LoAnn Carolyn Sechtem, 81, of Russell, Kansas, died on Tuesday, February 07, 2023, at the Russell Regional Hospital.
LoAnn was born on March 09, 1941, in rural Hoisington, Kansas, as the first child of Homer and Alvina (Karst) Eurich. When her father died in an explosion, LoAnn was only a year old. Her mother then moved LoAnn and her sister Marjorie to the family farm with Alvina’s parents, William and Lydia Karst. The family’s language of choice was German until Alvina met and married Calvin Templeton, a soldier from West Virginia who had been stationed at Walker Air Force Base in Kansas. Calvin was a model stepfather, graciously raising both girls as his own. The family enjoyed country living until the two girls were of school age, when the family then moved into Russell. The family enjoyed the birth of another sister, Diana, then later, through adoption, the girls’ cousin Alan became their baby brother. LoAnn was active in many school activities, including the school marching band and even a dance band, playing the coronet (trumpet). She participated in gymnastics, and excelled in trampoline. LoAnn favored business classes (shorthand, bookkeeping and typing) and graduated near the top of her class. After high school, she worked at the Russell State Bank and later at the accounting firm now known as Gudenkauf & Malone. She assisted the family in the woodworking businesses and ultimately worked out of the home as a self-employed bookkeeper for local businesses.
Several years after high school, LoAnn married her high school sweetheart, Gale Sechtem, and three children (Philip, John and Julie) were born to that union. She was a longtime member of St. John Lutheran Church in Russell. She enjoyed cooking, hosting large family meals, watching tennis, KU Basketball and Kansas City Chiefs football. Most of all she enjoyed spending time with her family.
Surviving family include her sons, Phillip Sechtem and wife Josefina “Jo” of Provo, Utah; and John Sechtem of Russell, Kansas; and daughter, Julie Sechtem of Russell, Kansas; sister, Marjorie Reinhardt of Denver, Colorado; and brother Alan Templeton of Russell, Kansas.
She was preceded in death by her parents, husband and sister Diana Brown. A celebration of LoAnn’s life will be held at 10:30 A.M. on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, at the St. John Lutheran Church in Russell, Kansas. Burial will follow at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Cemetery in Dorrance. Visitation will be from 9 A.M. to 8 P.M. on Tuesday, February 14, 2023, at the mortuary with family greeting guests from 6 P.M. to 7 P.M. Tuesday evening. A Memorial has been established with the Russell County Food Pantry. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.