obituaries

Kansas City’s Steve Metzler was a business leader, a nonprofit supporter, and a patron of the arts, but phrases don’t begin to describe the impact he had on the community.

On this edition of Up To Date guest host Brian Ellison shares memories with those whose lives were touched by Metzler and talks with Steve's long-time partner, Brian Williams. 

Kathy Disney

Members of Kansas City's arts, LGBT and non-profit organizations are in deep mourning over the death of Stephen Metzler, widely described as "a pillar of the community" who suffered a stroke and died Tuesday at St. Luke's Hospital. He was 66. 

Reverend Nelson “Fuzzy” Thompson, one of Kansas City’s leading civil rights leaders, died last weekend. Thompson was a long time president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference of Greater Kansas City. For years, he helped stage the annual citywide commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., one of the largest such celebrations in the nation.

Courtesy of the Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy

Updated, 6:30 p.m. Tuesday:

Two of the four rabbis killed in a terror attack at a Jerusalem synagogue Tuesday had deep ties to the Kansas City Jewish community. 

Rabbi Kalman Levine was part of Hyman Brand Hebrew Academy’s first graduating class in 1976. And Rabbi Mosheh Twersky’s nephew teaches at the Jewish school in Overland Park, Kan. 

The two men died Tuesday in Jerusalem. 

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Lynda Callon, longtime director of the Community Action Center in Kansas City's Westside died Sunday after a very short illness.

Callon was a fierce advocate for Latino day workers and others in the community. She pushed to create a haven where day workers could get food and clothing as they gathered under the I-35 bridge waiting for work.

Courtesy / The Kemper family

R. Crosby Kemper Jr., banker, philanthropist, and giant of Kansas City civic life, died last week at his friend's home in Indian Wells, Calif. He was 86.

Kemper was born in 1927 in Kansas City, the only son of R. Crosby Kemper Sr. and Enid Jackson Kemper.

Throughout his active life, many of his preoccupations reflected his family's legacy  — a long line of Kansas City aristocrats and leaders involved in banking, agriculture and politics. 

A banker's life

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art

Kansas City banker and philanthropist, R. Crosby Kemper Jr. has died at the age of 86.

Kemper was best known for leading Kansas City-based UMB Financial Corp. He died Thursday in Indian Wells, Calif.

His son R. Crosby Kemper III says he was there enjoying the great weather over the holidays.

Kemper Jr. was born in Kansas City on Feb. 22, 1927 to R. Crosby Kemper Sr. and Enid Jackson Kemper. He worked in banking for more than 50 years, starting at his father's City National Bank as a night transit clerk and eventually becoming president in 1959.

The late comedian George Burns once said: "Every morning when I get up, I read the obituary page. If my name's not there, I shave."

Kansas City, MO –

Jazz greats, stellar newsmen and punk icons were just a few of the memorable folks that we lost in 2010.

Ruth Rhoden Delivered "Just Jazz"

Daniel Schorr, 'Talk Of The Nation' Founding Father

Kansas City, Missouri – Representative Karen McCarthy has died in an Alzheimer's Unit in Johnson County.

McCarthy's family revealed last year the former legislator and Congresswoman was battling a rare form of Alzheimer's disease. The family also said McCarthy had suffered from bipolar disorder for many years, as well.

Kansas City, MO – Judge Cordell Meeks, Jr. died suddenly at his home this week. He was 63. Meeks, a 26-year veteran of the Wyandotte County District Court, was respected by his colleagues and friends not only as a prodigious member of the bench, but also as a generous contributor of time and talent to many civic causes. With us to talk about the legacy of Cordell Meeks is Nick Tomasic, District Attorney for Wyandotte County for 32 years.