace United Church of Christ in Alma and participated in the church’s Women’s Guild and numerous committees and projects.

Delores married the love of her life, Henry M. Ringel, on June 6, 1948, in Wells Creek. They celebrated 65 years of marriage last year. Henry celebrates his 93rd birthday this year and survives at their home.

She is also survived by her daughters, Carolyn Ringel-Welsh (Bill) of Mesa, Ariz., and Kathy Koch (Don) of Topeka; her sons, Grant Ringel (Jane) of Seattle, Wash., and Chris Ringel (Janet) of Arlington, Texas; 11 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. Delores was preceded in death by her parents; sister, Elaine Himman; and brother, Harold Gasser.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m., Tuesday at Peace United Church of Christ in Alma. The Rev. John Austin will be officiating. Burial will follow in the Peace United Church of Christ Cemetery. Mrs. Ringel will lie in state on Monday starting at 3 p.m. at Campanella-Gentry Funeral Home in Alma, where the family will greet friends from 6 to 8 p.m. They suggest memorial contributions to Peace United Church of Christ or Grace Hospice, and those may be sent in care of the funeral home. Online condolences may be made at

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