Thula Mae Duitsman

Thula Mae Duitsman, 96, was ushered into her eternal reward, Dec. 31, 2017, in Leavenworth, Kan. She was born Oct. 3, 1921, in Topeka, Kan., the oldest child of Walter and Dea Muchow.

Thula Mae Duitsman

She lived a rich life of faith in Jesus Christ and was the loving wife of W.W. “Bill” Duitsman; mother of four daughters who adore her, Cheryl, Jean, Peggy and Mary; and friend to many.

Thula Mae was baptized and confirmed in the Christian faith at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Topeka. While attending Kansas State University, she met Bill Duitsman and the two married on Sept. 21, 1941. She was the star partner in a sterling agricultural career which included 28 years of service at the Kansas State Agricultural Experiment Station in Hays, Kan. and then as Kansas State Secretary of Agriculture in Topeka.

She and Bill were charter members of Messiah Lutheran Church in Hays, Kan. and served in many capacities contributing to the spiritual and physical growth of the congregation. She was a long-time member of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, the Kansas Cowbelles Association, and strong community supporter and leader in 4-H.

Known widely as a woman of grace, Thula Mae was a gifted homemaker, master gardener and accomplished artist. Throughout her life Thula Mae was gracious to the thousands who entered her home, whether in the large groups she hosted or in one-on-one chats. They all left with lifted spirits by her warmth, kindness and tasteful hospitality. This precious God-given spirit was with her until the day our Lord took her Home.

Thula Mae was preceded in death by her husband Bill, her parents and brother, Robert.

She is survived by four daughters Cheryl Caracci and husband Joe, Jean Schmidt and husband Tom, Peggy Pera and husband Jeremy and Mary Gieseke and husband Chad; 13 grandchildren; Tammy Engel, Wendi Engel, Kevin Schmidt, Kelly Schmidt-Ladrigan, Nathan Pera, Aaron Pera, Dan Schmidt, Tim Pera, Saul Gieseke, Greta Gieseke, Charlie Gieseke, Jacob Pera and Jonathan Gieseke; 16 great-grandchildren; and her sister, Mary Kay Stevenson.

Visitation will be from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, 2018, at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home (4701 10th Ave. Leavenworth, KS, 66048). A funeral service will begin at 2 p.m. Friday, at Zion Lutheran Church (210 Church St., Linn, KS, 66953 ). Burial will follow at Zion Cemetery. Memorials are suggested to Messiah Lutheran Church (2000 Main St., Hays, KS 67601).