Mary C. (Blaufuss) Frank, age 96, of Westphalia, passed away Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, at The Fields of Brookside, Overbrook. A funeral mass is planned for 10 a.m. Saturday at St. Teresa’s Catholic Church, Westphalia. A wake service and rosary are to be said at 7 p.m. Friday at the church. Interment is planned for St. Teresa’s Cemetery, Westphalia.
Mary was born Oct. 22, 1923, in Emporia, the daughter of Ewald Blaufuss and Rose (Hageman) Blaufuss. She lived on the farm in Westphalia and attended Emporia State University at the time known as Kansas State Teachers College. Mary taught school and became principal in Waverly, where she won over the students in part due to her impressive athletic ability in softball. This later led to a championship throw in a rolling pin contest on the softball field.
Adventure called and with it a move to Denver, Colo., where she worked in the surgical department and the medical records department of St. Anthony’s Hospital. She developed a love of the mountains and snow skiing, and met the love of her life, George A. Frank, at a square dance.
Mary and George were united in marriage on May 1, 1950, in Westphalia. They made their home in Denver where George was a jeweler/watchmaker/package deliverer, where they continued dancing, even winning dance competitions and welcoming their firstborn child, Georgene Rose. Adventure called again, this time for the two of them, child in tow, back to Mary’s native Kansas where they began a lifetime of farming in the Midwest. George traded his Colorado farming technique, the sugar beet topping and the running of irrigation systems for a new life raising wheat, soybeans, milo, corn and all that the Midwest life entails. Mary assured him plenty of rainfall was to be had in Eastern Kansas. This was proven definitively their first-year farming, 1951, the year of the big flood! George became a believer and never looked back.
Mary was preceded in death by her four brothers: Francis Blaufuss and wife Josephine, John Blaufuss, Leo Blaufuss and Fr. Anthony (Tony) Blaufuss; her husband, George A. Frank and her daughter, Kathleen (Kathy) A. Frank.
Survivors include nine children, 26 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren and four sisters-in-law.
Children: Georgene Caoile and husband John of Raymore, Mo.; Dr. Mary Frank of Lawrence; Stephen Frank and wife Jean of Colony; Dorothy Wittry and husband Alan of Houston; Loretta Rowland-Kitley and husband Ralph Kitley of Summerfield, N.C.; Dr. Donna Richardson and husband Dr. Norbert of Columbia, Mo.; Fr. Paul Frank of Red Cloud, Neb.; Barbara Penn and husband Stephan of Leawood; and Dr. Kenneth Frank and wife Shelly of Ottawa.
Sisters-in-law: Barbara Coster of Montrose, Colo.; Marilyn Blaufuss of Westphalia, Shirley Frank of Norman, Okla.; and Marilyn Frank of Sterling, Colo.
Grandchildren: Collin Haire of Humboldt; Aaron Steven Geier and Marisa Bode of Kansas City; Dana Anthony Geier of Kansas City; Dr. Jolie Chance and Dr. Terry of Oakgrove, Mo.; Dr. Logan Frank and Dr. Yasmine El Khatib of Columbia, Mo.; Dr. Garett Frank and Kassidy of Denver; Julie Floersch of Colony; Emily Frank of Kansas City; Jared Wittry of Benicia, Calif.; Nathan Wittry and Amber Rist of Houston; Eric Wittry of Houston, Texas; Zachary Rowland of Raleigh, N.C.; Nicholas Rowland of Cary, N.C.; Raven Kitley of Winston-Salem, N.C.; Elizabeth Kitley of Summerfield, N.C.; Ryan Richardson and Jana Breu of London, England; Derrick Richardson of Kansas City, Kyle Richardson of Kansas City, Kelly Hoofman and Eric of Kansas City; Laura Richardson of Columbia, Mo.; Dr. Lauren Wilson and Oliver of New Orleans; Amanda Penn, Pharm.D. of Kansas City; Lindsay Frank of Lawrence; Rachel Frank of Ottawa; Lauren Frank of Lawrence; Katie Frank of Lawrence.
Great-grandchildren: Landon and Emmitt Chance of Oak Grove, Mo.; Owen, Camryn and Sawyer Wittry of Benicia, Calif.; Alexandra (Lexi) Wittry of Houston; Mya, Elliot, Miles and Liam Frank of Columbia, Mo.; and Adelaide Frank of Denver.
In her 96 years of life, Mary was passionate for the Lord and the church, her husband, her 10 children, music, gardening, the importance of education, service to others and good food. She had a heart of gold and showed her generosity in part by cooking and baking for all who entered her door at mealtime. Everything she created in the kitchen was delightful with special commendations to her home-baked pies!
Mary was an avid gardener and may have owned the original farm-to-table franchise feeding her family of 12 day after day. Her proficiency in growing many varieties of flowers was evident and carries on today in her sons and her daughters. In her later years, she raised tomatoes for her “tomato route,” giving the fresh produce to those that couldn’t grow them anymore. She was a member of St. Teresa’s Altar Society and gave of her time and expertise in the kitchen as well as sewing quilts and blankets for charity.
A talented musician, Mary played the piano and church organ, the valve trombone, the violin and sang. She accompanied duets, trios, quartets, and sextets while joining in with her beautiful voice.
She will be greatly missed, and her legacy remains in all the family and those that knew her.
The family suggests memorial contributions to Mary C. (Blaufuss) Frank Memorial Fund c/o Dengel & Son Mortuary, 235 S. Hickory, Ottawa, KS 66067. An online guest book is available at www.dengelmortuary.com