MILA JEAN SMITH EHRLICH died February 21, 2016, at the age of 83. She was a lifelong Kansas City Missourian, born on May 12, 1932 as the youngest daughter of Francis See (Frank) Smith and Ada Louise Ludeke Smith. She earned bachelor and master's degrees at the University of Kansas City (later UMKC) and in 1954 was awarded a Fulbright scholarship, spending a year in Europe studying the history of dramatic literature. In 1956 she married George Ehrlich, teacher of art history at KCU/UMKC; their marriage lasted till his death in 2009. For half a century, Mila Jean was associated with the KCU Playhouse, UMKC Theatre Department, and Kansas City Repertory Theatre as actress, crew member, lecturer, play reader, and devoted follower. Her love of drama, music, and other lively arts lasted all of her life.
She is survived by her sons Paul Stephen Ehrlich and Matthew Carleton Ehrlich; her sisters Mildred "Mellie" Nash and Corinne "Connie" Frisby; numerous nieces and a vast number of friends, all of whom cherish the memory of her mind, heart, and soul. Memorial contributions may be given to the George Ehrlich Scholarship Fund at UMKC or to the Kansas City Symphony. Cremation rites were accorded and a private inurnment beside her husband took place at Leavenworth National Cemetery.