Mary Ellen (Bogart) Thacker, 94, of Russell, Kansas, and formerly of Luray, Kansas, passed away Tuesday, March 2, 2021 at Main Street Manor in Russell.
Mary Ellen was born August 6, 1926 in Oakley, Kansas, the daughter of Milbis Lawrence and Lola Alice (Anspach) Bogart. In September, 1929, Mary Ellen’s family moved to a farm that her parents rented southeast of Grinnell, Kansas. When she was eight years old, her parents purchased a farm twenty-two miles southwest of Grinnell. She attended rural schools through her elementary years. She then attended three years of high school in Oakley. Before her senior year, her family’s farm was one of many chosen by the government to be used as an aerial gunnery range to train for WWII. The government would not allow anyone younger than age 18 to be in that area, so the family and their livestock moved to a rented farm north of Hoxie, Kansas. Mary Ellen graduated from Sheridan Community High School in Hoxie. In the summer of 1944, she attended Kansas State Teachers College (Ft. Hays State University) to earn her teaching license. Mary Ellen taught two years in rural Kansas schools, the first north of Grainfield, Kansas (Liberty School District #14) and the second year north of Hoxie (White Dove School District #52).
Mary Ellen was united in marriage to Hayes Price Thacker on December 19, 1944, in Hoxie. They had first met when Mary Ellen was fifteen, at the rural mailbox site, when Price was visiting his grandparents, who were neighbors of the Bogart’s. After Price returned from WWII military service, the couple made their home in Luray. This union was blessed with two daughters, Margaret and Kathy.
Mary Ellen was a devoted wife and homemaker. She was an active member of the Luray United Methodist Church and United Methodist Women (UMW). During her years at Luray, Mary Ellen taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School classes, played the church organ, and held several church and UMW offices. Mary Ellen was a talented seamstress and a master at crocheting, knitting, tatting and painting ceramics. She also enjoyed wheat weaving, decorating cakes, bird watching, baking breads and cookies, and tending her flower garden. Mary Ellen and Price spent much time together camping, fishing, and vacationing at their Gove County Bogart family farm, which they purchased in 2004.
Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her parents; husband of 70 years, Hayes Price; and a brother, Thomas Bogart. She is survived by daughters, Margaret Thomas (Wayne) of Topeka, Kansas and Kathy Cook (Ryan) of Bunker Hill, Kansas; four grandchildren Rob Thomas of Sterling, Kansas, Megan Thomas of Las Vegas, Nevada, Monica Dreiling (Myron) of Hays, Kansas, and Justin Cook (Angie) of Hays, Kansas; and great-granddaughter Mariella Dreiling of Hays, Kansas. Also surviving are in-laws; Coradell (Thacker) Hickman of Vista, California and James and Sylvia Thacker of Granite Bay, California. Celebration of Mary Ellen’s Life will be held at 10:30 AM, Saturday, March 6, 2021 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary of Russell. Burial will follow at the Bunker Hill Cemetery in Bunker Hill. Visitation will be held from 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM, Friday, March 5, 2021 at Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary with the family present to greet friends from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Memorials have been established with the Luray United Methodist Church and the Luray Senior Center. Contributions and condolences may be sent to Pohlman-Varner-Peeler Mortuary, who is in charge of these arrangements.