Mary Ann Metts, age 81, passed away peacefully just after sunset on Sunday, January 12, 2020 at her daughter’s home in Memphis, Tennessee. She was surrounded by two of her daughters, her favorite son-in-law, and a pack of dogs that made up her protection detail. She died of complications from a long and wicked illness, aggravated by her beloved Kansas Jayhawks’ devastating loss to the Baylor Bears on Saturday night.

Mary Ann was born on July 31, 1938 into a large family in Holcomb, Kansas and was raised in a strong Catholic faith. She married young, left home, and had five children of her own. Her kids became the lights of her life. At the age of 39, she took up the difficult task of raising those five kids on her own, but she rose to the challenge. She landed two full-time jobs and worked six days a week for the next thirty years. The burden was heavy, but she never complained and never wavered. Her deep love of God and family got her through the tough times. She intentionally wore polyester and waited until August each year to turn on the air condition just so she could save money to spend on her kids. She just wanted them to fit in and not feel poor. In case you are unaware, her kids have earned multiple advanced college degrees between them and turned out to be some of the best folks you will ever meet.

In her final years, she moved to Memphis to live with her youngest daughter and apprehensively met what would become her four canine housemates (also known as “the pack.”) The pack became her protection detail and finally wore her down and won her over. Mary Ann would have denied it until the bitter end, but she became a dog lover and was unofficially dubbed the “Grandma Dog.” She also became an ice cream connoisseur, and a seated-Frisbee throwing expert; both to the delight of her protection detail. The pack remained faithful, steadfast, and true up until the moment that the Grandma Dog drew her final breath and then “cry havoc, and let slip the dogs of war.”

No building is named after her; no monument is or ever will be erected in her honor. Nevertheless, make no mistake, she was a champion. A secret superhero and, by anyone’s standard, a huge success. Her deep faith in God guided her through life. She loved Jesus, her friends, and her family fiercely. If you had the privilege of knowing her, you were blessed.

Mary Ann is survived by five siblings: Robert and wife Charlotte Baier of Garden City, Kansas; John M. Baier of Garden City, Kansas; Gary and wife Sherry Baier of Holcomb, Kansas; Bill and wife Ginger of Garden City, Kansas; Dorothy Fairchild of Sapulpa, Oklahoma; and many nieces and nephews. She is also survived by five children: Sandy Metts of Sarcoxie, Missouri; Cindy Metts of Lebanon, Missouri; Kirk and wife Sara Metts of Joplin, Missouri; Kyle and wife Jill Metts of Davidson, North Carolina; Kim and husband Bill Burns of Memphis, Tennessee; and the following grandchildren: Aubrey and husband Kevin Vo of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Austin and wife Ashten Metts of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Kasey and Will Buffington of Tulsa, Oklahoma; Kristin Metts of Joplin, Missouri; and John Metts, Laura Metts, Mason Metts, and Janey Metts all of Davidson, North Carolina. Lastly, she is survived by three great grandchildren: Elliott Metts, Xander Vo, and June Buffington (June was welcomed to the world at 9:36 a.m. on January 14, 2020, weighing in like a champ at 8 lbs. 1 oz.)

Please join us for celebrating her life. The Wake Service will be held at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, January 23, 2020 at St. Peter’s Catholic Church in Joplin, Missouri. The Funeral Mass will be held the next day at 10:00 a.m. also at St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that a donation be made to the Joplin Area Catholic Schools and/or that a harshly worded letter be sent to the Baylor Bears’ Men’s Basketball coach in Waco, Texas.

John 16:33 These things I have spoken unto you that in me you might have peace. In this world you will have tribulation: but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world.26.