Cover photo for Mary Ann (Byler)  Ciochon's Obituary
Mary Ann (Byler)  Ciochon Profile Photo

Mary Ann (Byler) Ciochon

June 2, 1945 — December 15, 2023

Shawnee

Mary Ann Ciochon passed away surrounded by a vast community of friends and family who loved her on Friday, December 15, 2023.

Mary Ann was born on a dairy farm in Wellington, Kansas on June 2, 1945, to Joe and Wilma Byler. Being the only girl in a family of three brothers, she learned how to be confident, assertive, and put up with shenanigans - which would serve her well later in life during her career as an elementary music teacher.

Her love of music started at a young age. She played the flute during her years at Wellington High School, graduated with a degree in music from the University of Kansas, and a master’s degree in education from Emporia State University.

Music was a constant in her life, both personally and professionally. She sang in the Immanuel Lutheran Church choir for more than 30 years, also serving as director for a few years as well. Mary Ann was a member of the Kansas City Symphony Chorus for many years - a prestigious, audition-only group that performed both locally and abroad. She had a deep appreciation for the arts and was a frequent patron of the Kansas City Symphony, philharmonic, and Broadway series at the Music Hall.

Professionally, Mary Ann nurtured a love for music and performance with hundreds of students - her infamous stubborn streak led her to never give up on a student. She began her career in the Shawnee Mission School District in 1969 teaching at Greenwood Elementary School and Brookridge Elementary School. In 1990, she was hired to join an elite group of teachers who opened Broken Arrow Elementary where she would develop lifelong friendships with her fellow educators, students, and their families. She was honored by the school district for her dedication and outstanding 40 years of service upon her retirement in 2010.

Mary Ann was the life of the party and was always looking for her next adventure. She never passed up the opportunity to take a trip - some of her favorites were Vienna, Florence, Las Vegas and her parents’ vacation home in Durango, Colorado. When she was at home in Kansas City, you’d likely find her at the stadium cheering on the Chiefs or the Jayhawks, or with a dirty martini in her hand at happy hour - she was a regular at Oishi Sushi, Johnny’s Tavern, and Houlihan’s.

By far her greatest accomplishments were the relationships she built and the people whose lives she touched. She cultivated a wide and varied community of strong, independent women who supported each other. She was an expert at intergenerational friendships and turning strangers into family. Mary Ann was an excellent listener who gave great advice and always told you exactly what she thought. Her honesty always came without judgment and was delivered with empathy, respect, and a great deal of thought. She was a connector and a loyal friend, but her favorite role to play was Gigi. She adored her granddaughters and loved to watch them perform, go shopping with them, or just spend relaxing days on the couch watching reality TV.

She is preceded in death by her beloved son Joseph Toby Ciochon, her parents Joe and Wilma Byler, and her sister-in-law Marsha Byler. Left to honor her memory is her daughter-in-law Tarra Maes; granddaughters Erikah Ciochon, Olivia Ciochon, and Hartley Flores; her brothers Bruce (Susan) Byler, Dick (Bonnie) Byler, and Tom Byler as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

If you would like to honor Mary Ann’s life, she would have been happiest for you to grab a drink with a friend - raising a toast to your many fond memories of time spent with her. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the University of Kansas School of Music to help continue her legacy of supporting the next generation of musical talent.

A public celebration of her life will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church located at: 1700 Westport Rd, Kansas City, MO 6411.  Please join us at 3:30 for a visitation, service to begin at 4:30 . CLICK HERE to view the livestream of her service. A champagne toast to Mary Ann will follow the service at Immanuel Lutheran.

The celebration of life will continue at her favorite Johnny’s location: 13131 Shawnee Mission Pkwy Shawnee KS 66216, with family and friends starting at 7:00 PM.

Donations:

University of Kansas Endowment Fund
Gift Processing Department, KU Endowment--PO Box 928, Lawrence KS 66044-0928
Tel: 1-785-830-7576
Web: https://securelb.imodules.com/s/1312/lg21/form.aspx?sid=1312&gid=1&pgid=349&cid=945

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Mary Ann (Byler) Ciochon, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Thursday, January 4, 2024

3:30 - 4:30 pm (Central time)

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Memorial Service

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Starts at 4:30 pm (Central time)

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Gathering of Family and Friends

Thursday, January 4, 2024

Starts at 7:00 pm (Central time)

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