Cover photo for Chap. Maj. Kenneth Edmiston, Retired's Obituary
Chap. Maj. Kenneth Edmiston, Retired Profile Photo
1937 Chap. Maj. Kenneth 2021

Chap. Maj. Kenneth Edmiston, Retired

August 4, 1937 — December 31, 2021

Funeral Services at First Baptist Church, Temple, OK on Monday, January 10, 2022 at 10:00 a.m., Committal and Military Honors at Fort Sill National Cemetery, Elgin, OK at 2:00 p.m. that afternoon. Rev. Kevin Simpson Officiating under the direction of Hart-Wyatt Funeral Home in Walters, OK.

Memorial Services at Crossroads Baptist Church, Riley, KS on Saturday, January 15, 2022 at 11:00 a.m., Rev. David Van Bebber Officiating.Memorial Donations can be made to: Kansas-Nebraska Disaster Relief, Attn: Rebuild Team, 5410 SW 7th St., Topeka, KS 66066

Chaplain Major Kenneth Horton Edmiston, Ret., was born to Vernon Smith and Martha Hallie (Horton) Smith on August 4th 1937 in New Orleans, LA and later adopted by Lewis Lee Edmiston. He departed this life at Walters, OK on December 31, 2021 at the age of 84 years, 4 months and 27 days.

Kenneth was raised in Baton Rouge Louisiana and attended High School in Mineral Wells Texas. He then moved to the territory of Anchorage Alaska (before statehood) and graduated there in 1955. He Attended Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU), Southwestern in Weatherford, OK, Baptist Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri receiving multiple master’s degrees along the way.

He married Elizabeth “Ann” Bundren on January 2, 1958 and to this union 4 children were born.

After graduating college Kenneth joined the army to serve as Army Chaplain to the troops. He served in Vietnam and was instrumental in starting numerous orphanages while there. Kenneth received numerous awards while serving. His tours of Duty included Ft. Carson, Giessen Germany, Ft. Hamilton, Fort Sill, Turkey, Ft. Hood and his last duty station as Hospital Chaplain at Ft. Riley, KS where he retired in 1987.

He met and married the love of his life, Gayle Beffa in Junction City Kansas, on December 9, 1989 and they remained happily married for 32 years.

After his retirement he started Edmiston Family Counseling and began ministering to the Ft. Riley / Junction City community as a marriage and family therapist until 1995. He continued to serve the Lord as pastor to the Korean American Baptist Church in Junction City, KS, during his ministry there he and his wife Gayle formed many lasting bonds with the Korean community. Several of whom consider Kenneth and Gayle as family, referring to them as mom, dad, grandma and grandpa. Kenneth also served as Chaplin for the Geary County Sheriff’s Office. He and Gayle also volunteered with disaster relief ministries.

Kenneth was an Eagle Scout, a scout leader and helped both his sons to obtain the Eagle Scout Rank. He served as a 32nd Degree Mason, He and Gayle were active members of Cross Road Baptist Church in Riley KS. He loved working with his hands, he was self-taught as a master clock restorer of antique clocks. Most importantly he loved to share Jesus with EVERYONE. Kenneth loved sailing and enjoying the view of Lake Milford from his back yard. One of his greatest passions was being Santa. He was Santa for Junction City and was in the Christmas parade for more than 20 years until his health declined in 2016. He even appeared on the Rush Limbaugh show as Santa once.

Kenneth was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis and Martha Edmiston, and Vernon and Dollie Smith; son John Edmiston, brothers Harry “Leslie” Edmiston and Boyd Edmiston.

Survivors include his wife, Gayle of the home in Milford, KS; son, Ken & Cheryl Edmiston, Killeen, TX; daughter, LaDonna & Chester Rick, Sterling, OK; daughter, Mari’a & Kevin Simpson, Walters, OK; daughter, Amanda & Eric Schaetzel, Longmont, CO; son, Mike & Jude Beffa, Saint Roberts, MO; grandkids, Kelly & Gary Griffin, Bobby & Ashley Shortt, Billy & Brittany Rice, Elizabeth & Matt Schimdt, Heather & Blake Shelton, Brandon & Katie Edmiston, Ken & Stephanie Edmiston, Candice Edmiston, Jessica & JT Jones, Brandon Washington, Dawson Beffa; 17 great grandkids; 1 great-great grandchild; his siblings, Kathleen Curtis, Seattle, WA, Marsha & Pete Martin, Moore, OK, Priscilla & David Pinckard, Addis, LA, Forrest & Diane Smith LaPlace, LA, Jerome Vernon “Butch” & Juliette Smith Baton Rouge, LA; other relatives and a host of friends.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Chap. Maj. Kenneth Edmiston, Retired, please visit our flower store.


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