Kenneth (Ken) Dale Emde of Lawrence, KS, died Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at Lawrence Memorial Hospital. Ken was born in Washington, IA, June 29, 1954, to David and Phyllis Emde. He spent most of his youth in Manchester, IA. He attended the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls and was awarded a BA in Music in 1977. Following college, Ken attended the Western Iowa Tech Community College in Sioux City, IA enrolling in the band instrument repair program. His first instrument repair position was at Bohart Music Co. in Kansas City, MO followed by a position at Wallick Music Co. in Pine Bluff, AR. After moving to Lawrence with his family in 1986, Ken opened his own business, Emde Music Shop, in Topeka, KS in 1987. He provided band instrument sales and repair to patrons and service to local schools and universities until 2014 when he retired. Through the years, he played upright bass, acoustic and electric guitars with various local groups.
Ken married Judith Zotika July 19, 1975, in Cresco, IA. They had one daughter born in 1984 in Little Rock, AR. He is survived by his wife, daughter Sara (Cristian Arancibia) Emde; granddaughters, Mia and Ava of Topeka, KS. Other survivors include sister, Karla (Fred) Rossow and niece, Evelyn (Ryan) Rush of Cedar Rapids, IA; a sister-in-law, nephew, niece, and four great-nephews and nieces. His four-legged survivors include dogs, Suzy and Buddy.
Ken’s sometimes inappropriate humor, his knowledge of obscure music and musicians, his commitment to family, and his love of life will always be remembered.
A private ceremony will be held this summer. Online condolences may be sent at www.rumsey-yost.com. Memorials may be sent to a charity of your choice.
Messages & Condolences
You choose peace or war?
JZ, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. Roxanne and I had you in our thoughts recently as she found an old photo with some of our “group”. Made me want to call you and then I saw this sad news. Blessings
Dear Judith, I am so sorry I could not be a support for you. Please remember that those of us who had you both as a supervisor and friend love you. (Print LJW just delivered.)
So sorry to hear that my friend at school and in music, Ken has died. He organized a bar gig for us together once, close to Manchester. He played the guitar, I sang and we split the few important dollars we earned. Ken was a nice friend.
Our sincerest condolances to you: Karla and Judy. Ken, Judy and I played in the wind ensemble at UNI. Although not a close friend, I felt like a member of the Emde family: Played for Karla’s wedding, met Dave’s elderly father, and of course Dave was a big influence on my musical life. Phyllis and Dave took me to All-State and Phyllis drove my forgotten clarinet all the way to Cedar Rapids Prairie for contest one year. Miss them all. So sorry to hear of Ken’s death.
Judith, sincere condolences to you and your family. Ken was always kind and helpful to Stuart. We appreciated that. My good thoughts and wishes for your and your family’s well-being. Susan
I am very sorry to h
I am so sorry for your loss. I enjoyed knowing Ken. Sending prayers and peace!
We are very sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. He was a good friend; I always enjoyed time with him.
I am sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. I met Ken at his Topeka music shop. He always kept my school instruments in good playing condition and when needed would do an emergency repair. I learned much from him and always enjoyed his sense of humor. I always looked forward to seeing him and talking with him. He was a very creative, fun guy. You have my sincere condolences.
I feel so bad for your loss, Judith. I am sending the deepest condolence to you and your family. Please take care and let me know if there is anything I could do to help!
I am so sad to hear of Ken’s passing. I was an elementary band teacher in Topeka and took all my repairs to Ken. He told such wonderful stories. My prayers for comfort are being lifted up for the family.
I’m sorry to hear this. My heart breaks for you.
Worked with Ken on the Jazz in the Schools program sponsored by the Jazz Foundation and did a session at Sun Studio, Memphis in August 2007. We were the last session before they got air conditioning! It was very hot!
I will always remember him with a smile. He was my friend.
To the family of Ken so sorry to hear of his passing. He was great guy and good music repairman. He help me with my saxophones. I still have one i bought from him. Great mind for music enjoyed talking with him about all kinds of music. May you rest in peace my friend.
Some of my best high school and college memories were hanging with Ken and playing music.
His dad played some mean dixieland and let us use his band room for our group to practice.
He could make me laugh, think and cry. Not many have that gift. Such a great priviledge knowing him.
Dear Judith, Sara, Mia, Eva and Cristian, i’m so sorry for your loss, i send you a big hug from Chile ❤️
Judith, I’m so sorry to read about Ken’s passing. I’m holding you and your family in my thoughts.
To Ken’s family, so sorry for your loss! I was a 1972 classmate of Ken’s!
Sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. Remember him from High Scool band and his passion for music. Had his father as band instructor.
So sorry for your family’s loss. I taught school with Ken’s mom, Phyllis. He would have remembered me as Jean Howell.
Judy–So sorry to learn of Ken’s passing. His enthusiasm for life and music a joy to all those who knew him. We are thinking of you and your family, sending you love and support.
We were 1972 classmates of Ken at West Delaware, Manchester, IA. We were so sorry to hear of Ken’s passing. You have our deepest sympathies. Andy (Butch)and Lynn Richmond
I always liked Ken in high school. A kind person and very talented. My sympathy to Ken’s family. A West Delaware Class of 72 classmate.
Dear Judith, I am so sorry to hear of your husband’s passing. I pray that you and your family will be comforted during this very difficult time. With loving and kind thoughts, Jane Hoyt
My sincere condolences to Ken’s family, Karla & Fred. I was deeply saddened to learn of Ken’s passing. I consider Ken my best friend in high school. Hadn’t seen him since his parent’s funeral. Always hoped I’d get to see him and talk with him again. Many great memories. May God’s grace be with you all.
Judith and Sara, I am so sorry for your loss.
Deepest condolences to you, Judith. Ken and I shared a lot together. Either working with him or playing music. My heart aches for you and the rest of your family.
Judith my heart goes out to you and your family. I’m so sorry for your loss. Lots of love, hugs and prayers for you and your family.
My deepest sympathies to you, Judith, and your family for the support you gave Kenneth in the hardest part of his life and yours. I’m here for you with empathetic support and love. Holding you in my heart.
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