Mary Mardell Sullivan-Green-Washburn was born May 30, 1939, to Euclid and Junua (Hansen) Sullivan at their home in rural Bridgewater, Iowa. Mary, surrounded by her family, passed away at her home in Stilwell, Kansas, on January 10, 2018, following a long and courageous battle with a rare brain disease called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Mary was 78 at the time of her passing and served as an inspiration to all those around her as she accepted her disease with grace and dignity and worked as hard as she could to get through it.
Mary was united in marriage to Gary Green in 1957 in Bridgewater, Iowa. To this union, four children were born: Teresa, Jeff, Tamara and Greg. The family lived in Greenfield, Iowa, until 1973 when they moved to Marshalltown, Iowa. The Greens moved to Waukee, Iowa, in 1977 before moving to Stilwell, Kansas, in 1978.
In 2002, Mary was married to Ernest Washburn. The union of Mary and Ernest expanded Mary’s family as she welcomed Ernest’s three children into her life: Troy, Wanda and Daniel.
Having grown up on the farm in Bridgewater, Iowa, she loved to share her many memories of daily chores like collecting eggs in the chicken house and milking cows. Then, there were the curious stories of Maggie and Jiggs. Turns out they were Mary’s pet raccoons.
As the Green kids were growing up, Mary looked forward to the annual family trips to the Lake of the Ozarks. Never a dull moment at the lake with boat rides and watching the kids water ski. It would not have been a week at the lake without an evening of go karts, bumper cars and skee-ball at the dam.
She helped us deliver the Des Moines Register and Tribune in the middle of the night. Mary enjoyed family time in the Pepsi Cola Days sorting bottles, washing/loading trucks, counting change, and eating double-beef double-onion pizzas every Friday night.
Then, there was Ernest. Ernest brought a joy into Mary’s life and his love and support seemed to give her a “second wind”. The two took many trips and a few cruises. They shared their mutual love for the Lord by being active members of the Overland Park Community Church (40+ years for Mary). Mary looked forward to teaming up with Ernest most Thursday nights which served as Game Night. Their dear friends, Jim and Marie, would come over for a variety of games. It did not matter who won those games; it was the friendship and companionship with those two that meant the most to Mary. Later on when Mary’s illness worsened, if it was Thursday, Jim and Marie could be counted on for a visit.
Mary loved a houseful of family and friends. She loved swimming in the pool and the infamous noodle races. She attended every sporting event, reunion, and get together no matter how far or near.
Mary was so much more than a tremendous wife, Mother, and Grandmother. She was an unbelievable cook and hostess, an accomplished decorator of both cakes and Christmas cookies, and a master cinnamon roll and coffee ring maker. Grandchildren Ryann and Dylan loved baking Christmas cookies with their Grandma. When arriving at Mary’s home, it was not uncommon to hear her beautifully and passionately playing the piano. Mary was a true friend who brought unconditional love to each and every person in her life whether it be her husband, son, daughter, sister, or friend. Quite simply, Mary was a gift from God to all who had the pleasure of knowing her and spending time with her.
Mary loved to spoil her husband, children, family and friends in any way she could. She was the Best Mom Ever.
Survivors include her husband Ernest of Stilwell, Kansas; children Teresa Green (Tracy Hoodjer) of Jefferson, Iowa, and Jeff Green, Tammy Green (Butch Wileman), and Greg (Stacy) Green all of Overland Park, Kansas; and step-children Troy Washburn of Overland Park, Kansas, Wanda (Craig) Atkinson of Wichita, Kansas, and Daniel (Karen) Washburn of Louisburg, Kansas. Mary’s siblings include Euclid (Pam) Sullivan of Keenesburg, Colorado, Jan (Doug) McDermott of Jefferson, Iowa, and John (Merlene) Sullivan of Bridgewater, Iowa. Mary has ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. Mary loved her nieces and nephews along with all of her many friends. She is also survived by her dear friends, Jim and Marie Davidson, and her wonderful caregivers who took such great, loving care of Mom and kept her safe so we could keep her home.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Euclid and Junua Sullivan.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 13, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. at the Overland Park Community Church, 14800 Metcalf Avenue, Overland Park, Kansas, with visitation an hour prior to service time. Memorials are suggested to the Overland Park Community Church where Mary was a member for 40 years.