One of the world’s bright lights was extinguished when Mary Helen Dale Misegadis passed away on Saturday, Sept. 16, 2023 , after a lingering and debilitating illness, at the age of 79. Mary was the devoted wife to Eldon Misegadis, loving mother to Christina and grandmother to Sarah Helen, the lights of her life.
Since 1973, Mary has lived in Great Bend with her loving husband Eldon of 54 years, which is where they raised their daughter Christina. Mary’s eyes would always light up as she talked of her beloved daughter, Christina Misegadis Campbell, and cherished granddaughter, Sarah Helen Campbell, of Beavercreek, Ohio.
Born in Belmont, Iowa, on Jan. 10, 1944, to Joseph E. and Helen (Brack) Dale, Mary grew up and attended schools in Garden City, Kan. She was the middle child of a close-knit family of seven. She was preceded in death by her parents, long-time Garden City residents, Joe and Helen Dale and is survived by her loving siblings, Jed (Gail) Dale, Don (Karen) Dale, Tom (Jane) Dale and Sarah (Harry) Dale Beyne. She was the dear aunt to her nieces and nephews Catherine, Lauren, Regan, Kara, Joe, Christopher and Helen, her sisters-in-law, Yvonne Lewis and Diane Mantz, and brother-in-law, Todd Misegadis, and her dear and lifelong friend, Tonya May. All grieve her passing but cherish the wonderful memories of family that Mary instilled in each of them, and the times spent together.
Following graduation from Garden City High School in 1962, Mary then graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree from Central State University in Edmond, Okla.; she then received her Master of Science Degree in Speech Communications from Fort Hays State University, Hays. While working full time and maintaining her own home, Mary then achieved her Ph.D. in Education from Kansas State University. Mary was the consummate education professional. Known as Dr. Misegadis, she achieved many milestones during her illustrious 45-year career. She was well known and recognized for her significant contributions to program development, conferences, seminars, student enrollment and retention initiatives, special programs for revenue generation, migrant programs and community outreach. For these many efforts, Mary was a recipient of many honors and awards none of which meant as much to her as the accomplishments of those she taught and guided, and the gratitude expressed so frequently by her students and mentees as they were able to achieve their life goals.
Mary’s career began at LaCrosse High School where she was instructor of speech and debate and the school librarian. From there, she joined Barton County Community College (BCCC), rapidly progressing through the years until she ended her tenure with them as the Dean of Student Affairs. Her many accomplishments during this time included recruitment/enrollment programs, development of a degree audit program to track academic progress and the development of the “Young People’s College”. She also worked closely with the Kansas Highway Patrol, computerizing training hours and enabling tracking.
Leaving BCCC for National American University, Mary was the Vice President of Outreach Instruction as well as marketing and development. During these years, in addition to her frequent travels to K State, Mary traveled throughout the Midwest increasing enrollment and developing programmatic materials.
Never content to be idle, after retirement Mary became the USD 428 Migrant Facilitator for the Migrant Grant Program. She and Eldon spent many a Sunday evening providing “after study Pizza” to the students working to achieve college entrance.
Recognized for innovations outside of academic settings Mary developed industry-recognized training programs for the Oil and Gas Industry and the Law Enforcement Community. These programs were sustained over multiple years.
Her many honors included Who’s Who Among American’s Teachers; recipient of the award for Innovative Programs in Region IV West, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators; awards for Outstanding Vocational Program in State of Kansas and second place in National Competition. She was a frequent presenter at international and national conferences and was the Kansas Delegate – White House Conference of Libraries and Instructional Services.
Not confining her contributions to education, Mary was a three-term board member for the Great Bend Recreation Center and a member of St. Patrick’s Catholic Church.
Mary was a wonderful person, or as her daughter Christina says “just a sweetheart, so kind to everyone.” She was generous, a woman of integrity and grace and a true leader. She was loved so much by family and her many friends. She will be greatly missed.
Memorial services will be held at 10 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 30, 2023, at Bryant Funeral Home. The family and close friends may visit www.bryantfh.net for a livestream of the service. A private family inurnment will be held at Nekoma Cemetery, Nekoma, Kan. at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her name to the Great Bend High School forensics and drama club. Please make checks payable to USD 428 Education Foundation, in care of Bryant Funeral Home, 1425 Patton Rd., Great Bend, KS 67530. Condolences may be sent and notice viewed at www.bryantfh.net
Funeral arrangements provided by
Bryant Funeral Home
1425 Patton Road
Great Bend, KS. 67530
Great Bend (Kan.) Tribune. Sept. 23, 2023