Marilyn Adkins

Oct. 31, 1937 – Jan. 5, 2019

EMPORIA — Marilyn “Joan” Adkins died early Saturday morning, Jan. 5, 2019, at Emporia Place. She was 81.

She was born Oct. 31, 1937, at Brewster, the daughter of Marion A. and Vera J. Lowe Tucker. She attended high school in Hayward, Calif., and graduated from Hayward High School with class of 1955. Following high school, she joined U.S. Navy and received nursing training while serving.

She married Harlan D. Thorne Jan. 5, 1957, at Rockville, Md. They would make their home in Lebo and start their family. She became very familiar with the highs and lows of being a farm wife. Harlan was tragically killed in a farming accident in 1968 and she was left to raise their four children.

While working to support her family she began taking classes at Flint Hills School of Nursing. After earning her LPN she worked in labor and delivery at Newman Memorial Hospital, Emporia, for 15 years. She furthered her education once more at Emporia State University, where she earned her RN degree. She then worked as a surgical nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital, Emporia and later for Osage County Health Department. She finished her nursing career by serving 10 years as a nursing home surveyor for State of Kansas, retiring in the early 2000’s.

She would find love again when she met Gerald D. “Jerry” Adkins. They were married April 27, 1969, at Lebo. They became a steadfast fixture at all the children’s sporting events and school activities. As the years passed their pride transitioned to their grandchildren and community youth as a whole. Joan and Jerry would experience the loss of a grandson, Austin Dennis Thorne in 1990. Jerry would also precede Joan in death in 2017.

Her strong religious and community ties were evident in her many memberships. She was a member of Lebo United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, American Legion Auxiliary, Just for Fun and Bid of Bye Card Clubs, The Lebo Choraliers, East Central Kansas Area Agency on Aging and served as a Resident Ambassador of Emporia Place Senior Living.

She will live on in the hearts of her children, Stephanie Allegre and husband, Bill, Overland Park, Michael Thorne and wife, Raylene, Burlington, Ken Thorne and wife, Cheryl, Gunter, Texas, and Jolene Vannocker and husband, Mark, Lebo; 11 grandchildren, Adrienne, Jenna, Eliza, Christina, Brooke, Austin, Andrea, Aaron, Derek, Jordan and Ethan; 11 great-grandchildren, Charlie, Landon, Austin, Raleigh, Merritt, Ellie, Grayson, Harlan, Makayla, Aubriana and Ava; a brother, Ken Tucker, Merced, Calif.; a sister, Carol Barker and husband, Richard, Clyde, North Carolina; a sister-in-law, Glenda Failing, Lebo; and a brother-in-law, George Sullivan, Lebo.

Cremation is planned with a Celebration of Life 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 at Lebo United Methodist Church. The family will receive friends from 10 a.m. until service time at church. Inurnment will follow at Lincoln Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Hand-In-Hand Hospice or United Methodist Women and sent in care of the Jones VanArsdale Funeral Home, P.O. Box 43, Lebo KS 66856.

Condolences may be expressed at

The Osage County Herald-Chronicle

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