A Gift to Children's Mercy South
Leone Stinehour was born Edna "Leone" Cross on May 6, 1918. She grew up on a dairy farm in Mission, Kansas, and delivered milk to the first three homes in Mission when she was only 6 years old. She graduated from Shawnee Mission Rural High School (now known as Shawnee Mission North) and went on to be a court reporter until she enlisted in the Navy WAVES in 1942. On January 23, 1944, she married Louis Freeman Stinehour and they had one son, Robert.
Robert was born with mental and physical disabilities, but Leone couldn't have loved him more. Leone was dedicated to nurturing and caring for him. She saw to it that Robert was educated and graduated from high school. He grew to be a brave, peaceful man despite his many illnesses and physical stresses. Leone understood the importance of preparing for the future, especially with a special needs child to care for.
Sadly, Leone's husband Lou and son Robert both died in 1984. When it came time for Leone to make out her estate plan, she knew she wanted to give the bulk of her wealth to charity. While living, Leone was a very generous person and it would be no different upon her death. Leone knew she wanted a children's hospital to be one of the beneficiaries. With the guidance of a close friend, Doug Kaploe, she decided Children's Mercy would be one of three charities to benefit from her estate.
Leone never mentioned to Doug whether or not Robert had ever received care at Children's Mercy, but she trusted Doug's commitment to the hospital and his belief that Children's Mercy would be good stewards of the gift. Doug, a hospital volunteer since 1992, shared his experiences as a volunteer with Leone and she wanted to become a volunteer at the hospital herself. Unfortunately, her health kept her from ever doing so.
Leone's grandfather, Franklin Cross, had purchased land from a Shawnee Indian, John Prophet, in 1857. A large part of that land is now the city of Mission. A mural depicting that exchange of land ownership hangs in the Mission City Hall today. Because of Leone's deep roots in Kansas, she decided to designate her gift for Children's Mercy South in Overland Park.
When children and their families visit the Urgent Care Center at Children's Mercy South, they will see those roots continuing to grow in Kansas. In honor of Leone's gift to Children's Mercy South, the waiting room in Urgent Care bears her name.