TIMKEN — Mary Elizabeth (Boone) Schwindt, 76, died Thursday, July 7, 2016, at the Locust Grove Village in LaCrosse after a long battle with liver disease. She was born Jan. 10, 1940, in Wilburton, Okla. to Wayne G. and Marie (Harris) Boone, the first of two daughters. A 1957 graduate of Wilburton High School, Mary graduated from Eastern A&M Junior College in Wilburton, from Southeastern State College in Durant, Okla., and from Fort Hays State University.
Mary and Gail Schwindt were married Nov. 28, 1963, at the Evangelical United Brethren Church in LaCrosse. Following two years of teaching English at Dodge City Senior High School and completing an MA degree in English at Fort Hays, Mary and Gail moved to northeastern Arizona for a three year stint in teaching English to Navajo children in the public schools in the heart of the Navajo Reservation at Chinle, Ariz. where their son Jeffrey Boone Schwindt was born. Her life-long love of American and English history and literature led her to love and join the Episcopal Church.
In 1970, Mary and Gail moved to Rush County. They lived first in a rental home east of Rush Center, during which time their daughter Elizabeth Ann Schwindt was born. Nine years later, they built a farm home north of Timken, on what was known as the Kraisinger-Dirks place.
Mary, an accomplished English and journalism teacher for most of her adult life, taught one year in southwest Oklahoma, two years in Dodge City, two years in Chinle, and part time for three years at Barton County Community College. From 1985 until 1987, she taught at Fort Hays State as part of a federal grant preparing migrant students of numerous backgrounds to take the GED to allow them to qualify for further education and better employment. In 1987, Mary began a 16 year teaching career at Pawnee Heights High School in Rozel. At various times, she taught grades 9 through 12 English, Journalism, Speech and College Level English Composition I and II via interactive television for BCCC. In doing so, she had the wonderful chance to meet students from LaCrosse, Lewis, Hanston, and Otis-Bison. During those years of teaching, Mary touched countless lives in and out of the classroom.
Following Mary’s retirement in 2003, she discovered an interest in the genealogy of the Boone and Harris families and found time to read, to redecorate their home, to travel in the U.S. and Europe and, most importantly, to be Nana to her three grandchildren. Although she retired from her teaching profession, she continued to teach at church, preparing young Christians and adults for baptism and children in the faith of the church.
Mary was preceded in death by her parents and several half-siblings, James T. Bynum, Dorothy M. Hooper, Juanita M. Williams, Wayne G. Boone, Jr., Billy T. Boone, John T. Boone, and their spouses; two nephews, Richard Hooper and Marc A. Boone; and a great niece, Gina D. Houtz. She is survived by her husband Gail, of the home; her son Jeff and his wife Shelly (Adams) Schwindt of Olathe; her daughter Beth and her husband Ray Cole of Emporia; one sister, Linda S. Boone of Hays; and her three grandchildren, Mallory Hope, Emily Noelle, and Cody Boone Schwindt of Olathe. She is also survived by three sisters-in-law, Patricia Schwindt of Jarrell, Texas, Diane Hays of Folsom, Calif., and Pamela Pierce of Albany, Ga.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Monday, July 11, at the St. Michael’s Episcopal Church, 2900 Canal Blvd. in Hays. The family will receive friends from 1 p.m. until service time on Monday at the church. In lieu of flowers, Mary requested memorials to either St. Michael’s Episcopal Church in Hays, Saints Mary & Martha Episcopal Church in Larned, or to the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, Ala., at www.splcenter.org, or in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be left for the family at www.haysmemorial.com
Funeral arrangements provided by
Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home**
1906 Pine Street
Hays, KS 67601
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, July 10, 2016