Jean (Kempton) Carlson, of Lawrence, KS passed away peacefully September 27, 2020 at the age of 91 years and 7 months of natural causes in Lawrence. She was previously a longtime Manhattan, KS resident before moving to Lawrence in 2003.
She was born February 23, 1929 in Fort Scott, KS to Roy Arthur Kempton and Ethel (Eves) Kempton. The family soon moved to Merriam, KS where she spent her childhood years and graduated from Shawnee Mission North High School. She attended Kansas State University where she received BS degrees in Journalism and Home Economics in 1950.
She began her professional career as a County Home Economics Agent in Rush County and Edwards County, Kansas. She married Earl Julius Carlson in Tucumcari, NM on January 19, 1953 and they were married just shy of 50 years with Earl’s passing in 2002. They resided in Kinsley, KS where Earl worked on the family farm north of Kinsley and Jean continued her career. In 1954 the family moved to Emporia, KS where Jean was employed as the Lyon Co. Home Economics Agent and Earl began a career in Public Works. While working fulltime and raising a family, Jean would use her vacation time to attend summer school at Oklahoma State University where she earned a Master’s of Science degree in Home Management and Household Equipment in 1965. Earl would continue his love of farming, using his vacation time each summer to return to the family farm for the wheat harvest well into the 1980’s, both working to provide a better life for the family of four.
Jean was promoted to the state office in 1968 joining the faculty at Kansas State University as a state specialist in the Cooperative Extension Service retiring in 1984 after 34 years of service. Retiring at a young age, she spent the next 36 years bird watching, gardening, making a favorite trip to the vineyards of Napa Valley, following politics and most importantly, living life on her terms. She was preceded in death by her parents, sister, husband, Earl, and daughter, Lori. She is survived by a son Jon.
At Jean’s request there will be no service but a private memorial at a later date.
To leave a message of condolence for Jean's family, or to share a special memory of Jean, click the Share Memories tab.