It is a distinct honor to celebrate the life of a woman who for fifty-six years unflinchingly gave so much of her time over to doing the little things that others rarely try to take the time to do, for the betterment of all.
Mildred Viola Adams was born April 22, 1922, on a farm in Bates County, Missouri, the fifth child in a family of seven boys and five girls. Her parents Bennie & Ivie Adams saw to it that she and rest of their passel received an education, first at the local one-room schoolhouse, and later at high school in Rich Hill, Missouri. After graduation Mildred went to the big city—Kansas City—when she met and married her husband, Jack Leroy Morgan, on September 1, 1946.
After Jack graduated college in 1950 with a degree in pharmacy the couple moved first to Wichita, later arriving in Osborne in June 1955 where Jack began work in Hilsinger Drug Store. Here Jack and Mildred raised their daughter Patti and Mildred became a volunteer cook, the first one ever, at Parkview Manor in Osborne. In 1967 she joined the Organization of Gray Ladies, a volunteer society under the American Red Cross that whose purpose was to alleviate pain and sorrow. This group of trained volunteers worked side by side with the nursing staff at the rest homes in Downs and Osborne to care for the sick and elderly. Mildred quickly learned that often it was the little things that a volunteer could help with most—the bingo games, serving coffee, playing cards, reading to a resident.
While a caregiver at Parkview Manor (later called Parkview Care Center) Mildred often went above and beyond her assigned duties. She visited Parkview several times a week, helping with the little things that were needed back in 1967, along with taking those who needed a ride to doctor or dentist appointments, picking up people needing a ride to Parkview or to the activities at Solomon Valley Homes, where she kept up the card games and bingo nights going as well. From 1979 to 1996 she was the Parkview Activity Director, and even after her retirement from that position she continued to help where needed.
“She did so many ‘second mile’ and ‘behind the scenes’ deeds for the resident family that it is impossible to list them. However, whatever the need she saw, she took care of it. Her attention to detail was outstanding.” – Betty Jo Banks, administrator, Parkview Care Center.
Mildred was the Osborne County Heart Fund chairperson for many years and also worked with the local American Cancer Society for over 30 years.
You saw Mildred when and wherever a volunteer was needed. She helped with numerous bake sale fundraisers with her cakes and pies. At one time she instigated a fundraiser for a lad who was terminally ill with cancer. She also helped some families who had moved to Osborne and did not read or speak English. When anyone was in the hospital or ill, Mildred had a card in the mail for them or delivered a pie or casserole to their door, or she greeted them with a glass of homemade jelly. When on her daily walk from her Osborne home she would always carry a bag with which to pick up trash she found along the way.
When taking part in projects and social gatherings Mildred was always counted on to do more than one person’s share. She was active in the Osborne Christian United Church and volunteered time to work at the Market Place in Osborne. Mildred was appointed to the Silver Haired Legislature for Osborne County and was a member of the Solomon Valley Highway 24 Heritage Alliance, the North Central Kansas Tourism Council, and Osborne County Tourism, Inc., where her advice and insights were in valuable. She volunteered at the Kansas Sampler Festival for fifteen years, no matter how far away the Festival was being held from Osborne, and helped both set up and man Osborne County’s display there, handing out brochures and other information while informing people as to the many attractions that Osborne County offered.
Mildred often amazed people as she was blessed with the energy of a person fifteen to twenty years younger. She enjoyed good health up to just a few days before her final illness, with her passing occurring on April 30, 2011. Mildred was laid to rest in the Osborne Cemetery.