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April 7, 2011

(9/9/1913 - 3/24/2011)

Estalene Frances Kugler, 97, of Scotland County, died Thursday, March 24, 2011 at Keokuk (IA) Area Hospital.

Estalene was born the daughter of Walter and Mary (Luman) Kutzner on September 9, 1913, near Hitt in Scotland County.

She graduated from the Gorin High School and attended Kirksville State Teacher's College in Kirksville, earning a teaching certificate.

She married Vaughn Kugler, on December 25, 1936 in Mokena, IL. He preceded her in death on March 4, 2001. Estalene was teaching school at South Upton when she married Vaughn, and had to keep the marriage a secret as school teachers were not allowed to be married at the time.

The Kuglers lived in Detroit, MI, for a while. They returned to Missouri where she was a part-time teacher and homemaker. Vaughn and Estalene bought a farm north of his parent's place where they lived together for 62 years. She continued to live there until she suffered a stroke in 2004.

Estalene was an avid church worker and taught Sunday school for many years. She was an excellent seamstress and made clothes for her family and others. She was an outstanding gardener and fed many with her produce. Estalene loved music, playing and singing most of her life. In her later years she became a square dancer. Estalene also enjoyed swimming and spending time with her grandchildren.

She was very supportive of her children in their school and church activities, and was always quick to help her neighbors and friends. She would give you the shirt off her back if necessary, but also tell you the proper way to wear it.

She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, three brothers, seven sisters, one daughter, one grandson, and one great grandson.

She is survived by her children, Anita Lavon Morrison of Beaverton, OR, Joel Dean and wife Gloria Kugler of Colorado Springs, CO, Carmen Rex and wife Suzanne Kugler of Roswell, GA, and Zelma Lynn Minor of Belfair, WA; a sister-in-law, Frances Kutzner of St. Peters, MO; ten grandchildren, 20 great grandchildren, and four great great grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m., Sunday, April 3 at the Wyaconda Christian Church with the Rev. Beryl Cragg officiating. Denise Mathes played a variety of gospel selections during the service. Burial was in the Wyaconda Cemetery. Larry Mohr, Mike Kugler, Dean Kugler, James Kugler, Jason Hoover, and Curtis Stednitz served as pallbearers. Gary See, Eli Kugler, Bill Roach, Danny Roach, Larry Howe, Kenneth Dieterich, and Kenneth Thompson were honorary pallbearers.

Memorials are suggested to the Wyaconda Christian Church or the Wyaconda Cemetery and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Kugler's family via email at

Arrangements were under the direction of the Gerth Funeral Service of Wyaconda and Memphis.

Copyright © 2001
Memphis Democrat
121 South Main Street
Memphis MO 63555
Phone: 660-465-7016 -- Email:

Copyright © 2001
Memphis Democrat
121 South Main Street
Memphis MO 63555
Phone: 660-465-7016 -- Email: