This month we would like to introduce Residential Living Center resident, Michiko Neil.
Michiko was born and raised in Japan during World War II. She was still attending school and survived the atomic bomb when it was dropped in Japan. The war was hard on her and her family as they were separated for awhile, but later were reunited. A few years after the war she came to the United States as a wartime bride. As a service man’s wife, she lived in many places. Through this marriage she had one son and two daughters. She eventually moved to Kansas and settled here for sixty-five years. She worked hard as a devoted mother raising her three children on her own. She always grew a garden and was an excellent gardener canning her own pickles, green beans, and tomatoes. She even grew potatoes! The children loved the tomato sandwiches she made.
Her first job was at a sewing factory in Paola. When this plant shut down, she went to work for King Radio. She remained at King Radio until her retirement. After retiring and raising her children, she traveled. She loved Colorado, Wyoming, and the Dakotas because of the mountains, which reminded her of the mountains in Japan. She also traveled to Branson, Missouri several times and loved, loved, loved, the music shows. Later she joined the senior dance club and went to the senior citizen dances at least twice a week or more – the highlights of her week. After falling and breaking her leg, she could no longer dance, so watching Westerns became her new hobby (yee-haw!) and this is when she fell in love with John Wayne, the actor of course. And still loves him today and still loves watching cowboy movies. It just amazes her to think of a time when people lived on the range.
Michiko is blessed with three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. She enjoyed them coming over and spending weekends with her and taking them to the zoo. She now lives at Saint Luke’s Residential Living Center. This place has been a such a blessing for her and her family. She says she feels loved and cared for by the staff; we feel equally blessed for her to live here and to get to hear her stories and hear her laugh.