Celebrating Father’s Day with three Presbyterian Manor dads
To commemorate June’s day for dads, we decided to talk to the children of three Presbyterian Manor residents who also happen to be beloved fathers.
William “Bill” Endicott, Independent Living
When Becky recalls her childhood, she thinks about how hard her dad worked and how much fun they had when her family was together.
“When I was a kid, I can remember that my dad worked two jobs,” Becky said. “When he worked at the refinery at night, my mom would wake us up at 11 p.m. so we could eat dinner together. We always made a point to sit down at the dinner table, no matter what.”
Bill has been a resident of Independent Living at the Westerly since 2016. He moved to Wichita after serving in World War II and worked for Boeing for 45 years. He retired as the head of maintenance for the aircraft giant.
The Endicotts were an athletic family. Becky’s mother, Peggy, was an excellent bowler, and Bill played league softball two or three times a week. Becky’s older sister, Debbie, was a pitcher and Bill would catch 100 pitches every night — at least until Becky became a catcher.
Bill usually didn’t work on Sundays, and the family would often wake up at 5 a.m. and take their small boat to Cheney Lake. When the sun came up, they’d waterski until the wind picked up.
“He has great memories, not only of my mom, but from when we were kids and the crazy things we used to do,” Becky said. “And at 95, he’s still fun to be around.”
Clarence Kelley, Assisted Living
In another life, Clarence Kelley might have been a race car driver. The youngest of five children, he grew up on a farm.
“I think he drove his first car at four years old,” said his daughter, Deb Bowersox.
After serving in World War II, Clarence returned to Kansas. He worked as an insurance agent for State Farm for more than 30 years in Belleville, Kansas, which happens to have the fastest half-mile dirt track in the world.
He is also a big NASCAR fan and can name the make and model of any car, his daughter says.
“Because of the work he did, Dad knew everyone in town,” Deb said. “He’s one of those guys that if he talks, people listen.”
Clarence’s insurance office was in their house, and his late wife, Alice, worked as his secretary.
“He was always home, which was nice,” Deb said. On Sundays, they often drove to Salina or Concordia to eat at Pizza Hut after church. Sometimes they’d go to Belmont for Chinese food.
At the end of the work day, Clarence would empty his pockets and leave his pennies on the counter for Deb and her brother, Greg, to scoop up and save in a jar.
Clarence and Alice were married for 70 years, and he became her caretaker toward the end of her life. They moved to Presbyterian Manor in 2018 so that Alice could receive around-the-clock care in the health care center. The Kelleys were able to live together again in an assisted living department before her death.
Clarence has five great-grandsons, so “it gets busy when we’re all together,” Deb said.
Robert “Bob” Reinke, Health Care
“My fondest memories of my dad involve him charcoaling in the back yard,” said Julie Wittich about growing up with her father, Bob Reinke.
A traveling salesman, Bob was often gone during the week. On the weekends, he would play golf at Rolling Hills Country Club. In the summers, he’d join his daughters in the pool after a round. Afterward, he’d grill dinner for his family in their backyard.
Bob tried to pass on his love of golf to Julie and her sister, DeeDee — with mixed results.
“He was adamant that we learn how to play as well as him and like it as much as him,” Julie said with a laugh.
She eventually “threw in the towel” and became a horseback rider, but DeeDee kept hitting the links.
On Father’s Day, Bob usually golfed, and then the family would enjoy burgers, steaks or Mexican food — either in the back yard with Bob on the grill or at a restaurant.
Bob grew up in Marion, Kan., and was drafted into the Korean War. He met his late wife, Ilene, at Kansas State. They were among the original residents of the Westerly.