Rozanne Prather, 91, of Overland Park, Kansas, died peacefully on Saturday, January 22, 2022, with family at her bedside. She will be remembered as a kind and generous soul-- intelligent, open-minded, witty, loving, and compassionate; a mother, a teacher, and a friend who will be deeply missed.
The youngest of six children, Rozanne was born December 19, 1930, in Conception, Missouri, to parents Hazel Mae Ware and Ray Atkins. A strong sense of dignity and self-preservation helped Rozanne survive a rough childhood during the Great Depression. Despite hardships, she experienced much freedom and adventure as a child, playing daily for hours outdoors with neighborhood friends, climbing trees, inventing games, and finding great solace and beauty in nature.
Thanks to help from a high school teacher who recognized Rozanne’s potential, Rozanne was granted a full scholarship to the University of Kansas. In 1954, she became the first in her family to graduate from college, earning a bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Later that same year, she married photo-journalism major Maurice William Prather at the campus chapel. The marriage lasted 47 years until Maurice’s death in 2001.
Early in their marriage, the couple moved to California to work as journalists and to study at the Art Institute of Los Angeles. They eventually settled in Kansas City, Missouri, where they raised two daughters and, over the years, provided a loving safe home for dozens of homeless cats. In the 1960s, Rozanne earned a master’s degree in Education from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and went on to establish a decades-long career as a high school English teacher (retiring from the Raytown, Missouri Public School District).
Rozanne had immense compassion for animals, especially cats, and she would sacrifice much of her time and resources for their welfare. She enjoyed and valued family and friends, as well as art, interior design, classical literature, and the natural world. Several trips to Europe, to France in particular, would feed her soul for years to come.
Rozanne is survived by her daughter Stefanie Prather Rosedaughter and son-in-law Robert Junji Inouye of Grandview, Missouri, and son-in-law Donald Mumma of Kansas City, Missouri. Rozanne is preceded in death by her husband Maurice William Prather (January 9, 2001) and daughter Rayanne “Anne” Mumma (October 11, 2021), brother Francis Ray Atkins, half-sisters Alma Atkins and Alverna Cottey, half-brothers Frank Atkins and Charles Atkins, and parents Hazel Mae Ware Atkins and Ray Atkins.
A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held on Friday, February 25th, at 3:30 p.m. Location: Vivid Events KC, 824 Main Street, Grandview, MO 64030. The Rosedaughter-Inouye family wishes to thank funeral director and family friend Ryan Risner of Johnson County Funeral Chapel for the care of Rozanne’s body before cremation.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages monetary donations to Catwise, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) animal charity founded by Rozanne’s younger daughter. (Donate at www.catwise.org or Catwise, P. O. Box 1117, Grandview, MO 64030.) Catwise is currently responsible for the daily care and veterinary expenses of Rozanne’s cats, who are thriving, thanks to Catwise supporters and volunteers.
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