By Kathryn Rice

Ronald and Coral Sheridan have returned to Maryville after living away from the Nodaway County area for 55 years.

Ronald was diagnosed with Alzheimers five years ago. During warm weather, he spends four to five hours a day, weeding, watering and working in his flower beds which flow around their house at 1817 Southdale Avenue, Maryville.

Ronald spent 20 years in the Army, joining in November 1961. Between his basic training and training, he and Coral were married. Coral paid her way to Germany where the couple lived on the German economy while Ronald served in a missile battalion. The couple and their children, James and Joni, were stationed in Fort Devens in Massachusetts when stationed state-side. The family spent time in Germany, Hakata, Japan; Vietnam and Okinawa. Coral had worked as a civilian on the bases where Ronald was stationed.

Upon his Army retirement, Ronald worked as a civilian in the federal government. Upon his retirement from civilian service, the couple remained in Devens, until September 2015 when they moved to Maryville.

The couple grew up in Quitman. When stationed stateside, the family would spend their 30 days of leave visiting family in the Nodaway County area.

The growth of the wonderland of flower beds has been a work in progress with more flowers being added each year instead of an overall plan. The couple brought Asian lilies from their Massachusetts home when they moved. They have added daylilies and gladioli. This year, Ronald added cannas bulbs supplied to him by his barber, Gary Greeley.

Ronald has been expressing his patriotism by the display of flags and red, white and blue. There are three flagpoles flying “Old Glory” joined by smaller flags lining the driveway.

This summer he took old railroad ties and boxed it in with pressure-treated wood, measured and drew out individual flags and painted them by hand in the blazing heat. He did this all by himself with the help of a stars template made by a neighbor.

Coral and Ronald like to country dance and since COVID restrictions have loosened up, the couple has been going to Fillmore, Gentry and sometimes the Eagles to dance. The couple enjoys country music festivals in Iowa and Nebraska.

On his Alzheimers diagnosis, Ronald said “I’m getting rid of it.” To which Coral says, the activities the couple undertake which include putting together puzzles in the sunroom during the winter months, help Ronald. Ronald enjoys meeting and talking to people.

The couple was impressed with the efficiency of the mass COVID-19 vaccination clinics held at the Hughes Fieldhouse on the Northwest Missouri State University campus earlier.

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