Mary Lou Mulligan Janssen, resident of St. Marys, passed from this earth on June 8, 2015 at the age of 81 at the St. Marys Hospital.
She was born in St. Marys on March 7, 1934 the first child of Bernard Patrick Mulligan and Mary Theresa Masat Mulligan and was raised during the depression and war years on the family farm, first in Jackson County and then on the place settled by her great grandparents near Emmett. Her Grandparents were William and Kathryn McNeive Mulligan and Joseph and Anna Spielman Masat.
Mary Lou was married to Arol Henry Janssen on November 14, 1959. They lived their entire married life in the same house in Emmett. They enjoyed driving down the road, going to rodeos, dancing, camping, boating, their farm, local sporting events, KSU activities and their nieces and nephews.
Mary Lou attended Holy Cross Grade School, graduated from Emmett High School in 1951 shortly after her seventeenth birthday. Following her mother’s footsteps, she attended Mount St. Scholastica for two years, obtaining her teaching certificate, and started her forty-three year teaching career when she was nineteen years of age. A teacher of two generations, she started her career teaching the first to fourth grade classes at Emmett in 1953. From 1956 to 1959, she taught at East Avondale Elementary in Topeka before returning to Emmett. She taught many children to play the piano. In 1970 she accepted a position at St. Marys Grade School teaching seventh and eighth grade English and Social Studies until her retirement in 1996. In the early 1970’s, Mary Lou also began her very successful coaching career, coaching girls volleyball, basketball, softball, track and cheerleading. She received her Master’s Degree from Kansas State University. Mary Lou admitted that she was not an athlete, but she was a teacher.
In her retirement, she served terms as the Mayor of Emmett and spent more time gardening, canning, baking, watching sports, and enjoying her Irish heritage. Mary Lou was a lifelong, faithful member of Holy Cross parish.
Mary Lou is survived by her sisters, Elaine DeVader, St. Marys and Rita Bobb, Redlands, CA; her brothers, James Mulligan, St. Marys and Patrick Mulligan, Ponca City, OK; She is also survived by numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Arol on September 6, 2006. She was also preceded in death by her parents, and a brother, Bernard Patrick.
The family would like to thank all of those who served faithfully as caregivers over the last few years, both family members and professionals.
Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 A.M. Thursday, June 11, 2015 at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Marys with the Rev Raymond May as the celebrant.. Mrs. Janssen will lie in state after 2:00 P.M. Wednesday, June 10th and the family will receive friends from 6:00 P.M. until the vigil service at 7:00 P.M. all at Piper Funeral Home in St. Marys. Interment will be in Holy Cross Cemetery, Emmett. Memorial Contributions may be made to Immaculate Conception Church or the Alzheimer’s Association and sent in care of Piper Funeral Home, 714 Maple St., St. Marys, Kansas 66536.