SIPES, Mary A.
Mary Alice Sipes, 80, died May 20. She was the first child of James Carl Alexander Sipes and Fannie Dockey Girdner Sipes, who preceded her in death. She is survived by her sister, Sue Ann Lawson and brother-in-law Robert Lawson of Idabel, Okla., a niece, Rebecca Sue Steiner of Atlanta, Ga., and a nephew, Robert Sipes Lawson of Jonesboro, Ga. She was born Feb. 27, 1930, in St. Rose Hospital in Great Bend. She grew up on a wheat and cattle farm eight miles south and one mile east of Great Bend in Stafford County. She attended Prairie Home School (District 81) in Stafford County through the eighth grade and graduated from Great Bend High School in 1948. She was a member of Mt. Pleasant United Brethren Church, and of the First Presbyterian Church, Santa Fe, N.M. After she retired in 1985 and moved to Idabel, Okla., she became a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Idabel. Mary Alice attended Oklahoma College for Women in Chickasha, Okla., and received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech in 1952. Her first job and teaching position was in Winfield High School in 1952-1953. She taught in Hobbs, N.M., Houston Junior High School from 1953 to 1960. During the summers she attended the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, Mich., and Texas Womens University, Denton, Texas. She graduated from Texas Womens University in 1958 with a masters degree. In the summer of 1960 Mary Alice was employed as a professional staff member of the New Mexico Education Association in Santa Fe, N.M. She worked for the New Mexico Education Association, later known as National Education Association of New Mexico, from 1960 to 1985. She held the position of field representative Uniserve and director and deputy executive secretary. She retired in 1985. She moved to Idabel to be near her sister, Sue, and her family. She loved to travel and made trips to Europe (Germany, Switzerland and Austria). She spent time traveling in Mexico and Hawaii. She made cruises to Alaska, the Panama Canal, the Bahamas, the Northeast Coast of the United States, Nova Scotia and Canada. She belonged to the University Womens Association and Pioneer Reading Club. She had an active part in the Idabel Arts and Humanities Council, which served all of McCurtain County, Okla., with concerts, plays and musicals. She served as a commissioned lay preacher for the Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery and continued to serve when she was invited by church sessions to preach. She served in the choir, was an elder, deacon and president of the Presbyterian Women of the Idabel Presbyterian Church. She most recently was active in the Presbyterian Women and a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Broken Bow, Okla. Graveside memorial services will be at 10:30 a.m. Friday at the Great Bend Cemetery. James F. Adams will preside. There will be no visitation, as cremation has taken place. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the charity of your choice. Funeral arrangements provided by Bryant Funeral Home* 1425 Patton Road Great Bend, KS 67530 620-793-3525 Great Bend (Kan.)