Elaine Ann Kemplay Knecht, 57, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away in her home June 7th. Elaine was born September 9, 1963, to Janice Stallbaumer Jenkins and Richard Oliver Kemplay in Axtell, Ks.
Elaine grew up and attended Paola schools to graduate from Paola High School in 1981. Elaine was intellectually gifted and loved learning. She held exceptional talents with language and loved to read and write. She even competed in the Miami County spelling bee twice winning the county and placing at state. On and off throughout her life, Elaine enrolled in a wide range of college courses with the latest endeavor being at Kansas City, Kansas Community College in marketing. Elaine could spend an eternity submerged in books nurturing her passion toward spirituality and learning.
After high school, Elaine married Gregory Knecht on April 22, 1983, and later divorced although they remained friends. Elaine worked for the Water Department of Olathe, Water Works, as a mapographer for over 15 years and was awarded for her outstanding service. She also worked for Olathe Daily News, MPS North America, Burlington Coat Factory, and Walgreens as a clerk and in customer relations. Elaine did not know a stranger. She would strike up a conversation with anyone, was open-minded, unique, humorous, and kind.
Above all, Elaine loved her family. She enjoyed attending her grandson’s birthday parties, holidays, ball games, and eating out. She had quite the sweet tooth. Elaine was also very generous and enjoyed spoiling others, often surprising people with gifts. Seeing others happy gave Elaine great joy as she genuinely was everyone’s biggest cheerleader. A testament toward her strengths of empathy, thoughtfulness, and love. Elaine will be greatly missed.
Preceding Elaine in death is her father Richard Oliver Kemplay. Surviving are her mother Janice Stallbaumer Jenkins, daughter and her husband Eryn Knecht and Brian Gibson, brother and his wife Chris and Vicki Kemplay, sister and her husband Marsha and Jerry Brandt, sister and her husband Cindy and Todd Emery, brother Kevin Kemplay, sister and her husband Kellie and Brock Campbell, and four grandchildren: Shaylan, Brandon, Koen and Joss Gibson.
A private prayer service will be held on June 18, 2021, at 6 p.m. with an open public visitation at 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Dengel & Son Funeral home in Paola, Ks.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Elaine Knecht’s memorial fund to honor her love of learning on behalf of her grandchildren’s education.