Cover photo for Marcella G. Willoughby's Obituary
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Marcella G. Willoughby

July 27, 1924 — March 14, 2024

Lawrence, Kansas

Marcella G. Willoughby

Marcella Germaine Willoughby, 99, passed away Thursday, March 14, 2024, at her home at Alto Assisted Living, Overland Park, KS.

She was born July 27, 1924, in Carthage, MO, to her parents Etta and Roy Lawrence, and joined her brother, James Lawrence, Houston, TX, and sister, Reita (Lawrence) Passmore, Baton Rouge, LA, all who preceded her.

She married Franklin Thomas Willoughby July 3, 1946, following his World War II deployment aboard the U.S.S. Porter in the Pacific Theater. While awaiting his return Marcella attended secretarial school, then traveled with her best friend, Margarete (Vail) Meares, throughout California working as soda jerks at a drug store there. Afterward, she worked as a parachute inspector in the war effort, ensuring each she inspected was flawless. After the war Marcella and Frank returned to Southwest Missouri and started their family, moving from Joplin to St. Louis to Joplin again in Missouri and to Prairie Village, KS in the early 1950s. Frank died Nov. 12, 1986. Marcella was a supervisor for 24 years at the Johnson County Appraiser’s office until she retired in 1993.

Marcella loved to sew, dance – including tap-dance - and read throughout her life. She was a member of the Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church, Overland Park.

In 1988 Marcella met Paul Kleinsorge at a dance in Olathe, KS. They remained loving companions for nearly 27 years until he died Jan. 6, 2015. They traveled extensively during their time together and she fully embraced Paul’s family, enjoying a host of activities with them throughout the years well after Paul’s passing.

Marcella’s gentleness and caring extended well beyond her family, embracing new friends wherever she found herself. No matter her situation, she could always find joy. Marcella exercised to maintain good health throughout nearly a century, a reflection of her spiritual strength and resilience as well.  She was an avid fan of the K.U. men’s basketball team, the Kansas City Royals and the Kansas City Chiefs.    

Marcella is survived by her three children, Dr. Vicki Porter, and husband Steve, Cleveland, MO.; Susan Conaghan, and husband Jack, Olathe, KS.; and Mark Willoughby, and wife, Barbara, Lawrence, KS.; grandchildren Annie Wedman, and husband Mike, Lawrence, KS.; Katie Seymour, and husband Brian, Westwood Hills, KS.; Tom Willoughby, and wife Jessica, Roeland Park, KS.; Sam Willoughby, Clinton, CT; and Dr. Thomas Porter, Columbia, MO. Great-grandchildren Janie and Abby Wedman; and Ben, Hannah and Leah Seymour.

Visitation will be from 9:30 to 10 a.m. and the funeral will be at 10 a.m. Friday, March 22, at Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church, 9300 Nall, Overland Park, KS. Gravesite service at 11 a.m. at Johnson County Memorial Gardens, 11200 Metcalf Ave., Overland Park, KS. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to hospice, 9233 Ward Parkway, Suite 275, Kansas City, MO 64114.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marcella G. Willoughby, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Friday, March 22, 2024

9:30 - 10:00 am (Central time)

Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church

9300 Nall Ave, Overland Park, KS 66207

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 22, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

Rolling Hills Presbyterian Church

9300 Nall Ave, Overland Park, KS 66207

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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