Obituaries Announcements

Forrest Fernkopf
Mercer Funeral Home in Holton
formerly of Holton, KS

 Forrest D. Fernkopf, 85, of Topeka, formerly of Holton, passed away May 25, 2014 at Aldersgate Village in Topeka. He was born April 12, 1929, the son of Michael Carl and Mabel Stephenson Fernkopf in their farm house southwest of Holton. He graduated from Holton High School in 1947. Forrest earned a Bachelor of Education and a Master of Education as a Reading Specialist from Washburn University, a Master of Education from KU and a Doctor of Education from National Christian University. He served 41 years in Kansas schools. Forrest taught at Rock Brook one-room school and seventh and eighth grades at Denison, KS. He was an elementary teacher and principal in Topeka for 32 years from 1956-1988. Forrest taught sixth grade at Clay, Vanburen and Whitson (formerly Southwest) schools.

He was principal of Sumner, Central Park, McClure, Bishop and Lafayette elementary schools. He was Kansas Elementary Principle of the Year in 1986 and National Distinguished Principal in 1987. He received the Holton High School Alumnus Award in 1991. After retiring from Topeka schools in 1998 Forrest was a supervisor of student teachers at Washburn University for eight years. He was Author of the First Talking Alphabet in 1967, Handwriting Films and Books in 1971, and the Video Alphabet in 1994.

Forrest taught the Wesleyans Sunday School Class for over 30 years at Grace United Methodist Church. He served in the U.S. Army Reserves from 1948-1958 during the Korean War. He was a member of the American Legion Capitol Post 1, Moose Lodge 555 and Circleville Masonic Lodge No. 20.

Forrest was married to Helen Louise Fletcher July 16, 1950 in Holton. She died December 25, 2000. He is survived by three daughters; Patricia Hale and husband, Martin, of Topeka, KS, Debra Exon and husband, Rolland, of Shawnee, KS and Louann Fulmer and husband, Robert, of Topeka, KS, his six grandchildren; Chad Hale and wife, Nichole, Lindsey Bray and husband, Jeff, Sara Helen Candace and Andrea Exon and Dylan and Haylee Fulmer; great-grandchildren, Mackenzie and Madison Hale and Jack Bray; his sister, Donna Parmiter, Holton, KS and loving nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; brothers, Kenneth and Eugene Fernkopf and his sister, Norene Arnold.

Family visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday evening at Grace United Methodist Church in Topeka. A Celebration of Life service will be 11:00 a.m. Friday, May 30, 2014 at the Mercer Funeral Home in Holton. The family will greet friends prior to the service at the funeral home. Inurnment will be in Holton Cemetery. Memorials may be given to Grace United Methodist Church c/o Mercer Funeral Home, Box 270, Holton, KS 66436. To leave a special message for the family, visit