Obituary: Marguerite Eleanor Bayles Sloan

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10/3/1931 – 4/15/2022
Forsyth, MO

“Through the ears of a mule, blow the winds of heaven.” –From an Arab proverb

Marguerite Eleanor Bayles Sloan, 90, died peacefully on April 15, 2022 at her home in Forsyth, Missouri.

Marguerite was born on October 3, 1931 at her grandmother’s home in Leavenworth, Kansas. She was the daughter of Hearshel Bayles and Nellie Mason Bayles. She attended schools in the Easton and Potter area, and Central Business College in Kansas City. Marguerite met John Sloan in 1949. They met at a dance, went roller skating on their first date, and were married on November 3, 1951. Later in life, Marguerite attended St. Mary’s College.

Marguerite and John maintained a family farm southwest of Leavenworth for many years. She worked multiple jobs when she wasn’t busy helping with the farm or raising children. She worked for the Lansing and Leavenworth school districts, even driving a school bus for a short period. She was heavily involved in the Boling 4-H club serving as project leader and community leader, a member of The Little Stranger HDU, and a member of the Leavenworth Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School for a time. Together, Marguerite’s and John’s main focus was farming. They were honored to be named the Leavenworth County Farm Family of the Year in 2005. After retiring and moving to Forsyth, Missouri in 2006, they continued to take great interest and pride in their farm, which was awarded the distinction of 100 years in one family.

A conversation with Marguerite would often switch to the topic of horses and mules, her lifelong passion. In her own words, “I was born loving equine of any kind, and when I learned my dad had a work horse that could be ridden, I was obsessed to ride that horse.” She could remember everything about one’s horse and riding ability. She was an accomplished rider, judge, trainer, and instructor. Her accomplishments and awards were numerous. She won the National Trail Riding Championship in 1992. After retiring to Missouri, she and John enjoyed exploring the local trails around the Mark Twain National Forest. Marguerite continued to ride her beloved mule, Jamie, until just a few years ago, and wrote a book about their adventures together on the trail (

She had several other hobbies and interests, and was known for developing a high level of expertise in her interests. She loved baking and serving homemade cinnamon rolls, yeast rolls, and biscuits. She took painting classes as a teenager and painted throughout her life. Her favorite subjects were scenes from the farm and trail rides, animals, and rural landscapes. She was talented at sewing and taught classes in tailoring, dressmaking, and pattern alteration. Later in life, she took a keen interest in computers. Family and friends could always expect homemade greeting cards she made on her computer, featuring her own paintings or photos she found amusing. She managed her own website showcasing her paintings (

Marguerite was preceded in death by her parents, her husband John, and her dog Daisy. She is survived by her brother David Bayles; her daughter Carolyn Evers (Roger), her son Jim Sloan (Theresa), her son Bill Sloan (Cheryl), and her daughter Rhonda Bowman (Bob); her grandchildren Michelle Bowman, Aaron Gaddis, Leah Gaddis, Tara Sloan, and Tiffany Underwood; six great-grandchildren, two sisters-in-law, one brother-in-law, many nieces and nephews, friends, riding companions, and her dog Sweetie Pie.

“I’ve spent most of my life riding horses. The rest I’ve just wasted.” –Horse Rider’s Proverb

A celebration of life will be held at the Boling Grange on May 14, from 1 to 3 p.m. Pie and refreshments will be served. All friends and family are invited.

Memorial contributions can be made to:
Little Stranger Church
c/o Carrie Ritchey
26374 Tonganoxie Rd.
Leavenworth, KS 66048

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