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David J. Wapelhorst

March 13, 1946 — January 14, 2024

Roeland Park

David J. Wapelhorst, affectionately known as Dave, passed away peacefully on January 14, 2024, at the age of 77 in Shawnee, Kansas. He was born March 13, 1946, in Colwich, Kansas, to Raymond and Cecilia (Weber) Wapelhorst.

On May 8, 1971, he married Colette Balman at St. Rose Catholic Church in Great Bend, Kansas. They resided in Great Bend before relocating to Shawnee, Kansas in 2006.

Dave spent his career working in the auto parts business where he was known for his extensive knowledge and expertise in this field. He dedicated himself to providing excellent customer service at Bob Reiter Chevrolet, Manweiler Chevrolet, and Parts Inc. Outside of work, Dave had a variety of hobbies and interests that brought him joy. Fishing, hunting, gardening, woodworking, tinkering with clocks, attending car races, cheering on the KU Jayhawks and Kansas City Chiefs, and spending time with his family were among his cherished pastimes. He particularly delighted in attending his grandchildren’s events, cheering them on with unwavering support and love. Dave was a member of the Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church in Shawnee, Kansas.

Survivors include his wife, Colette, one daughter, Elisabeth (Alvin) Merz of Olathe, Kansas, one son, Joseph (Stacie) Wapelhorst of Shawnee, Kansas, and three grandchildren, Ethan and Colton Merz, and Paige Wapelhorst. He is also survived by his brothers Paul (Charlotte) Wapelhorst and Daniel (Joyce) Wapelhorst, both of Great Bend, Kansas, and four sisters, Rose Phillips of Sioux City, Iowa, Doris (Allen) Karst of Great Bend, Kansas, Clara (Robert) Evans of Newton, Kansas, Teresa (James) Connelley of Wichita, Kansas, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Dave was preceded in death by his parents, Raymond and Cecilia Wapelhorst, as well as his brother-in-law, Darrell Phillips.

A memorial service to honor and celebrate Dave’s life will take place at a later date in Great Bend, Kansas. Cremation has already been carried out in accordance with his wishes.

Dave will be deeply missed by all who had the privilege of knowing him. His kindness, generosity, and warm spirit touched the lives of many. May his soul find eternal peace and may his memory live on forever in our hearts.

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