Mary Alice Waylan, age 82, passed away on November 22, 2019. Mary Alice was born May 27, 1937 at Emporia, KS St. Mary’s Hospital and was the daughter of Leonard and Marjorie (Bitler) Rossillon. She was the oldest of six children. Mary Alice attended Victory one-room country school in the northern-most corner of the family’s pasture for seven grades and then the school consolidated into the Gridley School District where she continued her education and high school. Throughout her childhood Mary Alice and her siblings helped on the farm in Coffey County and prepared meals for the family. She spent time at her grandparent’s home where Grandma Mamie Rossillon taught her sewing and cooking skills. She graduated from Gridley High School in 1955 and spent the summer helping finish and moving into the new family home. Mary Alice attended University of Saint Mary, Leavenworth and graduated with a bachelor of science in home economics in 1959. She started her career in Hiawatha, KS as the Brown County home economics agent. She returned to college and attended Kansas State University and in 1966 received a master of science in family economics. She was a member of the K-State Alumni Association. Mary Alice worked for the National Dairy Association in Chicago, IL (1966 to 1969) and in San Antonio, TX from 1969 to 1971. She returned to extension work for the University of Missouri in Carthage, as a Missouri southwest area extension specialist.
On October 19, 1974, Mary Alice married Clyde M. Waylan at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Carthage, MO. Mary Alice joined Clyde on the Waylan Ranch in Morris County near Delavan, KS where they made their home and she supported their farming operation. They raised one child, Ann. Mary Alice was a long time Morris County 4-H leader, club community leader, served on both the county home economics and 4-H program development committees, executive board member and secretary, and was the county 4-H foundation secretary many years. She received great energy from learning about children’s projects and fair entries and shared ideas of encouragement with many 4-Her’s as a judge in central Kansas county fairs. Mary Alice had great pride in picking flowers, displaying floral arrangements and arranging flowers in open class at the county fair, as well as designing seasonal floral themes at church. Sewing clothes for her daughter and helping with her activities, along with teaching other children how to bake and sew brought Mary Alice great enjoyment. Most recently, Mary Alice had joy in hearing about her grandchildren’s 4-H activities.
No matter the type or size of event, Mary Alice took great pride in helping organize and prepare food for farm help, school, church, and 4-H events. She prepared meals for many cowboys and served a large noon meal every summer day followed by afternoon sandwiches and cookies in the field. Many memories were made with Mary Alice around the dining table enjoying her excellent cooking and conversation.
Mary Alice was baptized, received first communion and confirmed at St. Xavier Catholic Church, Burlington, KS. She was a faithful parishioner of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Herington, where she served on the Altar Society, attended St. Anne Circle, taught CCD, and helped serve funeral lunches, as well as, attended diocese meetings.
Mary Alice was preceded in death by her parents, husband Clyde, brother Jim Rossillon, brother-in-law Jake Melchior, and sister-in-law Nelah Harris. She is survived by her three sisters, Carolyn Melchior of Overland Park, Nancy and Sil Meier of Topeka, and Ruth and Steve Johnson, Florence, Oregon and one brother Dan and Dea Rossillon, Ponca City, OK; sister-in-law Mary Elizabeth Rossillon, Gridley; and one daughter Ann and Chris Brackenridge and grandchildren Cora and Carson of Benton. Along with 18 nieces and nephews and many great nieces and nephews.
Mary Alice’s family will greet friends on Friday, November 29, 2019 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Sawyer Funeral Home, Council Grove. Rosary and prayers will be offered on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 10 a.m. at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Herington followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. celebrated by Father Peter O’Donnell. She will be laid to rest in Delavan Cemetery. Memorial contributions in Mary Alice’s name may be directed to the St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church or Morris County 4-H foundation. They may be sent in care of Sawyer Funeral Home, Box 273, Council Grove, KS 66846.
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