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SPOTLIGHT
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Mary Ann Birzer

Published on -7/1/2012, 5:19 PM

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Mary Ann Birzer passed away on Friday June 29, 2012, at Hays Medical Center after a long battle with cancer. Mary Ann was 75 years old. She was predeceased by her wonderful parents and a beloved aunt, Hazel Williams.

Mary Ann was born to Arthur and Vera Hawkins in Enid, Oklahoma, on August 27, 1936, and she was an adored only child. Her early years were spent in Kingfisher, Oklahoma, and her family moved to Salina, Kansas, when she was 8 years old. She graduated from Salina High School in 1954.

Mary Ann Hawkins married Larry Werhan on June 17, 1956, when she was 19 years old. In 1958, she earned a bachelor of science degree in education through Kansas Wesleyan University. She taught seventh and eighth grade and later operated a preschool in her home.

Her daughter, Cindy, was born in 1957, followed by sons -- Rod in 1961 and Craig in 1962. Mary Ann was a sweet, loving and devoted mother who cared for, loved and enjoyed her family most of all. And she was loved dearly in return. She took great strides to make the wonder years for her kids truly wonderful -- by planning cookouts, ice skating, trips to the lake and special celebrations. Mary Ann also had many dear friends who loved her.

On June 25, 2005, she married Don Birzer, a faithful and loving husband who brought her joy and later tenderly cared for her during her illness. She and Don enjoyed spending time together, visiting with friends, listening to country music, traveling, watching reality TV shows, doing puzzles and keeping tabs on family near and far.

Prior to her illness, she was an active member at Celebration Community Church and a member of the Bolder Adults small group.

She is survived by her husband, Don; daughter Cindy Compeau and her husband, Tom, of Hays; son Rod Werhan and wife, Linda, of Wichita; son Craig Werhan and wife Lisa, of Pittsfield, Massachusetts; 9 grandchildren -- Michelle Rader, Chelsea Moore, Cameron Lippert, Aaron Werhan, Lauren Werhan, Luke Werhan, Zach Werhan, Cole Werhan, and Jett Werhan; and 3 great-grandchildren -- Carson and Easton Moore and Hunter Werhan.

Mary Ann took joy in being a homemaker, whether it was redecorating her home, doing crafts or gardening. She loved to entertain family in her home for holidays, regular visits or the occasional card game or board game.

In addition to family, Mary Ann enjoyed everything to do with nature. Further from home, she loved being out in nature and traveling to beautiful places, such as Colorado, Branson, Missouri, and the Northeast. She instilled a love of nature in her children as well.

Visitation will be Monday, July 2, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 20th and Pine. Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, July 3, at Celebration Community Church in Hays. Burial will be at Mount Allen Cemetery. Memorials will be made to the Celebration Community Church youth program. Condolences can be sent to the family at www.haysmemorial.com.

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