Ann Marie (Kane) Religa, 53, surrendered to her five?-year battle with cancer on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015, at Harry Hynes Memorial Hospice, Wichita.
She was born on June 30, 1962, in Paola, to William and Catherine Kane. Ann and her three sisters took an active role in the family dairy farm. She graduated from Paola High School in May 1981. Upon graduation from high school, she attended Allen County Community College, Iola, on a track and cross country scholarship. She earned an associate of arts degree. Ann?s love for agriculture led her to a bachelor of science degree majoring in agricultural education from Kansas State University in 1985.
Ann?s first job after graduation was teaching agriculture at Mulvane High School. As a youth, Ann and her family were active in Miami County 4-H. That lead to her becoming a 4-H Youth Development Extension Agent in Rice County in 1986. Shortly thereafter, she was united in marriage to Mark Religa on April 9, 1988, at the Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Paola. Together, they moved to Harvey County, where Ann was a devoted 4-H Youth Development Extension agent until her last days. Ann has been the recipient of numerous awards which include 1994 4-H Achievement in Service Award for National Extension 4-H Agents, 2001 4-H Distinguished Service Award-Kansas Association of 4-H Agents, 2001 4-H Distinguished Service Award-National Association Extension 4-H Agents, Volunteer of the Year for Newton Recreation Center, 2011 25-year recognition as an Extension agent and 2013 Meritorious Service Award National Association Extension 4-H Agents.
With her unique brand of ?Ann,? she touched the lives of thousands of 4-H youth, families, volunteers and colleagues in Harvey County, throughout Kansas and across the nation. She had a knack for calling it like it is, finding thrifty treasures and fearlessly tackling the biggest of tasks. Ann lived life boldly and loved without bounds, demonstrated by the many unique handmade gifts she gave to her family and friends.
Ann is survived by her husband Mark Religa of Newton? her mother Catherine Kane of Lyndon? sisters Mary Kane of Manhattan, Helen (Delbert) Ramsey of Lyndon and Alice (Flint) Toews of Canton? and many nieces and nephews.
Ann was preceded in death by her father, William Kane. V
Visitation will be from 3-9 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, at Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Newton, with Holy Rosary at 7 p.m. Family will be present following the Rosary.
Funeral services will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 10, at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Newton, and burial services will be at 4:30 p.m. at Holy Cross Cemetery in Paola.
Memorials are suggested to Kansas 4-H Foundation-Rock Springs Ranch, Harvey County 4-H Development Fund and Kansas FFA.