Cover photo for Maryellen Connor's Obituary
Maryellen Connor Profile Photo
1930 Maryellen 2024

Maryellen Connor

May 18, 1930 — May 31, 2024

Maryellen Ratterman Connor was a real gem; ask anyone who knew her. She is remembered by all for her radiant smile and sense of style, as well as her kindness and dedication to both duty and fun.

Maryellen was born to Catharine and John Ratterman on May 18, 1930. She grew up in a loving home with her three brothers, Tom, John and Joe, in a vibrant neighborhood filled with cousins and childhood friends. Her parents raised their family with a strong devotion to God and the Catholic faith and she lived out that faith continuously throughout her 94 years. 

Influenced by her three brothers, she became a lifelong sports fan, and at a young age even considered careers in sports journalism or football coaching. She passed her love of sports on to her children.

Her mother died suddenly in her early 50s, when Maryellen was just 21. In her absence, Maryellen cared for and guided her younger brother Joe as he grew into his teens.

In college at St. Mary’s in Leavenworth, Maryellen thrived. She majored in Chemistry and was an editor of the school newspaper, following in the footsteps of her father, a newspaper reporter. She made lifelong friends at St. Mary’s, one of whom set her up on a blind date with Joseph Connor.

Joe and “Goldie,” as he called her, dated for six weeks before they decided to spend the rest of their lives together. They married on June 6, 1953, and within the next 7 years welcomed 4 children: Mary Catharine, Carolyn, Anne and Sean. Theirs was the happiest of marriages.

Maryellen had a strong work ethic, juggling a full-time job at the Diocese of Kansas City/St. Joseph with her full-time family commitments. She worked there for 40 years, alongside her husband. She was most proud of her involvement in creating the Virtus program for the Catholic Church, to establish best practices for the protection of children.

Travel was part of her prenuptial agreement. Over the years, she and her family drove to all 48 states plus Alaska, as well as making several trips to Mexico and eventually Hawaii. These trips were the highlight of family memories, not just for the places visited, but for the bonds forged through those long journeys together. She and her husband fulfilled their premarital agreement by traveling the world, visiting Europe, Asia, Africa, South America and Australia, to name a few.

In 1970, Maryellen replied to a parish request to host an international exchange student for a semester. The family welcomed young Julia Valdes from Mexico City who became a life-long member of the family along with her parents Octavio and Esther.

For years, Maryellen and her sisters-in-law made an annual trip to visit the Florida Connors in February, affectionately known as “Aunt Fest.” The lively group enjoyed breakfast on the beach, movie nights, and gourmet meals at a different niece’s house each night.

Maryellen was a famous hostess, requiring a theme for each party complete with food, décor and activities. She would write original song lyrics to commemorate special occasions: graduations, birthdays, weddings... and the Chiefs’ first Super Bowl win.

After her husband Joe died in 2004, Maryellen continued to be a joyous, active member of her family. She unfailingly attended sporting events, music recitals and any activity where she could revel in being her children and grandchildren's biggest fan. Grandchildren Shelby, Lori, Matt, Ellen, Colleen, Jeff, Kiele, Chris and Jack and great-grandchildren Malia, Ava, Gavin, Maren, Harry, Frank, Carson and Hazel were a great sense of pride and happiness for her.

Maryellen took up painting in her retirement, cultivating a new skill. She painted flowers, landscapes and scenes of her children and grandchildren. The framed paintings were a source of great achievement and proudly adorned her walls.

Her last days were spent with a smile on her face, gracious and polite as ever, reminiscing in the company of her beloved family and friends. Her very last words were “Thank you” to one of the loving hospice nurses caring for her.

Maryellen will be missed by all.

A Visitation will be held on Friday, June 7, 2024 at St. Mark Catholic Church, 3736 S. Lee's Summit Rd., Independence, MO 64055 starting at 10:00am. A Mass of Christian Burial will follow immediately after at 11:00am. The committal service will be held at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth. https://stmary.edu/support-alumni/alumni-supportUSM

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maryellen Connor, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, June 7, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, June 7, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

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Committal Service Burial

Friday, June 7, 2024

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