Gardening 04


Anita M. Gish

July 6, 1927 ~ June 6, 2019 (age 91)

Anita Marie Swanson Gish

Anita M. Gish, 91, of Overland Park, KS, died on June 6, 2019 of natural causes. She was born in Rockford, Illinois on July 6, 1927 along with her twin sister, Annette Swanson Johns, to Ray Arthur Swanson and Lydia Elizabeth Bersell Swanson, both deceased.

Anita grew up in Grand Rapids, MI and graduated as registered nurse from Wesley Memorial Hospital School of Nursing (now part of Northwestern University School of Nursing) in Chicago, IL.  She met and married Gareth Benway Gish in October 27,1951 in Chicago, IL. They moved to Kansas City in 1956 after Gary accepted a job with Puritan Bennett Corporation.

While she was raising their five children along with Gary, she took painting lessons, and became an artist and exhibited at art shows in the metro area. Her artwork went on to be displayed in art galleries around the USA. After taking years of lessons, Anita became a fine arts teacher and gave lessons through Johnson County Community College and also gave private lessons. While guiding her children's lives and pursuing the arts, in 1973 she became relicensed as an RN through a program at St Luke’s Hospital.  She revived her nursing through a long and respected career as an ER nurse at Shawnee Mission Medical Center. 

Anita loved to laugh, and enjoyed listening to music, watching various television shows and live performances, playing with her cat, gardening and reading along with her painting and teaching. She also enjoyed spending time with her friends and family.

Anita is survived by her twin sister, Annette Swanson Johns, 5 children: Geoffrey A. Gish (Orlando, FL), Robert G. Gish, MD (La Jolla, CA), Kristine Gish-Herron, MD (Overland Park, KS; husband Donald Herron), Deidre Gish-Panjada (Overland park; husband Joe Panjada); and Madeleine M. Gish (Mill Valley, CA; husband Sean Cain) and 11 grandchildren: Ryan Gish, Erin Gish-Mears, Katy Gish, Chantal Gish, Christophe Gish, Christopher Herron, Cullen Herron, Maris Panjada, Hannah Panjada, Ronan Cain and Maeve Cain. Anita is preceded in death by her husband Gary (1998), and sisters Marjorie Swanson Miller, Vivian Swanson Scott and Jeanne Swanson Watkins.


Cremation services will be provided by Johnson County Funeral Chapel. Memorial services will be held at Knox Presbyterian Church on Saturday, July 27 as follows: Visitation: 10 am; Celebration of Life: 11 am; Reception: following the Celebration of Life.  


In lieu of flowers, her children request Anita’s memory to be preserved through donations to the nursing scholarship fund at Northwestern Memorial Foundation.

Donations may be mailed to the address below or made online using this secure donation website:

Northwestern Memorial Foundation

c/o Leslie Post-Weissinger
541 North Fairbanks, 8th Floor

Chicago, IL 60611



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