Mary Ruth (Fassnacht) Whitaker, 74, passed away peacefully, November 18, at home with family after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.
Throughout her life and career in teaching and nonprofit volunteer work, Mary played a very active role.
Mary earned her Bachelor’s and Ph.D. in Education from the University of Kansas and her Masters at University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC), and dedicated her career to teaching special education students at the Crittenton Center and the Olathe school district and taught a generation of their teachers.
She was active in leadership and support of Alpha Chi Omega from her pledge year at the University of Kansas to leading the chapter's 100th Anniversary celebration in 2014, along the way serving as Corporation Board President and Province President.
Mary was a Master Gardener, and took great pride and joy in designing and cultivating her water gardens and manning the Master Gardener Hotline to help other gardeners as well.
She was a lifelong Jayhawk fan and supporter of the Williams Fund. She was a lover of travel who had seen much of the world and enjoyed especially traveling with her grandchildren, and was very proud of her family's heritage as farmers on the land that would become a central part of Overland Park.
Survivors include sister Janet Baumhover of Leawood; daughter Lori Chandler of Overland Park; stepson Jeff Whitaker of Springfield, Mo.; stepdaughter Chris Evans of Greensboro, N.C.; grandchildren Trey Werr and Zoe Werr, Mark Whitaker, Courtney Whitaker and JonCharls Evans. She was preceded in death by grandson DJ Evans.
Memorial Services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, November 23, at the Wesley Chapel at United Methodist Church of the Resurrection, 13720 Roe Avenue, Leawood, Kansas, with a reception immediately following also at the Church. The family will hold a private graveside service prior to the Memorial.
Donations may be directed to Kansas City Hospice, Church of the Resurrection, Crittenton Children’s Center, Backpacks for Hunger, or the Master Gardeners of Greater Kansas City. Please offer condolences at www.overlandparkchapel.com.