Della Mae Poland Garrison, age 91, passed away on August 6, 2018 at her home in Oxford, OH with family by her side.
Born Nov. 6, 1926 in Junction City, KS, she was the daughter of Ralph and Lillian (Staatz) Poland. Her family home was on the site of the original log cabin where her father was born in Geary County, Kansas, near the beautiful Lyona Valley and Kansas Flint Hills she so loved.
Early years for Della centered around family, farm life and its seasons, and her Lyona Methodist Church community.
She graduated from Dickinson Community High School, Chapman, KS, in 1944, attended McPherson College and graduated from Kansas State University in 1948, studying Home Economics and Chemistry. On her first day at K-State she met Roy “Chuck” Garrison, from Hutchinson, KS, recently home from WWII where he flew “The Hump” in the Himalayas as a combat cargo pilot. They were married on Sept. 9, 1947 and were together for 60 years until his death.
Family was first in Della’s heart and throughout the many chapters of her life. Her husband’s international aviation marketing career found Della raising her family in Wichita, Kansas, Winnipeg, Canada, Geneva, Switzerland, Brussels, Belgium, Chagrin Falls, Ohio, and Savannah, Georgia. She fully appreciated the people, art, geography, history and local culture of the many places she lived and enthusiastically shared that with her children. Along the way she became a pilot, worked in education and real estate, volunteered with the Wichita League of Women Voters and American Red Cross and opened/managed her own business. In 2013, Della moved from Wichita, KS to Oxford, OH where she made many wonderful friends at The Knolls of Oxford.
Della’s numerous passions included art, reading, writing, bridge, piano, quilts, skiing, fashion, decorating and games of all sorts. She was a lifelong learner, and never lost her wit or sense of wonder. She was loved for how she made people feel valued and at ease. About her grandchildren, she said, “they shine like the energy of the sun!” and often told them “you are a unique and unrepeatable gift from God!”
Della was preceded in death by husband Roy “Chuck” Garrison in 2007, parents Ralph and Lillian Poland, brother Marvin (Betty) Poland, and sister Phyllis Whitman and her husband Chet Whitman. She is survived by sister Joyce Scheuerman (Robert) of Lacy, WA, her children Ralf Garrison (Betty) of Denver, CO, Ann Garrison Whelpton (John) of Oxford, OH, and Karen Garrison McNickle of Stockton, CA, beloved grandchildren Ross Whelpton, Leigh Whelpton, Kari McNickle, Kelsey McNickle, and Anna Brit Engblom-Garrison, many precious nieces and nephews and her extended family, the Osobas.
Celebration of life and burial and luncheon will be held at noon on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2018 at Lyona United Methodist Church, 1850 Wolf Road, Junction City, KS. A reception at The Knolls of Oxford in Oxford, Ohio will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please see Della’s philanthropy suggestions at www.BalesFH.com where on-line condolences may also be shared.