• Last modified 547 days ago (Dec. 21, 2022)



Mary Collett

Private services for Mary Elizabeth Spinden Argo Collett, who died Dec. 14 at St. Luke’s Living Center in Marion, will be scheduled later.

It is with great sadness — as well as collective joy for many fond memories of a life well-lived — that the family wishes to inform the community of her recent passing. Suffering from the effects of Alzheimer’s disease, Beth was most recently a resident at St. Luke Living Center in Marion.

She was born May 24, 1931, to Ethel and Sam Spinden of rural Burns. She graduated from Burns High School and attended El Dorado Junior College and Kansas State Teachers College, where she obtained her teaching certificate in 1952.

She taught fifth grade in Leon and was a third grade teacher at Skelly Elementary School in El Dorado until her three children, David, Nancy, and Don, came along.

From that time forward, Beth transformed herself into the “All-American mom” while raising her children along with husband, Bob, who was employed at Skelly Refinery.

After Bob’s untimely and premature death in 1978, Beth resumed her education career by first working as library assistant in El Dorado USD 490 grade schools and later by enrolling at Wichita State University as a 50-something-year-old student where she successfully obtained a bachelor’s degree in education with specific focus on library studies.

She then assumed full-time librarian duties in El Dorado schools and later was named El Dorado middle school librarian, a role in which Beth served until retiring in 1994.

Beth’s retirement and her subsequent relocation from El Dorado to a small farmstead in the Flint Hills east of Marion was the result of a totally unexpected, but incredibly fulfilling, second chance at love with Howard Collett, a gentleman farmer with deep family roots along Middle Creek.

Beth and Howard got married Dec. 11, 1992, and recently celebrated their 30th anniversary. The blended Argo-Collett family has grown to include seven children, 12 grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren.

In addition to her first husband, Bob, Beth was predeceased by father Sam, mother Ethel, sister Ruth, and brothers Bill, Fred, and Chalmers.

She is survived by son David (and wife Diane) Argo, daughter Nancy Argo, son Don Argo, sons Randy (and wife Rachel) Collett and Keith (and wife Ann) Collett, daughters Collette (and husband Rick) Erickson and Melinda (and husband Martin) Gravenstein, sister June (and husband Gene) Countryman, brother John (and wife Rita) Spinden, and a multitude of blended family members who will try to emulate her kind-hearted spirit and outward affection toward others.

Memorials have been established with the Alzheimer’s Association, USD 490 Partners in and Bradford Memorial Library.

Please sign her online guestbook and leave a memory of Beth at

Last modified Dec. 21, 2022