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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Mary Ellen Kilkenny Tellefson

  • Mary Ellen Kilkenny Tellefson, 89, passed peacefully into a new phase of the life cycle on May 16th, 2013.
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  • Mary Ellen Kilkenny Tellefson, 89, passed peacefully into a new phase of the life cycle on May 16th, 2013. She was born March 29, 1924, to Anthony James and Ella Handke Kilkenny in Saint Joseph, Mo., a "railroad family." The oldest of five siblings, Mary Ellen, learned early to wield the power of "eldest," with a firm but compassionate hand and was known as "sis" by everyone in the family.
    She graduated from Immaculate Conception in St. Joseph, Mo., in May of 1942, and went to work as a book binder at Westab until she married Selmer J. "Sam" Tellefson, October 16, 1950, and moved to a farm south of Robinson, Kan. Together, they farmed until the winter of 1958, when they moved to the town of Robinson, where they happily resided until Sam's passing in 1987.
    Mary went to work at the Hiawatha Dairy Queen in 1967, and worked there for many years. For her it was a fantastic place to keep track of who was coming on to the scene--the school kids, and who was leaving the scene--the cemetery. She was very comfortable "cleaning instead of leaning," and those dilly bars didn't dip themselves.
    Later in life she became the candy teller at the Bank of Robinson, when the bank changed to a morning only operation.
    Mary Ellen moved to Hiawatha in 2006, and lived at the Maple Grove complex until moving to Leavenworth in 2009.
    Mary Ellen is survived by one sister, Alice Maxwell and husband Bob of Savannah, Mo. Other siblings, Virginia Rose Kilkenny, Jim Kilkenny and Don Kilkenny are deceased.
    Mary Ellen and Sam had four children: James C, "J.C." survives with his wife Cheryl in Leavenworth, Kan. Grandchildren; Christopher and wife Allison live in Kansas City, Kan., and Tenille and husband Jeff live in Salina, Kan. They have three daughters.
    Son, David, born in 1958, passed away in 2011, and is survived by his wife Kim, who lives in Colo. Grandchildren; Joshua lives in Tulsa, Okla., and Samantha lives in Dover, Kan., a daughter, Julia, passed away in 1957, after almost two years of farm life, and another daughter, Christina, passed away after only a brief life.
    Please send memorials to: The Northwest Missouri Children's Advocacy Center, 1807 N. Woodbine Rd., Ste. E, St. Joseph, MO 64506.
    Condolences may sent to www.davisfuneralchapelinc.com

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