Mary Lou Zagar

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On February 1, 2021, the world lost a beautiful woman and heaven gained an absolute angel with the passing of Mary Lou Zagar, 82 of Kansas City, KS, from PPA.

Mary Lou was born to Fred and Marie Rutler in Kansas City, MO, but spent most of her life in the Dotte. She was a graduate of Ward High School in Kansas City, KS. Mary Lou married her high school sweetheart, Joseph Zagar. Together they had four children: Joseph, Connie, Denise & Steven. Sadly, three of the children passed away in infancy, from complications from EB. Connie grew up as the center of Mary Lou’s world, her pride and joy and they shared a very special, unbreakable bond.

Mary Lou was a hard-working, driven, independent woman. Her first employer was Manley Popcorn Company where she worked in accounting, her second job was as a dental assistant in a pediatric dental office and she then spent the last forty working years of her life at Providence Medical Center. She started in the medical records department and advanced her way to the Director of the Medical Staff where she excelled in her position working with the doctors, administrators and staff. She was knowledgeable, approachable, had the ability to juggle multiple projects and was able to effectively deal with complex issues. She was a valued and respected member of the hospital.

Over the years she belonged to multiple organizations: The National Organization for Medical Staff Coordinators, March of Dimes, Kansas City Kansas Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the Pilot Club. She was a devout member of Christ The King Parish, Kansas City, Kansas, where she was also served as a member of the Little Flower Circle. She volunteered weekly at her church and monthly at the local soup kitchen.

She was a great cook and a gracious hostess, especially on New Year’s Day when she prepared and served Sarma, a favorite Croatian dish, for the gathering of extended family at her home.

Mary Lou genuinely loved people, good times, dancing, online solitaire, travel and margaritas. She especially loved going to the casinos with her friends, where she would often come home a winner. She always looked nice, wore a smile and had
the warm ability to always make you feel welcome. Family and friends will deeply miss her smile, her hugs and her sparkling eyes.

Mary Lou was preceded in death by her parents (Fred & Marie Rutler), a sister (Barbara), three infant children (Joseph, Denise & Steven), and an infant grandson (Brandon).

She is survived by her daughter, Connie Parker of Paola; granddaughters Amanda Marcel of Paola and Kristin Marcel of Olathe; brothers Fred Rutler (Phyllis) of Kansas City and Ron Rutler (Heather) of Olathe; several nieces and nephews and a special family friend, Linda Lott of Olathe.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the family is postponing a Celebration of Life honoring Mary Lou for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Mary Lou can be sent to War Horses for Veterans at PO Box 363, Stillwell, KS 66085 or online at