The Heroines

Mary Albright

is honored with a Large Paver from Mr. and Mrs. Jim Albright, Dr. and Mrs. John Albright, Mr. and Mrs. E.B. Bickley, John Bickley, Mr. and Mrs. Jon Callen, R.K. Edmiston, Dr. and Mrs. Herbert M. Lindsley, Mr. and Mrs. Tom Lindsley, Mr. and Mrs. Michael Massey, Dr. and Mrs. Phil McKnight, Mr. and Mrs. Rob McKnight, Susan V. McKnight, Mr. and Mrs. Walt Rising, Barbara B. Segraves, Mr. and Mrs. Steven C. Woods, and Mr. and Mrs. Dick Yetke.

 Mary  Albright It didn't happen by design. Six families moved to the 200 block on North Terrace in Wichita, KS during the 1940s and early 1950s. What started as "new neighbors" became six women and their families who developed lifelong friendships. The sixteen children grew up in a loving, nurturing, and secure extended family. The relationship grew close enough that we had six mothers and fathers whom we affectionately called "aunt and uncle." They were always there to support each others family... during the many fun times, as well as the times of pain and sorrow. Collectively, our memories of those years are countless and vivid. We honor our six mothers as heroines who were such a significant part of our lives as children and as adults. These six heroines... Mary Albright, Jane Bickley, Kathlien Edmiston, Barbara Lindsley, Margaret McKnight, and Arline Rising... taught us, through their lives and friendship, the true meaning of caring and love.

Mary Lucas Albright was born in Arkansas City, KS, on March 3, 1902. Her parents, William and Catherine Lucas, lived on an Oklahoma farm just a couple of miles south of the state line. Mary was the seventh of eight children, four boys and four girls. She attended a rural school about a mile and a half from home for the first eight grades. She then went to high school in Arkansas City where she boarded part of the time.

After graduation from high school, she went to work for Albright Title and Trust Company in Newkirk, OK. Soon after she started there, Penrose S. (Parney) Albright was sent from the home office in Winfield, KS, to work in the Newkirk office. Their relationship blossomed into a romance, and they were married on April 27, 1924, fulfilling a high school prophecy that Mary would marry her boss. Their first son, Penrose Lucas Albright, was born February 10, 1925, before they moved from Newkirk to Winfield.

While Parney worked in the home office, his heart was really in science. When Southwestern College asked him to teach a few classes in Physics and Math, he did. As this led into full-time teaching, he decided he needed a PhD. The family spent summers, a full year, and more summers, in Madison, Wisconsin, while he pursued it at the University of Wisconsin. Their second son, James Curtice Albright, was born in Madison on September 8, 1929. Before Parney finished his PhD, their third son, John Grover Albright, was born in Winfield on June 29, 1934.

During their last summer in Madison, Mary typed the thesis. It had to be done to very exacting specifications which wasn't too easy with three kids around to bother her.

In 1943, when Parney was made acting head of the Physics Department at what is now Wichita State University, the family moved to 220 North Terrace Drive in Wichita. Mary became quite active in the University Dames, and in Plymouth Congregational Church. She, along with the rest of the family, developed close lifelong friendships with their neighbors, including the other women honored here. She continued to live at 220 North Terrace Drive after Parney's death in 1982 until health considerations in 1993 made it necessary to move and to live with her son Jim in Stillwater, OK. Mary died in 1997. She knew about this recognition and felt greatly honored to be included in the group of exceptional women being commemorated here.

Submitted by her children Penrose Albright, Jim Albright, and John Albright. (See also Jane Bickley, Kathlien Edmiston, Barbara Lindsley, Margaret McKnight, and Arline Rising.)

September 12, 1998