Mary L. Whitehead, 89, died July 29, 2013, at Aberdeen Village, Olathe. She was born July 12, 1924, in Pratt, to Edna and Carl Hertlein, who preceded her in death, as did her brothers George and Edward, and her sister Lois Dorsett.
She is survived by her sons, Fred, of Kansas City, Kan., and Howard Lee, of Kihei, Hawaii; grandchildren, Bryan and Susan Ruis; and great-grandchildren Joseph and Elizabeth Ruis, as well as many nieces and nephews.
In 1943, she married Bryan Whitehead, who served in the U.S. Army Air Force as a musician. He was a railroad man, and a member of the Railway Clerks Union. Together they made many expeditions on virtually every railroad in the United States, and several abroad. They also enjoyed similar excursions to musical events in the Midwest, and beyond. A dedicated gardener, she grew both common and exotic flowers. She was an enthusiastic photographer. For many years she was a volunteer at community nutrition programs.
Mary loved to read, especially non-fiction, and devotional literature. She endowed the Hertlein-Whitehead Visiting Scholars program at the Axe Library of Pittsburg State University, where her own papers, including extensive farm records, are housed.
A kind and gentle person, she quietly supported charities across the land. A life-long Presbyterian, she remained steadfast in her Christian faith to the end.
The family wishes to express appreciation to the staff of Aberdeen Village, and Kansas City Hospice, who provided such diligent care during her illness.
A Celebration of her life will be held in the chapel at Aberdeen Village, 17500 West 119th Street, Olathe, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, August 10.
Interment will be at at 10 a.m. Aug. 14 at Greenlawn Cemetery, Pratt.