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2015 June 19: Lucile Elizabeth Edson

Lucile Elizabeth (Morgan) Edson passed away peacefully at her daughter's home in Downtown Topeka, KS on Friday, June 19, 2015 at 4:45 PM. She was surrounded by 215 family photos on the walls of her room and was attended by her daughter and her hospice nurse. Many family members had visited in her final week.

She had been in the care of her daughter since falling and breaking her hip in 2010. In the last few years her daughter was assisted in her home care by the good folks of Heartland Hospice. While her fall, coupled with a heart condition, caused a slow decline in her health and abilities, it was only recently that she became completely confined. Lucile was always grateful for her blessings, and those who knew her will attest that no matter what life threw her way, she took it in stride.

She was born Lucile Elizabeth Morgan on a farm near Cosby, Missouri, November 3, 1917, to Walker Messick 'Major' Morgan and Lizzie Almina (Bostwick) Morgan. Lucile was the youngest of six children. Two of her siblings did not live to adulthood, Nancy Margaret 'Little Margie' Morgan, born 1898 and died at two months of age, and a stillborn boy. Her oldest brother was Earl Messick Morgan 1900 - 1955, then there was William Elijah Morgan 1902 - 1974, and her sister, five years older than she, was Pauline Bell Morgan (Sullwold) 1912 - 2003. Lucile was the youngest of the 14 Morgan cousins whose parents, including her father, traveled from Kentucky to Missouri by covered wagon. She was the last of her generation of Morgans. She was very proud of her frontier roots, her pioneer father and his parents and siblings and her mother, who grew up in a sod house.

Lucile's family lived on the farm until she was three, then they moved to the city, St Joseph, Mo, where her two, much older brothers worked. At six years of age, her parents and the girls returned to the farm until her father passed away when she was twelve-years-old. Her mother sold off the farm and nearly all their possessions and moved Lucile and her older sister Pauline back to the city where her mother ran a boarding home.

Lucile was deeply influenced by her participation in the Y-Girls of the YWCA and her membership with the First Baptist Church of St. Joseph, MO and the BYPUA, Baptist Young People's Union of America.

The family moved many times, so the girls went to many different schools, but Lucile spent her high school years at Central High School in St. Joseph, MO. She was active in sports and particularly fond of working in the school library, at one time entertaining the idea of becoming a librarian. She graduated in 1936 and went to work at Kennedy's Department Store in St. Joseph, MO, where she met another Central alum who graduated the year before. While she hadn't known this nice fellow while in school, he had asked her to sign his Wakitan Year Book long before he knew she would be the love of his life.

Lucile married Wilmur Allen 'Ed/Eddie' Edson, December 4, 1937 in her mother's home. Wilmur became a window dresser, and his work caused them to move to locations in Missouri and Kansas before they settled in Topeka with their, at the time, two boys, Lee Allen and Dean Edward. Donald Wilmur was born in Topeka and still later, came the youngest, Linda Kay.

While her youngest boy was in grade school, Lucile went to work in the school lunchroom. She later sold Fuller Brush Products, but she spent the lion's share of her working years with Katz Drug in Topeka that later became Skaggs and then Osco (now CVS). She retired from Osco in 1983.

Lucile was always the support staff. Never heard to ever complain, she was always there holding the ladder, handing the screws or nails, doing whatever needed to be done.

You could count on Lucile to always be here helping 'Eddie' make the dream house he designed, did architectural drawings and blueprints for, and built himself a reality for their family.

A loyal assistant, she did whatever helped, whenever needed, even on big creative projects like Eddie and Linda's walk through Animated Santa Lands or building the annual animated 'Land of Oz' fantasy land display as a safe alternative for families each Halloween for 10 years in Topeka.

Offers for a permanent home for "The Land of Oz" came in from Wichita, KS; St. Joseph, MO; Sedan, KS; and Liberal, KS after a news story went nation wide about the "Land of Oz" needing to be moved. Lucile was an integral part of the team of Eddie, Lucile and Linda in rebuilding "Oz" permanently in Liberal, KS in 1992.

She was especially proud of the projected image of her beloved Eddie's face and voice as the animated "Wizard of Oz" in the permanent "Land of Oz" exhibit that has brought joy to tens of thousands of families.

In 2010 she was honored by First Baptist Church in Topeka for her over 50 year membership.

Her beloved husband, Wilmur Allen 'Eddie' Edson, passed away under the care of Lucile and their daughter with assistance of Heartland Hospice workers in their daughter’s home on Father's Day, June 16, 2002. She was also preceded in death by her son, Dean Edward Edson on November 9, 2011.

Lucile is survived by her oldest son, Lee Allen Edson and his wife, Joan of Overland Park, KS, her youngest son, Donald Wilmur Edson and his wife, Becky of Shawnee, KS, and her youngest child, her daughter, Linda (Edson) Windler and her husband, Merle of Topeka, KS. She is also survived by eight grandchildren, 23 great grandchildren (the most recent born June 9, 2015) and nieces and nephews.

A visitation is planned for 6 PM to 8 PM, Friday, June 26, 2015 at the Penwell-Gabel Mid-Town Chapel, 1321 SW 10th Avenue, Topeka, KS. Lucile wanted her memorial service to include a salute to her ancestors. This celebration of family and friends will be held at 10 AM, Saturday, June 27, 2015 at the First Baptist Church, 3033 SW MacVicar, Topeka, KS. A graveside service will follow at Penwell-Gabel Cemetery, 3616 SW 6th Avenue, Topeka, KS.

Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church of Topeka or the Helping Hands Humane Society, 5720 SW 21st, Topeka, KS 66604-3720.

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