KANSAS CITY – Wanda Geraldine“Jerry” Elliott, age 98, passed away on January 22, 2022 at Overland Park Regional Medical. She was born in rural Deepwater, Missouri on July 20, 1924 to Robert John and Iva May (Dodson) Kalberloh. Jerry spent her youth growing up on a farm north of Lowry City, Missouri. While there, she attended Valley Center Grade School, Lowry City High School and was a member of German Valley Church.
Jerry left home as a young woman to live in Colorado Springs, Colorado and Hays, Kansas. But, home and family was never far from her heart and she returned to Lowry City where she met the love of her life, Ohmer “Kenneth” Elliott, in Clinton, Missouri. A World War II veteran, he had just returned from serving in the Asiatic Theater in the Pacific. They were wed Oct. 3, 1947 in Kansas City.
Because of her husband’s service to the country, Jerry would work tirelessly supporting veterans’ causes. She held numerous positions in the American Legion Auxiliary, including Treasurer and Sergeant of Arms as a Fifth District member—often traveling and participating in state conventions. Jerry also volunteered her time for Forty and Eight. She was a 64-year member of the American Legion Auxiliary and was affiliated with Unit 21.
Because of her husband’s decorated military career and the fact that he had been wounded during the war, Jerry would also give time and support to the DAV. The pair would travel extensively alongside the men Kenneth once served with in WWII. It was also quite common to find Jerry handing out the signature red poppies that help to assist veterans from war.
Jerry was employed as an order puller for Sears and Roebuck. Then, Jerry and Kenneth, along with the help of a business partner, launched Kenwood Kitchens on Wornall. The pair made the perfect team—Kenneth with his superior carpenter and cabinetmaking skills and Jerry with her excellent organizational, accounting, and clerical skills. Kenwood Kitchens became a prominent business in the Kansas City area during the 1970’s and early 80’s.
The couple was blessed with a son on July 14, 1970. John Kevin Elliott, named for his grandfather, brought Jerry one of her greatest joys in life to become a mother. She immersed herself in his educational, sporting and school activities. To her, the role of mother was her most important. She became a member of Blue Ridge United Methodist Church, alongside her husband and son.
Her broad smile, loyalty to her family and laughter will be sorely missed by her family. She leaves behind a son, John Kevin Elliott, of the home. She is also survived by her sister, Norma Lee Davis, of Raytown, Missouri; a sister-in-law, Evelyn Mahan, of Clinton, Missouri; a nephew, Robert (Teresa) Garrison of Little Rock, Arkansas; a niece, Diana Davis Wright, of Jonesboro, Arkansas, and several cousins, great nephews and great nieces.
Visitation will be from 1-2 p.m. on Monday, January 31 at Speaks Suburban Chapel, 18020 East 39th Street South, Independence, Missouri. The funeral service will follow at 2 p.m. Burial will at Oak Ridge Memory Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family requests you donate to the Veterans organization of your choice or the Wounded Warrior Project (support. woundedwarriorproject.org)