Mary Ann Flunder, 82, a member of the Kansas City Kansas Community College Board of Trustees for about 25 years, died March 24.
A visitation is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 31, at the Kansas City Kansas Community College gymnasium, 7250 State Ave., Kansas City, Kan. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 1, at Our Lady and St. Rose Catholic Church, 2300 N. 8th, (8th and Quindaro), Kansas City, Kan. Interment will follow the funeral service at the Leavenworth National Cemetery, Leavenworth, Kan.
A well-known civic leader, Flunder was best known for her interest in advancing educational opportunities for children and residents. Her past service includes the national Association of Community College Trustees and the Kansas Association of Community Colleges, where she was a past chairperson.
She was well known in the community for her enthusiasm about education and senior citizens’ issues.
Just several years ago, it was not unusual to find out that she was flying to Washington, D.C., and going to Topeka, Kan., to lobby to help community colleges and students.
She also was active in several local educational efforts, including one that provided more math and science education to younger students. She was named to the Reasons to Believe Alumni Honor Roll in 2012 of the Kansas City, Kan., Public Schools.
She also promoted senior citizens’ rights, and was a past speaker pro tem of the Kansas Silver-Haired Legislature.
She also was active in the Kansas City, Kan., Northeast Optimists and is a past president of the Kansas Federation of Democratic Women. She also served on the board of the Kansas City, Kan., NAACP and was past membership director of Kansas Black Chamber of Commerce.
Flunder helped children and families at the Economic Opportunity Foundation for 20 years. She also was the director of the minority affairs office from 1985 to 1992 at the University of Kansas.
She served as executive director of Turner House from 1973 to 1975, starting a nutrition site for senior citizens and a center to help school dropouts. She owned a small business, Flunder’s Groceries, with her family from 1967 through 2000 in Kansas City, Kan.
Flunder attended Sumner High School, KCKCC, Donnelly College and the University of Kansas.
She was a mentor for several persons, including Richard Mabion, president of the Kansas City, Kan., NAACP.
“Mary Ann Flunder was like the ultimate guru for me,” Mabion said. “Much of what I do in the neighborhood, she was my inspiration for my doing it. I really miss her.”
She was a person that one could sit down and talk to and get some advice from, he said.
“I’m president (of the NAACP) because of her. She called and asked me to be president,” he said. “She’s a very important person and she’s going to be truly missed.”
Donations may be made to the KCKCC Mary Ann Flunder Scholarship Fund.
Thatcher’s Funeral Home is in charge of the funereal arrangements.