Emerson Wilson, 77, of Leawood, Kan., died Wednesday, Oct. 20. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 30, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 1700 Westport Road, Kansas City, Mo. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the Wilson Seminary Fund at the church.
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Emerson was born Dec. 29, 1932, in Kansas City, Kan., the son of Lloyd and Vera Palmer Wilson. He was a football star at Wyandotte High School in Kansas City, Kan., where he was a Kansas All State fullback in 1952 and played in the National High School All America All Star game in Memphis, Tenn., in 1952. In 1952 and went to the University of Colorado in Boulder on a football scholarship. He played fullback and holds the Big 7 record for run from scrimmage, which he set in 1954 with a 95-yard run.
He graduated from the University of Colorado in 1956 with a bachelor's degree in history, political science and education. He served two years in the U.S. Army from 1956 to 1958, then earned a master of science degree in counseling and educational psychology from the University of Kansas in 1959.
He was the head football coach at Washington High School in Kansas City, Kan., from 1959 to 1961, then was the head football coach at Boulder High School in Boulder, Colo., from 1962 to 1975. In 1963, the Boulder team won the Colorado State High School Championship. Among the players he coached in Boulder were former Denver Bronco Bobby Anderson, former Miami Dolphin Dick Anderson and professional golfer Hale Irwin. From 1975 to 1979, he was the color announcer for University of Colorado football broadcasts on KBOL-AM radio in Boulder.
Emerson returned to Kansas City in 1981 where he was the head football coach and taught social studies at Shawnee Mission East High School. For the remainder of his career he taught at Penn Valley and Kansas City Kansas community colleges.
Emerson was a great student of history and a proud father. He was clever and analytical, with a dry sense of humor. He inspired his students and instilled in them an appreciation of the history and the founding principles of our country.
He is survived by his wife, Carolyn of Leawood, Kan.; one son, Michael (Paula) of Broomfield, Colo.; two daughters, Betsy Mancuso (Joe) of Manhattan, and Wendy (Abby) Wilson of Belgrade; a stepson, Bob (Mimi) Stopperan of Mission Hills; a stepdaughter, Beth (Joren) Bass of Portland, Ore.; six grandchildren; two brothers, Dave (Susie) Wilson of Carefree, Ariz., and Gilbert Wilson of Little Rock, Ark.; and a sister, Malinda (Kermit) Newton of Kansas.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers, Lloyd and Don; and two sisters, Lila and Marilynn.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Oct. 24, 2010