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Marcheta Ione Abels

May 8, 1927 — December 13, 2022

Overland Park

How do you capture in a few paragraphs the essence of a woman’s life that spanned more than 95 years? Short answer is: you can’t.


Marcheta Ione was born 8 May 1927, in Topeka, Kansas, to Raymond and Lola Landis, when the country was still recovering from the Great Depression. They got up early to put more coal in the stove to warm up the house and retrieved the bottled milk from the porch with the cream that had settled to the top and pushed the lid up out of the bottle, along with the block of ice for the icebox, which had been delivered that morning. Her mother named her after the heroine in a current musical of the time, and she spent her life hating how no one could pronounce or remember it (it’s pronounced Markeeta).


After graduating from Topeka High, she pursued general studies at Washburn University for a year. Kete (or Keter - the nicknames Daddy gave her) and Dave Abels, were married 14 September 1946, after he returned from Europe at the end of WWII. They raised three children, Sandy, Dave Jr., and Holly, in Topeka, Wichita, and Overland Park. She started dinner from scratch, hung the clothes on the line, balanced the checkbook, typed school reports late into the night (that were due the next day), never missed a school program, sung soprano in the church choir at Valley View United Methodist Church, and took her own Christmas gifts back when times were lean. She returned to work as a secretary at Beneficial Finance Company when their youngest was in grade school, and could type like a machine - as fast as a court reporter with little or no mistakes on an IBM Selectric.


Marcheta loved to play old hymns on the piano or organ while others in the family gathered around to sing along and Grandpa Ray bellowed out the harmony! She was always ready to sit down and play a good game of contract bridge when all of the family got together.


After their kids were gone, Kete and Dave, a professional photographer, started the small and successful business D & D Photo out of their home processing black and white photographs for various companies in Kansas City. Dave did the processing, and Kete did the books. They ran it together until he passed away 4 October 1999.


Sandy married Don Lee, Dave Jr. married Linda Rank, and Holly married Raymond Thibault. Between them all, they blessed Poppo and Grandma Keter with 8 grandchildren: Abby, Nicole, Angela, Amanda, twins Laura and Emily, Ryan, and Erin, and she had 16 great grandkids!


Grandma Keter wanted to read her paper every morning; write and mail checks for her monthly bills; go to church service and sing the doxology and traditional Methodist hymns and recite the Nicene Creed and the Lord’s Prayer; and talk into the receiver of her beige telephone attached to the wall in the kitchen with a cord that stretched across the living room. She had a vague understanding of Facebook, but never wanted to know the difference between a tweet and a TikTok video.


When she died on 13 December 2022, Marcheta had outlived her husband, her parents, in-laws, brother, sister, brother-in-law, sister in-law, aunts, uncles, cousins, several nieces, her grandson, and all her close friends. She was widowed for 23 years and was proudly independent until she couldn’t be. She was overwhelmed living in a world that she knew so little about. She was steadfast in her faith. She was ready to go home…

In our end is our beginning; in our time, infinity;
In our doubt there is believing; in our life, eternity,
In our death, a resurrection; at the last, a victory,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
(From hymn written by Natalie Sleeth in 1985.)

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, December 17th, 2022 at 6 pm at the Amos Family Funeral Home in Shawnee, Kansas. For those unable to attend the service in person, it will be livestreamed and can be watched by clicking here.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marcheta Ione Abels, please visit our flower store.

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Saturday, December 17, 2022

Starts at 6:00 pm (Central time)

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