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Being thankful this Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving at Stockhoff

Residents and staff at Stockhoff Memorial Nursing Home celebrate Thanksgiving by talking about thankfulness and holiday memories.

This year’s Thanksgiving marks the 179th anniversary of the first official observance of Thanksgiving Day in the state of Missouri. Governor Thomas C. Reynolds signed the proclamation, Oct. 16, 1843, declaring the fourth Thursday in November as a day of prayer and thanksgiving for the people of Missouri.

A lot has changed in 179 years, how we travel, how we communicate, how we cook, what we do for fun. Things like indoor plumbing were not even common yet in 1843. However, one thing has proven the test of time, and that is family.

The Democrat News was able to walk down memory lane with some of our friends at Stockhoff Memorial Nursing Home. The residents talked about what they are most thankful for and their favorite Thanksgiving memories.

Sheila Underwood said, she is thankful for her good health.

Otto Kurgas said, he is most thankful for when family comes to visit.

While Harry Maze said, he is thankful for the good Lord.

“I’ve been through more than most people, and it’s a miracle I’m still here,” Maze said.

Eleanor Wilke said, she is thankful for her ability to get around and that she gets to go as many places as she wants.

Marla Walls said, she is thankful for her daughter.

“I’m so proud of her,” Walls said.

Linda Starkey is thankful for her family.

Alan “Eddie” Livers said, he is thankful for his life.

While Betty Edmond said, she is thankful to be alive.

Glenwood Martin is thankful for his good health.

Neva Coomer said, she is thankful that her mind is good, especially at her age.

Aubrey Underwood is thankful for her children and grandchildren.

“They all have great jobs, and I’m so proud of them,” Underwood said.

Spending a few minutes with these amazing individuals you will learn the most important things to be thankful for are family, good health and life.

When the residents started talking about favorite Thanksgiving memories the stories all revolved around food and family.

Tammy Helm said, she loves any Thanksgiving when her entire family is able to get together and talk.

Joan Manley recalled one Thanksgiving when her family went to St. Louis and had a big ol’ table with tons of food and the best buttered rolls she has ever had.

“When I was a kid, my parents were driving me to my grandparent’s house for our Thanksgiving feast,” Robert Sargent said. “It was snowing really hard and, at one point, we slipped off the road and our car got stuck. My dad had to carry me over his shoulder and walk the rest of the way to my grandparent’s house.”

Things may not have worked out exactly as Robert’s dad thought they would that day, but the moment obviously left a lasting memory for his son.

Allene Moore’s favorite memory is a little more recent. She said, Stockhoff recently had a potluck for Thanksgiving, and there was so much food to choose from, and it all tasted great.

“I was stuffed for the rest of the day,” Moore said.

Perhaps the sweetest of memories shared came from Willa Combs.

“Thanksgiving is the anniversary of my wedding,” Combs said. “I got married in 1948, unfortunately my husband passed away, but I’m still thankful for all the memories I got to have with him and, because of those memories, every Thanksgiving is my favorite.”

This Thanksgiving, take note from our friends at Stockhoff Nursing Home and be thankful for every moment with family and friends.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at


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