A historical museum in downtown Leavenworth has created a memorial in honor of two longtime volunteers.

The First City Museum, 743 Delaware St., recently dedicated a memorial in honor of Carl and Jeanne DeRuyscher.

Carl DeRuyscher, who served as the vice president of the museum for many years, was killed June 10 in Parkville, Missouri, in what law enforcement authorities have termed a murder-suicide.

Only two weeks before his death, Carl DeRuyscher had married his second wife, Sharmalee Pauling.

Carl DeRuyscher, Pauling and her daughter allegedly were murdered by Douglas Pauling, Sharmalee Pauling’s son, who was also found dead at the scene and was believed to be the shooter in the murder-suicide.

Jeanne DeRuyscher, Carl’s first wife, had passed away in 2014.

The memorial at the museum features an image of a trapper and a young girl in a canoe on the Missouri.

The memorial is mounted above an authentic canoe from the era that is encased in a glass display case.

A small plaque is mounted on the wall next to the memorial that reads, “In Memory of: Carl & Jeanne DeRuyscher.” 

Del Sanders, president of the museum, said Carl DeRuyscher loved the Missouri River.

He said the museum had in its possession an 1845 oil painting of the trapper in a canoe on the river.

Sanders said the museum contracted with Young Sign Company in Leavenworth to reproduce the oil painting into a 12-foot by 8-foot display that would be mounted above the canoe, an authentic vessel that would have been in use during the time the Lewis and Clark Expedition passed near Leavenworth in 1803.

Sanders said Carl DeRuyscher also loved the Garth Brooks song “The River.”

Because of DeRuyscher’s love for the river and the song, the museum decided to go forward with the memorial to honor the husband and wife team that were instrumental for many years in the operation of the museum.