Mary Lou Carson,73, Olathe, KS passed away January 22, 2019 at the Olathe Health Hospice House from complications caused by pancreatic cancer. Mary Lou was born in Stillwater, OK the first child of Marvin and Marjalee (Carnahan) Wood. She attended schools in Stillwater and Woodward, OK and graduated High School from Shawnee Mission East in 1963 after moving with her parents to the Kansas City area. She then graduated from the University of Kansas in 1967 and married Charles (Chuck) Shoemaker in 1967. To this union were borne two children, Lisa Cay and Marc Charles. They lived in Texas for several years and moved back to Kansas in 1978. They divorced in 1991 and she later married George A Carson in 1996 uniting two families.
Mary Lou worked outside the home as well as raising and caring for her two children. She worked for Southwestern Bell and later Sprint before retiring. In addition to these activities she also had a great love for gardening that was driven and inspired by her father Marvin. She always had a garden at home and later joined up with the Olathe Garden Club and eventually became a Master Gardener with the Kansas State University Extension Master Gardening Program. She volunteered nearly 4,000 hour on various EMG projects during her 14 years as a Master Gardener and was one of the Co-founders of the Backyard Garden project at the KSU Olathe Horticultural Center in Olathe, KS. Mary Lou also enjoyed travelling with the EMG group to several cities including Chicago, Philadelphia and St. Louis to visit their Gardens. For all her efforts she was awarded the Distinguish Service Award in 2019.
In addition to her garden travels she found time to visit Southern Africa with her two granddaughters and husband, rode the train across Canada from Chicago to Vancouver, cruised to Alaska, toured the Hawaiian Islands by Cruise ship, and others. She also participated in several Carson Family Reunions as well as playing hostess to family and friends at their Lake of the Ozark cabin for 13 years.
She is survived by a brother Robert A Wood, Salt Lake City; George A. Carson of their home; first husband Chuck Shoemaker; daughter Lisa Cay Barb Paske, son Marc Shoemaker (Lisa Flynn-Shoemaker); grandchildren Ashley Cay Barb, Megan Hanna Barb, Jack Shoemaker, and Ryan Shoemaker; step daughters Valorie Carson and Mary Kay Carson and husband Tom Uhlman; step son Arthur Bradley Carson and Pam Hammons; and step grandson Noah George Basso.
A Gathering, Visitation and Celebration of Life service will be held at the Grace United Methodist Church, 11485 S Ridgeview Rd, Olathe, KS 66061 on January 28, 2019 at 1:00 PM. In lieu of flowers she has requested that donations be made to the Olathe Health Hospice House 15310 S Marion St. Olathe, KS 66061 in her name.