Obituary-Leslie Leon Hemphill

Leslie Leon Hemphill, fondly known as Les, aged 75, passed away in Concordia, Kansas on October 12, 2023. Born at home on December 29, 1947, to parents Alice Shaw Hemphill and Harrison Walter Hemphill in Chelsea, Oklahoma, Les embarked on a remarkable journey. He graduated from Claremore High School in 1966 and continued his educational pursuit at the University of Tulsa, where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling/Psychology in 1970. His passion for psychology led him to further achievements, culminating in a Master’s Degree in Counseling/Psychology from the University of Kansas and a PhD in Counseling from Kansas State University.

In 1967, Les married Penelope Gabbard and to this union was born Melina C. Hemphill. They later divorced. In 1989, Les married Christy Hasch and to this union was born Sarah R. Hasch, Emily M. Hasch, and Rachel N. Hasch.

Les’s professional path was diverse, beginning as a medic in Germany with the United States Army and concluding with a rich career as a psychologist, counselor, probation officer, and educator in Psychology. His service extended to roles such as Director of Advisement and Counseling at Cloud County Community College and Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Psychology Programs at the University of Saint Mary until his retirement in 2015.

Les served his community in multiple leadership roles. He served as negotiator on behalf of the Teacher’s Association at Cloud County Community College, wrote the grant that funded the Infant / Toddler Program in the North Central Kansas area, and acted as a trustee for the First United Methodist Church in Concordia. In 2013, Les was recognized by the National Academic Advising Association for his work as Chair of the Advising Graduate and Professional Students Commission.

Beyond his professional life, Les had a zest for photography, motorcycle rides, Spaghetti Westerns, Sci-fi movies, reading, extensive camping adventures, traveling, and, of course, the creation of “dad jokes.” He claimed to know how to “perfectly fold a fitted sheet” but was never known to do the laundry at home. Sadly, he was unable to actualize his full musical potential as he was never able receive lessons on the autoharp despite advertising in the local newspaper. Les, an enthusiast of Aikido, proudly held a black belt in the martial art and delighted in culinary experiments, particularly his specialty, “wild pig” (spam), and the occasional grilled cucumber. Les fully enjoyed being a father to his four daughters, and was quick to correct strangers who mistook him for his daughters’ grandfather.

Les is preceded in death by his parents and his daughter, Sarah. He is survived by his devoted wife, Christy, his brothers Randy Hemphill of Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, and Donald Hemphill of Texas, as well as his cherished daughters, Melina, Emily, and Rachel, and his adored grandson, Gavin Massell.

Visitation will be held on Thursday, October 19, 2023 from 1-8 PM, with the family receiving friends from 6-7 PM at the Chaput-Buoy Funeral Home, 325 W. 6th Street, Concordia, KS 66901.

Services to celebrate Les’s life will be held at the First United Methodist Church in Concordia on Friday, October 20, 2023, at 11:00 AM, with Rev. Mark Crist officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests that memorials be made to the Lewy Body Dementia Association, the Frank Carlson Library, or Cloud County Community College for Scholarship use.

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