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Marynell Dyatt Reece

Politician. Born: April 6, 1920. Died: July 4, 2016.

Marynell Dyatt Reece was born on April 6, 1920, to parents Verne and Nellie (Taylor) Dyatt. She spent her early life in Kanorado, Sherman County.

She attended the University of Colorado during her freshman year. She transferred to the University of Kansas (KU) where she spent the rest of her college years, completing a bachelor’s degree in journalism. She was a member of Gamma Phi Beta Sorority among other organizations. While at KU she met her husband H.W. (Bill) Reece. They were married on May 20, 1942 in Lawrence. Shortly after their wedding Bill left for World War II. She traveled with him to different ports across the country. When her brother was killed in England she returned to Kanorado to be with her parents until the end of the war.

After the war she and her husband moved to his hometown of Scandia, Republic County. Bill started Reece Construction Company with his brother Jack and Marynell became an active participant. She was active in her community, serving on the school board and was a member of many groups such as the Sorosis Study Club and Kansas Republican Women. She was also involved in the United Methodist Church and sponsored the youth group for many years.

Reece’s interest in politics began at an early age when she watched her father raise money for the campaign of Herbert Hoover. She loved the Republican Party and believed strongly in the “free enterprise system.” She served on the Republican national committee for Kansas, the convention site selection committee, and the executive committee. She was delighted to receive personal congratulations for “a job well” done from President Ronald Reagan when she announced her retirement from her involved in the Republican Party in 1988.

She was also the chancellor’s associate of the University of Kansas, secretary of the Kansas Council of Economic Education, member of the Public Affairs Council of the Kansas Association of Commerce and Industry, and served on key political campaigns such as those of Bob Dole and Nancy Landon Kassebaum.

She was forever dedicated to her alma mater and was a member of the KU Endowment Association Board of Trustees and several other boards and committees.

She received the Distinguished Service Citation and Ellsworth Medallion from KU. She was named the 1991 Kansan of the Year by the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas.

She died July 4, 2016.

Entry: Reece, Marynell Dyatt

Author: Kansas Historical Society

Author information: The Kansas Historical Society is a state agency charged with actively safeguarding and sharing the state's history.

Date Created: July 2016

Date Modified: September 2016

The author of this article is solely responsible for its content.