Emma L. Kale, 89, of Hiawatha, passed away Sunday December 1, 2019, at the North Pines.
Emma Lucille Jenkins was born December 7, 1929 in rural Delia, Kansas to Gomer and Mary Catherine Ruth Jenkins Kale. Emma and her twin sister Edith had many fun memories of those years spent playing with their many cousins. Those days spent hunting giants on Soldier Creek formed lifelong relationships with the cousins. Emma graduated from Hiawatha High School in 1947 and went on to earn her degrees in Home Economics and Education from KSU in 1951. She married her high school sweetheart Gerald Alvin (Jerry) Kale in January 1951 and began her teaching career. His career in the Air Force took them all over the United States, including 9 years in Washington D.C. and 3 years near London. While living in England, Emma took the opportunity to connect with and forge lifelong bonds with the family’s Welsh relatives. Retirement brought Emma and Jerry back home to Hiawatha in 1978. Emma was involved in many local organizations and clubs, including Gray Ladies, First United Methodist Church, Sorosis Club, Eastern Star, the neighborhood women’s club, and the Brown County Historical Society. For years, Emma, Edie, and their mother Ruth ran an antique store in Hiawatha and were often found at auctions on Saturdays and seldom missed the White Cloud flea market weekends. Despite a very soft-spoken and gentle nature, Emma was a very adventurous lady. She couldn’t swim but loved to water ski. She learned to snow ski at age 52 and enjoyed horseback riding at a dude ranch when she was 70. Emma loved to travel. While the family was living near London, Emma was the mastermind behind a month-long camping tour of Europe with her extended family. She also navigated on a month-long drive up the Alcan highway to Fairbanks, Alaska.
Emma is preceded in death by her parents, Gomer and Mary Catherine (Ruth) Jenkins; her stepfather Wayne Kale; her twin sister Edith Shear; her son Murray Kale; and her husband Gerald (Jerry) Kale.
She is survived by and her memory cherished by her daughters, Claudia Kale (Ted Socolofsky) of Loveland, CO; Sharon (Matt) Stelzer of Albuquerque, NM; and Jenny (Bruce) Knudson of Hiawatha, KS. She is survived by granddaughters Annika Socolofsky of Princeton, NJ; Paloma (Kyle) Stelzer Kwiedacz of Phoenix, AZ; Savannah Stelzer of Seattle, WA; and Becca Knudson of Hiawatha, KS.
A Celebration of Emma’s life is planned for 11 a.m. Thursday, December 5, at Chapel Oaks Funeral Home in Hiawatha, with Reverend Andrew Finch officiating. Cremation will follow. Friends may call at the funeral home after 10 a.m. Wednesday. The family will meet with friends one hour prior to services. Memorial contributions are suggested to the Brown County Historical Society which may be sent to the funeral home, 124 S 7th St., Hiawatha 66434.