Annabel J. Rupel
1918 - 2017
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Annabel J. Rupel

Annabel J. Rupel, 98, of Timbercrest Senior Living Community, in North Manchester, IN died Saturday evening, May 13, 2017 in Timbercrest Healthcare.

She was born November 21, 1918 to A. Byron and E. Edith (Rohrer) Rupel at the family farm near Walkerton, St. Joseph County, IN.

Miss Rupel graduated from Walkerton-Lincoln Township High School in 1937 and Manchester (College) University in 1941, majoring in home economics and physical education. With additional training at Ball State (Teacher's College) University she received certification in vocational Home Economics.  She taught (2 years) at LaFontaine (4 years) at Argos and (4 years) at Breman.  

After ten years of teaching, she joined the Co-operative Extension Service as home demonstration agent in Fulton County for 6 years.

Upon receiving her master's degree from Purdue University in 1958 she served as home demonstration agent in LaPorte County for 4 years.

In September 1962, she joined the Indiana Co-operative Extension Service, at Purdue University, as Extension Specialist, 4-H and youth, and directed projects in clothing, foods and food preservation and the state dress revue.  She served as advisor to Purdue Collegiate Club and to State 4-H Key Club Council, assisted with State leadership training and 4-H Roundup.  Later she guided the caravan and International Farm Youth Exchange (IFYE) for both inbound and out bound exchangees.  She also chaperoned tour groups to Europe.

In 1973-74m Annabel took a sabbatical leave as visiting instructor in home economics at the Teacher's College in Waka, Nigeria, teaching clothing, food and its preservation and methods of teaching.

She was a member of various professional organizations in home economics and cooperative extension service.  

Annabel devoted her life to helping others through teaching, organizing and being a role model.  She was awarded the distinctive Purdue University Professor Emerita. She earned the prestigious President's Council Cornerstone Certificate for her loyalty and generous support in the pursuit of excellence in 2010.  She was recognized for her 30 years of dedicated service at Purdue and by the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture.  She received the Epsilon Sigma Phi-National Extension Honorary Fraternity of the International Service Award in recognition of her leadership and contributions to the International programs.  Annabel received the Certificate of Meritorious Service Award for her service to the Alpha Lambda Chapter of Epsilon Sigma Phi and was awarded a professional membership in the National Association of Extension 4-H Agents and was selected to accompany the Indiana delegation of 4-H award winners to the National 4-H Congress in 1962-66.  She will be most remembered for her endless contributions to develop, enhance and promote Purdue's 4-H international cultural exchange programs.  Annabel was recently named by her Purdue colleges to the prestigious Indiana 4-H Hall of Fame in recognition of her extensive accomplishments during her meritorious career.  

She was a lifetime member of the Church of the Brethren serving as camp counselor, Sunday School Superintendent, Peace Representative in the Women's Fellowship, Camp Mack's fall festival committee.  She was President of Lafayette Church Women United and on family selection committee of Wabash Habitat for Humanity.  

She promoted peace by buying "peace certificates" instead of war bonds during WWII.  She directed the youth in a peace drama about the early Brethren in Colonial America.   

She participated in an international work camp in Austria sponsored by the Brethren Service Commission and in Greece by the World Council of Churches.

Miss Rupel is survived by twin sisters, Esther Rupel and Alice (Rupel) Rohrer both of Timbercrest Senior Living Community, North Manchester; by nieces and nephews, Byron Lee Smith, Bourbon, IN, Carol Joan Smith, Nigeria, Africa, Amy Jean Brumbaugh-Smith, North Manchester, IN, Stanley E. Rohrer, Beavercreek, OH, Edith I. Rohrer, Warsaw, IN, Thelma S. Rohrer, North Manchester, IN, Norman Rohrer, San Jose, CA, Dirk Tuinstra, Pasco, WA.  She was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, Lois Rupel Tuinstra and Glea Rupel Smith, niece, Janice Marie Smith, and a nephew, David LeRoy Smith.  

Internment will be at the family plot, West Lawn Cemetery, North Liberty, St. Joseph County, Indiana.

A memorial service will be held at Timbercrest Senior Living Community Chapel, 2201 East Street, North Manchester, IN at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 20, 2017. Pastor Kurt Borgmann and Pastor Karen Eberly will officiate.  Visitation with the family and friends will be from 4:00-7:00 p.m. Friday, May 19, 2017 at McKee Mortuary, 1401 State Road 114 West, North Manchester, IN and one hour prior to the service on Saturday.   

For those who would like to honor the memory of Annabel J. Rupel, memorial contributions may be made to Timbercrest Senior Living Community, PO Box 501, North Manchester, IN 46962, Manchester University, 604 E. College Ave., North Manchester, IN 46962 or Indiana 4-H Foundation, Agricultural Administration Building, 615 West State Street, RM 114, West Lafayette, IN 47907 or Manchester Church of the Brethren, 1306 N. Beckley Street, North Manchester, IN 46962.  

To send a private condolence to the family, use the condolence link at

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Published in Journal & Courier on May 17, 2017.
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