ELIZABETH ANN WOHLGEMUTH DUCKERS
MAY 2, 1934 – OCTOBER 11, 2020
Elizabeth Ann “Liz” Duckers was born on May 2, 1934 to Edward and Thelma (Fleer) Wohlgemuth in Atchison, Kansas. Liz grew up on a farm in rural Atchison near Cummings, Kansas.
Liz attended White Clay, a one-room country school, completing eight years of schooling in seven years. She attended and graduated from Atchison High School in 1951, and matriculated to the University of Kansas, graduating from KU in 1955 with a B.S. in Journalism. While at KU, Liz was Executive Editor of the University Daily Kansan and served on six other staff positions on the Kansan. While in college, Liz worked as a freshman dorm counselor where she mentored several freshmen women who became leaders in the state of Kansas. Upon graduation from college, Liz was a general news reporter and columnist for the Salina Journal from 1955-57, and later worked as the Journal’s Church page editor. Liz was the public information officer for St. John’s Military School from 1959 to 1993, handling all publications and public relations for the school. Even after retirement, Liz continued to volunteer to edit and proof-read the school’s newspaper “The Skirmisher.”
Liz married Keith G. Duckers in 1957 and lived on campus at St. John’s Military School from 1957 to 1993, where Keith was to become president of the School in 1968. Liz was named an “Honorary Colonel” of SJMS and was a member of the Muleskinners organization. Keith predeceased her in 2007.
Her civic involvements included being an officer and board member of the Asbury Hospital Auxiliary, a member of the St. John’s Hospital Pediatric League, a charter member of the Salina Charity League, office and member of Chapter ED of P.E.O., member of Current Literature Club, AAUW, Civitan and the League of Women Voters. She served four terms on the Salina Planning Commission, including being chairperson, two terms on the Salina Heritage Commission, including being chairperson and one term on the Board of Zoning Appeals. She served as President of the Native Daughters of Kansas for the 1998-99 term.
Liz was active in politics and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 1988. She also won the Republican primary for county commissioner in 1986.
Liz was a licensed insurance agent in Kansas and worked for Mutual of Omaha and Metropolitan Life insurance companies. She was a graduate of the Life Underwriting Council and served as President of the Salina Association of Life Underwriters, the first woman to serve in that position.
Liz is survived by her three children: Ed (wife Roxane) of Kentfield, CA, Kyle (wife Larina) of Manhattan Beach, CA and Sarah (husband Mark) of Bellaire, Texas, and seven grandchildren: Christopher Duckers, Chaffee Duckers, Lisa Duckers, Landon Duckers, William Davidson, Tommy Davidson and Alexandra Polidora. Other survivors are her four sisters: Janet Carol Wohlgemuth, Dorothy Lynch, Joan Musbach and Lois Stanton.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to the Chancellor’s Club at the University of Kansas or the St. John’s Military School Museum in Salina, Kansas. A memorial service will be held in Salina in the spring of 2021. In the meantime, we know Liz would appreciate you raising a glass of your favorite beverage in her honor.
An old custom in the newspaper business was placing a “30” at the end of a story to show it was the end. Liz, always a writer, has asked for that at the end of her obituary, which she wrote.
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