We honor here members, friends and supporters of the American Council of the Blind who have impacted our lives in many wonderful ways. If you would like to submit a notice for this column, please include as much of the following information as possible.

Name (first, last, maiden if appropriate)

City of residence (upon passing)

State/province of residence (upon passing)

Other cities/states/countries of residence (places where other blind people may have known this person)


Date of death (day if known, month, year)


ACB affiliation (local/state/special-interest affiliates or national committees)

Deaths that occurred more than six months ago cannot be reported in this column.

Distifan, Rosemary
(Reprinted from "The Wichita Eagle" on June 19, 2011.)

Rosemary Distifan was born Aug. 10, 1927 to Charles and Alice (Waddell) Middleton and died June 13, 2011 in Wichita, Kan. at the age of 83. She and her sister Lucille were born with a genetic eye problem which resulted in their placement in the Kansas School for the Blind in Kansas City for their elementary and secondary education.
Both were good students. After completing that education, Rosemary returned to Wichita
where she graduated from Friends University. She was later employed as a medical transcriptionist for the State of Kansas in Topeka. She married Frank Distifan, who was also visually impaired. Using the attitudes and the skills taught by their parents and schooling, they lived quite independently. Frank managed coffee shops and Rosemary
became the social worker for the blind clients of Kansas Social and Rehabilitation
Services, where she, knowing their needs and the resources available, was able to
assist them to reach their potential. Frank died in 2001.

Rosemary retired after about 50 years of state employment. When Rosemary's eyesight deteriorated, she obtained a guide dog from a business in Washington, Kan.; that dog became frail and Rosemary traveled to New York to spend three weeks to acquaint herself with a second dog. The dogs were helpful in helping her remain ambulatory, until Rosemary's own health deteriorated and in November 2009 she entered the Kansas Masonic Home. Her positive attitude and failure to complain made her many friends.

She is survived by her sister, Lucille Parli of McKinney, Tex.; 2 nephews, Steve and Frank Parli; longtime friend, Betty Spriggs, Wichita, Kan. and a host of other friends. Graveside services were held June 21 at White Chapel Memorial Gardens. Memorials have been designated to the Humane Society, 3313 N. Hillside, Wichita, KS 67291. Condolences may be sent to the family at

Oblinger, Mary Ann (Mueller)
(Reprinted from "The Wichita Eagle" on June 19, 2011.)

Mary Ann (Mueller) Oblinger, beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, kicked the bucket on June 9, 2011. Born on the family farm in Valley Center, Kan., on Oct. 23, 1928 to Harrie S. and Ina Belle (Wilson) Mueller, she was the youngest and arguably the most stubborn of four girls. She graduated from North High School in 1946 and went on to Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. and finished college at Iowa State University with a degree in landscape architecture. After graduation she married fellow landscape architecture student Warren J. Oblinger.

After a short stint in Santa Fe, N.M., they eventually settled in Wichita, Kan. where she raised six children who simultaneously irritated and amused her until the day she died. Some of her passions were reading, knitting, needlepoint, music, braille, nature and supporting the arts. She volunteered many hours to her church, St. Paul's United Methodist, the Wichita Area Girl Scouts, PTA, Cub Scouts and the Braille Association of Kansas of which she later became the director.

She was a member of the CI chapter of PEO, the DAR and the Native Sons and Daughters of Kansas. She was a wacky gal and will be sincerely missed by all whose lives she touched. She was pre-deceased by her parents and a brother, Clifford Max. Those she left behind are her children: Sarah Oblinger (Al Tyrrell) of Dixon, N.M., Patience (John) Centers of Aiken, S.C., Melinda Oblinger (Alan Lee) of Croyton, Pa., Gregg (Karen) Oblinger of Mulvane, Kan., Tabitha Bean of Burns, Kan., and Clifton Oblinger (Barbara Quantz) of Overland Park; her sisters: Harriett (Ed) Cheaney of Granville, Ohio, Jennie Byerley of Wichita, Kan., and Donna (Chuck) Goodrum of Springfield, Va.; her husband Warren J. Oblinger of Lee's Summit, Mo., and 9 grandchildren, 4.9 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Memorials have been established with the American Foundation for the Blind, Attn: Audrey Taylor, 2 Penn Plaza, Suite 1102, NY, NY 10121,, and United Methodist Open Door Ministries, PO Box 2756, Wichita, KS 67201,