In Memory

Marjorie Sissom (Fortner)

Marjorie Sissom (Fortner)

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05/06/17 04:36 PM #1    

Barbara Claiborn (Holladay)

My folks and Marg's grew up together in a little town named Fredonia, Kansas 100 miles east of Wichita. I met Marg when we would go back to Fall Homecoming in Fredonia every year so I don't remember not knowing her.

Both of our families moved to Wichita when we were small. We met again at Fairmont elementary school and walked to school together nearly every day, talking away, until I was moved off in 6th grade up to McLain Elementary.

We kept in touch at homecomings and by phone and at football games in high school when she went to East and I went to North. We ended up liking one of the same guys, Raymond (Bud) Holladay when he started at East High and then moved to the North High District, then I married him.

I visited Marg whenever I returned to Wichita for a visit with my folks. She was diagnosed with MS about the age of 30 and died in her sixties. She was married two times and had two daughters.

Marg was a total character, never lost her sense of humor! We kept in touch with frequent long-distance phone calls along with my trips back to visit with her and Ronnie, Ron Langdon, her wonderful funny, sharp caregiver/companion for the last 20 years or more. They fell in love when he worked at Royal ? Nursing home near N. Waco. He helped her get out of there and move into his apartment then later they bought a house together and I'm sure she lived as long as she did because of his excellent care. She got on her computer, found help through the state of Kansas to get storm windows and insulation for their place, a modified bathroom for her wheelchair, a lift, and they were on their way! Ron took excellent care of Marg, worked for income, repaired everything, took care of the animals, cleaned the house, and was still good-natured about it all. We are still in touch by infrequent emails.

They always had a cat and a dog, a small computer room, and a lot of friends. I would sometimes spend the night with them and teach him how to cook new & easy different things for dinner. Sourdough bread, noodle dishes, cakes, salads. Cooking tips. He was a good cook, always excited to try new foods. They both made the most of life.

He is now living with his dog Hemi (Buddy the cat died) in northwest Kansas near Hayes, near her daughter Kim, an RN like her mom, and her daughter. Marg's military vet daughter Debbie lived in Wichita last I heard with her husband Fred and their children.

I just couldn't stand to see Marg's Memorial without anything in it, she was a wonderful friend.

05/07/17 08:49 AM #2    

David Landrum

Barb, It sounds like Marg was very lucky to have you for a friend!


05/08/17 12:51 AM #3    

Cheryl Meek (Cooper)

I had a few classes with Marjorie , she was a very sweet & lovlng person.  When I was an Activity Director at the nursing home, I was at a meeting at the nursing home where Marjorie was at & I got to talke to her for a few minutes.  I later heard she was taken out of there by one of her caregivers & was very happy for her.


05/08/17 07:12 PM #4    

Barbara Claiborn (Holladay)

Cheryl, I did not know that! I am so glad Marg had someone that she knew over there! All of her impairment was physical, she did not have a single dead brain cell in her body and was a total hoot to spend time with. The way things came together, she was able to leave and have a real life for several years! I had visited her in the nursing home and before that, at her mother's house and was tickled to death that she got to move in with Ron. At first I was worried that he might not be a good person but you probably knew him. He also worked there. He was a bit down on his luck but he got his life in order and was the best thing in the world to happen to her. It went both ways. I was so happy for both of them; rides in the van, shopping,their own house & yard, indoor pets to visit and the ability to have your own food supply made all the difference in the world for both of them.
They both had a great sense of humor and I was really happy that I got to share a large part of their lives with them. Our moms were both nurses and so was Marg. I have volunteered in nursing homes for years plus had cancer and have lost a lot of loved ones so she knew she could talk 'serious and medical' with me if need be, scattered in between the horrible jokes,food prep and the playing with animals. I always took my to visit their and their cat so a good time was had by all.
(excuse typos, text is jumping) Hope to make it next yr, FINALLY one in the cool. ;)Barb

05/08/17 07:20 PM #5    

Barbara Claiborn (Holladay)

David Landrum, your comment on Marg's page had jumped & I didn't see it until I sent a note to Cheryl...then it popped up. And no, being a friend to Marg & Ronnie was really easy.

05/10/17 05:39 PM #6    

Cheryl Meek (Cooper)

Barbara I did not work at the Nursing Home Marjorie was in.  I was the Activity Director at Clearwater's Nursing Home.  We would have meetings once a month at other nursing homes to learn what other Activity Directors were doing.  I happened to learn Marjorie ws there & I got to have a short visit with her.  I am sorry I didn't get back to see her again, but with me working as the Activity Director in the day I would fill in on 2nd shift as the CMA when they were short handed.


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