Charles F. Myers
Kansas City, Mo.
Charles F. Myers, a prominent Kansas City health advocate whose activism and influence spanned decades, died on Friday, January 20, 2023 at the age of 80. The cause was complications from dementia, his sons Christopher and Jason said.
There will be a 9:00am visitation and 11:00am memorial service on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at North Cross United Methodist Church, 1321 NE Vivion Road, Kansas City, MO 64118.
Charles was born in Fairfield, Iowa on October 13, 1942 and raised in the small town of 250 people of Packwood, Iowa. He graduated from high school at the Packwood Consolidated School District in 1960 as one of only 13 of him in his graduating class, a fact he was always fond of pointing out.
He attended Northeast Missouri State University (now Truman State University) in Kirksville, Missouri, and graduated in 1964 with degrees in business education and business administration.
Along the way he met Kay Lynne Mekemson of Fort Madison, Iowa at a student council meeting. Both were presidents of their respective fraternities and sororities and worked together at a function to bring a hot new band from California called the Mamas and the Papas to campus. Unfortunately, the University did not approve the band. That didn’t stop them from going steady, with their first date watching The Beatles’ appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show on February 9, 1964. They married 11 months later on December 27 and moved to Kansas City, where Charles attended UMKC Law School, finishing top of his class in 1968.
Charles began his career at the law firm of Dietrich, Davis, Dicus, Rowlands, Schmidt & Gorman, making a name for himself in corporate tax law and being mentored by a number of prominent partners including Gerald Gorman and Ilus Davis.
In 1978, he received an unexpected offer at a meeting of the NKC Rotary Club. North Kansas City Hospital had just undergone an administrative change and wanted a fresh start. The hospital management asked him to look into a few key issues and before long he was asked to represent the hospital. A new specialization in health legality had begun.
Kay Lynne and Charles both began to get involved in the community, which remained their lifelong passion.
Charles founded a leading healthcare law firm with Spencer, Fane, Britt & Brown in 1988 and then Lathrop & Gage from 1994 until his retirement in 2018. Charles represented several dozen hospitals in Missouri and Kansas, including North Kansas City Hospital, St. Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City, Liberty Hospital, Mast Ambulance, and served on the board of trustees of Truman Medical Center. He also worked to help draft and pass the Missouri Health Care Durable Power of Attorney Act. He has been selected by his peers for the health care law section of America’s top lawyers since that section’s inception in 1991.
He never forgot his small-town roots, maintaining a law practice in Higginsville, Missouri, cobbled together wills and affordable estate plans.
Charles was heavily involved in public service, serving on the Kansas City, Missouri Planning Commission for nearly two decades, where he served as chairman, Clay County Economic Development Board, Northland Regional Chamber of Commerce and a regular at Rotary International in NKC. He was also an active member of North Cross United Methodist Church, where he was a former trustee chairman.
Charles was heavily involved in the Clay County Democratic Central Committee and the Missouri state Democratic Party throughout his life and helped raise money to elect Emanuel Cleaver mayor of Kansas City in 1991. His commitment to the DNC throughout years earned him a seat as a Missouri Democrat delegate to the 2012 DNC conference in Charlotte, NC to re-elect Barack Obama.
He loved sports and rooted for Royals, Chiefs and Kansas Jayhawks Basketball.
Charles is survived by his sister, Charlotte Susie Myers (Kansas City) and his two sons, Charles Jason Myers (Kansas City) and Christopher Earl Myers (Charlotte, NC). The family is asking for contributions to the Charles Franklin Myers Memorial Fund at North Cross United Methodist Church in lieu of flowers.