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Mary Abts


Mary C. Abts, 100, Overland Park, died Wednesday, July 30, 2014, of natural causes. Mary lived a full, good life, and was beloved by family and friends, many of whom helped her celebrate her 100th birthday this past January.
Mary was born Jan. 16, 1914, in Iola to Morris H. and Catherine Abts. She graduated from grade school, high school and junior college in Iola, then studied at the University of Kansas. A fierce Jayhawk, Mary got her undergraduate and master of science degrees from KU and began a long, successful career as a medical technologist and educator in her field, mentoring hundreds of health care professionals over nearly 50 years of service.
During World War II, she served as a WAVE officer (Lieutenant j.g.), working as part of the U.S. biological warfare program, conducting research to protect the country from attack.  After her service from 1943 to 1946, she remained in the Naval Reserve through 1954. One of the highlights of Mary’s later years was her inclusion on a 2008 “Honor Flight” in recognition of her service in World War II.
She worked at Kansas City’s St. Joseph Hospital for 26 years where she was named employee of the year for her remarkable work and dedication. She retired in 1976, but later returned to work at the Olathe Community Hospital before retiring again in 1986.
Mary was a member of the American Society for Medical Technologists and the American Legion Dwight Cowles Post. She was a devoted member of St. Agnes Catholic Parish and a resident of Roeland Park for five decades. In 2000, Mary moved to The Atriums in Overland Park, living there independently until June of this year.  She loved her life and neighbors there and always considered the staff to be great friends.
She was predeceased by her parents; her sister, Maureen Abts; her sister and brother-in law, Joan and Jim Scott; her brother and sister-in-law, Maurice W. and Julia Abts; and her brothers-in-law, Bud Lackey and Dale Robinson.
She is survived by her sisters, Louise Lackey and Frances Robinson, and three generations of nieces and nephews and their families, all of whom loved her and will miss her terribly.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11 a.m. today at St. Agnes Catholic Church, 5250 Mission Rd. Roeland Park, KS 66205. It will be preceded by a visitation from 9 to 10:30, with a rosary beginning at 10:30. Graveside service and burial will be at noon Monday at Highland Cemetery in Iola. The family requests no flowers. Memorial contributions may be made to the retirement fund of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondolet, 6400 Minnesota Ave., St. Louis, MO 63111 or to St. Agnes Catholic Parish. Online condolences may be expressed at


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