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Mary Ellen Ascher
Mary Ellen Ascher left this life on Sunday, May 3, 2020, surrounded by her loving family. She was 92-years old. Mom was preceded in death by her father and mother, Albert and Mary Louise Robitsch, of Leavenworth; and her sister and best friend, Jean Schouweiler of Minot, ND.
Mom invited the entire family over every Sunday evening for what became known as Pizza Night. She wanted her six grandchildren to spend time together and championed getting the family together for all holidays, annual lake vacations, as well as any Sunday that family members could attend. We believe she brought us all together to be with her as a family, one last Sunday, before leaving us to join her parents and her sister.
Mom was a beautiful and very elegant lady who prided herself on grace and poise. She was quick-witted, very popular, and was voted Homecoming Queen her senior year in high school. After graduating from Leavenworth High School, knowing one had to buy their way into the nursing program, mom worked to save money to put herself through school. Following in her mother’s footsteps, who was also a registered nurse, she received her degree from St. Luke’s Hospital School of Nursing on September 2, 1950. Mom then ended up working as the head nurse in Labor and Delivery at St. Luke’s.
Mom married our dad, the love of her life, James John Ascher, on February 27, 1954. They moved to Memphis, TN, so dad could work as a detail man for his father’s pharmaceutical company. Mom worked for private practice physicians before giving birth to her first child, then retired to become a full-time mom, which she believed to be the most important job there is.
Mom and Dad eventually returned to the Kansas City area and have lived in the Prairie Village and Overland Park areas for the remainder of their 66-years of marriage.
Mom not only elegantly hosted people, in our home, from all over the world, she also had the opportunity to travel, and experience, the world with our Dad.
When not traveling, Mom excelled at shopping for family gifts, managing the never-ending tasks of running a home that was nearing a century old, constantly climbing up and down two and three flights of stairs, and working in the kitchen. If she wasn’t making sweet rolls for breakfast, she was making lunch, and as soon as lunch was done, she was working on dinner. If you were ever a guest in her home, she always wanted to make sure you had enough to eat. Everything was homemade and dessert was always with chocolate. No holiday or birthday went without a mountain of wrapped gifts topped by her famous dollar bill bows, and favorite family meals. She was famous for her slow-cooked brisket, her homemade mashed potatoes and gravy, and for saying, “Get out of the kitchen!” Because mom excelled at being a good wife and mother, she has left a huge hole in each family member’s heart.
Believing that furthering one’s nursing education is a goal worth supporting, mom created The Mary Ellen Ascher Nursing Scholarship Fund at Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences at Rockhurst University to provide financial aid to nursing students. Mom also created The Mary Ellen Ascher Endowed Nursing Scholarship at Children’s Mercy Hospital for the same purpose. Over the years many nurses have been able to further their education due to Mom’s thoughtfulness and generosity of spirit.
Mom is survived by her loving husband, and our Dad, Jim Ascher; her daughter Jillian Webb (Ned); her two sons Jim, Jr (Allece) and Christopher (Cindy); her nephew David Schouweiler (Donna); as well as by her six grandchildren, Johnathan, Carter, Andrew, Mary, Emily, and Laura.
Per her wishes, mom will be laid to rest in a private, family-only ceremony at Resurrection Catholic Cemetery in Lenexa.
For those who wish to do so, a memorial donation may be made to The Mary Ellen Ascher Nursing Scholarship Fund via the link provided: https://engage.rockhurst.edu/register/give or to The Mary Ellen Ascher Endowed Nursing Scholarship Fund at Children’s Mercy Hospital via mail: Attn: Philanthropy Children’s Mercy Hospital, 2401 Gillham Road, KCMO 64108.
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