ELLEN LOUISE (OUIJA) ZEMPEL
Ellen Louise (Ouija) Zempel, 90, of Topeka, Kan., passed away peacefully Oct. 7, 2020, after a brief illness, surrounded by so much love. Graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020, at Tehuacana Cemetery with Joe Lucas officiating and prayers held by Dean McCoslin (nephew).
Ellen Louise was born in Teague at midnight Dec. 23, 1929, however, if you asked her momma it was one minute after midnight on the 24th so we celebrated both days. Ouija, nicknamed by her father, was the third born child to Hughie C. and Audrey Jones Gore. At the age of 7 or 8, she went to live with Danny and Pompom to help heal their heart after losing their youngest daughter Mozel at a young age. She loved being with her grandparents during the week, helping on the farm and setting Danny’s clock that she treasured always. On the weekends, she would reunite with her beloved parents and siblings.
In 1954, she met the man who would steal her heart and become her husband, Delmar (Jesse) Zempel. Always a flashy dresser, Momma still remembered what he was wearing the first time she saw him… rust-colored baggy pants, chartreuse shirt with a big red swordfish stretching from the shoulder across the front. Later that day at the social, he bid on her box lunch. When she first laid her head upon his shoulder, he said, “It fits perfectly,” and they were married three months later.
Jesse and Ouija wed on Jan. 24, 1952. After living briefly in Texas, the couple adventured to Jesse’s hometown of Rogers City, Mich., on the shores of Lake Huron and for the next 50 years they danced through life. Jesse stayed true to the promise he made to her momma to bring Ouija home every year to reunite with family where their return would be celebrated with fried catfish, watermelon and sweet tea.
Following in her sisters’ footsteps, she worked as a florist brightening the lives of so many with her beautiful creations. Ouija created a home and fiercely loved her children and delighted in her grandchildren, Phillip and Heather, who would often spend summers being spoiled and loved. After retirement, Jesse and Ouija moved back to Mexia where she was able to reconnect with her brothers, sisters and so many extended family members on a daily basis. After Jesse’s passing, she volunteered at the hospital and spent time with her high school girlfriends every month.
In Ouija’s later years, she moved to Topeka, Kan., to be loved and cared for by her son, John Alfred and his wife Linda Vidosh-Zempel. She touched so many with her bright smile, quick laugh and resiliency, including her “bonus” family, Fredonia Harris and Hannah Mullins who cared for her during her time at Medicalodges of Jackson County in Holton, Kan. She was surrounded by love daily.
Ouija was preceded in death by her husband, Delmar (Jesse) Zempel; siblings, Christopher Gore, Alford Gore, Linda McCoslin, Avis Willis, Terry Gore and Madie Watson. She is survived by her children, John Zempel and wife Linda of Topeka, Kan., and Audrey White of San Jose, Calif.; her cherished grandchildre,n Phillip White of San Jose, Calif., and Heather White of Warwick, R.I.; siblings, Juanita Dvorak and husband Al of Garland, Gene Gore and wife Linda Joy of Houston, and J.W. Gore of Mexia; along with numerous nieces, nephews and loved ones in Michigan, Colorado and Texas.
She loved and was loved deeply.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Tehuacana Cemetery Association, P.O. Box 123, Tehuacana, TX 76687 or the charity of your choice.
An online guest book is available at www.corleyporterfuneralhome.com and by selecting the Ellen Louise (Ouija) Zempel obituary.