Cover photo for Emma Jean Stewart's Obituary
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Emma Jean Stewart

February 16, 1930 — June 25, 2024

Emma Jean Stewart

Emma Jean Stewart (Rock) went to be with our Lord late in the evening on June 25, 2024, after complications from a stroke. Emma Jean was born on February 16, 1930, to Mr. and Mrs. Elven and Lucy (Fray) Rock in Seminole, Oklahoma, the fifth of six children, Thomas, Eileen, Danny, Doyle Glenn, and Robert. She attended Beaver High School, graduating in 1948 and was a 1952 graduate of Northwestern Oklahoma State University in Alva, Oklahoma. She married Leo Carter on February 28, 1948 and he preceded her in death in 1970. They had four children, Linda Kimberly (husband Edward), Larry Carter (wife Cyndie), Lynden Carter (wife Lilia) and L. Randy Carter.

Emma Jean was a career educator and was a first grade teacher for 38 years. After beginning her career in Offerle and Ransom in Kansas, she spent the rest of her career in Liberal before retiring in 1995. She loved teaching and working with students and she would often say that she even loved working with her Principals. Teaching first grade was truly the only thing she ever wanted to do as a career – it was her calling. She would recognize former students even in later years. She was known as Mrs. Maxwell to many. She married Leroy Maxwell in 1975, then he preceded her in death in 1986.

Emma has been a member of South Church of God since the 1960s. She loved her church family and she gave other ladies, who could not drive, rides to church. Mom took great pride in keeping her driver’s license into her 90s and even passing the driving test again after not having it for a few months. Very little if anything ever deterred her from her goals in life. In later years when she could not attend due to health reasons, she watched online thanks to her son, Lynden. She served as church treasurer for many years at South Church and taught Sunday School and she loved Liberal Camp Meeting and knew many folks from around the area.

After retirement, Emma Jean took great pride in helping elementary school students with reading and math comprehension and worked with many international children living in Liberal. She took a gentle approach to life and learning but she could be tough when necessary. Emma loved God and always depended on him in challenging times, including growing up on a farm in the 1930s and 40s; losing her father and husband within a 24-hour period in 1970; caring for her mother during her last years; and losing Linda and Larry within in 30 days in the summer of 2015. Nothing veered her from her pathway serving God.

Emma is survived by one brother, Robert (wife Verree) of Austin; their children Terry (husband Harry) Papadopoulos, Sandy (husband Randy) Pierce, Julie (husband Randy) Mumm, Jennifer Rock (husband Arturo Solis). Their daughter Cathy Rock preceded her in death in 2022. She is survived by two sons, Lynden and Randy, daughter-in-law, Cyndie Wakefied (husband Earl), and several nieces and nephews: Jane Wampler (husband J.W.) of Annapolis, and Robert Mitchell, of Cape Cod, MA, Diana Rock of Greenbelt, MD, Judy Clifford (husband Pat) of Houston, JoAnn Olson (husband Tom) of Wichita, Gary Rock of Vancouver, WA, and Denise Boyd (husband Ron) of Turpin. She is survived by nine grandchildren: Cathi Carter, Leo Carter (wife Tonya), Cherie Luken (husband Josh), Berakah Carter and Trevor Gonzales, Larcyn Carter (wife Desirae), Michelle Kimberly (partner Craig), and Michael Kimberly, step-grandson, Sean Prologo (wife Mandy), and nine great grandchildren. 

Emma was also preceded in death by one brother Thomas (wife Cleta), sister Eileen Mitchell (husband Paul), nephew Jim Mitchell and niece Carol Sue Nightingale (husband Lucky) of Fredrick, MD, nephew Tommy Rock, of Beaver, and countless friends. Brothers, Danny and Doyle Glenn, passed away on the farm as toddlers in the 1920s.  Larry and Linda preceded her in death in 2015 and Lilia in 2023. Edward Kimberly passed away in 2021. 

Emma Jean was an educator and learner to the end and always believed in being thankful for what she had. Very special thanks to the staff and nurses from Healthwatch Home Health and Hospice and to the care, friendship and support she has received from her special friend, Robert Thompson. The family suggests donations to USD 480 for reading programs and to help students with food insecurity and/or to the South Church of God Food Bank. 

Visitation will be on 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM, Monday, July 1, 2024, at the Hornung Family Funeral Home, 1212 W 2nd Street, Liberal, Kansas. The family will be present to greet guests from 5:00 to 7:00 PM.

Funeral Services will be at 10:00 AM, Tuesday, July 2, 2024, at South Church of God, 635 S. Washington Avenue, Liberal, Kansas. Pastor Presephoni Fuller and Chaplin Jim Garcia will be presiding.

A burial will follow at Pioneer Cemetery in Beaver, Oklahoma. 

Condolences may be sent to the family at


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Past Services


Monday, July 1, 2024

10:00am - 9:00 pm (Central time)

Hornung Family Funeral Home

1212 W. 2nd, Liberal, KS 67901

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Funeral Service

Tuesday, July 2, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Tuesday, July 2, 2024

12:00 - 12:00 pm (Central time)

Pioneer Cemetery

Beaver,, OK 73932

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