Mary Jane (Cates, Roesch) Proffitt

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Mary was born May 23, 1929, in Kansas City, Mo., to Mildred (Smith) and Charles E. Cates. She passed from this life on Friday, Feb. 26, 2016, in Nevada, Mo.

Mary was proceeded in death by her parents; spouse, Charles Proffitt; and siblings, Mildred Elaine Vincent, Winona Mae Lewis, and Charles R. Cates.

She is survived by her children Ford M. Roesch of Kansas City, Mo., and Kimberly (Kevin) Haddix also of Kansas City, Mo.; grandchildren, Shaun Roesch of Paola, Kan., Sheila Roesch of Paola, Kan., Bryn Haddix of Omaha, Neb., and Hunter Haddix of Kansas City, Mo.

Mary graduated from Southeast High School in Kansas City. She worked at Lake City and a dental lab before moving to California with her children. While in California she lived in Castro Valley, Hayward, San Leandro and Campbell while working for the Safeway grocery chain. She also was a licensed realtor in the state of California.

Mary and her family moved back to Kansas City, Mo., in 1968, where she worked in banking until her retirement. She survived being robbed at knifepoint while leaving one of the banks in the middle of the day. Her toughness and instincts served her well that day.

After her retirement she and husband, Charlie moved to rural Vernon County. We think Mary was a gypsy in a previous life as they moved several times while living in rural settings.

She was always involved in politics and loved the Democratic party. She attended two state conventions and was a committee woman in her rural township. In the age of the typewriter she typed hundreds of letters to leaders to get things progressing like she thought they should be. Her phone bill was usually high as it was before the age of computers and e-mail.

Mary also had a lifelong love of music and singing. In her younger years she sang on radio shows, one of them the Cowtown Jubilee. She was also quite a yodeler. That would come in handy in the 1970's when CB radios were all the rage and Mary's handle was The Yodeler.

Mary loved the outdoors and loved to fish. She always had a pair of gloves in her tackle box. We referred to them as her "worm" gloves as she couldn't handle them while baiting her hook. With the outdoors came snakes. She HATED them and couldn't look at them ... at all. When one was on television we had to warn her so she wouldn't look.

Mary was an excellent cook having had the best teacher in her mother, Mildred. At most functions she was always asked to bring pies. They were the best and the late State Rep. Ike Skelton loved her gooseberry pie! You never left her table hungry and she took pride in that.

Mary loved her grandchildren to the moon and back. Some of her fondest memories are of them. In fact, unbeknownst to them, she kept files of their artwork, cards, etc. in her filing cabinet.

We don't want to mourn the loss of Mary Jane but celebrate the 85 years we got to share with her. Mary lived a wonderful life!

Funeral services are 10:30 a.m., Saturday, March 5, at the Lewis-Hoagland Funeral Home. Visitation is from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., just prior to the service, also at the funeral home.

Interment will be in Green Lawn Cemetery in Schell City, Mo.

In lieu of flowers donations can be made to: Vernon County Cancer Relief, P.O. Box 24, Nevada, Mo., 64772, or Schell City Community Betterment, or Schell City Rural Volunteer Fire Department.