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1927 Donald V. Wideman 2023

Donald V. Wideman

August 13, 1927 — May 3, 2023

Kansas City, MO

Donald V. Wideman, 95, passed away May 3, 2023, at McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff in Kansas City, Missouri. Don was born to Emil and Katheryn (Moore) Wideman in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 13, 1927. Growing up during the Great Depression, Don attended six different elementary schools in the city before his parents and six younger siblings moved to the country in Jefferson County, Missouri. While working various jobs and attempting to help his dad turn their plot of dirt and rocks into a farm, Don also managed to graduate valedictorian of his graduating class at Crystal City High School in 1945. Following graduation, Don volunteered for the Navy during World War II. He often liked to boast of ending the war as his deployment date began just prior to Japan’s surrender.

After his time in the service, Don moved back to Jefferson County where he met his future wife, Marian Kiepe, at a young people’s “Singspiration” at Zion Methodist Church. During their courtship and early marriage Don founded and led the Gospel Union Band, a group of 20+ local young people who traveled throughout the region performing gospel music in churches and on the radio.

Don and Marian were married on January 27, 1951, at Rush Tower Methodist Church during an ice storm. Soon after, Don sensed a call to ministry and began attending St. Louis Baptist College. He later graduated from Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas City, Missouri, all while rearing their four children, David Mark, Katheryn Elizabeth, Thomas Wayne, and Rebecca Jo.

Don pastored four Baptist churches in Missouri: Oakland, De Soto (1955-61); First Baptist of Oakville, St. Louis (1961-66); Liberty Manor, Liberty (1966-73); and First Baptist of North Kansas City (1973-87) before becoming executive director of the Missouri Baptist Convention (1987-97). As executive director, he was responsible for the programs which support the work of more than 600,000 members in 1,900 Missouri Baptist churches.

Throughout his ministry, he was active at all levels of denominational life in the Southern Baptist Convention. He served as president of the Missouri Baptist Convention (1979-80) and second vice president of the SBC (1984-85). He was also a trustee of Baptist Memorial Hospital, Kansas City, Missouri, William Jewell College, Liberty, Missouri, and Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Fort Worth, Texas.

He was highly involved in missions work, including the Missouri Baptist Convention Bold Mission Taiwan project in 1982 and in the Partnership Missions: Belarus and Wyoming.

Don received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from William Jewell College in 1980 and an honorary Doctor of Sacred Theology degree from Southwest Baptist University, Bolivar in 1989.

After his retirement in 1997, Don and Marian moved to Liberty, Missouri, where he became executive director of the Partee Center for Baptist Historical Studies at William Jewell College until 2003. During that period, he also served as the college’s interim chaplain and vice president of religious life.  

In 2017, Don and Marian moved to McCrite Plaza at Briarcliff in Kansas City, Missouri, where they enjoyed an active lifestyle with their new neighbors and friends. Don continued to teach his Sunday School class at FBC of NKC until the age of 90.

Don was proceeded in death by his parents, his brothers, Bill Wideman and Charles Wideman, and his sisters, Nadine Cook and Doris Whiteside. He is survived by his “trophy” wife of 72 years, Marian; his son, David (Jenna) Wideman of Charlotte, North Carolina; daughter, Kathy (Alan) Mazi of Liberty, Missouri; son, Tom (Sally) Wideman of North Kansas City, Missouri; daughter, Becky (Brian) Holt of Lawrence, Kansas; 10 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren, and his two youngest brothers, or as Don called them, “the little kids,” Bob and John Wideman.

A private family graveside service was held at Glenridge Cemetery. His Celebration of Life will be 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, at First Baptist Church, North Kansas City (2205 Iron Street, NKC, MO 64116).  Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the church worship center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Don’s memory to First Baptist Church of North Kansas City designated for the “Wideman Fellowship Hall Fund.”

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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, May 27, 2023

9:00 - 11:00am (Central time)

First Baptist Church of North Kansas City

2205 Iron St., North Kansas city, MO 64116

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, May 27, 2023

11:00am - 12:00pm (Central time)

First Baptist Church of North Kansas City

2205 Iron St., North Kansas city, MO 64116

A private family graveside service was held at Glenridge Cemetery. His Celebration of Life will be 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 27, at First Baptist Church, North Kansas City (2205 Iron Street, NKC, MO 64116).  Visitation will begin at 9:00 a.m. in the church worship center. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Don’s memory to First Baptist Church of North Kansas City designated for the “Wideman Fellowship Hall Fund.”

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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