Kevin Charles Weems, beloved husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, athlete and consummate professional, was born July 2, 1960, in Kansas City, Mo., to Charles and Camille Weems. He was their second child and their first son.
Kevin was a mischievous guy, often playing pranks, stirring up potions, or leading whatever mischief and mayhem the day called for. He would run away smiling, laughing after getting the best of his sisters, cousins, classmates or neighborhood friends.
The Weemses stressed academics while the children attended Kansas City, Kansas, public schools. But the family business was sports. Kevin played 3-2 baseball, made a few tackles on the gridiron, but it was the basketball court where he excelled. He and the F.L. Schlagle Stallions stormed the region in the mid-1970s, winning the KCK League often as well as participating in the Kansas state high school basketball championships.
After graduating from Schlagle in 1978, he took his basketball skills to Drury College in Springfield, Mo., where he played the role of the sixth man, coming in off the bench in 34 of the Panthers’ 35 games during the 1978-79 season. “The sky is the limit,” the 1978-79 Drury basketball media guide said. “Weems possesses the physical ability that could make him one of the top players in the district, and quite possibly one of the best players in the NAIA.”
The team finished 33-2, and captured the 42nd annual NAIA National Basketball Championship. Senior teammate Lawrence Washington says Kevin got to experience something special that most people never get to. He came in as a freshman “and did his work when called upon.”
Kevin, Washington and several of their former coaches and teammates reunited and celebrated the 40th anniversary of the championship earlier this year. “We were joking, laughing, reminiscing … it was a good time and I enjoyed seeing him.”
Kevin left Drury and later attended Washburn University in Topeka and Marymount College in Salina.
After school, Kevin began looking for a way to make a living. He had worked as a supervisor at Sunshine Biscuit and later went to work in the Maintenance Department for Topeka Public Schools USD 501. He married Kim Klein of Silver Lake, Ks., on Feb. 13, 1988, and they had a son, Kyle Jordan, born in 1989.
He settled into USD 501 and made it his purpose, his way to take care of his family, and his way to give back to the community. As a kid he learned that you go to work, do your job and go back the next day, and the next. He did that for 33 years.
In the Maintenance Department, he spent years painting schoolhouses and manicuring the grounds. When there were no painting jobs, he would assist co-workers with other jobs in carpentry, windows and doors and snow removal. It was during his to and fro from schools that he made young friends and became especially close with the staff and students at Meadows Elementary School. He sometimes chaperoned school trips and was a mentor to some of the kids. “My dad was a father figure to many children,” says son, Kyle.
Sports was still a constant in his life. With his son playing every sport, Kevin took to coaching. When Kyle was 12, Kevin coached the Highland Park freshman boys’ basketball team. They won very few games, but Kevin enjoyed mentoring the fellas, being a constant in their lives. He also coached with the Topeka Diamondbacks baseball team as well as the Topeka Jayhawks basketball team.
Kevin had a love for all things green and he could often be found tinkering in his garden. He was known for his plump, red tomatoes, juicy cucumbers and hearty cabbage heads.
Kyle’s move into the international basketball scene also afforded Kevin and Kim a chance to see a bit more of the world. They traveled to France, Germany and Turkey and shared many memorable and emotional moments, most notably meeting first grandson, Kyrie, in Strasbourg, France. They also took to the streets of Istanbul, touring the Blue Mosque, towering minarets, and underground cisterns.
On Nov. 12, 2019, Kevin made his transition to eternal life at the Kansas City Hospice House in Kansas City, Mo.
His passing will leave a huge void, but left to cherish his memory are wife, Kim, of Topeka; son, Kyle, daughter-in-law, Jacque, and grandsons Kyrie and Christian of Bologna, Italy; parents Camille Harris (Bernard) of Kansas City, Ks., and father Charles Weems (Sharon) of Gladstone, Mo.; sisters, Patricia Gaston of Lawrence, Ks., Terri Miller and Karla Robinson (Marquis) of Kansas City, Ks.; brother, Kristopher C. Weems (Neda) of Menlo Park, Calif.; brother-in-law, J.P. Klein of Silver Lake, Ks., and sisters-in-law, Diana Gulley (Robert) and Trisha Klein of Topeka; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, aunts and uncles and friends.
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