Mrs. Emperley passed away after a short illness Wednesday at Stormont Vail Hospital.
She is preceded in death by her parents Theodore “Ted” and Inaz Williamson. Mrs. Emperley is survived by her six children: Waunita A. Runyan and ex-partner Tina, Andrew R. “Wolf” Runyan and wife Barb, Ginger K. Gazaway Morris (Runyan) and husband Kevin, Kasy Quinn (Allen A. Runyan) and wife Sheila, Gene Wheeler, Leslie A. Payne (Wheeler) and husband Don, along with step sons Kent Emperley and Brad Emperley and wife Kaydee and Shawn Emperley. Her husband Phillip E. Emperley also survives along with many cousins.
Mrs. Emperley had 20 grandkids and 26 great grandkids who will always be told about “Gramma Shirley” or who knew her and accepted her as so. Mrs. Emperley never knew a stranger and most people who knew her simply addressed her as Momma Shirley. Her nickname was “Squirrelly”
Mrs. Emperley grew up here in Kansas, before her parents, who had been employed at the Downtowner, took her to Alaska to work in the restaurant business feeding the miners and servicemen.
Things didn’t work out up there: She married, lost her father and in 1966 came back to Kansas with the 4 oldest kids, her mother and one suitcase.
In the 80’s Mrs. Emperley worked different jobs in Lawrence, Kansas, driving cab and working at KU for some time. She eventually found and married Phillip E. Emperley on December 28th 1996. He resides in Topeka, Kansas. They just celebrated 23 years together.
Mrs. Emperley enjoyed the outdoors, fishing, camping and also bowling before her health started declining. She loved being able to gamble online and playing various online casino games in her later years. To her it was a way for her to relax. She also loved music and would sing along, sometimes making up her own words as she went along.
At this time there are no plans for a funeral, the family has decided instead to have a memorial some time in or around the spring for friends and family members. When this time comes, there will be an announcement thru Facebook and or messenger.