Margaret Catherine (Schumacher) Gladbach, 86, of Lenexa, KS, passed away peacefully in her home on Monday, May 2, 2022. Marge was born September 23, 1935, in Tulsa, OK, to Arthur & Margaret Schumacher, and was the curly-haired, red-headed sister to big brothers Bob & Joe. Her family relocated to Fort Worth, TX in 1940, where she spent her formative years and graduated high school at Our Lady of Victory where she was valedictorian of her class. She attended Mount Saint Scholastica College in Atchison, KS, where she acquired two Bachelors, one in chemistry, and one named John (“Jack”) Gladbach. She and Jack were united in marriage on July 7, 1956. The newlyweds spent the first few years of their life together in Honolulu, Hawaii, courtesy of the United States Navy. When they shipped back stateside in 1959, they brought with them their new nuclear family (one boy, one girl, one dog), and eventually settled in Overland Park, KS in a 3-bedroom ranch designed for four. Eighteen years later they left that small cottage with 9 offspring and yet another dog, and moved to Roeland Park, KS where they became active members of the St. Agnes and Bishop Miege community. Marge was elated to now be living in what she called “the shadow of the cross”, where the kids could walk to school, church, and their after-school events.
Marge was the CEO and the CFO of the Gladbach clan. Jack may have been a Navy Commander, but she was the Admiral. She ran a tight ship with a loving heart. She was selfless and devoted, always putting others before herself. Jack recalls how his Margie, though having chronic anemia, once gave a pint of blood in order to buy him a birthday present. He often said, “How could I not have had anything but a great love for this woman!”
Marge was a well-respected medical technologist, having received her training at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Kansas City, MO, and being the first graduate of the Medical Technology program there. She went on to have a career of over 30 years in the Hematology and Chemistry labs at the University of Kansas Medical Center. She considered her work colleagues her second family, and it was not unusual for her to bring a co-worker home for a holiday meal. Marge loved to travel, and each Christmas gave herself a new Rand McNally Road Atlas. Every December 26th, she began planning the next big family adventure. She loved the outdoors, camping, fishing, hiking, and exploring new places. She instilled a love of nature and adventure in all her children. A favorite family destination was the YMCA of the Rockies. “Rocky Mountain High” became Marge’s theme song. Her curiosity and adventurous spirit were not limited by her age, having learned to snow ski & scuba dive in her 50’s. Now begins the greatest adventure of all...
Marge is preceded in death by her parents and brothers, son Steve, daughter Peggy Louree, and son-in- law Steve Norkus. She is survived by Jack, her husband of 65 years, and children Joe (Chris), Kathleen Norkus, Tim (Joan), Ann (Tom) Graham, John (Joanne), Bill (Natalie), Jerry (Margarita), Son-in-law Pete Louree & Daughters-in-law Ruth Cooke & Nona Gladbach. She is also survived by 23 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Hospice and all of Marge’s dedicated care givers, especially acknowledging the tender devotion of Carla Smith over the past 3 years.
Visitation will be Friday, May 6th from 6 to 8 pm, with a rosary prayed at 6 pm, at the Amos Family Funeral Home, 10901 Johnson Drive, Shawnee, KS. A Mass of Christian Burial will be Saturday, May 7th at 10 am at St. Agnes Church, 5250 Mission Rd, Roeland Park, KS, followed by internment at Resurrection Cemetery, Lenexa, KS. Marge's funeral mass will be livestreamed by the church, you can view it by clicking here.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages contributions to these charities.
Catholic Relief Services-Ukraine
Unbound - Partnering with families living in poverty
See contact information below
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Catholic Relief Services-Ukraine
228 W. Lexington St., Baltimore MD 21201-3413
1 Elmwood Ave., Kansas City KS 66103