• Last modified 772 days ago (July 8, 2020)



“In Memoriam” listings are expanded paid obituaries, phrased as the family requests, and may include enhanced information or photographs that might not fit within free death notices.

Mary Alice Parmley

Mary Alice Rees Parmley joined the Lord on June 14, 2020, in Dallas, Texas.

An online celebration of her life is planned for 10:30 a.m. July 25 at

Mary Alice and her identical twin, Anna Belle, were born Jan. 21, 1926, in Marion, as daughters of Annabel Allen Rees and Perceval Norris Rees. She and Anna Belle grew up known as the “Rees Twins,” who could dance, sing, play music, and recite.

She played several instruments (piano, piccolo, and violin). She played piccolo in Marion High School’s band.

She and Anna Belle grew up among kind and thoughtful family and friends. Living in a small town always was a joy to them. As adults, they enjoyed remembrances of their hometown and came home often to visit their loving sister, Leta Rees.

Mary Alice graduated from Marion High School in 1943, earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Emporia State College in 1947, and a master’s in education from Washburn University in 1969. Mary Alice taught elementary school for 45 years in Kansas. She was awarded “Teacher of the Year” in 1988 by the Topeka Public Schools for her devotion and dedication to students in Topeka and her commitment to quality teaching.

Mary Alice always said, “There was never a doubt what I wanted to do with my life.”

Her love to teach is known to many, and her caring teaching style is revered by everyone who knew her, especially by student teachers and students she taught over the years. She inspired love, joy, and hope, and she led by example.

She married her darling, Roland Clayton Parmley, on June 19, 1949, in Marion.

Mary Alice enjoyed writing while her twin was an artist. After her retirement, Mary Alice became a published poet and children’s book author. She focused her writing on nature’s beauty and Christian promises realized from doing God’s work. Enjoy Mrs. Parmley Books at

She enjoyed being a storyteller and a reading specialist. She served on many state and local education committees, volunteered to conserve the beauty and integrity of Kansas’ Flint Hills, was a United Methodist Women member, and gave community talks about the importance of nature in one’s life.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Roland Clayton Parmley, in 2004, and by five siblings: Fred, Dick, and Leta Rees; Robert, an infant; and Anna Belle Rees Baker, her beloved twin.

She is survived by her loving daughter and devoted son-in-law, Mary Ann and David Siller of Dallas, Texas. They were bright lights in her life. The three, together with Roland, held a special bond that was everlasting.

Mary Alice believed every child was a unique individual worthy of her respect and love.

Memorial contributions may be given to Crestview United Methodist Church, 2245 S.W. Eveningside Dr, Topeka KS 66614, or to Lovers Lane United Methodist Church, 9200 Inwood Road, Dallas TX 75220 for their children’s programs.

Interment of her ashes will be in Marion, Kansas. Mary Ann and David may be reached at or (214) 448-6068.

Last modified July 8, 2020