Marilyn E. (Bullock) Cannaday


Marilyn E. (Bullock) Cannaday, age 90, Overland Park, KS, died Monday, November 14, 2022.

Born May 28, 1932, in LaPlata, MO, she was the daughter of Ernest and Mary (Newton) Crawford. She married Jim Bullock in 1950 and to this marriage five children were born: Linda, Kathy, Sally, Janna and Mark. She was preceded in death by two daughters, Kathy Bullock (age 5 months) and Sally Price (age 35), her parents, four brothers—Jean, Gerald, Bob and Noel Crawford, and one sister Marjorie Eitel. She is survived by two daughters, Linda Newton and Janna Bullock, and their spouses Alexis Petri and David Barrickman; a son, Mark Bullock, and grandchildren: Chris Campbell and wife Karen, Carmen Price, Loren Price and wife Shera, Jacob McConnell and wife Rina, Louis McConnell, Jessie Trudeau and husband Ross. She is also survived by great grandchildren Kylee McConnell and Sasha Price.

Marilyn grew up in the LaPlata, Missouri area, attended rural schools, and graduated from LaPlata High School in 1950. After her youngest child (Mark) started kindergarten, she attended college at Northeast Missouri State Teachers College (Now Truman State University) in Kirksville, MO. Despite being a non-traditional student, she excelled in college, producing several pieces of award-winning journalism as a student writer, and graduated with honors in 1969 with a B.S. in Education Degree. Immediately after graduation, she began teaching English and journalism at Kirksville Senior High School.

Marilyn returned to college and earned an M.A. degree while rounding out a teaching career of eight years. She shared her passion for education with her children and in the ensuing years, all four worked their way through college.

In addition to teaching, her work history included writing, editing and administrative positions. While living in Wichita, Kansas in the 1970’s, she researched and wrote feature articles for The Wichitan magazine, eventually becoming the Assistant Editor, and sometimes cover model.

Marilyn was employed at the University of Missouri – Kansas City for over ten years, working in the offices of the Chancellor, President Emeritus, and the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs.

While employed at UMKC, she wrote a biography of Lester Dent, Bigger Than Life: The Creator of Doc Savage, published by Bowling Green State University Popular Press. Marilyn had been acquainted with the Dent family, and conducted extensive research and interviews to create the first definitive biography of the father of the super-hero genre.

She retired from UMKC in 1992, and continued her writing and editing by starting her own publishing company, Rock Creek Press. She published a friend’s first novel and an award-winning children’s book by another author, as well as her own second book– Order Out of Chaos: How to Organize Your Life and Housework. A firm believer in organization, she wrote this book to share her philosophy as well as practical advice for getting things done.

The desire to share her love of writing and story-telling led her to begin teaching classes at Johnson County Community College to help older adults write their life stories. She spent many hours coaching and encouraging younger writers as well. The success of these efforts was represented by a shelf of autographed books by her many students who were inspired to tell their own stories. Besides free-lance writing, she self-published numerous books of family stories and essays, the last being a thick book of family history and photos, dedicated to her grandchildren.

Marilyn loved words and books, storytelling and cracking jokes. She was a master scrabble player, and crossword solver. She loved a good conversation, and “solving the world’s problems” over a beer at happy hour. She believed in science, women’s rights, and education. She loved wrens, giraffes, her cat Suki, and most of all her family. She gave a little bit of her magic to everyone she met.


A private memorial service for immediate family will be held after the holidays.

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to the Marilyn Cannaday Memorial Scholarship at Truman State University. Donations can be sent to Truman State University Foundation, 100 E. Normal Ave., Kirksville, MO 63501, or



  1. Aimee (Sagaser) Felter on December 7, 2022 at 10:06 am

    Marilyn was my great aunt, and she used to write my grandma Bob letters every week. He would always read them to us when we’d visit him and my grandma every Saturday, and we loved hearing them! She was an incredible lady and will be missed by the many lives she touched. ❤️

  2. Cheryl Love Lock on December 5, 2022 at 8:49 am

    Marilyn was an amazing lady. My deepest sympathy to Linda, Janna and Mark. May cherished memories bring comfort to all of Marilyn’s loved ones.

  3. Becky L'Ecuyer on December 2, 2022 at 9:06 pm

    I remember her positive presence when I was in high school.

  4. Debra Athon Mckim on November 30, 2022 at 6:37 pm

    I had writing classes with Marilyn at Kirksville High school in Mo. A wonderful teacher

  5. Nancy Walker on November 26, 2022 at 4:55 pm

    Marilyn was my dear, sweet friend.

Leave a Comment

Obituaries & Condolences

Lora Kay Wamethi (Suddock)

Tracy Scott Nichols

Edward A. DeWitte

Richard Lee Bennett

Jill Elaine Jordan

Helen Oneita (Moss) Mansell

Pamela June Wills

Shirley Faye McFarland

Deborah J. Puhr

Clifford William Doherty, Jr.

Vicki Bruner Louvier

Patricia Ann Kuehn