Phyllis Irene McNabb, 94, Emporia: Sept. 11, 1926 – Feb. 18, 2021 – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Phyllis Irene McNabb, 94, Emporia: Sept. 11, 1926 – Feb. 18, 2021

EMPORIA, Kan. – Phyllis Irene McNabb, 94, passed away Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, at Presbyterian Manor, Emporia, Kan. She was born Sept. 11, 1926, in Baltimore, Md., to Mary Lillian (Lilly) Nicholas and Stanley Kefauver.

While growing up, she helped her mother with the Kefauver Boarding Home for Children near Ellicott City, Md. Many of these children became like brothers and sisters, and her parents adopted one of these children.

During WWII she met Robert (Bob) McNabb at an USO dance, they fell in love and were married right after the war ended. She moved with Bob from her family home in Maryland to Melvern, Kan., to help work at and run the McNabb Grocery with his mother, Eva McNabb. They ran the grocery until they retired in the 1990s.

Phyllis was very involved with the Melvern Pride Committee and was so proud of the park next to the store that they built. She was also in Eastern Star for more than 60 years in Melvern and led the Job’s Daughters group. She was a lifelong member of the Melvern Methodist Church. In the 1980s, Phyllis wrote a fascinating history of Melvern and Osage County, using old photos and tales from the older residents who lived in the area.

Phyllis was preceded in death by her husband; parents; brother, Emerson Kefauver (Ruth); and sister, Lillian Wilkerson.

Phyllis is survived by a half-brother, Edward Kefauver, of Maryland; nephew, Glen Wilkerson, of Virginia; niece, Dr. Linda Clarke, Emporia; nephew, Dr. John Clarke (Lou), Wichita, Kan.; great-nieces, Jessica Clarke, Lacy Jobe, Tara Lewis (Danny), and Kristi Clarke; and three great-great-nephews and a great-great-niece, all of Wichita.

Due COVID-19, there will be a small graveside service at 11 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 24, at Melvern Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Melvern Pride Committee through Feltner Funeral Home, 818 Topeka Ave., KS 66451. Condolences can be left at

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