Kim M. Emmons

Kim M. Emmons

December 6, 1953 - May 11, 2020

Kim Emmons of Topeka, Kansas, passed away Monday, May 11, 2020 at a Topeka hospital after a brief illness. He was 66. He was born December 6, 1953, in Topeka, the son of Kipp and Clara McClellan Emmons, and packed a lot of life into 66 years.

 Kim graduated from Washburn Rural High School in 1971, where he was known for the 1968 California Special Mustang he had upgraded to from his first car, an unremarkable Volvo. Many of the lifelong friends he made as a Junior Blue still inquire about the Mustang, but in 2004 he gave it to his oldest son who refuses to entertain any of their foolhardy attempts to attain it out of deference to both his father and to the car.

 For 30 years, Kim worked hard as a proud union bricklayer, and was part of an endless number of memorable projects in and around northeast Kansas including many at the University of Kansas where he would spend an additional 13 years as a maintenance mason before retiring. 

 In the middle of a hot Kansas summer on July 27, 1974, Kim married Karla Stern. Together, they raised two sons, Kris and Brian. Always what one might describe as “handy,” but who could honestly be best described as “talented,” Kim could fix anything, build anything and work on anything (though electrical work was his nemesis). He spent more days and nights camping and hiking with Cub Scouts than he probably enjoyed, went to every sporting event his kids participated in, sat through an enormous amount of band concerts and cross country meets and did it all while encouraging his kids every step of the way. He was no different with his grandkids and was a constant presence in the stands (unless it was raining or cold). 

Like his dad before him, Kim was a member and served as Past Master of the Wakarusa Masonic Lodge #402 and was a member of the Topeka Scottish Rite and the Arab Shrine. He was proud to carry on the tradition of his dad and grandpa, and even though his kids made fun of him in his Shriner fez, he was always happy to be a member of that storied organization.

 Kim made friends easily and suffered no fools. A friend made was a friend for life and he was loyal and there for anybody who asked for his help. He enjoyed Clint Eastwood movies and the Andy Griffith Show, knew makes and models of every vehicle ever made, every plane ever flown and every train steaming down the rails. Kim had an encyclopedic knowledge of birds and flowers, could spot wildlife in a field a mile away while driving 70 down an interstate and always knew when conditions were too slick to be driving. His favorite song was “Holly Jolly Christmas” by Burl Ives, and enjoyed playing it louder than it should be played. He loved a good joke, and knew more Norwegian “Ole and Lena” jokes than even his Norwegian in-laws. Kim liked to hunt and fish, bowl and play softball, did spot on impressions of everyone he ever encountered, could moo like a cow, honked at all of them he saw, liked Chuck Mangione, Black Sabbath and Willie Nelson. He loved his family and friends with all the heart he had to give. Kim was Clark Griswold incarnate, and that was a good thing.

 He is survived by his wife Karla, of Topeka. Other survivors include two sons, Kris Emmons (Kelly) of Berryton and Brian Emmons (Jennifer) of Cloverdale, California; two grandchildren, Ethan and Jake Emmons of Berryton; his mother, Clara Emmons of Topeka; his sister, Connie Long (Patrick) of Carbondale. Kim was preceded in death by his father, Kipp Emmons.

 Due to the COVID-19 executive orders, which Kim had opinions about, a celebration of life will be held at a future date. 

 Memorial contributions may be given to Shriner’s Children’s Hospital, c/o Arab Temple, 1305 S. Kansas Ave., Topeka, KS 66612.