Mary Lou (Brewer) Akright passed away peacefully on December 25, 2020, at Stratford Commons Health Care Center in Overland Park, Kansas, following a brief battle with metastatic cancer, heart failure, and, in her final days, COVID-19.
Mary Lou was born August 11, 1928, in Kansas City, Missouri, to Donald E. and Alva M. (Holmes) Brewer. She spent her early school years in Topeka, Kansas, before returning to Kansas City, where she graduated from Paseo High School in 1945. She attended Kansas City (Missouri) Junior College for two years before moving on to the University of Kansas, where she was a member of the Sigma Kappa sorority and graduated in 1949.
Mary Lou met her future husband, William D. “Bill” Akright, while at KU, and they were married on February 1, 1950. Having been married for over 67 years it’s most fitting to describe May Lou and Bill by their life together. They had three sons: Bruce (Laura), San Antonio, Texas; Brent (Becky), Overland Park; and Brad (Susan), Olathe. Mary Lou and her family lived in Fairway, Kansas, Kirkwood, Missouri, Springfield, Illinois, and Leawood, Kansas. Mary Lou and Bill relocated to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where they lived for 3 years late in Bill’s career. In her last few years Mary Lou resided at the Silvercrest at College View senior living community in Lenexa.
Early in their marriage May Lou and Bill were active in the Johnson County Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees), where they developed many lifelong friendships. They were avid square dancers, belonging to clubs in both Springfield and Kansas City, and played active roles in their sons’ Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops, proudly supporting them on their paths to Eagle. Mary Lou was a very involved member and leader of the Leawood Women’s Club for many years. She also worked at WECOE (Western Electric) Credit Union for several years during the 1970s.
Mary Lou and Bill had a deep love of travel and visited nearly all fifty U.S. states, many while on family camping trips, as well as dozens of countries. They especially enjoyed traveling with good friends, family, and church touring groups.
Mary Lou and Bill also had a love for lake life, beginning early in their marriage when they bought a lot at Table Rock Lake, and later with a membership at the Springfield (Illinois) Motor Boat Club and homes at the Lake of the Ozarks and Lake Lotawana. Lotawana, in particular, was the source of many wonderful memories, especially for her grandchildren, who loved swimming, boating, and spending relaxing days there with their grandparents.
Mary Lou was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, Overland Park, Kansas, for 35 years, and later Church of the Resurrection (COR), Leawood, Kansas. She contributed in service and leadership roles at both churches, having served on the vestry at Christ Church, as a greeter at COR, and as a member of the COR Morningstar Sunday School group for 15 years. Mary Lou was also an active volunteer at St. Joseph Medical Center for many years, tallying over 10,000 hours of service. She had many circles of dear friends, gathered from college, church, bridge groups, neighborhoods, and living communities.
Mary Lou was preceded in death by Bill in December 2017. She is survived by their three sons, along with 10 grandchildren: Tim (Stephanie Dobler), Brian, Andy (Katie), Kevin, Christine Kuechler (Brian), Danny (Allison), Elizabeth, David (Kaitlyn), Jennifer, and Cathryn Wood (Jeremy); and seven great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the medical professionals and staff of Silvercrest at College View, Overland Park Regional Medical Center, Lakeview Village, Stratford Commons, and Kansas City Hospice for the care that each provided to Mary Lou during her final months.
A memorial service will be scheduled once it’s safe to gather together again, hopefully in August 2021 near Mary Lou’s birthday.
Should you wish to make a memorial donation at this time, Mary Lou’s suggestions were the Alzheimer’s Association (Sigma Kappa’s charity partner), Heart of America Chapter (https://www.alz.org/kansascity/), the Church of the Resurrection Foundation (www.COR.org/Leawood/Give), or a charity of your choice. (Please copy and paste the URL addresses into your browser.)
To leave a message of condolence for Mary Lou's family or to share a special memory of Mary Lou, please click the “Share Memories” button above.