July 3, 1920 – January 10, 2018
Born in Highmore, SD
Resided in Lincoln, NE

Philip Albert Kaye

Dr. Philip Kaye

July 3, 1920-January 10, 2017

The dapper chair of the speech and theatre department with the jaunty cap who rode across the Nebraska Wesleyan campus on his bicycle for 35 years was affectionately known as PK.

He was born in Highmore South Dakota in the home his grandmother built.  Church and family were extremely important during his formative years, often without much distinction between the two. PK’s grandfather came to the Dakota Territory as a circuit-riding Methodist preacher. His father was the Methodist church organist and choir director for a thousand years or maybe fifty, as PK put it. Like his dad, PK loved rousing church hymns with good harmony.

When PK went to college at Dakota Wesleyan, he became involved in debate, theatre, and the pre-ministerial group.  His major was Speech and Theater. He went on to seminary at Iliff School of Theology in Denver and then enlisted in the Navy as a chaplain. While he was at Iliff, he had met Hilda Zoe Bruning. On the way to one of his Navy assignments, he passed through her home town of Lake Charles, LA, and they were married. PK cherished Zodie and their 70 years together.

PK taught speech and theatre at Dakota Wesleyan University before coming to Nebraska Wesleyan University in Lincoln in 1956. He loved working with students and encouraging them to bring out the best in themselves. He served as president of the State Speech Association, wrote a textbook used in college speech classes, and received several recognitions, but most important to him were the relationships he formed with people. His interest, wit and wisdom endeared him to all.

PK was an ordained elder in the United Methodist Church and a member of the Great Plains Conference. He served as an interim pastor in several churches, led adult Sunday School and was active as a local church leader.

The last several years, PK and Zodie lived at Eastmont Towers. Here too, PK was known for his leadership, his compassion, and his whimsical ability to bring cheer to those around him. PK’s daughters; their husbands, Margie (Pat) O’Meara and Nan (Lew) Kaye-Skinner, his five grandchildren and their spouses, nine great-grandchildren, his brother-in-law Ron Hull, nieces and nephews and cousins are so grateful to have been inspired and loved unconditionally by him.

A service celebrating his life will be held Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at Trinity United Methodist Church, 7130 Kentwell Ln, at 11:00 am. The family will be at the church an hour before and following the service.

Memorials may be given in lieu of flowers to the Nebraska Wesleyan Communication and Theatre Department.

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