Mary Jo Monahan Biersmith

Mary Jo Monahan Biersmith, 72, of Overland Park, Kansas, passed away September 19, 2011 at her home. Visitation will be 9-11 a.m. followed by funeral Mass at 11 a.m., Saturday September 24, at St. Peter’s Catholic Church, 6415 Holmes, Kansas City, Missouri. 

Mary Jo was born on December 18, 1938 in Kansas City, Missouri to Hugh and Elizabeth Monahan. She graduated from Lillis High School and continued her education at Mount St. Scholastica. She went on to get her Master’s degree in special education at UMKC. She taught at St. Peter’s and in the Independence School District for over 25 years. Mary Jo was an avid traveler, even though she had no sense of direction, a gifted athlete and competitive tennis player who often beat players half her age and a wonderful cook who made the best meatballs in the world.

She is survived by her children and their families, Carolyn (Vince) McCarthy, David Biersmith Jr., Chris Biersmith, Beth (Marty) McCarthy, John Biersmith, Kurt Biersmith; grandchildren Alex, Luke, Jack, Brady, and Katie McCarthy. In addition, she is survived by her sister Kay Smith and her brother Michael Monahan.

In lieu of flowers the family suggest donations be made to: Sisters, Servants of Mary, 800 N. 18th Street, Kansas City, KS  66109


  1. Chris Adams, Truman on September 26, 2011 at 2:24 pm

    Mary Jo was a joy to work with! Her sense of humor was legendary, and she always showed great compassion for her students and staff.

  2. Janet Knapp on September 25, 2011 at 8:16 am

    I was so sad to hear the news of Mary Jo’s passing. I worked with Mary Jo in Independence. She was an amazing teacher. I loved the way she stayed focus on her students,progress. She worked tirelessly. Her sense of humor provided much comic relief to co-workers stressed with paperwork. I’m certain these memories pale in comparison of her family. I pray your memories being you comfort in this difficult time.


    Janet Knapp

  3. Amy Kostoryz Lawder on September 25, 2011 at 6:49 am

    When I think of your mother, I think of the memories I, as well as Katie, Jimmy, and Kevin have of her at Rockhill. I remember even at our young ages, enjoying sitting around your mom,our mom, and their friends listening to her funny comments. As an adult and a mother now, I marvel at what she was able to do; raise a family of six children while working full-time in the field of special education. Your mother, as well as other single parents, are our unsung heroes. I hope the memories I think about when I think of her, as well as the countless memories of her all of you have ease some of the pain you are feeling. Sincerly,
    Amy Kostoryz Lawder

  4. Mark Biersmith on September 20, 2011 at 2:03 pm

    Sally and I send our heartfelt sympathies to their cousins. You remain in our thoughts and prayers. Your Mom was very good to me as a child and I can only imagine how comforted you must feel to have her as your beloved Mom.Heaven is truly an even better place with her arrival. God bless you. We love you all deeply. With warmest sympathies, Mark and Sally Biersmith

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