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Friday, August 26, 2016

Obituary - Richard Eugene Carriger

Richard Eugene Carriger
Richard E. Carriger, age 75, resident of Fort Scott, KS, lost his battle with Cancer at home Saturday afternoon August 20, 2016. Richard was born 12-20-1940 in Hawarden, Iowa. Richard was the second son of Paul and Irene Carriger. Paul Carriger had to move his family from place to place as needed by the Champlin Pipeline Co. After a job change the family eventually settled on a small farm near Haverhill, KS. Richard at age six attended 1st Grade at the Haverhill School in Haverhill, KS. This was a three-room school house for 1st through 8th grades. He graduated from Augusta High School and then enlisted in the U.S. Navy on 12-02-1958, and served aboard the Destroyer Tender U.S.S. Dixie. He was shown to have an aptitude for math and was selected for Electronics Technician Training (ET). Richard opted not to re-enlist and was Honorably Discharged on 09-28-1962. Richard became an employee of Kansas Gas and Electric (KG&E) company in Wichita, KS soon after returning home from his service in the Navy. He married Bernice (Gardner) Ropp on 11-13-1965. Following a promotion, Richard moved the family which consisted of his new wife and her 3 children to Fort Scott, Ks. in January of 1966. The family size increased by one with the birth of a son in January of 1967. Richard excelled at KG&E and became the Senior Meterman in the Southeast Kansas area. He regularly traveled to Wolf Creek Nuclear Plant and read/serviced the metering equipment. 

During Richard’s latter years at KG&E he purchased a small Hobby Farm just West of US 69 Hwy. It included a rental house, old barn, a few outbuildings, and an orchard. On the North side of the property Richard constructed a shop/barn by hand to provide a workspace and storage location for his many tools. Richard enjoyed fishing and during the 70”s He and Bernice could occasionally be found at Lake Fort Scott fishing for crappie. Retiring in 2000 after 36 years with KG&E, Richard and Bernice bought a house on Native Rd. located on the northern outskirts of Fort Scott. Richard enjoyed spending time at the Farm. As mentioned above the Farm was where he kept all of his tools and did most of his projects. He was admired by both friends and family as someone who could fix almost anything. Richard was an excellent mechanic and passed his skills on to his boys and grandchildren. When your vehicle broke down or you had a problem you just couldn’t figure out you experienced a collective sigh of relief when you looked up to see his white GMC truck coming up the drive to the rescue. Richard donated his time and expertise to many projects for others. Much of the electrical work done during the construction of the building @ 1900 S. Margrave Street where the Church of Christ meets was donated by Rick Carriger. He worked with Ralph Carlson and his not for profit organization Preferred Home Living, Inc., which provides services for senior citizens and those with disabilities until he had to stop due to medical reasons.

Those close to him called him Rick, a nickname given to him accidentally by his wife shortly after they first met. He was loved & admired especially by his grandchildren and great grandchildren. Richard was known as a man of few words until the grandchildren started to arrive and then the transformation in his normal behavior was extraordinary. 

As his incredulous children stood by and watched this gruff, authoritative Dad turn into a mellow, big old, “Softie”! When the grandkids arrived for a visit they immediately headed for the basement, where all the toys were kept. Grandpa Rick always had a ready supply of every kind of battery, fixed any toys that broke and even hugged and kissed them from time to time. He even allowed them to change the channel on the television. The great grandchildren came and now we children didn’t even recognize Dad. There were still rules but now they were flexible and even sometimes broken.

Richard and Bernice celebrated their 50th Wedding Anniversary November 28, 2015 at the Empress Event Center along with a multitude of family and friends who helped mark this important milestone in their marriage.

We all loved and will miss Dad fondly remembering his dry sense of humor. Remembering that he could make you laugh when you least expected it.

Survivors include his wife Bernice of the home; three sons, Craig Ropp of Fort Scott, Douglas Ropp of Fort Scott, Darren Carriger and wife Missy of Osawatomie, KS; and one daughter Laura Dalton and husband Bill of Parsons, KS; two brothers, Bob Carriger and wife Mary Jane of Broken Arrow, OK; James Thomas Carriger of Prior, OK; one sister Peggy Beene and husband Lee of Mesa, AZ; Thirteen Grandchildren and Twenty-Seven Great Grandchildren; close family friend Patty Nelson of Kansas City, MO; family friends David Groves of Nevada, Mo, David Epps of Mound City, KS, John Durling, Jim Gerteis, Willard Bruner, and Ralph Carlson, all of Fort Scott, and a host of others who were all touched by Richard’s help and acts of selflessness and compassion. He will be missed by all each and every day. Richard E. Carriger was a good, moral, man who showed he cared by his actions and good deeds for others

There was cremation. Evangelist Jason Shackleford will conduct graveside services at 11:00 AM Monday, August 29th, in the U. S. National Cemetery, Fort Scott. Military honors will be provided by the United States Navy Honor Guard assisted by the Olson Frary Burkhart Post #1165 V.F.W. Memorials are suggested to Care to Share and may be left in care of the Cheney Witt Chapel, P.O. Box 347, 201 S. Main, Fort Scott, KS 66701. Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

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