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Parsons Presbyterian Manor Remembers the Life and Legacy of Mary Hughes

“We both loved the city so much,” said Donna Seeley, friend and ‘partner in many things’ to Mary Hughes, who passed away earlier this year. “We wanted everyone to see Parsons through our eyes.”

Hughes’ legacy in Parsons can hardly be overstated. Whether it was starting Katy Days Festival or founding Operation Bright Touch with Seeley, Hughes was a giant in the region.

“These gals were really forces!” said Donna’s daughter, Jana.

Hughes, a University of Kansas graduate taught seventh and eighth grade English when she first arrived in Parsons, but life had much in store beyond the classroom. Five years in public education and many more in Christian education aside, her passion for people never stopped when the school bell rang.

Her daughter, Megan, said her mom “didn’t do business” but was an entrepreneur of ideas.

She was also responsible for founding the Humane Society, was beloved by local children of all ages, and continues to be remembered fondly by everyone whose path she crossed.

“She was always coming up with ideas to promote the town,” Seeley recalled. “Like I said, she wanted everyone to see Parsons the way we saw it.”

And see it they have. Through Katy Days, Operation Bright Touch and more, Mary Hughes left an impact and a legacy that won’t soon fade. Like her personality, it will remain implanted on the region and the people who knew her. That’s a legacy worth celebrating, indeed!

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