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Lonnie Dee Triplett, 74, of Memphis died Saturday, September 19, 2020 at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis.
He was the first-born of four children to Andrew Gerildive and Marguerite (Riddington) Triplett. He was welcomed into this world on February 27, 1946 at the Kirksville Osteopathic Hospital in Kirksville. He grew up with his younger siblings — twin sisters and a brother.
Education for Lonnie and his younger siblings began at the little country school called South Liberty, just up a lane or two from their home place. Story has it their dad, Gerildive, built a little covered wagon at the top of the hill where they piled into the “bus” and rode down the mud road to the schoolhouse. Lonnie and his schoolmates transferred to the Rutledge school at the beginning of the fourth grade. After successfully completing his 8th grade, Memphis High School found him excited to be enrolled in agriculture and FFA. He and his brother helped their father with the dairy farm before and after school.
Lonnie married the former Reva Darlene Kraus on April 2, 1967 at the Arbela United Methodist Church, officiated by Rev. Barbara Barrett. She survives. The Tripletts became the proud parents of two sons and were blessed with three grandsons.
As a baptized member of the Arbela United Methodist Church, Lonnie has helped keep the church operating and in good spiritual health for 50+ years. His leadership can be seen in the many areas of not only the Arbela United Methodist Church but also in the Scotland County Parish, a group of three small country churches. He followed John Wesley’s quote for a successful life, “Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
During the challenges the 1960s era of rioting in our country, Lonnie actively supported and marched with the Missouri National Guard, where he served state-side or over 6 years, training as a heavy equipment maintenance mechanic. He was employed with the Missouri Highway Maintenance Department for over 40 years, advancing to area supervisor seven years prior to his retirement. He was hired by MoDot in May 1964, the year he graduated from Memphis High School.
He took time off from the job to join active duty with the National Guard and came back to his job with the department, retiring in October 2004.
Lonnie has been active in the Rutledge School Restoration Society, which is working to restore the 1912 Rutledge School building.
While his sons were attending and graduating from Rutledge Elementary School, he served several terms on the Rutledge School Board. He enjoyed volunteering as a 4-H leader for many of the outdoor projects.
Having a small farm on the outskirts of Rutledge when his boys were in 4-H, he encouraged animal husbandry where sheep, cattle and poultry were raised.
He never ceased to be proud that both his sons earned a degree in agriculture from Missouri universities.
He was preceded in death by his parents; parents-in-law, Richard and Cleta Mae Kraus; grandparents; brother: Evert Lynn; and brother-in-law Russell Fulk.
He is survived by his wife, Reva, of the home; sons: Daryn and Brandyn; grandsons: Aden, Zyan and Nate; sisters: Jane Saxton and Judy Fulk; sister-in-law, Barbara (Triplett) Smith; brothers-in-law: Larry Saxton, Harold and Robert Kraus; aunts: Arlene Dochterman and Lucille Triplett; many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
A private funeral service was held on September 22 at the Gerth Funeral Chapel in Memphis with Pastors Nate Frazee and Marilyn Fitzgerald officiating. Angela Westhoff and Alisa Kigar performed “How Great Thou Art”, “It Is Well with My Soul” and “When We All Get tto Heaven”. Mike Parish, Stacey Byrn, Darin Dale, Bob Newman, Rodger Holton, Weston Smith, Gary Howell, Junior Jones, Larry Clark and Richard Briggs served as pallbearers. Wayne Bulen, Larry Saxson, Oren Erickson, Phil Struble, Mikel Harvey, Harold Kraus, Ronnie Young, Charles Williams, and Dr. Larry Wiggins served as honorary pallbearers. Burial was in the Gorin Cemetery.
Memorials are suggested to the Arbela United Methodist Church Memorial Fund, Rutledge School Restoration Society or the Scotland County Cancer Fund and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis MO 63555.
Arrangements were under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service in Memphis.