Mary Lois Farley Willis 1910 - 2008 Wichita
Memorial services for Mary Lois Farley Willis, 97, Wichita, were Aug. 2 at Fairmount United Church of Christ in Wichita. Burial was in White Chapel Memorial Gardens in Wichita.Mrs. Willis died Tuesday, July 29, 2008.She was born Aug. 18, 1910, in Indianola, Iowa, the daughter of George T. and Margaret Mace Fortney Farley. She attended Simpson College in Indianola, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, the Literary Club, Women's Athletic Association and an intramural soccer team. She graduated from Iowa State Teachers College in Cedar Falls with a bachelor's degree in early childhood and elementary education and received a master's degree in education from Wichita State University in 1971.Mrs. Willis taught in Martensdale, Iowa; Dallas, Iowa; Washington, Iowa; and Clinton, Iowa. She also taught in Wichita and San Angelo, Texas. She helped design and then taught one of the first Head Start pilot programs. She was a member of Fairmount United Church of Christ, where she taught Sunday school, and served on the Board of Christian Education and Senior Pastor Search Committee.She was also a member of the Women's Fellowship, Fairmount Library Club, Delta Kappa Gamma honorary education fraternity, United Teachers of Wichita, Wichita Retired Teachers and American Association of University Women. She and her husband delivered Meals on Wheels for many years after they retired.Mrs. Willis married Earl Dale Willis on June 14, 1943, in San Angelo, Texas. They shared nearly 54 years of marriage. He died in 1997.She was also preceded in death by her parents; two brothers, Ardis T. and Erl E. Farley; and a sister, Ruth Elizabeth Hall.Survivors include a son, David Earl Willis and wife Dianne Burke, Los Angeles; two daughters, Jane Margaret Johnston and husband John, Lawrence, and Elizabeth May Willis and husband Tim Henry, Wichita; a brother, Bruce Silas Farley, Louisville, Ky.; four grandchildren, Cara Johnston Firestone, Andrew Johnston, and Oliver and Elliott Sowards; and a great-grandson, Gavin Firestone.The family suggests memorials to Hospice Care of Kansas, the church or Downing Children's Garden at Botanica, The Wichita Gardens, sent in care of Old Mission Mortuary, 3424 E. 21st St., Wichita, KS 67208.Online condolences may be sent at <a href="http://www.oldmissionmortuary.com">oldmissionmortuary.com</a>.