Alma Margaret “Margi” Landes, 87, passed away on September 21, 2020, at The Kansas City Hospice House. Alma was born on February 17, 1933, in Independence, MO to Raymond and Edith Kilp. She grew up in Marshall, MO where she graduated high school. She continued her education attending Missouri Valley College where she graduated Magna Cum Laude receiving a Bachelor’s in Science degree in Medical Technology.
In the late 1950’s, Alma moved to the Kansas City area to work as a phlebotomist. Her next job was at Midwest Research Institute (MRI) where she worked on a variety of clinical studies notably including development of the coatings for M&Ms and Topsy’s Caramel Popcorn. In 1977, she began her final career stint as a toxicologist for Bayer working at their research facility in Stilwell, Kansas. During that same period, she worked nights at Prime Health serving as a medical technician. Alma retired from Bayer in 2000 after a successful 23-year career. After retirement, she maintained close relationships with her friends from the Bayer lab. Over the last 20 years, the close-knit group never missed an opportunity to celebrate together for lunch, potluck or just fun.
Alma was married in April of 1961 and gave birth to her only son Randall (Randy) in December of the same year. The family lived in the south Kansas City area moving three times ultimately ending at Alma’s final home in Leawood, Kansas. Alma designed her home in Leawood, and over the years she spent countless hours decorating, wallpapering, painting and caring for it.
Her immaculate garden hosted a variety of flowers, plants, fruit trees and bushes. Her home was always a source of comfort, welcoming many friends and family. Especially during the holidays, she loved gathering around her dining room table, which was always prepared for a feast. A master chef, she studied at the Kansas City Culinary Institute with some of the greatest local chefs and was famous within the family for her Parker House rolls. Her cooking skills were also well-received by her co-workers and friends, for whom she would bake made-from-scratch birthday cakes of their choosing.
Proud of her country roots, Alma had a natural grace and style to her, always polished and well- dressed a life-long learner, avid reader and crossword “puzzler.” It seemed as if there was nothing she could not accomplish in life, but her greatest achievement was being a wonderful mother and friend to her beloved son, Randy. They shared many laughs, gourmet meals and quality time. As season ticket holders for the Royals, they attended many games “rain or shine.” Her love of sports also included watching the Chiefs and Notre Dame football and MU football and basketball. It was truly great that she was able to enjoy her final years with her good friends “Salvy” and “Patrick” and experience two Superbowl and World Series titles during her lifetime. She also relished the opportunity to zing her KU “friends” when the opportunity presented itself.
In Alma’s later years, she came to rely on the love and assistance of three angels. First among them was her beloved daughter-in-law Debra. The two of them were like two “peas in a pod” sharing many adventures including long lunches at Jaspers, trips to the doctor and shopping stints at Walmart, Costco and CVS. Alma so appreciated Debra’s patience and love and together they enriched other’s lives. Second, was her best buddy from Bayer – Beth Longmoor. Despite their age difference, their friendship was a close one and Beth held a special place in her heart. Finally, Kathy Williams (who Alma first met while taking one of her epic walks) who supported her in many ways including their shared faith.
Her Greatest Joy
The greatest joy of Alma’s life was the time she spent with her only grandson, Austin. The two of them often made mischief together whether building LEGO masterpieces, cooking “crazy” psychedelic cookies or making “special” (may include hot sauce) doughnuts for Dad. A birthday, holiday or any day was an opportunity for lunch out with the family – Randy, Debra and Austin. Icing on top of the cake was the addition of Carolanne and great grandson James to the mix. Although their two-year time together was brief, she relished her opportunities to see (and hold) James, trade his cute pics with her friends and brag off as “GGMa.”
Upon reaching adulthood, Alma and her six siblings left Marshall, Missouri and scattered across the United States to the north (Wisconsin), south (Arkansas), east (Pennsylvania) and west (Nevada) with three remaining in the Kansas City metropolitan area. Alma deeply loved her siblings and enjoyed hosting and interacting with them in-person and on-line. Some of her happiest moments included regular outings and church with brother James and his wife Mary Joe, breakfasts with brother Robert and his wife Judy, frequent visits from the Bella Vista Express with late sister Rosalie and her husband Walter, the annual pumpkin run with sister Marilyn and her husband Milton, cross-country treks from the west with brother George and his wife Debbie and family gatherings with late brother Gerald and his wife Cheryl. Alma also spent quality time and was an “influencer” with her numerous nephews and nieces…their kids…and their kid’s kids.
Alma is preceded in death by her parents; brother, Gerald Kilp; and sister, Rosalie Pendery. She will be greatly missed by her son, Randall (Debra) Landes; grandson, Austin (Carolanne); great grandson, James; brothers, James, Robert, and George Kilp; sister, Marilyn Holl.
A graveside service will be held for Alma on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020, at 2:00 p.m. at Terrace Park Funeral Home and Cemetery, 801 NW 108th Street, Kansas City, Missouri 64155. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the KC Hospice House (kchospice.org/donation).