HOISINGTON — Roberta Lynn Wirth, educator, and community activist died Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, at Mercy Hospital Saint Louis.
Roberta was born Feb. 22, 1950, in Hoisington Kan., to parents Robert A. Jr. and Bonita M. (Walter) Wirth. She grew up on a 3rd generation family farm near Redwing, Kan., on the north edge of Cheyenne Bottoms, as the oldest of five children and graduated from Claflin High School in 1968. She went on to attend Kansas State University, where she was highly involved with theatre programs and helped found the University for Man initiative. She graduated from Kansas State University in 1972 with a degree in education.
After graduation, she joined Volunteers in Service to America where she taught literacy to families in poverty. After her service ended, she moved to Rolla, Mo., and started working for the Social Security Administration as a Claims Representative. In 1977 she was a delegate for southwest Missouri to the Houston Women’s Conference. She married Douglas “Mac” McCandless in February of 1979.
Roberta was reared in the Catholic faith. The family attended St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Hoisington. Her mother was a convert to the Catholic faith before her marriage. After attending mass on Sunday morning, the radio would have on “The Lutheran Hour” as they prepared dinner. Roberta was married in the Catholic Church and participated in many Catholic programs in her chosen parish.
Throughout her life, she advocated for social justice. Roberta was an avid conversationalist and never missed an opportunity to have a spirited discussion about any topic. She worked extensively with the Shawnee County 4-H program mentoring dozens of children to help them win state awards and give public presentations. She always looked forward to puzzles and playing games with her nieces, nephews, and grandchildren.
She is survived by her husband Mac, two sons, David (Topeka, Kan.) and Andrew (April) St. Charles, Mo.; two grandchildren; and four siblings Connie Rogers, JoAnn Roth (Kent), David Wirth (Pam), and Mary Etzel (Timothy).
Donations can be made in her honor to the Shawnee County Extension Education Foundation https://www.shawnee.k-state.edu/about/foundation.html/
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune, July 24, 2022