Memorial services for Clarence Richard (“C.R.,” “Dick”) Herpich, 75, of Lawrence, KS, will be held at Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home on Saturday, February 9, at 2:00 P.M. C.R. died Saturday, January 12, in the cardiac intensive care unit at the University of Kansas Medical Center.
He was born December 23, 1943, to Rosalee Alma Herpich and Clarence Leroy Herpich in Atchison, KS, and grew up in rural Denton, KS, where his mother still resides. He was an active child whose love of sports, animals, and the outdoors helped shape the course of his life.
At Emporia State University he excelled in cross-country running and was a member of the 1961 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) National Championship team. He obtained a Master of Arts in Mathematics Education from the University of Arizona, and proceeded to make his mark as a devoted high-school teacher and athletics coach across four decades.
C.R. spent his first year teaching in his hometown, Denton, and the second in Leon, the hometown of his future wife, Ruth. The next 38 years of his career as an educator were spent at Baldwin High School in Baldwin City, KS, where he helped establish the cross country program. C.R. also coached track and taught math, astronomy, and photography classes.
After surviving a battle with pancreatic cancer in 1997, he retired from coaching in 1999, but continued teaching classes at BHS until May 2005. Missing his involvement with athletes, he soon took a job as a driver for the KU Track and Cross Country teams, which he continued until his passing. In recent years, C.R. also worked as a cashier at Kohl’s. He always enjoyed seeing friends and former students, and hearing updates on their lives.
He was an avid nature photographer whose images were published regularly in Kansas! magazine and its associated calendars from the ’70s through the ’90s, under the byline Dick Herpich. He loved visiting and capturing the beauty of Arizona and Colorado too. He was especially proud of achieving his dream of having an image published in his favorite magazine, Arizona Highways, in 1977. His work was exhibited in many capacities over the decades. BHS annually gifted retirees with a framed print of his best-known photo, an image of Baldwin’s maple trees.
C.R. and Ruth were married in Emporia, KS, on December 21, 1967. They began a family in Baldwin, and in 1985 they relocated to Lawrence, where they remained. They raised three children and enjoyed the company of several beloved pets.
C.R. was preceded in death by his father, Clarence Leroy Herpich; his brother, John “Jack” Herpich; and his sister, Janet Scheibe. Survivors in the immediate family include his wife Ruth; their three children, Paul (with wife Lori) and David, of Lawrence, and Stephanie Elizabeth, of Worcester, MA; his mother, Rosalee, of Denton; and the families of his late siblings.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.