Mary's life began on December 3, 1930 in Hays, KS. She was the daughter of Robert and Estella (Thouvenell) Hooker of Winona, Kansas. Mary graduated from Fort Hays State College and began her career as a teacher. She went on to teach in several schools including Wichita, Denver, Salina, Assaria, and the brand-new Southeast of Saline building. At Southeast she taught 5th grade for most of her career, including both of her children. As most teachers do, she went back to school at Emporia State Teacher's College for extra training and continued her career until retirement. Mary met Kendall Carlson through a friend's introduction, and they were wed on November 20, 1960 in Winona, KS. Mary was a member of the Assaria Lutheran Church and most recently was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Salina. As a young lady she played tennis for Fort Hays State. She was a formidable ping pong player and loved driving her Ford Thunderbird. Mary loved to play bridge and pitch and was an expert card player her entire life. She enjoyed the casinos and was one of those lucky people who frequently hit the jackpot. Mary enjoyed getting together with the retired teachers in Alpha Delta Kappa and served as their president in 1993. Cheering for the Royals and for K-State Football was also a favorite pastime. Her greatest joy was her family which includes her children Lynn (Rod) Just of Marion, and Dan (Gay) Carlson of Falun; grandchildren Evan (Brooke) Just of Wilsey, Erika (Cole) George of Uniontown, Nikki (Tim) Larson of Marquette, Caitlin Carlson of Nashua, NH and Alyssa Carlson of Wichita; great-grandchildren Rylee Larson and Brielle George. Mary passed away on Tuesday, October 27, 2020 at Salina Regional Medical Center. She is preceded in death by her parents, husband Kendall and her brother Robert A. Hooker. Her family will gather with friends on Friday October 30, 2020 at 3 p.m. at the Salemsborg Lutheran Church for her memorial service. She will be laid to rest next to Kendall at 2:30 p.m. at Falun Cemetery, in a private family service. Live streaming will be available at the following link: https://youtu.be/sU8j1qMx60A . Memorial contributions in her name may be directed to the Southeast of Saline Education Foundation, 5056 E. K-4 Hwy Gypsum, KS 67448) . Please sign her online guestbook and leave a memory of Mary at www.ymzfh.com.