Erica Catherine Neumann

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Erica Catherine Neumann made her last wildly inappropriate and sarcastic comment on July 5th of 2019.  Although she had a less than an average life span, Erica did not live an average life.  She was a hoot.  She laughed at every chance she got, loved fiercely, and embraced life with no holds barred.  She will be deeply missed by the many people whose lives she touched.  She is survived by loving mother Cathy Lawrenz and step-father Jack Generaux, father Steve Neumann, brother Fletcher Neumann, niece Paige Neumann, nephews Eli Cook and Fletcher Alexander Neumann; the love of her life, Justin Hensler, her fur babies Henri and Silas, Heloise the dragon, and many close friends who all felt she was their very best bestie. 

Miss Erica upstaged the other babies on the block in Brookside when she was born at home on December 27, 1982, in Kansas City, MO.  From that moment on, she stole the hearts of her adoring parents and big brother.  She remained a family gal and was always close to her tribe.

Erica would like to let you know that although none of us were ready, her work here is done. She received a call, a sort of an offer you can’t refuse, for an appointment from which she will not be returning. This assignment comes with a huge sign-on bonus - a reunion with family and friends she has not seen in a long time. Job security is 100 percent. Her new mission takes her to a wonderful place where she will be socializing, dancing, singing and eating to her heart’s content. Music, laughter and love are guaranteed. Food is delicious and you never gain an ounce. She left detailed instructions for her friends and family to celebrate her mission here, which has now been completed. Low adherence to this instruction will not be tolerated.  And if you knew Erica, you know she means business.

Erica had a great sense of humor.  We think that is why she left behind a heck of a lot of stuff that her family has no idea what to do with.  So if you are looking for giraffe figurines, an abundance of antique knitting needles, lots of rugs, numerous gnomes, a worm farm, troll dolls, a large minion collection, or art from the 1970s, you should wait the appropriate amount of time and get in touch.  This is not an ad for a thrift store, but an obituary for a great woman, daughter, friend, sister, auntie, and teacher.

Her nine years as a public school teacher in the Kansas City Missouri School District afforded hundreds of children and families exposure to Erica’s love, caring, and her fun and shining personality.  They learned from a teacher who truly cared about each and every one of them, not only their academic achievements but also who they were, their interests and their day-to-day experiences.  She ensured every child at each seat in her classroom felt safe and flourished during the 10 months they spent together. 

Erica was world renowned for her belly laugh, her deep love of her friends, family, and students, not holding back her opinion and telling it like it is.  Erica lived life to the fullest and could make anyone smile.  At six-foot-three with long hair the color of an oak leaf in fall and legs for days, Erica was a knock-out.  When she entered a room, the temperature rose.  Strong willed and a little mischievous, she could always find something fun to do and encouraged her loved ones to take in the happy times, be it a concert, a party, Pokemon Go, or just watching movies in pajamas.

She had a lifelong love affair with good pizza, pomeranians, dancing, movies, adventures with her friends and hot summer days by the pool. Erica was endlessly creative and impressed us all with her ability to create DIY projects before Pinterest was even a word.

We were blessed to learn many valuable lessons from Erica during her 36 years, among them: Never throw away classic children’s books because no matter how tattered, they are still treasures.

Also: If necessary, a true friend will finish your plate if you get full.  Always bring plastic baggies to the buffet in case you need a snack after.  And don’t forget to use air quotes!   Thanks to her, we will all try to make everyone smile. And remain endlessly young at heart.

On a more serious note, Erica always enjoyed volunteering her time with the Daughters of the American Revolution and handed out endless amounts of American flags and cookies at Naturalization events, promoted patriotism and the DAR scholarships, celebrated Constitution Week at her school, made the lives of veterans at the Leavenworth VA more cheerful, and was involved with her niece in Children of the American Revolution activities. 

A celebration of life is scheduled for Sunday, August 4th at 2:30 pm at Drexel Hall, 3301 Baltimore, KCMO, where we will share friends, food and memories. ALL who knew Erica are welcome.  In lieu of flowers donations may be made to the Kansas City Public Schools Education Foundation at