NEEDHAM, Martha Elaine (Riley), age 75, formerly of Shawnee, Kansas passed away April 3, 2022. She was a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School, received a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, Two Master’s Degrees: Urban Management from Kansas University and Curriculum & Instruction from the University of Missouri at Kansas City, an Education Specialist Degree in Curriculum & Instruction, and a Doctor of Philosophy including: Curriculum & Instruction, Public Affairs and Administration, and the Social Sciences from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Elaine previously owned and operated a home-based consulting service to locate and facilitate funding sources for private business, government and nonprofit organizations. She taught American Government, American History, Public Administration, Political Science and Management in the Kansas City Missouri School District, Kansas City Kansas Community College, Penn Valley Community College, Avila and University of Missouri at Kansas City. Elaine authored many publications, participated as an Olathe City Council Member, worked with the Olathe Community Theatre Association, Kansas City Renaissance Festival, numerous Chambers of Commerce, Kansas City Teaching Fellow and was a member of Pi Lambda Theta, among many other professional associations. She was an active member in: The Retired City Managers group, the Director of the Urban Research Foundation and served as one of the first female City Managers in Kansas. Elaine’s talents were many and she was an extremely accomplished teacher, academic, public servant, mother, Grandmother, Great-grandmother, sister, aunt, Great aunt and friend who loved to entertain. She was an advocate for disadvantaged populations. She had a vision that through education, revitalization, equity and social justice, underserved urban populations could thrive. Preceded in death by her parents: Louis and Lorrain Yulich, Charles Riley, Sr., and sister Pamela Yulich. She is survived in death by John Michael Needham, son, Kelly Smith, daughter, five grandchildren: Kaylan Eastland and her husband James, Aiden, Colin, Piper and Trinity, three great-grandchildren: Brody, Max-Amelia and Finnegan, Siblings: Charles Riley, Jr. and his wife Julie, Suzanne Royer, Cynthia Yulich-Ray and her husband Thomas, Vivian West and her husband Rick, Grace Weinrich and her husband Steve and numerous nephews, nieces and friends. Friends and Family will celebrate Elaine’s life on Saturday, April 9, 2022 at 10:00AM at Shawnee Presbyterian Church located at: 6837 Nieman Rd., Shawnee, KS 66203. The family would like to express thanks for the wonderful help and care given by Medicalodge of Eudora and Interim Healthcare hospice services. If desired, memorial contributions can be made in her memory to Keep Her Safe at: https://donorbox.org/keep-her-safe?default_interval=o or Urban Research Foundationat: First National Bank of Omaha at 6301 Pflumm Rd. Shawnee, KS 66216:
Thank you both for the patience and understanding on the logistics of BK's funeral arrangements. It was a pleasure to work with you both. My sister, Julie, couldn't have been more pleased. The services you offer are well thought out and executed with compassion.
Dad has commented several times since mom's passing how her Celebration of Life was such a nice tribute to her and how grateful he was for that process to be handled so smoothly.
You both have exceeded your calling, and I'm so grateful you were there for me.
Thank you so much for all of the care and concern you have given our family. We appreciate all of your help in planning the funeral. You did a wonderful job!
Words will never be enough to properly express our gratitude...Your care for him and your guidance in our hour of need will never be repaid. Thank you, a million times, for you compassion and respectful service.
Thank you so much for your compassionate care of our family. You have answered Dad's call to comfort grieving families, and we are so grateful.
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Thanks for making this an easier experience than I could have imagined.
You made the whole experience of losing my Dad so much more bearable thank I could have imagined. Thank you so much for everything.
Thank you again for all of your help, support and encouragement.
I want to thank you and the friend that is making these wonderful white cloths ... whenever I see it it reminds me of a shroud and brings a very pleasant peace.
thank you dear friend
I'm Speechless, you are so kind. You made Richard's celebration of Life and awesome experience. Richard and I shared our life together for 45 years and you have put my life in a happier place.
Most Grateful I am, Robert S.
Your service (and that of the other team members at Signature Funerals) was so helpful to my family throughout the aftermath of my dad's death. Thank you again for your sensitive but wide-ranging help and advice. The service and celebration of his life went smoothly and was cathartic to everyone, due in large part to all of you at Signature Funerals.
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With much gratitude and love,
"I really appreciate the time you spent with me on my unannounced visit regarding funeral arrangements for Marion. You went above and beyond with notes and drafting a letter for me, Bless you"
Cathy Boomer has a very calming influence and sense of peacefulness about her, even in the most emotional situations. She handled all the details of my mother's passing and funeral with professional dignity. She was unobtrusive but in control of all the little details and we, as a family, relied on her with immense satisfaction.
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I want to thank you, on behalf of my family, and father in particular, beginning with your presence with us the night of mom's passing in her room. You were a calming presence throughout. Your funeral space is lovely and uplifting. It was, indeed, the perfect space for such a somber, but also celebrated gathering. Thank you for your guidance throughout.
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