Radhika Apte


I have been blessed in my life in the fact that I have known so many interesting people and when I lose one it is very personal to me. Before coming to the wonderful Gypsum Hills I am a fifth generation rural Kansan and fourth generation western Sedgwick County resident. For 32 years I lived on Lutheran Hill which put me in both communities of Cheney and Garden Plain. Both communities were full of interesting characters and I loved listening to all of them.

Lately many of the people that I loved to hear stories from have passed on. It is difficult for me to get to funerals and if no one remembers to call me and I catch the news in the obituaries. It drives me crazy that there are now some that do not even put in an obituary. Recently I have not gotten into the office and have been late seeing the obits. That is why I am even more sad when I hear about a passing too late.

Jules was from a large farm family and had lost his mother at an early age. To say that he was a worker would be an understatement. Jules was a free thinker and if there was a problem to solve he would study on it and would soon have it worked out. For a time Jules would partner with a brother in a gas station in Garden Plain. The business would be very successful but he also had other plans.

Jules farmed south of Garden Plain and raised a family. There was a need for a body shop in the community and he built it, leaving the gas station to his brother. The Garden Plain Body Shop was successful and his son Fred ran the business and still does to this day. Jules brought local boys into the business and became a father figure to many.

I could, and sometimes did, listen to him for hours. Much of my love of history comes from listening to these older people.

Jules was a religious, caring, compassionate man who was involved with the church and community. He would tell the unvarnished truth and if something was not right he would not do it or tolerate it. He would not tolerate those who would.

I will miss Jules and his stories and I know the family, friends and community will also.

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