Obituary-Darlene Empson

Darlene Empson, age 78, of Manhattan passed away Thursday, May 16th at the Via Christi Manhattan. She was born July 31, 1945, in Stafford, Kansas to the late Carl and Margaret (Steadman) Hoss. Darlene began her career in 1962 as a waitress at the Trail Rider’s Cafe and later became manager and cook for the family-owned business located at the 24-81 Junction. In 1982 she moved to Concordia Kansas and continued in the restaurant business at the Thunderbird Restaurant where she made lifelong friends and relationships. Upon the restaurant closing Darlene started a cleaning business. Her final and favorite career move was to Manhattan to be full-time grandma and day-care provider for her youngest 2 grandchildren. She is best known for her love of family and friends, antics with longtime friend Pat, her sassy attitude, bread pudding and cinnamon rolls.

She is survived by daughter Lisa Nixon (Jim) of Leawood, son Brian Empson of Kansas City, daughter Darcy Ruhl of Manhattan, grandchildren Heather Empson of Topeka, Shannon Nixon of Olathe, Madilyn and Olivia Ruhl of Manhattan, and great grandchildren Brody and Chloie of Topeka; her siblings Jeanette (Nick) Kondratieff of Clay Center, Denise (Mick) Hamel of Miltonvale, Steve Carson of Manhattan, Mark (Annette) Carson of Clay Center, Neal (Lisa) Carson of Wakefield.

She was preceded in death by her twin sister Marlene Tate, Brother Jerry Hoss, and parents.

Visitation will be Monday June 3rd from 2:00 PM – 7:00 PM with the family present 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM to receive friends at Nutter Mortuary, 116 E. 6TH St., Concordia, KS 66901 – funeral services on Tuesday 10:30 AM at Nutter Mortuary, then procession to the Miltonvale cemetery for the graveside service.

For online condolences, please visit

Sign up for the KCLY Digital Newspaper, The Regional