Mary Helen McMillan

Mary Helen (Lortz) McMillan, 88, of South Mound passed away at 3:23 a.m. Tuesday, July 20, 2021, at Good Samaritan Society in Parsons.

She was born on June 6, 1933, to John E. Lortz and Regina A. (Volmer) Lortz. She was raised on a farm near South Mound and attended Sunnyside School and South Mound Grade School and graduated from Parsons High School in 1951.

Mary worked part time at the Southwestern Bell Telephone Co. office through her senior year of high school and full time after graduation.  

On Sept. 23, 1951, she was married to the love of her life, John D. McMillan, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in South Mound by the Rev. Neil Diver. The couple lived in South Mound for 65 years. In 1969 they purchased the one-story grade school in South Mound, converting it into a home for their 10 children. Life was full of happy moments and memories. Jay and Mary guided their children by being good examples of following Christ with dedication, faith and love.

Mary enjoyed not only being the hostess to their large family gatherings of children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren but also as a couple being very social with dancing clubs, card clubs and community services.

Mary enjoyed crocheting, cooking, canning and helping Jay make the famous family homemade ice cream. 

Mary especially loved children of all ages. She could ease any hurt with her love, kindness, prayers and grace.

Jay and Mary were members of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church of Parsons and previously of St. Ambrose Church in Erie.

Her survivors include her husband of 69 years, Jay, of Good Samaritan Society in Parsons; and nine children, David McMillan (Susan) of Michigan, Debra Shaw (Tom) of Parsons, Mary Deanne VanLeeuwen (Steve) of Arma, Tim McMillan (Linda) of South Mound, Janet Link (Jason) of Springfield, Rick McMillan (Cathy) of Wichita, Glenda Alloway (Frank) of Parsons, Karen Shipp (Roy) of Parsons and Laura Celaya (Fernando) of Manhattan. They have 36 grandchildren, and 28-plus great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her son, Gary McMillan; a grandson, Luke Timi; a son-in-law, Steve VanLeeuwen; a daughter-in-law, Brenda McMillan; three sisters, Johnna Reed, Evelyn Brungardt and Esther Foreman; and a brother, John Edward Lortz. 

The memorial Mass will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the St. Patrick Catholic School gymnasium with the Rev. Curtis Robertson celebrating. Burial will follow at Mount Olivet Cemetery. The rosary will be prayed at 10 a.m. Friday prior to the Mass. The family will receive friends from 6 to 7 p.m. Thursday at Carson-Wall Funeral Home.

Memorials are suggested to the St. Patrick Church building fund and may be left at or mailed to the funeral home, 112 N. 26th St., P.O. Box 942, Parsons, KS 67357.

Online condolences may be left at

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