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Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Doctor's daughter

  • Mary Ellen Sims is a native of McDonald County, where she lived with her two older brothers and her parents, Dr. and Mrs. George W. Blankenship.
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  • Mary Ellen Sims is a native of McDonald County, where she lived with her two older brothers and her parents, Dr. and Mrs. George W. Blankenship.
    Growing up in Anderson, Mary Ellen's father had his medical practice in the family home, so there was always someone coming and going.
    "We had two front doors on the house. One led to the doctor's office and one led to our living room," she said.
    There was no hospital in Anderson, so when her father had to hospitalize someone, he put them in Joplin, which was a long way for him to visit his patients.
    Dr. Blankenship also helped with adoptions.
    "Sometimes, the new parents couldn't pick up the baby for a couple of days, so we kept the babies until the new parents came. I fell in love with every one of them. Since I was the only girl in the family, they were my dolls," she said. "I didn't want to give them up."
    When she was 10 years old, her father bought into Sale Hospital and the family moved to Neosho.
    "I thought I was going to die," Mary Ellen said. "We moved after the Thanksgiving break, and I didn't want to leave my friends."
    But she found friends in Neosho, some of which are still here and still friends.
    "I remember that I went to intermediate school and Edna Stone was the principal. She assigned Cindy Taylor to show me around the school. Cindy is the daughter of Dr. Taylor so we had something in common. We are still friends."
    Upon graduation from high school, Mary Ellen attended summer school at Crowder College and then went to Stephens College in Columbia. Upon her college graduation she taught at Christian College (now Columbia College) for three years before returning to Neosho.
    Back in Neosho, she met and fell in love with Bill Sims who was working at First National Bank. They had known each other in high school but had not dated.
    Today, Mary Ellen and Bill have one son, David, a daughter-in-law, Christi, and a granddaughter, Harper.
    Mary Ellen doesn't have any trouble keeping busy. One of her most rewarding volunteer opportunities was serving for four years as president of the Crowder Foundation. She strongly believes that women should get a college education. She is proud of helping provide funds through the foundation for both young men and women in Newton and McDonald County to attend Crowder College.
    So, Mary Ellen Sims, because of her support for those in Newton and McDonald County who want an education, is this week's good neighbor.

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