Margery Alice Baresel passed away at the age of 101 on June 7th, 2023, just 18 days shy of her 102nd birthday. She was a beloved member of her community and will be deeply missed by all who knew her.
Margery was born on June 25, 1921, to Walter A. and Edith M. Cordts in Wamego, Kansas. Her family was well known throughout Wamego and the Midwest due to the Cordts Sisters' circus act. Margery and her sisters traveled with Wiziarde's Novelty Circus and would wow audiences from far and wide with their intricate acrobatic twists, flips, and the "swinging iron rings." They made newspaper headlines and ultimately into the Kansas Hall of Fame. Margery attended Wamego High School, where she played softball and basketball with her sisters and friends. Her basketball team, The Lionettes, made it to the National AAU Basketball Tournament in 1938, placing 8th among numerous matchups against the "big-city" teams. In 2003 the team was inducted into the Wamego Sports Hall of Fame!
After graduating high school, she spent a brief time in nurse training before the US was forced into WWII. Margery enlisted in the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps, also known as WAACs. She started her time in the service stationed in Des Moines, Iowa, where she joined Platoon 6. She was then deployed to New York City, where she plotted enemy ships and planes in the Atlantic. While stationed in NYC, Margery used her talents in her spare time to perform with the Follies and USO to entertain the troops with a variety of songs and dances. Margery was then relocated to Fort Polk, Louisana, to train soldiers to operate the ‘spotter system’.
After her military service ended, Margery moved to Santa Monica, California, where she briefly worked at McDonald Aircraft before settling down. Margery married Navy seaman and native Kansan Gilbert Baresel, in Junction City, Kansas, on February 4, 1945. They settled back home in Wamego, where they were blessed with the first two of their four children. Margery and Gilbert moved to Kansas City to raise their family and make the Northland their home. Many remember her 30+ years working at Antioch Middle School in the cafeteria. Former students still speak fondly of her generosity and the extra helpings she'd serve.
Margery enjoyed cooking, quilting, and the outdoors in her free time. In her youth, she loved to swim and roller-skate. She always found joy in being active and spending time with those who mattered most. She took great pride in being involved in her children's lives, including school and countless sports teams. She was a Cub Scout den leader, actively involved in the Boy Scouts, and was a room mother at Norclay Elementary.
Margery is preceded in death by her parents, Walter A. and Edith M. Cordts, step-parents Charles Bietry and Ruth Strait; husband, Gilbert Baresel; siblings, Annabel Dorhman, June Meyer, Kathleen O'Neil, Jeanie Cordts, Mary Ann Muller, Walter H. Cordts; and daughter-in-law, Cheryl Baresel.
She will be fondly remembered and greatly missed by her children, Diane (Ron) Axon, Daniel Baresel, Duane Baresel, Donald (Susan) Baresel; grandchildren, Grant (Melissa) Axon, Nichole Axon-Vaughn, Alison (Aaron) Stock, Derrick (Kayla) Baresel, Cole (Melanie) Baresel, Cassandra (Joshua) Turner; great-grandchildren, Ashley, Kaelin, Nathaniel, Taryn, Hunter, Madison, Adian, Savannah, Annalise, William, Kinsley, Teddy, James, Aria, and Emberlyn; great-great-grandchildren, Pandora, Lakota, Cecil, Cassian, Skyla, Svanna; and, numerous extended family and friends.
Services will take place on June 17th, 2023 beginning with a visitation at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Kansas City at 10:00 am, followed by a funeral service at 11:00 am. A graveside service will be held at Terrace Park Funeral Home & Cemetery.