Ida Mae Lancaster

September 02, 1924 - September 08, 2019
Ida Mae Lancaster
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Ida Mae Johnson Skaggs Lancaster, 95 of Joplin, MO, passed away on September 8, 2019, from long term health problems. Ms. Lancaster was born to Nicolas Eugene Johnson and Thelma Mae Leigh on September 2, 1924, in Waynoka, OK. Later, Ms. Lancaster relocated to Canadian, Texas when her father transferred with the Santa Fe railway. Ms. Lancaster was a nursing graduate of the Class of 1942 at Northwest Texas Hospital in Amarillo, Texas. At that time, nursing students were not allowed to be married and prior to his departure for the European theater of war, on December 12, 1942, evading detection, she slipped off in secret to Arnet, OK where she married Richard L. Skaggs.

Upon graduating from Northwest, Ida Mae returned to Canadian, Texas where she was a nurse in the local hospital. Santa Fe relocated her family in 1955 to Amarillo where she was employed at both St. Anthony’s and Northwest Texas hospitals. She later became a public health nurse with the Potter County Health Department. But the duties she relished the most was when she was a school nurse.

Her life was dedicated to taking care of others and cared for many of her classmates from nursing school, her neighbors, helping out where she could. She was always the “wife of that old tough sergeant” and the “I am in charge head nurse”. There was never a shortage of work ethics in the home.

Ida is survived by her daughter Dr. Nicola Opdyke and son-in-law Wallie Opdyke of Austin, Texas, son Dr. Steven Skaggs and daughter-in-law Barbara Skaggs of Joplin, MO. Her daughter Rikki Sellinger passed last year. Her grandsons Jeremy Sellinger of New Mexico, Shane Skaggs and Kayle Skaggs of Joplin, MO.

Visitation will be Wednesday, September 11th at 6pm at Parker Mortuary in Joplin, MO.

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