The Mass of Christian Burial for William W. “Doc” Wempe, 94, Lawrence, KS, will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday, September 20, 2011 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Lawrence. Burial will follow in Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery. Father John Schmeidler will be the celebrant. He died on Thursday, September 15, 2011 at The Windsor in Lawrence.
He was born on June 8, 1917 in Frankfort, KS, the son of August J. and Anna (Larsen) Wempe.
Dr. Wempe was a retired veterinarian in Lawrence. For many years, he owned and operated the Wempe Small Animal Hospital on East 9th Street in Lawrence. He also owned the Wauk-A-Way Farm south of Lawrence where he raised registered Holstein cattle and Shetland ponies.
He graduated from Kansas State University in 1940 with a degree in Animal Husbandry. He graduated from the KSU Veterinary School in 1942. In the Wempe family, nineteen members are Veterinarians, nine of them, including Dr. Wempe, were graduates of Kansas State University. He was one of the founding members of the establishment of the Wempe/Luckroth Family Scholarship in Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State. The scholarship assists a first semester senior in the professional veterinary curriculum.
The Wempe family received the Veterinary Medical Alumni Association (VMMAA) Alumni Recognition Award from the Kansas Veterinary Medical Association (KVMA Conference in 2001. The family was honored for their dedication to veterinary practice and service. Dr. Wempe received the Douglas County Friend of 4-H Award presented by the Douglas County Extension in the fall of 2009.
Dr. Wempe was married to Margaret “Peg” Clark on October 20, 1942 in Lillis, KS. She preceded him in death January 31, 1986.
Survivors include a daughter, Nancy Swearingen, of Lawrence, three sons; Dr. Michael Wempe, of Odessa, TX, Peter Wempe, and wife, JoAnn of Lawrence, K.C. Wempe, and wife, Kari of Lawrence, KS, fourteen grandchildren and twenty-one great grandchildren; two great-great grandchildren; three sisters, Helen Wadick of Connecticut, Bertha Wempe of Topeka, KS, and Clara Boan of St. Louis, MO. He was also preceded in death by a daughter, Patricia Transmeier in August 1995, and a son, Stephen C. Wempe in September 2007.
The Parish Rosary will be recited at 6 p.m. Monday, September 19th at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence. The family will greet friends following the Rosary until 8 p.m.
The family suggests memorials in his name to the Lawrence Humane Society or Douglas County 4-H Foundation and may be sent in care of the mortuary.