Mary Ann Flander, a life-long resident of Kansas, passed away Monday the 30th of December at Kelly House of Meriden.
Born in 1937 in Kansas City, the daughter of George Christian and Connie Lee (Dickens) Brooks , Mary Ann lived in the area most of her life. She graduated from Wyandotte High in 1955 and attended the University of Kansas with honor. This did add to her life-long raucous (some say rabid) following and fandom of the KU Jayhawks. No one dared argue any fault with her beloved school, and no one could turn away from that smile when she cheered! She even managed to get a Missouri Tiger or two to chant “Rock Chalk” in the height of the Border War.
As a young girl, Mary Ann’s life was forever enriched when her mother married Joe MacVay. He was a loving stepfather and such a prankster. He and Mary Ann created countless memories, laughs, and stories. Her sister, Connie was born during this time. Joe (whom they both called “Daddy”) died too young, when Connie was very small, but she has always been grateful that Mary Ann was at his bedside with their Mother at the very end. When Mary Ann became a Mother herself, she always encouraged her daughters in their creativity, and raised them to be strong and self-sufficient.
Mary Ann was very active in the Republican Party of Kansas. She worked for many years as a Congressional Aide in the office of Larry Winn, Jr. of the 3rd District. While there, she was a fierce advocate for veterans, helping several in obtaining full benefits after they had served our country. She also served with the NAACP and the League of Women Voters. She later lobbied for better business practices in Missouri. After retiring from politics, she worked in retail sales for JC Penney, Broadway Hardware, and several furniture stores. She retired from Westlake Ace Hardware in 2007 after 10 years of service.
She loved telling stories, meeting new people, music, and dancing. Her laughter was infectious. Always smart and funny, she especially loved sharing with her extended family in Arkansas.
Mary Ann is survived by her daughters, Diana Szulski White of Overland Park, Tana (Suann) Merrill of Topeka, her sister Connie and beloved husband Roger Burks of Parsons, Kansas, their two sons, Roger Jr. and Danny, and many relatives in Conway and Greenbrier, Arkansas.
There are no services planned. Green burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lawrence. Memorial contributions may be made in her name to Elara Caring Hospice of Topeka, Kansas and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary, 120 W. 13th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044.