The Heroines

Rachel Parton

is honored with a Brick from Errol Luginbill, Suzanne Luginbill

Rachel Elizabeth Askins was born on April 17, 1913 on a farm outside of Greensburg, Kansas. Her parents Adolphus Edward Askins and Lottie Williams Askins had been married on November 26, 1908 in Lakewood, Illinois. He was a civil engineer and she was a teacher. They came to Kansas to manage the farm of Edward's uncle. The remained on the farm for the birth of their first child, Merlyn Edward Askins, and then the birth of Rachel 13 months later.

After her birth, the family moved to Haviland where Rachel's sister, Ruth Evelyn, was born in December 1914. Because the farm had been left to them after the death of Edward's uncle, the family moved back to the farm in 1916. Later that year, Rachel's second brother, Walter Wilson, was born. In the spring of 1917, the family held an auction for the farm equipment and then rented the farm to someone so that Edward could return to civil engineering. They bought a house in Greensburg and Grandma Askins lived with them, as she was bedridden. Later, the family moved to Anthony where Rachel went to school through the 8th grade. Eventually, the family moved back to Greensburg where Rachel attended and graduated from high school.

She entered the Emporia College in Emporia, Kansas in 1931 and in 1932 passed the country teachers examination which allowed her to teach in rural schools. She taught in rural schools from 1932 to 1933 at the age of 19. She was persuaded to teach yet another year despite the unpleasant experiences she encountered with the unruly boys who liked to cause trouble.

Rachel married Harold Luginbill, nine years her senior, in November 1934. Harold worked with the engineer's crew on roads and then in construction. They had their first child, Richard Harold Luginbill, on October 31, 1935. In 1937 Richard was diagnosed as a child with retardation. He started school in September 1942 at the age of seven.

In 1944, Harold became acting postmaster of Greensburg after having clerked there for several years. In 1946, after deciding that they wished to adopt a child, they made a trip to Kansas City. They completed an application and were accepted in the program. In 1948, they were notified that a baby boy was available. In September, 1948, they brought their new son, Errol Alan Luginbill, home.

Harold became ill with heart trouble in 1950. After surgery in 1951, he appeared to be better, but in 1956 he died after having surgery for his heart. He was 52 years old. At the time of his death, Richard was 21 years old and Errol was 8 years old.

By the fall of 1957, Rachel had taken the limit of correspondence courses and began attending Pratt Junior College to complete the 60 hours she needed to receive a temporary certificate to teach in the public schools. She was appointed acting postmaster in June 1957 but resigned in July to teach 2nd grade in Greensburg. By attending summer school at Wichita State University and taking extension courses while teaching, she was able to obtain a degree from WSU in June 1961.

In December 1964, Rachel married for a second time. Edward Meisel was 63 at the time and retired from farming. He had three married children. Edward's health began to decline in 1967 and he died on September 21, 1971, only seven years after they were married.

Errol had started attending Wichita State University in 1966. He married Suzanne Davis in 1969 and, later that year, they had their first child, Jennifer Anne Luginbill. Errol graduated in 1971 and started a teaching position in Newton. Rachel had continued teaching through this time, but was now experiencing vision problems. She was diagnosed with cornea scarring for which there was no treatment at the time. Due to her vision problems, she received a disability release from her teaching position.

In March 1974, Rachel began dating Earl Parton and they were married on June 2, 1974. During this time Errol had taken a new position in the industrial tools industry and had added a son, Jeremy Scott Luginbill, to his family. Earl retired from Michigan Wisconsin Natural gas Company in the summer of 1977 and he and Rachel began traveling to Arkansas, Missouri and Colorado for fishing trips. In 1980, after further deterioration of her vision, she underwent a cornea transplant. This same year, Errol and Suzanne had another daughter by the name of Amanda Davis Luginbill.

In 1988, Earl was diagnosed with colon cancer and despite treatment, died March 17, 1990. Rachel remained in Greensburg where Richard also lived. In 1994, Rachel's first great-grandchild was born. He was named Harrison Michael Alan Luginbill-Ruder and was the son of Jennifer Luginbill and her husband Michael Ruder. That next year, Rachel had a heart attack and had to undergo triple bypass surgery. However, she fully recovered. In 1997, she was blessed with her second great-grandchild, Winifred Elizabeth Luginbill-Ruder, who shares the same middle name as she.

Today, Rachel lives in her own home in Greensburg and continues to remain active. Her son Richard is also in Greensburg and they spend quite a lot of time together. Her son Errol and his wife Suzanne continue to reside in Newton and Errol continues to work in the industrial tool industry. Jennifer, their oldest daughter, lives with her family in Kansas City where she is a compliance professional for H&R Block. Errol and Suzanne's son Jeremy lives and works as a industrial designer in Denver and Amanda, their youngest daughter, lives in Boulder, Colorado where she is a student at Colorado University.