Mary Jordan Carlson, 90, formerly of Prospect Heights, and Glenview, IL passed away September 11, 2016 at Neuvant House in Lawrence, Kansas. Mary, daughter of Leslie and Ruth Jordan; born December 29, 1925 in rural Bristow, OK; skipped a grade in Junior high school; completed high school in three years as valedictorian; graduated at age 20 with a BS in Home Economics with emphasis in Foods and Nutrition at the University of Arkansas in 1946; and a MS in Nutrition with a Minor in Journalism from Drexel Institute in Philadelphia, PA in 1957. Mary's life had a consistent focus. She was a champion of women in education, independence, equal rights and leadership; a pioneer with excellence and an insatiable appetite to experience different cultures around the world. At age 10, Mary survived the worst dust storm recorded, known as Black Sunday of April 14, 1935; she was less than 150 miles from the epicenter; three years later her father died as a cotton farmer at which time her mother moved the whole house to Cordell, OK and supported the family of two girls as a telephone operator and a nurse to the only doctor in town. Although Mrs. Jordon Never learned to drive; she was known to make trips to the grocery store courtesy of the local police. Mary held high expectations for herself and reached beyond the normal boundaries at an early age. Survivors include sisters/brothers-in-law, Evelyn Carlson (Robert) Senecal, of Lawrence, KS; Edna Carlson Wilson of Cohoctah, MI; Agnes Carlson Wheeler of Plymouth, MI; 13 nieces and nephews and 31 great-nieces and -nephews. Mary surely be missed, but not forgotten, as we know by her strong faith in God, that she is exploring the expansive universe of heaven; ready to greet us for when we will meet her there. Mary and Elmer were extensive world-wide travelers throughout their married life to many developing countries; where she witnessed the "ill-fated lives of children as a result of malnutrition" which fueled her passion to establish the American Association of University Women Mary Jordan Carlson International Fellowship in 2000 that inspires girls to make a difference in their own countries by providing them the opportunity to come and study in the United States. Memorials may be made in her memory to Hillsdale College, the Heritage Foundation, the American Association of University Women or the United Methodist Church of Arlington Heights, Illinois and may be sent in care of the Warren-McElwain Mortuary. A private memorial service will be held at a later date in Cordell, OK. For Mary's full obituary and to submit online condolences go to warrenmcelwain.com .
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