John A. Emerson

John A. Emerson, 91, passed away Sunday, May 31, 2020 at Brandon Woods in Lawrence, KS. Mary, his wife, was by his side.

John was born June 26, 1928 in Chanute, KS. He was the son of the late Adrian V. Emerson and Josephine (Ashbrook) Emerson.

John attended the University of Kansas in 1946. Upon graduation, he received a commission in the United States Naval Reserves as an Aviation Cadet and became a Naval Aviator on July 16, 1952. During this time, he married Mary Lind of Chanute, KS. John flew the P5M Marlin while stationed at North Island, San Diego during the Korean War conflict.

After his service in the Navy, he returned to the University of Kansas Law School and completed his degree. After working several years in Topeka, he returned to Lawrence to join Richard A. Barber in his law practice. During his years of practice, he served as a fellow for the American College of Trial Lawyers and many other committees and organizations. John retired after almost 60 years with the law firm of Barber Emerson.

John had a wicked sense of humor and enjoyed his friends and colleagues. He loved fishing, hunting, and golf. John spent many hours in his workshop refinishing and building furniture. But, most of all, he enjoyed time spent with his family.

He is survived by his wife, Mary (Lind) Emerson, his son, Dr. John A. Emerson of Baldwin City, KS., his daughter, Mary Ann (Emerson) Boyd and her husband, Brenton Rixey Boyd of Ft. Worth, TX. He is also survived by his grandchildren, Mary Alexandra (Boyd) Thornton and her husband, Jeffrey Turner Thornton of Ft. Worth, TX., Margaret Ann Boyd of Ft. Worth, TX., and Brenton Rixey Boyd, Jr. of Ft. Worth, TX.

The family wishes to give thanks to the staff of Brandon Woods for his loving care.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to Trinity Episcopal Food Pantry or Meals on Wheels and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, KS 66044.

A “Celebration of Life” will be scheduled for a later date.

7 Condolences

  1. Austin H. Turney on June 2, 2020 at 9:56 am

    John’s death is a great loss to our community. He was the model of an attorney. I shall miss seeing him a 8:00 every Sunday at Trinity Episcopal.
    Austin Turney

  2. George and Cheryl Hunsinger on June 5, 2020 at 7:01 am

    Dr. John Emersen, Sorry to see this about your dad. I did not know him personally, but he was a top man in the attorney world. We miss you in Baldwin as well.

  3. Gerald Odgers on June 7, 2020 at 2:15 pm

    I only met your husband and father once. That was at my induction into the Kaw Valley Blue Eagles informal organization for Naval Aviators in Lawrence Ks on Veterans Day. He was gracious in his invitation and my introduction into the organization with humor, patriotic spirit and friendliness. He was 84 years young then as I recall. The plaque with local Naval Pilots names engraved on it is now in possession of the Naval ROTC Office at KU last that I knew.
    I want to express my condolences to the Emerson family for the loss of such a gracious man who served this Great Country in time of need. May John M. Emerson , Military Officer, Distinguished Citizen, Lawyer and Naval Aviator , Rest In Peace.
    Gerald (Jerry) Odgers

  4. Robert Green on June 7, 2020 at 4:55 pm

    John and I were involved in legal matters several times. He was smart, tough when necessary, and always gracious. He was fair to all, and still an advocate for his client. He was representative of the best of Kansas Lawyers.
    His family are proud, and certainly should be. Best wishes,

    Bob Green
    retired lawyer
    Ottawa KS

  5. Sue Harper Ice, Newton on June 10, 2020 at 5:20 pm

    Mary, I am so sorry to learn of John’s passing. I have such fun memories of our Flying Jayhawks Ireland trip together. We had lots of laughs together, including John’s teasing of my penny whistle “concerts”. We kept in touch for quite a while after that trip. Our Lawrence lawyer son, Evan, had great respect for John. Ted had always considered John one of Kansas’ best attorneys. My deep sympathy to you and your family, Mary.

  6. Helen Pendleton Rumbaut on June 17, 2020 at 1:24 pm

    My Pendleton family (dad Bill, mom Edith, brothers Steve and Martin, and I) lived across the drive from the Emerson family for some ten years, when we lived on East Drive. Dad and John were both attorneys who officed in the same building. The Emersons were a lovely family, and I was sad to hear of John’s passing. May the Lord Jesus comfort them and give them His peace in this difficult time.

  7. Pam Mills Scott, CA on November 3, 2020 at 11:47 am

    I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of Mr. Emerson.
    He always handled all my Dad’s affairs for years and the estate of my father in 2013 when my dad died. They were great friends and even greater cohorts as Naval Aviation men. I always knew he had my Dad’s best interest in his heart. I thoroughly liked & respected him in every contact I had. His involvement in every affair was appreciated and so much of a relief. I’m, again, very sad that he is no longer here. My sincere condolences to his family. RIP Mr Emerson. You are missed.

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