Ida Mae Johnson Skaggs Lancaster, 95 of Joplin, Missouri, passed away on September 8, 2019 from long term health problems.
Visitation will be at 6:00 PM Wednesday, September 11, 2019, at Parker Mortuary in Joplin. Ida will be coming home to Texas to be laid to rest beside her parents. Graveside service will be at 11:00 AM Friday, September 13, 2019, at Edith Ford Memorial Cemetery in Canadian, Texas, with Rev. Matt Phenix, interim pastor at First Baptist Church in Canadian, officiating. Local arrangements are under the direction of Carmichael-Whatley Funeral Directors of Canadian.
Ms. Lancaster was born to Nicolas Eugene Johnson and Thelma Mae Leigh on September 2, 1924 in Waynoka, Oklahoma. 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 in Amarillo at Humphrey's Highland, Landergrin, Sanborn, & Dwight Marrow elementary schools and last but not least James Bowie Junior High before retiring.
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.”
Her daughter Rikki Sellinger preceded her in death last year.
Ida is survived by her daughter, Dr. Nicola Opdyke and husband Wallie Opdyke of Austin; son Dr. Steven Skaggs and wife Barbara Skaggs of Joplin; and her grandsons, Jeremy Sellinger of New Mexico, Shane Skaggs of Joplin and Kayle Skaggs of Joplin.