By TIFFANY RONEY
Normally players are recognized while fans stay in the stands. But for one local family, the joy of cheering for their favorite team has taken them to an honored position: K-State’s 2013 Family of the Year.
The Elmer and Emily Bebermeyer branch of the Bebermeyer family will receive the award at the K-State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette game on Saturday. Though Elmer and Emily have passed away, their branch of the family includes 50 descendants who live in the Abilene area, as well as several who have moved out of state.
The Bebermeyers are the largest family ever to win Family of the Year.
Dorothy Bebermeyer Snyder is one of Elmer and
Emily’s three daughters. She and her sisters grew up on a farm near Talmage.
“It’s the Bebermeyer family that’s being honored, but we three girls married and of course our husbands graduated from K-State, too, and from there on it went,” Snyder said. “As I say, you’re proud of your school’s accomplishments. My daughter sang with the K-State Singers, and another family member was a football player. They did so many, many things.”
Nicole Hawkins, great-granddaughter of Elmer and Emily, nominated the Bebermeyers for the award.
“Our family should be chosen as K-State family of the year, not because of our huge accomplishments but because K-State developed in us salt of the earth Kansans who blossomed into active leaders in Kansas communities,” Hawkins wrote in the application.
Forty-two members of this branch of the Bebermeyer family attended K-State. They were involved at K-State in a plethora of capacities:
• student body president
• student senate
• mortar board
• KSU iTAC
• engineering ambassador
• admissions representative
• freshman orientation leader
• Glee Club
• K-State chorale
• K-State singers including 2 USO tours
• marching band
• Kappa Kappa Gamma President of the house
• Farmhouse Vice President
• rush coordinator
• pledge educator
• dorm RA’s
• homecoming candidate
• varsity track
• varsity track recruiting
• arsity football
• curling club
• various intramural teams
• KSU study abroad
• Gamma Phi Beta
• Kappa Kappa Gamma
• Alpha Chi Omega
• Alpha Delta Pi
• Kappa Delta
• Delta Upsilon,
• Beta Theta Pi
• Alpha Kappa Lambda
• Alpha Gamma Rho
• Phi Gamma Delta.
They received degrees in a variety of fields, from agriculture to accounting. One family member later became a state senator, another became the executive director for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Topeka and another became a judge.
Throughout their careers, the Bebermeyers maintained strong connections to K-State. One former Bebermeyer served as a house mother for the Clovia Scholarship House for three years. Others donate to K-State through Friends of McCain. Two others returned to campus: one as a professor and another as an adviser, later winning KSU Advisor of the Year in 1982.
“The idea to nominate our family for family of the year was brought up at our annual family reunion where K-State is ALWAYS a topic of conversation,” Hawkins wrote in the application. “The response from the family was incredible. Post World War II (1949) courtships began at K-State and built into a four-generation legacy. Other family members followed this example by marrying their special Wildcat. What family means to us is unconditional love and that is how we feel about K-State.
“Through our enrollment, KSU entered our heads but now resides in our hearts. We wear our purple proudly and are excited to tell anyone and everyone about our alma mater and the special time we were privileged to spend there.”
Chimes Junior Honorary selected the Bebermeyers from “an intensive selection process,” Chimes members wrote in the award notification e-mail to Hawkins. Chimes will treat the family to a luncheon including a catered meal, a speaker and a presentation about the family. On the field, Chimes will present the family with a commemorative plaque.
Kayleen Knopp, who married into the Bebermeyer family through her husband, Max Knopp, said she is especially glad for Elmer and Emily’s three daughters: Snyder, who lives at Brown Memorial Home; Evelyn Bebermeyer Knopp Krause, Manhattan, who is Max’s mother and Vivian Bebermeyer Funk, who lives in Garden City.
“They’re really tickled,” Kayleen said.