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Mary E. Gentges

March 12, 2017

Mary Elizabeth Gentges, a long-time resident of St. Marys, died here, at the Community Hospital on March 12, 2017.  She had recently been diagnosed with terminal Cancer.

The only child of Charles R. Gentges and Florence E. Schwartz Gentges, Mary was born on October 14, 1947 in her parents’ home town of Farmington Mo. and baptized at St. Joseph Church.  She received the nickname “Bitzi” and her relatives called her that throughout her life. In 1951 her family moved to Fayette Mo. and began owning and running a succession of variety stores in Sedalia and Warrensburg Mo. and in Broomfield and Windsor Colorado.  Mary graduated from High School as the class Valedictorian while assisting her parents with their store.  When her parents retired in 1982, Mary moved to St. Marys Kansas to attend college.  After graduation she remained on campus teaching classes and working as a writer, photographer and editor for the St. Mary’s Magazine.  Within a few years, her parents joined her in St. Marys and they lived in homes, side by side.

After Mary left her employment at the college, she supported herself by teaching piano lessons and managing a successful eBay business selling beautiful hand-made rosaries, scapulars, medals and other religious items, all over the world.  She also sold hand-crafted jewelry, collectibles and antiques.  She acquired several rental properties and took pride in maintaining them for her tenants.  She also wrote interesting feature stories for the Angelus Magazine and the local newspaper.  Through it all, she faithfully cared for her elderly parents until they died of age related causes.

After retiring as a piano teacher, Mary returned to her life-long loves, painting and writing.  She was in the midst of researching a book-length memoir of WW II, based on a collection of her parent’s diaries, letters and her father’s dictated memories, when she unexpectedly fell ill.

Mary is survived by numerous cousins and dear friends who lovingly supported her during her brief but intense illness.  She also left two cats: Bootsie and Shadow, who provided her with companionship, amusement and comfort.

Mary will lie in state at Piper Funeral Home on Tuesday, March 21st from 1:00 until 4:00 P.M.  A rosary will be recited at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday at St. John Vianney Catholic Church, Maple Hill.  A Requiem Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 1:30 P.M Wednesday, March 22, 2017 at the church   Burial will follow at the family plot at Mt. Calvary cemetery, St. Marys.   Mary requested that Masses be offered for the repose of her soul.  Memorials may be made to St. John Vianney Latin Mass Community, 14623 Waterman Crossing Road, Maple Hill KS 66507.  Piper Funeral Home, 714 Maple St., St. Marys is in charge of arrangements.



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14 thoughts on “Mary E. Gentges

  1. Mary made custom rosaries for me and we prayed for each other’s special intentions. I looked forward to her letters and year-end updates. ‘With you a part of me hath passed away’, Mary. You are forever a true friend and a great Catholic lady…..remember me to our Lord and may God bless you, my dear.

  2. Mary will be missed. She did so much for people and the Church. She was such a great inspiration of faith for me and others over the years. RIP

  3. I am deeply saddened to hear of Mary’s death. I met her during the two summers I taught seminars to the teachers in Elementary School Latin Courses. We had many good talks and spent many good times together, including some delightful dinners together. I know how much she contributed to St. Marys during those years in the 1980’s when the college and school were still young and struggling. Mary, I know you are in heaven now, and I ask you to pray for me, as I will continue to pray for you until we meet again in eternity.

  4. Please accept my heartfelt condolences on this occasion of Mary’s passing to eternity. Mary really was the spark of the front office during the 90’s (along with Ray Molina, Mrs. Thomas, Tess Jones, etc.). Best regards to all.

  5. Mary was one of my closest and dearest friends. We had some great times together and I miss her terribly. Mary had many talents, was highly intelligent and always had a wealth of interesting stories to tell. She also had a wonderful sense of humor … one that she maintained until the end. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers, dear friend. Pray for me too…and save me a place in Heaven!

  6. I knew Mary E. ever since she and I attend St. Mary’s College as classmates. She was the only student older than I was! She and I remained friends when we taught classes for Fr. Angles. I sometimes collaborated with Mary on saints lives for the Crusade Magazine. I treasure all those memories and know she is praying for us full-time now. RIP, Mary. Prayers always.

  7. Miss Gentges taught me geography and typing in 12th grade in 1992. She was always ready to smile, to encourage, and to exemplify a genuine interest in learning and discovering.

  8. so sorry to hear about Mary. She was a very kind, sweet lady who will surely be missed by a lot of people. She’ll be in our prayers for a long time.
    Tom and Teresa Toenjes

  9. Mary was a great lady, a good soul, and a treasured friend. She was also one of the early pioneers in the movement to “keep the Faith” in the wake of the confusion and devastation following the second Vatican Council. All of us who “stand at the foot of the Cross” owe her a debt of profound gratitude. May she rest in peace, and may her reward be great.

  10. I knew Mary for many years and she was indeed a sweet soul. Very devout lady who not only loved her faith, she lived her faith!! Dona eis requirem sempiternam!

  11. Mary taught me piano for years–some of my fondest memories were going to her studio after school to learn music with “Miss Gentges.” She was a beautiful and wonderful person and is so greatly missed. People who teach music give a gift that lasts a lifetime and can never be forgotten. Rest In Peace dear soul!

  12. My dear cousin “Bitzi” will be deeply missed by me. Even though we lived miles away, we talked once a week on the phone. I considered her one of my best friends. She was bright, funny, informative and talented. She was also a woman of life-long faith. I look forward to meeting her many friends when I attend her funeral. God speed dear cousin. We will continue to pray for one another.

  13. I only really got to know my cousin Mary this summer and had hopes we’d learn to know and love one another much better in the future. This is a sudden and sad loss. I expect to see her again, but it may be awhile. I’ll be looking for you Bitzi when I join you.
    Love and hope, Frani

  14. I am so sorry for your loss. The loss of those who are dear to us is never easy to accept. May God provide comfort and peace comfort to your family during this difficult time. (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)

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