Mary Margaret “Martee” Grogan Justus, passed away peacefully, surrounded by her children at her home in Prairie Village, Kan., on February 6, 2013. She was 87. Mary was born in Dallas, Texas, on New Year’s Eve, 1925 to Bridget Agnes Hanagan Grogan and Paul Grogan. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in Journalism where she met John “Jack” Justus. Together they raised six children and were happily married for 63 years until Jack’s passing in June 2010. Mary lived a full life – from her time on her family’s North Texas ranch where she learned to love animals (especially horses and dogs), to her teenage years as a high school camp counselor, to her years as devoted wife, loving mother, hospital and church volunteer and an excellent tennis player. She had a wonderful laugh and treasured the company of her friends and family making every holiday special with good food and fun. Mary enjoyed sharing the stories of her childhood like riding the fences on her horse called “Paint” bareback and driving a truck at 10 years of age to help out with ranch chores. After graduating high school in Henrietta, Texas, where Mary was top of her class, she enrolled at the University of Texas. In three years she earned her journalism degree, was a leader in numerous clubs and served as an editor for the Daily Texan. She met Jack through the Catholic Student Center and the two fell in love. After college, Mary returned to Henrietta to work as an editor of the Clay County Leader. The next year, on Aug. 16, 1947, in Henrietta, Mary and Jack married and moved to St. Louis, Mo., where Jack finished medical school at SLU and celebrated the birth of their first child. They settled in the Kansas City area then moved to St. Agnes parish where they lived for 50 years. Mary enjoyed her time as a Eucharistic Minister at St. Agnes and St. Luke’s Hospital. She and Jack also enjoyed traveling to many U.S. and European cities. They particularly enjoyed visiting her ancestral home of Ireland and their honeymoon city of Galveston, Texas. She is preceded in death by her husband, John “Jack” Justus, M.D. and her brother, Robert (Bob) Grogan of Houston. She leaves her six children, John B. Justus Jr. (Tia Franks) of Santa Fe, NM; Susan Justus-Weinstein (Robert) of Gainesville, Fla.; Paul F. Justus (Andrea Radwell) of Eureka Springs, Ark.; Janet M. Justus (Andrea Wickerham) of Kansas City; Robert C. Justus of O.P., Kan., and Margaret A. Justus (Mark White) of Houston, Texas. She leaves 11 grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. Mary was a beautiful, tough and proud Texan devoted to her family and faith. Service will be at St. Ann Catholic Church, 7231 Mission Rd. Prairie Village, KS 66208. Visitation will be begin with a Rosary at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 12, followed by a visitation until 10:45 a.m. and The Mass of the Resurrection at 11 a.m. Luncheon to follow. In lieu of flowers, donations to Catholic Charities of Kansas. Assistance by Funeral Advocates, LLC. Arrangements entrusted to Signature Funerals. Condolences may be left Arr.: Signature Funerals, 8019 State Line Rd., KCMO 64114 (816) 214-5174.

Published in Kansas City Star on February 9, 2013
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