Mary Jo Hornaday

July 3, 1925May 18, 2023
Obituary of Mary Jo Hornaday
Mary Jo Hornaday – Born in Fort Worth, Texas, July 3, 1925. Died peacefully in Kansas City, Mo., May 18, 2023. Born in the Roaring 20’s. Raised during the Great Depression in Reading, Pa. Traveled halfway across the country to college during World War II – served as president of Delta Gamma Sorority and graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. Worked for UPI and got married during the Baby Boom. Moved to St. Joseph, Missouri in 1950. Returned to school to earn an education degree during the Space Race. Taught English and Journalism at Central High School into the Millennium. Inspired her students and colleagues. Challenged, encouraged and disciplined all students who entered her classroom – exposed learners to the beauty of Hemingway, Steinbeck and AP Style. Advised an award-winning yearbook and school newspaper. Designed and coordinated costumes for years of theater productions. Taught all four of her grandchildren. Survived cancer. Retired at 80. A woman of deep faith, held quietly and expressed through acts of service. Elder, deacon, choir member, superintendent of Sunday school and clerk of session. Shared her faith with others through regular bible study at First Presbyterian. Volunteered in her community her entire life. Founder of Candy Cane Lane, member and president of the Junior League. Wrote scripts for a television show, Museum Marvels, hosting in the persona of “Bobby Buttons”. Volunteer for the United Way Marketing Committee and Food for Kids. Board member for the St. Joseph Symphony and Robidoux Resident Theater, among others. Touched the lives of thousands of children as a teacher, colleague and friend. Loved family and friends fiercely, devoted to excellence in everything, passionate about her church and community, always. Mary Jo was preceded in death by her parents; husband, David; sisters, Elizabeth Bell and Sally House. Survivors include daughter, Barbara (Steve) Wurtzler; son, David (Heidi) Hornaday; grandchildren, Sally Wurtzler, Mark (Kathy Benzin) Wurtzler, John (Katy) Hornaday, Julia (James Collett) Hornaday; great grandchildren, Emery and Palmer Hornaday. Celebration of Life Services: 2 p.m., Friday, June 2, 2023 at First Presbyterian Church, 301 N 7th St, St Joseph, MO 64501. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation in her memory to First Presbyterian Church or United Way of Greater St. Joseph.

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Friday, June 02, 2023

Celebration of Life

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

First Presbyterian Church of St. Joseph

301 N 7th St. St. Joseph, MO