Mary Margaret “Megan” Gladbach
April 29, 1994 - May 29, 2022
If you have met Megan, you knew Megan. It is as simple as that. She was real. No artifice or deceit. She did not do things because it was cool or because others were doing it. She did things because it was the right thing to do, for others, for the animals, for the planet. She was acceptance, grace, and love. She was music and light. She was a message of hope and peace in a world that so desperately needs both.
Early in life, Megan was very shy. Perhaps even a bit fearful. In preschool, she would hide under the table during circle time. In grade school, if you called out her name on the soccer field, she would stop in her tracks. She hated attention and avoided it at almost every turn. Then she found her guitar. She started lessons in fourth grade and by freshman year of high school, her instructor basically said he had no more to teach her. In middle school, Liz and Megan started playing and singing together. Their first show was at an art exhibit on First Fridays where her art teacher was showing her work…and her last show, well, she is probably rocking in heaven.
Music was a part of Megan’s soul. She played with her best friends through high school in barns, at friend’s homes, and at bars where she was too young to drink. Later, when she moved out of town, she always looked for people to jam with and made so many deep and lasting friendships because of her passion for music.
Megan’s other passion was the environment. She was a messenger to all of us about the importance of preserving nature, caring for the animals, caring for mother earth. At Johnson County Community College, she was very active in her work with the Sustainability Club and in researching permaculture as a way to preserve our planet. She put in an edible forest on the grounds of JCCC as a contribution to the school. She presented papers in Portland, Oregon and St. Petersburg, Russia on these topics and pursued them passionately throughout college and her career.
She continued her education at Prescott College in Arizona, where she found so many souls like her own. She was able to live with a family in Mexico while working at the Kino Bay Center for Environmental Studies, attended an international conference on sustainability in Germany, and she was able to work with the EPA in Denver.
Megan fought for the rights of all people - no matter what. All people. Everywhere. Her friends came from all walks of life, all types of backgrounds, ages, orientations, beliefs. She was universally accepting and loving. One of Megan’s most influential experiences came from traveling to the land of the Massai in Africa to do her part to preserve their culture and language.
Megan was always looking ahead to the world that she thought was possible and worked tirelessly to make changes in whatever corner of it she was in.
For her family, she helped us become stewards of the environment, nature lovers, and partial vegetarians. And dog lovers. We can’t leave out the dogs. Megan was her brother’s best friend and confidant, her dad’s little rocker girl and her mom’s center and peace. Her large and extended family, friends and co-workers will miss her smile and peaceful presence in their lives.
Megan’s Celebration of Life will take place on Thursday evening, June 2nd, at 6:00 pm at the TimberRidge Adventure Center in Olathe, Kansas, at the Whispering Pine Shelter. Her burial will be Friday, June 3, 2022, at 11:00 am at the Heart Land Prairie Cemetery, 2474 Arrowhead Rd, New Cambria, Kansas 67470.
In lieu of temporary flowers, Megan would rather have you make a permanent change to our planet by planting a new tree in your yard (a persimmon tree would be fabulous – listen to her song: Persimmon). If you would like to contribute to https://gofund.me/5922e696 that would be great as well. This fund will help with her partner Joseph's medical care and union dues to keep his insurance and disability running. You could learn more about Megan’s work at The Land Institute, a non profit organization that researches ways to change farming techniques to more sustainable methods. Another option would be the Giving Grove | Little Orchards Big Impact Project. You can learn more at https://www.givinggrove.org/.