In Loving Memory

Mary Pazderka (Downs)

Mary Diane (Pazderka) Downs, 52, Lee's Summit, MO, passed away Aug. 30, 2012 at Kansas City Hospice House after a brief battle with cancer. Mary was born in Heidelberg, Germany, on April 29, 1960, the daughter of Col. Robert J. (Ret.) and Diane Pazderka. She was preceded in death by her mother, Diane. She is survived by her beloved daughter Sara, beloved son Brian and spouse Terry of Lee's Summit; her father Robert J. Pazderka of Naples, FL; Greg and Sue Pazderka of Omaha, NE; Dr. Eileen Smith and Mr. Martin Smith of Walla Walla, WA; Robert D. Pazderka of Phoenix, AZ; Randy and Carol Downs of Columbus, NE; and 5 nieces and 2 nephews. 

Mary was an active member of Our Lady of the Presentation Parish, an avid member of the Dine & Discuss Book Group, supporter of her two children and all their activities, and volunteer to the Parents Club at Archbishop O'Hara High School, where her daughter graduated and her son attends. Mary was from a traditional military family, traveling throughout the country as her father was transferred, finally settling in Lincoln, NE. Mary graduated from Lincoln Southeast High School in 1978 and attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she earned her Bachelor's degree in Art History in 1982. She worked at the Nebraska State Historical Society until she married Terry in 1987 and moved to Columbus, NE and began work for Buffalo Manufacturing. Mary and Terry moved to Lee's Summit, MO, where she began working for Marley Pump Company of Overland Park, KS, then Ascend Media (Atwood Publishing) also of Overland Park.
Mary had struggled the last six years with autoimmune nervous system disorders and was trying hard to get back in the normal swing of life when receiving her cancer diagnosis. Mary loved traveling, watching movies, reading, socializing with her good friends, and supporting her kids in all of their activities whether it was theater, tennis, football, track, or school auctions.