HOISINGTON — Mary Anabel Markel Tarlton died Aug. 30, 2013, at the age of 93. Mary was born in Hoisington on Nov. 4, 1919, to Harry Edward and Ada Dundas Markel. She was their seventh child and only daughter. A lifelong resident of Hoisington, Mary lived in the house in which she was born up until last year, when she moved to Wichita for additional care.
In her early twenties, during World War II, Mary spent a year in Washington, D.C., working at the Department of Agriculture. She earned the nickname “Portland” when she mistakenly sent a letter to Oregon instead of Maine. Mary had a knack for being at the right place at the right time — while in D.C. she took dictation for Nelson Rockefeller and, later in life, met many popular golfers and baseball players. After her stint in Washington, D.C., she worked at the Great Bend air base. While she never returned to a job outside of the home, she took a piece with her. The cabinets in her kitchen are made from wood the air base was disposing of, and were built by her brother.
On Nov. 10, 1950, Mary married Harold Tarlton, a young widower with two young sons. They went on to have three more children together. She was a lifetime member and leader of the First United Methodist Church and served on numerous committees including United Methodist Women and Bible Study. She was a member of the Altrurion Society, a participant in the Home Demonstration Unit (where she expanded her cooking and homemaking skills), and was a local leader for both the Boys and Girl Scouts of America.
After Harold retired from his job as City Manager, he and Mary took their love of golf on the road and spent their winters in Arizona. They made good friends and enjoyed many rounds on many courses, including those at Lake Barton Country Club. Mary and Harold were married for 45 years, until his death in early 1996. They had taken particular joy in seeing their family reunite at Kiawah Island, S.C. each summer, a tradition the family continues today.
Throughout her life, Mary was a loving mother and grandmother, who enjoyed sewing, gardening, baking, completing crossword puzzles and playing cards, especially pinochle. She was a gracious hostess and a good conversationalist, although not one to make idle chit chat.
Mary is survived by her children, Max and wife Ruth of The Villages, Fla.; Ron and wife Deanna of Marietta, Ga.; Suzanne and husband Kirk McAlexander of Huntingtown, Md.; Mark and wife Nong of Bainbridge Island, Wash.; Brad and wife Cristi of Wichita; 15 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren. Mary was preceded in death by her husband, Harold, and her brothers Glenn, Harry, Russell, Earl, Owen and Melvin, her twin.
Funeral service will be held 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3 at Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home in Hoisington, with the Rev. Kris Brinlee officiating. Burial will follow at Hoisington Cemetery. Friends may call Monday from 2-8 p.m. with family receiving friends from 6-8 p.m. at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to Kans for Kids in care of the funeral home.
Funeral arrangements provided by
Nicholson-Ricke Funeral Home**
P.O. Box 146; 415 N. Main
Hoisington, KS 67544
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, Sept. 1, 2013