William W. “Doc” Wempe

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.

9 Condolences

  1. Leeana Hackworth on September 16, 2011 at 8:50 pm

    I am so greatly sorry for your loss, I own several ponies bred by Doc Wempe and cherish them even more this day.

  2. Kim Wempe Blakeley on September 17, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I’m so sorry for your loss and sorry we are unable to be there. Uncle Bill reminded me so much of my Dad! My prayers are with your family.

  3. Marc Mondi on September 17, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    To the Wempe family:

    I am saddened to hear of Doc’s passing. The opportunities I had to spend around Doc were such a treat; I will never forget that firm handshake, followed by great stories. I sincerely wish I could attend his funeral, but regretfully will not be able to be there. My condolences to everyone.

  4. Lucille Tuckel on September 17, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    The Doc was a great guy and a joy to be around my whole family will miss him are hearts go out to you. Lucille Tuckel and family

  5. Rory M. Clark on September 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    So sorry to hear about the passing of Doc. All of us in the William P Clark Family send our condolences.

  6. Kim Murphree on September 19, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    I was so sad to hear of Doc’s passing. I will keep you all in my prayers. What an amazing life he lived! How much you all worked so that he could remain as independent as possible right up to the end, just as he wanted it. That shows such love, such selfless sacrifice—you showed him how much he meant to you–and I know he loved you for it. We will miss him too. I will always remember him coming to the farm to doctor the horses…my horse Wimpy in particular was his patient, along with Rio, Poco Buddy, Country Boy, PuSan, and a host of other horses owned by the Murphree family. Doc took care of the little ones too…kitties, kids, canines, you name it. What a wonderful part of so many lives–and isn’t that the mark of someone special? The great memories left for so many–the smiles that come to our faces when we think of him? I am convinced that is true. Thank you, Doc, for all you have done for so many…and thank you, his family for sharing him with us. God bless and keep you all. May the angels of the Lord be with you to comfort and strengthen you, now, and always.

  7. Barbie Tuckel-Wolford on September 19, 2011 at 8:57 pm

    To the Wempe family: I’m truly sorry for your loss. Doc was an awesome man and will be missed by many. I can remember him coming into the feedstore and asking me if I had been staying out of trouble, and of course if you know me “Barbie” that was not possible. Of course we both giggled about that cause he knew it was not possible for me to behave. He always made me and many smile. You will be missed Doc, and I know that you are looking down right now at all of us from heaven.
    With Love: Barbie Tuckel-Wolford and the Tuckel Family

  8. Phyllis Payne on September 19, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    I’m very sad to hear of Doc’s death. My condolences to all of you who loved him.

  9. cindy mcnicoll on September 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm

    doc took care of my many dogs till he retired. he taught me alot about how to are for my dogs plus he taught me about being a good person.He and his wife we wonderful neighbors took care of their community.loved horse too.Now we know your running free.thanks for everything. ill never forget your kindness to me.

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