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Michael E. “Mike” McNamara, of Kansas City, Missouri; age 84, passed away February 5, 2023, with family by his side, at St. Anthony’s Senior Living Memory Care, after battling Alzheimer’s Disease for many years. Michael was born on October 8, 1938. He was born at St. Anthony’s Hospital in Sabetha, Kansas; but his family moved to Kansas City shortly after that. He was the 4th of 8 children, born to Hugh and Teresa (Brennan) McNamara. He grew up in Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish. He would often say, “Everyone who is anyone grew up in Good Counsel Parish.” Mike was a 1955 graduate of Lillis High School where he excelled in football, basketball, baseball, and golf. It is only fitting that he was The Sports Editor of the Yearbook and the School Paper, called The Lillistrator and his column was called “Mac’s Facts.” Mike graduated from St. Benedict’s College in Atchison, Kansas, with a degree in Business Administration. After college, he honorably served in the United States Navy for two years. After the Navy, he returned to KC where he started his insurance career with Fidelity & Deposit Insurance Company. From there, he became an Independent Insurance Agent representing many different agencies. When he retired in 2004, he and his beloved wife Mary, started the McNamara Insurance Agency, which they ran from their home office for 14 years. They were quite a team!
On June 19, 1965, Mike married Mary Rupp. He was blessed to be married to such a caring, fun-loving wife for over 57 years. Together, they had 3 children, 5 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren. Mike was active in St. Elizabeth’s Parish. He served as school board president. He and his wife served 7:30am Sunday Mass for over 20 years and enjoyed eating with their “Breakfast Club” friends after Mass. He was a longtime coach of multiple sports. He was admired by his players, their parents, and even opponents because of his coaching success. Coach McNamara has been referred to as a basketball icon in the parochial league. Although he certainly had an outstanding winning percentage, he rarely spoke about winning. He would say if you work hard, play hard, and do your best; the results will speak for themselves. He would also say he was blessed to get to coach such great athletes and even greater kids. He was known for instilling discipline, sportsmanship, and teamwork. He coached 3&2 baseball for several years. After his children graduated from St. Elizabeth’s School, he served as school board president at O’Hara High School, but continued coaching at St. E’s. Mike was honored to be inducted into the St. Elizabeth’s Hall of Fame in 2019.
Mike was very proud of his Irish Catholic heritage. He thoroughly enjoyed coaching and spending time with his family and friends. His best smiles and laughter came from his times spent with his grandchildren. He was an avid golfer and enjoyed his golfing buddies. He was very proud when he scored a Double Eagle that he achieved in 2001.
Mike leaves behind his loving family: wife Mary, children Maureen and Paul VanBecelaere, Michael S. McNamara, and Melinda (Mindy) and Brent Kassing; grandchildren Megan, Derek, and Shawn VanBecelaere; Regan and Lauren Kassing; great grandchildren Avery and Kason. He is also survived by his siblings: Margaret Crimmins, Hugh and Joann McNamara, Robert McNamara, Rita and Chuck Gromowsky, and Dave McNamara; Connie Wallace, Marie Rupp, Fred and Alicia Rupp, Marlene McGuire, Bernie and Dottie Rupp, Larry and Marq Rupp; and many nieces and nephews. Mike was preceded in death by his parents, siblings: Tom and Lou McNamara, Ed Crimmins, and Jerry McNamara; Shirley and Merf Rupp, Ron Rupp, Lou McGuire, and Stan Rupp. He was also preceded in death by nephews and nieces: Joe McNamara, Janet McNamara, Kristina McNamara, Steve Rupp, and Donna Melichar.
Visitation will be held from 5:30-7:30pm on Thursday, February 16th at Muehlebach Funeral Home, 6800 Troost Ave., Kansas City, MO. Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10:00am, Friday, February 17th at St. Elizabeth’s Catholic Church, 2 E. 75th St., KC, MO. Inurnment will be at Mt. Olivet Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to St. Elizabeth’s Heritage Fund, at 14 W. 75th St., KC, MO 64114; or to Catholic Community Hospice, at 16201 W. 95th St., Suite 220, Lenexa, KS 66219.
The family is very grateful for the love and care Mike received from the staff at St. Anthony’s and from Hospice.
Mike will be greatly missed and forever in our hearts.