Joseph "Smokey" Ensley passed away peacefully on May 25, 2021.
Born in Bentonville, AR, Smokey moved to Joplin, MO with his parents, Harold Ensley and Oba (Tennyson) Ensley, when he was five years old. At Joplin High School, he was senior class president, head of ROTC, and captained the 1955 state champion basketball team.
Smokey went on to play basketball at the University of Kansas, where he was a proud and eternal Jayhawk. He met his wife, Dodie Ensley, who predeceased him in 2003, while they both were students at KU. After college, he served as second lieutenant in the Army at Fort Leonard Wood, MO.
Smokey will be remembered for his strength of character, unfailing wit, and legendary storytelling. He touched the lives of countless people in his path, from his time spent coaching baseball and basketball, to the many years as principal of Lott Ensley Marketing, a confectionary distributer. Family and friends will sorely miss his wide smile, endless charm, and uncanny ability to connect with all those around him.
Smokey is survived by two sons and their families: Michael and Laurie Ensley and their children, James and Sophie, of Sudbury, MA and Christopher and Beth Ensley and their children, Olivia and Tess, of Overland Park, KS. He is also survived by his brother, Dusty Ensley and his wife Diana, of Kansas City, MO.
A funeral service will be held on June 1, 2021 at 2 pm at the Johnson County Funeral Chapel & Memorial Gardens, 11200 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66210. A gathering and celebration of life will directly follow at The Peanut 12663 Metcalf Ave, Overland Park, KS 66209.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations be made to the KU Endowment in support of Williams Education Fund Scholarships or your favorite charity. Please send donations to KU Endowment, P.O. Box 928, Lawrence, KS 66044 or give online at www.kuendowment.org/givenow.