Mary Louise Sesso, a radiant soul whose vibrant spirit touched countless lives, peacefully passed away on December 4, 2023, surrounded by her cherished family in Leawood, Kansas. Born on January 5, 1930, in Pittsburg, Kansas, to Ruby and Elmer Canny, Mary's life was a testament to boundless love, laughter, and enduring aspirations.
Her journey commenced in the heart of Pittsburg, where she wholeheartedly embraced education at Pittsburg State University. Mary's effervescent spirit radiated through her active involvement in cheerleading, home-ec activities, and the vibrant sorority life. Alongside her mother, Ruby, she crafted impeccable designer ensembles, captivating those around her with her infectious smile.
At Pitt State, Mary met Donald, her lifelong companion. In January 1952, their shared odyssey began, nurturing a life steeped in love and shared dreams. Settling in Pryor, Oklahoma, they cultivated a tapestry of shared experiences—Don's endeavors at John Deere, their joint venture selling knitting machines and owning a liquor store kept them busy. Their partnership blossomed amidst shared passions. As devoted members of the FortNightly dance club, Mary and Don reveled in the joy of dance, fostering enduring friendships and cherished memories. They eventually moved to Leawood and established a successful business, Kansas City Testing Laboratory, a testament to their entrepreneurial spirits. In Leawood, Kansas, their lives intertwined seamlessly with a vibrant community, their daughter's education, and the allure of the golfing world. While working with Don at KCTL she became the president of the Greater Kansas City Chapter of NAWIC (National Association of Women in Construction). They became guiding lights, nurturing a beautiful family life while leaving an indelible mark on countless lives with their wisdom, love, and generosity. Mary's joys were as diverse as her interests—gardening, needlepoint, lakeside retreats, and travels enriched her life's canvas. Mary’s entrepreneurial spirit led her into several successful businesses. She owned two Diet Centers and an image Consulting Business helping others fulfill their personal goals. Her legendary warmth and hospitality welcomed friends and family, whether passionately cheering at Kansas City Chiefs or Royals games or indulging in delightful trips infused with laughter and wine-tasting.
Art and travel were shared passions leading them to winters in Arizona and New Mexico, where they immersed themselves in sun-kissed landscapes and forged deep connections with renowned artists in Santa Fe. Their lakeside haven at Lake of the Ozarks was a sanctuary for cherished moments, encapsulating the essence of togetherness and joy. Mary’s green thumb and flair for design was evident in the stunning gardens she created surrounding their home. She even won ‘the Lake Bloomers Garden Club' award for beautification and floral design.
Mary's legacy of love and grace lives on in the hearts of her husband of 72 remarkable years, Don, their daughter Pamela, her husband Robert Harris, grandchildren Melania and Scott Harris with his wife Reba, great-granddaughter Victoria Harris, fiancé Alex Spivey, and her ever-loving companion, Lucy Lu an adorable Shih Tzu, alongside a multitude of cherished friends. Her loved ones remember her fondly, saying, "We will miss her laugh, her smile, her golf cart rides with Lucy, and her love of the color magenta, expressed so beautifully in her garden."
Visitation will be held from 10:00-11:00am (Rosary at 10:45) on Tuesday, December 12 followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00am at Curé of Ars Catholic Church, 9401 Mission Road, Leawood, KS 66206. Entombment will follow at 2:00pm in Resurrection Catholic Cemetery, 8300 Quivira Road, Lenexa, KS.