Mary E. Harkins (Gladbach)

Mary E. Harkins, of Deerfield, MO, passed away on Wednesday, October 18th, 2018, at the University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas.

Mary was born to James Edward and Patricia Jean Gladbach (Renicker) on September 13th, 1963, in Sedalia, MO.

After spending her developing years in Concordia, KS, she graduated from Uniontown (KS) High School, in 1981.

She attended Benedictine College in Atchison, KS.  She enjoyed competing in athletics in high school, during which she also developed an affinity for drama and singing.

She eventually developed an opera-quality voice and sang in numerous musical productions in high school, college, various community theatre troupes, and sang for countless weddings and other special events.  In her young adult years, she was a singer-performer for the Waldo-Astoria Dinner Theatre in Kansas City.

In the mid-1980s she was an invited guest performer of one of the municipal Kansas City Musical Arts organizations. It was a really big deal at the time, but now none of us can remember what or when it was, and unfortunately, she was gone before we could ask her.

She served as a choir member and cantor at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Kansas City, KS, for 16 years and worked for Walmart for 29 years in Kansas City, Oklahoma City, and Fort Scott.

From her first baby steps, Mary exhibited tons of energy, was outgoing to all, was always the center of fun, and sometimes the perpetrator of significant mischief.  She never met a stranger and could flash a smile that would give you a sunburn.

She married Frank Harkins in 1989; a union that produced five children.

Mary was preceded in death by her mother, Patricia J. Gladbach.

She is survived by her father, James E. Gladbach of Deerfield, MO; her husband Frank Harkins of Kansas City, KS; son Nathan Harkins of Provincetown, Cape Cod, MA; Teresa Harkins of Kansas City, KS; sons Jerry and Paul Harkins of Kansas City, KS; daughter Grace Harkins of Deerfield, MO; brother James P. Gladbach and wife Lucy of Deerfield, MO; sister Jeanne A. McKee and husband John of Webb City, MO; brother Paul M. Gladbach and wife Jody of Clyde, KS, and sister Julia C. Gladbach of Fort Scott, KS.


Visitation will be from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, Monday, October 22nd at the Cheney Witt Chapel, Fort Scott, with the rosary at 6:30 PM.

The Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 AM Tuesday, October 23rd, at Mary Queen of Angels Catholic Church in Fort Scott.

Father Robert Wachter will officiate.

Burial will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery.  Words of remembrance may be submitted to the online guestbook at

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