Carl William Werner Didde, 98, of Emporia, KS, passed away on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at Menorah Medical Center. Visitation will be Sunday, April 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road, Kansas City, Missouri with the rosary at 7:30 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, April 29 at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 102 Cottonwood, Emporia, KS. Memorial contributions may be made to the Didde Catholic Campus Center, 1415 Merchant Street, Emporia, KS 66801, or may be sent in care of Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home, 605 State Street, Emporia, KS 66801. Carl was a gentle man of faith and an...
Carl William Werner Didde, 98, of Emporia, KS, passed away on Sunday, April 21, 2013 at Menorah Medical Center. Visitation will be Sunday, April 28 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at McGilley State Line Chapel, 12301 State Line Road, Kansas City, Missouri with the rosary at 7:30 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Monday, April 29 at 10:30 a.m. at Sacred Heart Church, 102 Cottonwood, Emporia, KS. Memorial contributions may be made to the Didde Catholic Campus Center, 1415 Merchant Street, Emporia, KS 66801, or may be sent in care of Roberts-Blue-Barnett Funeral Home, 605 State Street, Emporia, KS 66801.
Carl was a gentle man of faith and an entrepreneur at heart. He loved his family above all else and left a legacy of hard work, generosity and love. Carl never stopped thinking, planning, or praying. He was a blessing to all who knew him, and was loved by many.
Carl was born on February 12, 1915 to John and Catherine Noll Didde on the family farm in Nortonville, KS. He attended Nortonville High School, and moved to Emporia in 1936 to work as a "printer's devil". He married Teresa Specht in 1942, and they had three children: Kathy, Teri, and David. Carl started the Didde Publishing Company in 1946 to print and publish sermon books by Msgr. Arthur Tonne. Realizing there was a need for collating equipment in the graphic arts industry, he developed the Speed-Klect Collator in 1953 with Don Glaser. By 1967, the company was one of the largest home owned Kansas-based employers.
As his career progressed, Didde-Glaser which became Didde Graphic Systems and Didde Corporation, manufactured printing equipment which was sold worldwide. At one point the company had over 1,000 employees. Carl continued his fascination with the printing and book binding industry until his death, receiving a patent at the age of 94 for a book binding method he invented in his 90's.
Carl served on many boards such as National Printing Equipment and Supply Association, Kansas Power and Light Company, Kansas State Chamber of Commerce, Emporia Chamber of Commerce, St. Mary's Hospital, Emporia United Way, Citizens National Bank, International Trade Council, Emporia Enterprises, Flint Hills Area Health Planning Council, Emporia Country Club, Didde Corporation, and Didde Office Supply and Printing, where he often held leadership positions. He also held several leadership positions at Sacred Heart Church, in the Knight of Columbus, and on the Emporia State University Board of Trustees, and was a founding director of the Emporia Community Foundation.
Carl was also the founder of the Didde WorkPLACE Program co-sponsored by Didde Corporation and the National Association of Printers and Lithographers. The WorkPLACE Program is a training and certification program for students and workers in the printing trade.
In 1994 Carl received the Soderstrom Award for lifetime achievement in the printing industry from the National Association of Printers and Lithographers. He was also a member of the Soderstrom Society. In 1980, under Carl's leadership, Didde Corporation was the Kansas Exporter of the Year.
Carl and Teresa were active philanthropists as benefactors of the Didde Catholic Campus Center adjacent to the Emporia State University Campus. Among many donations, they funded the majority of the construction costs of the Immaculate Conception Mission Church in Creede, Colorado, and donated a CAT scanner to St. Mary's Hospital in Emporia.
Carl was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Teresa Didde and his siblings Clara Schmidt, Gertrude Schneider, Bernadette Johnson, Bernard Didde, Ed Didde, Leona Wehrle, John Didde and granddaughter Channing Killip. He is survived by his sister Doris Foster and his children and their spouses, John and Kathy Killip of Kansas City, Missouri; Rick and Teri Inman of Creede, Colorado; and David and Joyce Didde of Leawood, Kansas; grandchildren Whitney Killip Ullrich(Klaus), Brielle Killip, Wyeth Killip, Keelia Killip, Laura Inman Mitchell (Amelia), Kyle Inman(Cara), Chelsea Didde, and Ryan Didde, and great-grandchildren Charlotte and Henry Ullrich.
Carl's family is deeply grateful to Debbie Lawson, Bev Laws, and Mike Stuchlik for their dedication to and loving care of Carl for many, many years. Thank you also to the staff of Villa St. Joseph for their care of and friendship to Carl during the last 3 years.
Carl loved life, especially fishing up the creek at his beloved Little Squaw Resort in Colorado, or telling his family or coworkers about his latest invention. His smile was contagious, his energy boundless, and his faith eternal. We miss him so much.