Let the family know you care by sharing this tribute.
[Today we mourn the passing of Mary Lant, who died on March 28th at the Seventh-Day Adventist Hospital on 75th Street in Overland Park, KS due to an unforeseen medical tragedy. The author of this obituary wishes to thank the staff (the nurses especially) of Advent Health for their exemplary and repeated demonstrations of care, love, compassion, and professionalism in Nanny’s last days. Many of you did things that you did not have to. People stuck their heads in the door of room 780 to check on things who were not even assigned to Nanny’s floor. The love and nurture in the room was palpable; I know that we could feel it. Nanny could feel it, too, and we are all very joyful to know that these same wonderful women will continue taking care of the sick at this hospital.
Mary, Mary, Mary. The dirty little secret is that she was almost called Charmaine. The daughter of a barber from the west side of Cleveland, OH, Nanny was a cantankerous and delightful little vinegarblooded Sicilian, whose hands made these cutesy little mimeish movements whenever she told a story.
Nanny’s chief loves in life were her barrel-chested, hard-working husband, Charles Lant—an old timer at Lipton Tea who had a heart in his chest as big as a baby piano—the family, cooking, sewing, and the TV set. At night, Nanny even dreamed of cooking food in her kitchen. To her, food was serious business. The big dinners that she fixed are the stuff of fables, and if you question the right person about what she was capable of at the height of her powers in ‘the old days’, they’ll start talking like ex-addicts do when you ask them what was so great about the drugs they quit. In addition to the deft sorcery that she conducted in the kitchen, Nanny was also a first-generation Nintendo junkie, who was once so bitter about the fact that she’d just killed Mario that she kicked a coffee table and accidentally broke a toe, as well as being a big fan of the great St. Jude, gameshows, word puzzles, and pulpy police dramas. Unprompted, she’d run down a list of petty little things that she hated with you (she kept a list of them logged in her head), and she always seemed to somehow maintain a reputation both for her cheapness and for her generous tendency to ‘un-stick’ people from jams.
There is a near inexhaustible supply of stories to tell about Nanny, but to tell them all in their honesty and fullness which is the duty of any writer who is worth his salt would require miles of words and years of interrogation. The ones who need to know them already do, and they will remember them. It’s only fitting to conclude a thing such as this with a demonstration of influence. Nanny and Papa left many wonderful people behind on Earth who will continue to bless it with their presence well into the far future. Here is a show of the numbers:
One daughter; three grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; and thirteen great-great grandchildren—which makes for twenty-five individuals residing in seven houses scattered across three states. In a year, this number will probably be an inaccurate figure.
Nanny and Papa directly helped to raise many of the people listed, as well as some who are not listed but are yet equally grateful. With Nanny’s passing making her the last of the duo to part with us roughly three quarters of a century after whatever fateful day it was that they packed their suitcases and left Cleveland behind with their daughter for a restaurant owned by an industrious relative deep in the American Heartland, it marks, for the family, the end of a golden era, and the beginning of a new one of uncertainty which holds within it many mysteries. Something tells me that it’s all going to be okay.]