On Wednesday, May 11th 2022, Fiona Jean Dollison passed away at the age of 79 after a long (and stubborn) battle with pancreatic cancer.
Jean had a lifelong love of learning and shared this love with those around her. Born in Grand Junction, Colorado on October 8, 1942 Jean was the daughter of Eloise and Edward Kaemmerling. After attending Chanute High School, Jean married Frederick Brungardt and began her long career as an invested mother and dedicated teacher.
A lifelong learner, Jean always had a library book by her bed. (And by her rocking chair. And in the bathroom. And in the backseat of her car.) Jean instilled a love of all art and literature in her children and her grandchildren. Jean also worked as a preschool teacher for many years at the Presbyterian Preschool of Independence.
Jean will be remembered for making the world more beautiful. Working as a seamstress in Independence, Jean dressed wedding parties, prom attendees, and Queen Neelah pageant contestants for many years. Her family will also remember the Halloween costumes, gifts, and Christmas ornaments Jean made for them every year.
Jean will be remembered for her warmth and the ease with which she made her family feel well loved. Whether it was through quick pragmatism (like the time she rescued Tim from drowning by snatching him out of the water by his hair), simple acts of care (like mailing her granddaughters calcium chews…for good bones, of course), or confusing bits of wisdom (“Nobody ever said there wasn’t a market not on stupid!”), Jean deliberately loved her weird family into existence. Jean loved cooking in the kitchen on holidays while her daughters and granddaughters cooked and gossiped around her. Though this sometimes resulted in culinary disaster (like the time she forgot to put rice in the cabbage rolls), Jean’s legacy lives on in the recipes she shared with her family: cabbage rolls, pinwheels, and anything with (too much) kielbasa in it.
Jean knew grief in her life. She lost her sons Donnie (at age 29) and James (at age 25), and comforted her surviving children through this grief. After a long illness, Jean’s husband of 44 years, Dale, passed away in 2016.
In spite of hardships, Jean lived her best single-lady life in her later years: napping when she pleased, walking with (and overfeeding) her beloved dog Mickey, visiting the library at least once a week, and occasionally eating dessert first.
The love, care, and beauty that Jean cultivated in life were evident at her time of death. Jean passed peacefully at the home of her daughter Mary, surrounded by the children who had cared for her during her illness. She is survived by: her sisters Jo, Susan, and Pat, her children Theresa, Timothy, Mary, Danette, and Denee, fifteen grandchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
A celebration of Jean’s life will be held on Saturday, June 4th at 10:00 am at Potts Funeral Chapel in Independence, followed by the interment of her ashes at Mt. Hope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorial contributions be made in Jean’s to the Friends of the Independence Public Library.