Mary Magdalene Steinlage

 Mary Magdalene  Steinlage

Mary M. Steinlage, 94, died on Thursday, November 23, 2017, at Nemaha Valley Hospital in Seneca, Kansas.

Born April 11, 1923, on a farm southeast of Kelly, Kansas, she was the daughter of Joseph J. and Agnes Niehues Steinlage, both immigrants from Germany.

She grew up in Kelly and attended St. Bede’s Grade School and graduated from Corning High School in 1942. After high school, Mary worked on the family farm while her brother, Aloysius, was away at the Army. In 1956, she moved with her parents from the farm into Kelly, where she cared for her parents until they passed away.

After first working for the Nemaha County Farmers Union, she moved to the Nemaha County Soil Conservation Office in 1961. Mary worked there 28 years before retiring in July of 1989. Mary always enjoyed music, her German heritage, reading, and her many involvements in work, church and different organizations. Mary was very involved in St. Bede’s Catholic Church and Catholic faith since she was young. Starting on a pump organ at age 6, Mary played the piano and other organs for 86 years. For 66 of those years, she played the organ each Sunday and on Holy Days at St. Bede’s Church, rarely missing a Sunday. She only missed one Christmas Eve service--when a blizzard struck Northeast Kansas in 1989. “I didn’t go to that one,” she said, “It wasn’t fit to be out.”

Mary was a member of St. Bede’s Catholic Church, the Nemaha-Marshall Regional Catholic Council, St. Ann’s Altar Society, and the Nemaha County Historical Society. She loved to work on the history of Kelly, Kansas, St. Bede’s Church and enjoyed giving tours of the church. Mary also worked on genealogy for Nemaha County and the Steinlage Family.

In addition to writing many booklets for the church, Mary also published “The History of KELLY” in December of 2008, of which she was very proud. Her book inspired the Traveling Kelly Display, which may be seen at the Nemaha County Historical Society in Seneca.

Surviving are many nieces, nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and great-great-nieces and nephews. She will be missed by her very large family that enjoyed her historical knowledge, her many stories that were told at family reunions, and her music, which was an important part of the Steinlage heritage.

She was preceded in death by her brothers, Eberhard Steinlage on July 29, 2000, Henry Steinlage on August 3, 1974, Lambert Steinlage on November 14, 1989, Frank Steinlage on January 28, 2003, Benedict Steinlage on November 30, 2001 and Aloysius on December 25, 2000.

The rosary will be prayed at 2 and 7 P.M. Friday, Nov. 24th, at the Lauer Funeral Home in Seneca, Kansas.

The mass of Christian burial will be at 10:00 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 25th, at St. Bede’s Catholic Church in Kelly, Kansas, with the burial in the church cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Nemaha Kansas Historical Society, St. Bede’s Building Fund, and Northeast Kansas Arts Foundation through the Step Foundation, sent in care of Lauer Funeral Home, 212 S. 4th St., Seneca, KS 66538.