Carl Hapes died peacefully in his sleep 3 weeks before his 98th birthday. He was born in Chillicothe, MO, and lived on his family’s small farm through the Great Depression, leaving only when he joined the Merchant Marines during World War II. Merchant Marine ships were in constant danger from marauding German submarines, and the ships Carl sailed on in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans had their share of close calls.
With victory close at hand, Carl returned home and married Wanda Lee Raney of Chula, MO, in January 1945. Shortly thereafter, he returned to the war in Europe. After the war, he tried his hand at several jobs before going to work for Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. in 1947. That was the beginning of a 33-year career during which he was very proud to call himself a “telephone man.” He worked as a lineman, cable repairman, installer and supplies foreman before being promoted to management where he supervised the company’s message center and copy bureau in its Kansas City area. After retiring from Southwestern Bell, Carl began raising cattle on a farm in northern Missouri. He enjoyed thoroughbred and greyhound racing, and his favorite vacation spot was Las Vegas. Although he loved being a cattleman, it became too much as he entered his 80s. He retired again at age 85 and enjoyed frequenting Kansas City’s riverfront casinos, where he was a regular slots player. He lived in Gladstone until moving to San Antonio, TX, in 2021 to be near his daughter and son-in-law.
Carl was preceded in death by his wife, Wanda, parents Delbert and Rosa Hapes, and brothers Edward and Wayne Hapes and their wives, Rosalee and Berva respectively. He is survived by daughter Judy Kelne (husband Mike Kelne), and grandsons Trey Dowell (wife Stephanie Gold) and Adam Dowd Kelne (wife Trish Dowd Kelne), granddaughter Lucy Dowd Kelne and grandson Quinton Dowell.
Carl will be buried at Terrace Park cemetery on Hwy 169 & Shoal Creek Parkway on Monday, January 30, 2023, at 11:30 a.m. Visitation at 11:00 a.m. In lieu of flowers, people are encouraged to make donations to their favorite charities in Carl’s memory.