Obituaries detail

Mary Ann Wilson, Age: 77
Nov 29, 1942 - May 05, 2020

Mary Ann Wilson was born in 1942 and crossed over to her next adventure on

May 5, 2020. Nicknamed “Bitsy” as a child, she was the first of three children born to Walter and Ruth Wilson of Independence, MO, and is preceded in death by them as well as by her younger brother, Danny.  She leaves behind her sister Marty Pointer of Kansas City, her niece Jen Strege & great-nephew Danek Strege of Ramsey, MN, and a host of friends and loved ones.

 Mary Ann graduated from Fort Osage High School in 1960 and from Emporia, KS State Teacher’s College in 1964, with degrees in English and Biology.  She taught high school in Iola, KS for two years and in Overbrook, KS for a year. But by far her favorite teaching experiences were with the Kansas City Museum, where she conducted classes for visiting elementary school students for fifteen years.


 From a very young age, Mary Ann was interested in the natural world, from astronomy (as a teenager, she had a real telescope), to wildlife, to entomology – the study of insects, butterflies and moths – to forestry.  Upon graduation from high school, she applied to the US Forestry Service seeking a career as a forest ranger, and was told at that time that females did not qualify.  But her love of nature inspired everyone around her to be respectful and appreciative of all living things, and to overcome fears of such creatures as bats, snakes and spiders, who are generally harmless and have valuable roles in the world.  Mary Ann was a devotee of Koko, the gorilla who learned and used sign language, and she cried when Koko died in 2018.  She worried about honey bees and mourned the wildlife lost in the Australian fires.


 In her young adult years, Mary Ann developed a lasting attraction to all things historical (this may have stemmed from her work at the museum) and she began collecting historical objects:  furniture, vintage books (especially for children), and Victorian entertainment devices.  In the 1980’s and 90’s, she spent a great deal of time and effort researching the family’s genealogy.  Walter’s family was difficult, as his ancestor had emigrated from Ireland, and the Wilson name was very common.  She did have great success in tracing Ruth’s family all the way back to “Old King Cole”, who turned out to be a real person (125 a.d. – 170 a.d.) with an interesting story.


 Mary Ann’s interest in the subject of Health grew as her Type I Diabetes, diagnosed in 1969, began causing her some issues. She was drawn to alternative medicine, subscribed to several health newsletters, and later became a follower of Dr. Joseph Mercola (, permanently incorporating and sharing his ideas regarding vitamin supplementation, organic food consumption and the stringent avoidance of substances implicated in physical and mental diseases.  


 It was probably her discoveries in the health area that paved the way for Mary Ann’s political activism beginning in the 1990’s.  She gathered many compatriots in passionately protesting the Independence City Council’s plans to fluoridate the city’s water supply, and was tireless in her efforts to save some of the best tap water in the country from a decidedly unhealthy fate.  Ultimately, her consistent efforts paid off as the Council voted to table the issue indefinitely.  Other issues regarding which Mary Ann participated in protesting to the Council were the Courtney Ridge landfill, the Save the Woods effort, and the most recent successful drive to prevent the installation of Smart Meters – all of which reflected her desire for good health for all.  During this time, Mary Ann also campaigned successfully for several city council candidates, and until the day she died, she was a devoted fan and champion of Presidential candidate Ron Paul. 


 She cared for her mother, who suffered from dementia, at home until Ruth’s death in 2007, then lived alone in the family home, very independently, for the remainder of her life.


 As she became more housebound in recent years, Mary Ann continued to support political efforts from her home, and at the same time began putting a lot of time and energy into encouraging, by telephone, her numerous friends regarding their personal concerns.  She felt it was a worthwhile way to spend her days.  Even in hospice care, she felt and expressed concern for so many people she loved.


 Mary Ann was an intelligent, curious, engaged, and caring person, a unique and wonderful presence in the world.  She is still loved and will be sorely missed by her small family and her many friends.


 In lieu of flowers, she requested that any gifts in her memory be made to Dr. Denise Faustman’s very promising work with Type I Diabetes and auto-immune diseases. The address is: The Cure Diabetes Now Fund, c/o Massachusetts General Hospital Development Office, 125 Nashua St, Suite 540, Boston, MA 02114.  She also mentioned The Nature Conservancy, P.O. Box 440400, St. Louis, MO 63144 as an alternative gift destination.


 A celebration of life gathering is planned for the future.



Wanda Gard May 11 ,2020

Friend ,Maryville ,Missouri

So sorry for your loss. When the family circle is already small, every loss seems a little bigger. I hope the love of all those you hold dear will provide comfort as you heal and try to move ever forward in the coming days and weeks. A memorial gift in Mary Ann's honor has been sent to The Nature Conservancy. Marty, if I can help you in any way, please don't hesitate to reach out. Love you!

Gwen DARDIS May 11 ,2020

FRIENDS ,FRUIta ,Colorado

My daughter Jessica and me were so sadden to hear of MARY ANNS passing we have known her for years and she was Very Special to both of us. But we both have so many Great memories that she will be with us forever. MARTY and Family we are so sorry about your loss and keeping you all in our prayers. There is certainly a void in every ones lives she touched

Geneva Enright May 11 ,2020


Thanks for the memories.

Bob and Janice Walker May 11 ,2020

Friends ,Basehor ,Kansas

We are sorry to hear about your loss. We shared a passion for historical items and mechanical devices, and respected her passion and successes in defending the public health. Mary Ann was always interested in the well being of her friends as well as the lives of their children (she enjoyed receiving cards with updates on their interests). The world has been, and continues to be, a better place because we have been blessed by Mary Ann's presence. Bob and Janice Walker

Marsha Via May 12 ,2020

Friend ,Radford ,Virginia

My thoughts and prayers go out to the family. Mary Ann led a meaningful and fascinating life and I know she will be greatly missed.

Lucy Young May 12 ,2020

friend ,INDEPENDENCE ,Missouri

Mary Ann represented the best of what we all should be and was a wonderful advocate for all the citizens of Independence. I really enjoyed knowing and working with her. She will be missed by all.

Rick Phillips May 12 ,2020

Friend for 50 years ,Tulsa ,Oklahoma

So sorry to see you gone....

Jack Vetter May 13 ,2020

I will certainly miss you. You made the world a better place for the rest of us.


cousin ,WICHITA ,Kansas

Whenever memories of my family began for me, Mary Ann was part of them. She was not only my first cousin; she was also became a friend. She deeply cared about everything! She was sensitive, sweet, tenacious, and bold beyond her physical limitations. She waged war on injustice and ignorance. She was a rock and she would disarm your negativity with her optimism…one funny cliché at a time. Apparently, a trait she genetically shared with my Mother. I already miss her, and I know, in the future, I will smile when I think of her. She has joined the unbroken circle.

Reverend John C. and Dixie Lee Thompson May 14 ,2020

Friend ,Topeka ,Kansas

Our Sympathy and Condolences Dixie and I have so many fond memories of both Mary Ann and Ruth. We met her at Iola, Kansas when I was serving as Senior Pastor at The Iola:Wesley United Methodist Church and she would visit her friend Leonard Smith. We are both sad and glad for her. Thank You- John Both Dixie and Mary Ann shared an interest in the subject of Health. Both were as drawn to alternative medicine and incorporating and sharing their ideas regarding vitamin supplementation, organic food consumption and the stringent avoidance of substances implicated in physical and mental diseases. She shared with us many articles on the fluoridation of a city’s water supply and the effects on people both current and future generations as well as many other subjects. Both Mary Ann and Dixie were and are tireless in efforts to save some of the best tap water in the country from a decidedly unhealthy fate. She and Dixie were advocates of alternative medicine and shared many articles on incorporating vitamin supplementation, organic food consumption and the stringent avoidance of substances implicated in physical and mental diseases. When we would visit Mary Ann, Ruth and Dixie would share music and the music boxes and took joy sharing music. Dixie is a musician as was Ruth and they loved visiting about music. When Marry Ann and I visited if we disagreed, which was seldom, we would listen to each other and dialogue to both sides that I wish politicians would do today. Mary Ann would remember us with a card and/or email on special occasions like birthdays and Saint Patrick’s Dy for example as well as at other times that were not special, but special to us to hear from her. To Dixie and I, Mary Ann and Ruth will both, always, be a very special people to us. We are both sad and glad for her. Thank You- Reverend John C. and Dixie Lee Thompson and Henry The Eighth [Our Cat] of Topeka, Kansas

larry hanna May 18 ,2020

friend since 1962 ,chehalis, wa. 98532 ,Washington

Mary ann Wilson was one of the purest , kindest, smartest, and beautiful women I've ever met. We disagreed on many issues but we both loved nature in all it's beauty and glory and we could talk together for hours without our differences becoming a problem, because we so loved and respected one another. My life and the difficult task of living it was made brighter and more beautiful and doable by our friendship. The first time I ever saW HER WASN'T GOOD because she seemed to be a far too stern and serious lab assistant, and it was the only class in college I ever dropped, Entomology 101 with Mr. Eddy teaching it. It was the last and the only negative impression I ever had, and was all on me, not her. I met her beautiful brother Dan once and instantly liked him, sister-Marty several times and well aware of their marvelous relationship of mutual support and regard, her dear mother Ruth in better days who gave me sheet music for Russian hymns, her father on one occasion, and finally Roger who I both liked and envied at the time. This time of life is hard losing so many wonderful friends but I give thanks for the privilege of life itself, of having such friends for such a long time and the remarkable consistency of love and affection. Thanks to another good friend Geneva for the introduction. And to Marty esp. for helping do so well so long.