Margaret Lea McConnell

Margaret Lea McConnell, 91, of Shawnee, KS passed away May 25, 2020.


Margaret was born July 14, 1928 in Rector, AR to Esta and Tellie Roberson. Although she moved from there when she was three years old, she returned many times to visit relatives and has a soft spot in her heart for the Natural State. Margaret and her mother lived in the Waldo area of Kansas City. When her mother got remarried to Arnie Barth, they moved to Pleasant Hill, MO., where the Barth’s operated a grocery store for a long period or time.  The family then moved to the Brookside area and started new grocery store.


Margaret divided her grade school days between Pleasant Hill and Kansas City and graduated from Paseo High School. From there she moved directly to the business world doing book-keeping for Emery Bird & Thayer while her parents returned to Arkansas to open a resort in Lake Norfolk, Mountain Home. Eventually, Margaret married E.L. (Mac) McConnell and due to the success of the business on Norfolk, they relocated for a period of time to assist in the operations of the resort. They handled Barth’s Bayou Resort while her parents moved on and opened a second resort area on the same lake.


Eventually, Kansas City began to beckon and the McConnell’s moved back to this area. Margaret’s quest for a home produced the same intriguing reaction it did to many, and Margaret pursued her career as a real estate agent. Shortly thereafter her real estate career began, Margaret gave birth to her daughter, Janet Lea. While raising a toddler, Margaret strategically changed the methods of open house hosting for Ed Patton Realty while writing his ads. Her changes  proved extremely successful and created a name for herself in the industry. After staying home while raising Janet, Margaret returned to the real estate industry full throttle. She was the first woman president of the Johnson County Board of Realtors and an accomplished realtor in Kansas City. It was within the same period that she developed a relationship with The Travel House, a travel agency in Mission, KS where she at intervals arranged and directed tours to various vacation areas. One of her largest groups was more than 70 people whom she accompanied as tour director to New Orleans when the Chiefs played their first Super Bowl, at a pricey $12 a ticket. Margaret then spent her later years in life traveling with her daughter to various parts of the country including her beloved San Diego, where she was marketing director for Retirement Centers of America, Baltimore, Hawaii, and many international travels.


Margaret is survived by her daughter Janet Lea Preston (Ray), Grandchildren Maggie Lea, Mack James, Sam (Sarah), Nathan (Trista), partner in crime Kay McMurray, beloved cousins Glenna Stephens and Cliff Mahar, faithful caretakers Valeria and squad as well as her loyal pup Lacie Jane.

Memorial Contributions and Service Information

In lieu of flowers the family requests to honor her end of life companion, Lacie, with donations to LL Dog Rescue (P.O. box 8545 SMKS 66208) Due to the current COVID 19 restrictions, there will be a private visitation for immediate family at Amos Family Funeral home. An open graveside memorial will be held at Mt. Olivet for friends and family following. Please contact the family for further details. 



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Posted in Kansas City Obituaries, Obituaries | on Wednesday, May. 27th 2020 | 6 Comments »

6 Comments on “Margaret Lea McConnell”

  1. Betsy Donnelly Says:

    Dear JL and Crew: Yours is an unimaginable loss and I’m so sorry that dear ML is gone. As you know, she was a second mother to me for the past 50 years so I share your sorrow. God bless you all……and may The Good Lord welcome ML into heaven on her own bejeweled and bedazzled cloud. I will miss and love her for the rest of my days.

  2. Marilyn Nordstrom Says:

    Janet,Ray and family,
    You are all in our thoughts and prayers. Just remember all the great times and good memories. Love you all.
    Our Deepest Sympathy,
    Bill and Marilyn

  3. Gwen Cross Lehleitner Says:

    To all who loved this wonderful woman –
    ML was a force of nature and one of my first memories of a working professional. She was vibrant and filled a room. She held attention with panache and embodied what many of us hoped that someday we could attain. She was interested in others and attentive in even the smallest details. She had the knack of being able to start back in a conversation right where you last left off, quite a feat when visits were months apart. A forever great memory of her remains. Rest easy, ML.

  4. Patty Stoetzer Says:

    Janet and family,
    The Stoetzers send love and prayers to you all for the loss of your sweet mom. We lived right across the street from her on 52nd Lamar for many years and she was a great lady and neighbor. She accomplished a lot in her 91 years and you always knew by talking to her how proud she was of her family. Rest In Peace neighbor❤️

    Patty Stoetzer

  5. Bill O’Gar Says:

    Janet, I happen to be passing through KC today and Charlie brought your mother’s obituary to my attention. Although our paths diverged a long, long time ago I’ve always remembered your mother fondly. She was a courageous, brave and fun person who navigated life with a ready smile and a cohort of loyal friends, such as “the chick”. I know you will miss her dearly. I’m sorry for your loss. Bill

  6. Massey Says:


    Words cannot express the sorrow I feel for you and your family on the loss of your mother. Margaret was a 2nd mom to everyone that met her & we loved her dearly with how she filled a room with life and brought a smile & laugh to all. We will miss her and know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. The Massey’s

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