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Linn County News

Published Sept. 1, 2021

Mary Kretchmar went home to Heaven on Aug. 26, 2021. 

Mary, or Mary Jane if you’re from Linn County or knew her from her younger days, was born in a little farmhouse in Mound City, Kan., on Aug. 11, 1946. She was raised there alongside her big brother, David (Peggy) Wakefield, by her parents, (Mildred) Maxine and Lloyd Wakefield.

After high school, Mary went to college at Pittsburg State University. It was there where she met and fell in love with her husband, Butch (Richard) Kretchmar, in the now infamous grape slush incident. They tied the knot on Sept. 19, 1965, and were married for 55 years before Butch passed away just last year.

Together, they raised their three children, Jeff (Valerie) Kretchmar, Susie (David) Killgore, and Katie (Joe) McDonald. Any summer night you would find her at a ballpark watching the kids play. The girls were both in dance, so she tirelessly sewed costumes and chauffeured them to practices, competitions and workshops all over the place. She was a Girl Scout leader, room mother, PTA president and anything else she could do to be involved. Through it all, she not only bonded with her own kids but was like a second mom to countless others.

When the kids were grown, Mary and Butch found other interests like traveling, square dancing, attending Nascar races and eventually following their grandkids in their activities. They went to hockey, baseball, basketball and soccer games. They went to car races, music shows and cheerleading competitions. And they loved every minute of it. Except when it was cold. They didn’t love that!

Mary also belonged to a sorority and dearly loved her Xi Chi sisters. Whether just the girls for a shopping trip to Kansas City or bringing the husbands along to one of their elaborate theme parties, a good time was always in order with this group!

Mary’s grandchildren, Kendall (Katie) Pulliam, Kaylee Killgore, Kyle (Sara) Killgore, Keylan (Colleen) Killgore, Cody (Taylor Webber) Kretchmar, Jackson McDonald and Christian McDonald, loved her fiercely and will miss her terribly. She also leaves behind three adorable great-granddaughters, Kendall’s Lila Setzkorn and Savvy Pulliam, and Kaylee’s Lilee Killgore.

While they are so very sad to say goodbye, they rejoice in knowing that she is reunited with her love. The final words to the final chapter of one of the greatest love stories ever have now been written. But that story will be cherished forever.

The funeral service was scheduled at Downing & Lahey West Mortuary at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, 10515 W. Maple, Wichita, Kan. 67209. Graveside service was to be immediately following at Resurrection Cemetery.

Memorials have been established with: League 42 Foundation, P.O. Box 20051, Wichita, KS 67208; and Kansas RBI (Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities), P.O. Box 12443, Kansas City, KS 66112.

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