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Nancy Ballard Converse
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GREAT BEND — Nancy Ballard Johnson Converse, 88, died July 13, 2016, at Great Bend Regional Hospital, Great Bend. Born Jan. 26, 1928 at Great Bend, she was the daughter of Joseph Leo, Jr. and Mary Letitia (Smith) Johnson. She married Charles Percy Converse Aug. 1, 1970, at Aurora, Colo. He died Aug. 31, 2008.
Mrs. Converse was a graduate of Great Bend High School, received an Associate of Arts Degree from Sacred Heart College (Kansas Newman College), Wichita, a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Mount St. Scholastica (Benedictine College), Atchison, and Master of Science Degree in English from Fort Hays State University, Hays. In 2007 she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Pastoral Ministry from Newman University, Wichita.
She began her teaching career at Barton County School District #3 Dartmouth School, where she taught one year and then taught three years at Otis Grade School. She then began teaching sixth grade at Ellinwood Grade School, eventually teaching high school English at Ellinwood High School, retiring after 50 years of service to Unified School District #355, Ellinwood.
Mrs. Converse was a member of Prince of Peace Parish at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Altar Society, Daughters of Isabella, Iota Chapter Delta Kappa Gamma International, Etudion Club, Cosmopolitan Club, Pilot Club, Radium Rangers, Great Bend Zoological Association, Barton County Association of Retired School Personnel, Barton County Community College Silver Cougar Club, Barton County People to People, Golden Belt Community Concert Association and Parnassas Club. Mrs. Converse was an associate member of the Great Bend Dominican Sisters of Peace and joined the Dominican Laity during college. Formerly she was a member of Kansas National Education Association, National Council Teachers of English, Kansas Association of Teachers of English, and Ellinwood Teachers Association. She faithfully served the Prince of Peace Parish as organist at St. Rose, member of the Traditional Choir, Lector, Liturgical Minister scheduler for more than 30 years, Pastoral Minister for funeral planning, homebound minister, member of the Justice and Peace Commission, taught RCIA classes and was a grand-friend at Holy Family School. Mrs. Converse was an avid bridge player.
Survivors include one brother, J. Leo Johnson and his wife Betty of Aurora, Colo.; two nephews, Thomas Johnson of Aurora, Colo., and Andrew Johnson of Highlands Ranch, Colo.; one niece, Ann Hahn and her husband Mike of Broomfield, Colo.; two great-nephews: Evan Johnson and Marc Johnson; one great-niece, Tara Hahn; her Brazilian son, Dr. Mauro “Mel” Horowitz of Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil; her Ukrainian granddaughter, Hanna Ukhal Mueller of Brooklyn, N.Y.; and many cousins. She was preceded in death by one brother and sister-in-law, Thomas H. Johnson and his wife Willene, and one infant sister.
Altar Society Rosary will be at 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 19, at Bryant Funeral Home. Wake service with Daughters of Isabella Rosary will be at 7 p.m., Tuesday at the Dominican Chapel of the Plains, 3600 Broadway, Great Bend. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 2 p.m. Wednesday at St. Patrick Catholic Church, Great Bend, with Father Don Bedore, Father Ted Stoecklein and Father Louis Trung Dinh Hoang concelebrating. Burial will be in Sisters’ Resurrection Cemetery. Friends may call from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday at the funeral home and from 6 p.m. to the time of the vigil at the Dominican Chapel of the Plains, and from 9-11 a.m., at the funeral home and from noon to service time Wednesday at the church. Memorials are requested to Dominican Sisters of Peace Associates Fund or USD 355 School and Community Library Foundation or Brit Spaugh Zoo or Prince of Peace Parish Music Fund, in care of Bryant Funeral Home. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at

Funeral arrangements provided by
Bryant Funeral Home*
1425 Patton Road
Great Bend, KS 67530
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, July 17, 2016